It’s always a good idea to research the area before going ahead with buying a house in it. There are a number of elements you need to keep an eye out for, the importance you attach to each one will depend on your priorities, and who you ultimately decide to sell on to when you move on.
Key elements to look out for:
Amenities (shops, supermarkets, pubs, etc)
New estate agents springing up in the area
A useful website to use is http://www.upmystreet.com. This provides free information about all the above (it’s funded by advertising), together with things like crime statistics and the average age of the local population.