Start your homework now....figure out the area or areas in which you would like to live. Figure out your criteria: # of rooms, SF, yard/no yard, # of bathrooms, are schools important?, views/no views, freeway/shopping needs, and of course price range. Once you have a working list, find a reputable realtor ( I know a great one) and if they are good, they will help you refine the list , help you find a comfortable price range, and can start helping find homes. A good realtor will assist you in "keeping an eye" on the market and analyze the market for you to aid you in making the leap to purchase. Now, there is no crystal ball so no one really "knows" what the market will do, but a good realtor will help you interpret the market.