All great advice. Iagree with Gerald's advice to start with looking neighborhoods that will satisfy your tastes for atmosphere, environment, schools, shopping, parking, etc., Information is universally available from on-line sources, magazines that cater to renters, and the Post still prints a large rental supplement on Sat or Sun.
If you haven't considered it, you might want to talk with a mortgage lender to see is buying is a good option for you. With interest rates as low as they are right not, buying could be a very good alternative to renting.
Hope this helps. Good luck!