Hi Cable, I think what you will find is that real estate, just like many other industries, has individual realtors that are quality, integrity based and about the customers interests vs. a real estate company. I hope that is helpful.
In terms of a safe area what I have found and heard from customers is that it really depends on what is important to you and your family. I have a customer who is a state trooper and he sent me a website link to check crime stats. I forward that a lot for individuals & families to check on specific areas and/or home addresses that they like.
First time home buyers probably get the most from agents who respond to them, are patient and willing to explain the entire process, the language/verbage that may be new to you and very willing to show many houses and areas. You will also find that you can get recommendations for people, places and things you need as you move here (mechanic, child care, shopping, restaurants and other take for granted things that we all need & use.
Real estate is sometimes the easy part it is the relationship that is created that is important.
Call or email if there are other questions that I can help you with.
Red Rock Realty