I recently bought a house...my "viewing" was done during the weekdays, during the school year.
After I got possession, I was nearly horrified to find out that
1) There are six children and three adults living in a 3-bedroom duplex (no basement) next door (and they frequently have a fourth adult "overnight" visitor with a large dog)
2) These six children leave their bicycles, snowboards and assorted other toys on my lawn when they are through playing
3) A fellow two doors down owns a VERY unattractive, rusting old red and white El Camino that he only drives to and from work, Monday through Friday. Evenings, Weekends, Holidays and extended Vacations...it is parked directly in front of MY house. It is a permanent fixture on the curb. It is an eyesore, but is properly licensed, not abandoned, and there is NOTHING I can do about it.
My point is...be sure to check out the neighborhood during various times of the day, and weekends as well as weekdays. And I would definitely advise AGAINST having the nicest home in a run-down neighborhood. Be sure to check whether any (or all) of the properties are RENTAL properties. Even though the landlord might be willing to keep up the property, many times the tenants hesitate to call the landlord for necessary repairs.
My advice? Find the NICEST neighborhood you can afford and build the NICEST house YOU can afford there. You will be happy with your neighbors and your resale value will not be negatively influenced by low home values in the surrounding neighborhood.
Sorry to be so long-winded. It's just that I learned my lesson the HARD WAY and am looking forward to moving OUT and "UP" as soon as possible!