Hi Aks and thanks for your post.
As the others have already mentioned, your best bet is to find and hire a great agent to help you. You have plenty of great people listed here who are willing to help. Also, there are discount agents to help as well if you want a rebate at the close of escrow--a nice bit of money to help you move, pay for furniture and repairs. Look here at Trulia for help and you can find a great agent to work with.
Second, if you're not ready to work with an agent, but just want to look around, here's what to do:
1. Check out realtor.com. This is a great listing of all of the homes available for sale on different multiple listing services in Northern California. So, for example, a home in San Mateo County may not be listed on the same MLS as the one here in Santa Clara. So if you look at Realtor.com, it will give you all of the homes available in California, parts of California and even other states.
2. Check out the local multiple listing service (MLS) here in Santa Clara County. There is a "public portal" that you can use that is not affiliated with any real estate firm or agent. You can look at all of the homes for sale in Santa Clara by checking out http://www.mlslistings.com.
Once you've honed in on an area that you like, check the API scores on the State of California's website to determine performance for the children in the school. Again, an agent will help you so that you don't have to look for yourself, but I understand that many buyers today prefer looking for themselves and bringing in an agent when they find something that they like. If that is the case, then seriously consider a discount agent to help you negotiate your deal.
Finally, if you're looking only for new homes, then check out http://www.newhomesmag.com
for all of the home builders and new homes in the Bay Area.
Allison James Estates & Homes