In terms of where to stay away, this is a question that requires a bit too much assumption and then subjectivity on our part. What do you consider a "bad area"? Education, crime, depression, low flying planes, lack of transportation, odor, climate, earthquake zones? I like my home to face South, others prefer north facing. I know of several homes that back up against a stinky (REALLY stinky) pig farm. To some of the homeowners, it makes them feel like they are in the Country, I just want to throw up. I think being near a park is awesome. Still others say, no way! Give me an idea of what you prefer to avoid, and we might be able to help. Many here will tell you it is inappropriate to give you such advice as it would constitute breaking fair housing laws. While we need to be careful not to steer, I am more than happy to share my thoughts on the matter.
Best of luck, and thanks for reading.