Probably the most difficult part of finding a new home is making a matrix of decisions before you take the first step.
From a realtor's point of view, the basics need to be covered.
What is your budget for your new home? Have you considered county, city and school taxes as part of your monthly payment? Will you also need to include some money for painting and carpeting? Will some landscaping need to be done to make it "right"?
Once you have established the "How Much", the amount of money you have available to purchase your new home, we need to fine tune your next steps.
"Where" will we live, becomes the next thought? Here we have a number of decision criteria that need answers. The closer to work you live, probably the less stressed you will be when you start your drive to and from home. A thirty minute drive is a whole lot better than a long drive in heavy traffic. So what is your drive time?
Within the "Where will we live" are considerations of the safety of the neighborhood, the school system, the structure of the traffic arteries (straight shot with few turns or a winding, time eating, drive).
Within the area do you want a great landscape with good size yard? Are you willing to take an older home in a more mature neighborhood or do you want a relatively new home? Many older homes have "good bones" and could be more solid then new construction.
Next comes the size of a home. If you are still planning growing your family, consider the square footage you will need. Since homes usually appreciate in value, considering the stability of the neighborhood, buying an affordable home with the size you will need is a good decision. If you are thinking of downsizing, there are a number of subdivisions I know where most of the residences have made the decision to buy a smaller, but a comfortable and pretty home.
I would always recommend you have a master bedroom on the first floor if the home you are considering is two stories. You will have a heck of a time selling a home with the master on the second floor. Also, consider how the house is orientated. Will you have the West sun in the front, back or side yard ... it will make a difference if you want a pool or shade.
Now, we are at the "When" question? Interest rates are a historically low. So the question is when are you going to take advantage of the rate and the available inventory before both rate and house value goes up?
There are probably a hundred other questions that will come up and I could talk a long time on each one of them.
One conversation with a knowledgable real estate agent will save you days of looking on the internet or just driving around.