Knightdale is a growing community that is in Wake County school system. You have chosen a wonderful area to live. The homes are affordable and everything is convenient. I would say that you should look at the neighborhoods which will help you to decide the safer/better areas. Also when you think you like an area go to the neighborhood at various times and days and observe the area and determine how you feel about the area. Also you might ask some of the neighbors if they have had any problems or how they like the neighborhood.
The historic area is getting a face lift and a new YMCA is going in ... you might want to go to the town hall and ask to see the plans for the downtown. Its where the parades start for the holidays.
Hope this has answered some of your questions. jo
You may also rsearch Johnston county. The school system are very good. The further west you go toward Garner, the closer you are to larger shopping areas. There are several sub divisions in Clayton that have community pools. Let me know if I can help. Steve-919-437-4077