If you are looking for commuting time from your job to a town where you are considering buyin a home go to www.mapquest.com and check it out.
If you do not know where to buy and want information about schools go to www.schoolmatters.com
and also check out the web sites of the schools.
You can get information about cities at www.city-data.com
or go to www.zipskinny.com
Once you decide on the location you can start looking at homes and look for a good agent but first get pre- qualified by sitting down with a lender.
You can look up information about the tax credit at www.irs.gov