Once you have selected a quarter of the city, you can refine your search by choosing a neighborhood within that quarter. By "neighborhood," I mean the three to five block area immediately surrounding the place you might live. These few blocks are going to play a big role in your outlook and experience. You will have a different view of the same quarter of the city if your neighborhood is near a placid park or at the crossroads of a noisy intersection.
Your final choice of your neighborhood will probably depend on the housing available. Therefore develop a list of up to three to five neighborhoods in your target quarter where you will look for a home.
TACTIC: List what you want to have in the nearby environment of your neighborhood.
Consider what you need: A view? Quiet? Activity? Shopping? A transit stop?
TACTIC: Look for neighborhoods that are walkable.
Find sidewalks, marked crosswalks, and pleasant pedestrian spaces. Is it possible to cross the streets? (In the suburbs, there may be streets specifically designed so that pedestrians cannot cross them).
TACTIC: Look for neighborhoods that offer access to stores and services that meet many of your routine needs.
For example, find a place to buy groceries, a newspaper, a cup of coffee, get a haircut, have a meal.