When buying a home, the location is just as important as the property itself. Neighborhoods aren’t objectively good or bad, but finding the perfect neighborhood for you is all about your own needs and preferences.
You want to live somewhere close to the amenities that are valuable to you. Some people prioritize living near parks or greenery, some want to be close to shopping or entertainment, and others may value proximity to public transportation. The area you choose to live in will have a major impact on your quality of life, so the neighborhood is everything when you’re house hunting.
Realtors often describe neighborhoods as “up and coming” when trying to help their clients feel more enthusiastic about a particular area. It may not be the perfect place to live right now, but your agent assures you that in a few years it will be the most popular area around. Sometimes, agents use the phrase “up and coming” simply to convince buyers to consider a home in a location they don’t love. Other times, though, the neighborhood really is going through a revitalization, and buying now is a great investment.
If you’re not a real estate expert, it’s not always easy to tell whether or not a neighborhood is truly up and coming. This is especially true if you’re moving to an area you’ve never lived in before as you haven’t witnessed any recent changes first-hand. There are some key signs that indicate that a neighborhood’s popularity is on the rise, though. Here are the best ways to spot and up and coming neighborhood:
Construction and Renovation
If a lot of new homes are being built in the area, it’s almost always a sign that people are interested in moving there. Builders won’t construct homes in an area unless there’s a demand for them.
Lots of existing homes under renovation is a good sign, too. When homeowners invest in their property, they often do so because they realize that the value of their home will increase in the near future. By renovating now, they’ll make their home even more desirable, and they’ll be able to sell for a steep profit in a few years.
To learn more about construction and renovation trends in a neighborhood, go to the local building permit office and ask the employees which areas of the city have seen a lot of investment recently. This should give you a good idea of which neighborhoods are undergoing a revitalization.
Young Professionals Moving In
Young professionals and families flocking to a neighborhood are signs of a resurgence. Professionals usually move to a new area when they see the potential for their business to grow there. As professionals establish their businesses in the neighborhood, they create more job opportunities, which brings even more professionals to the area.
Families often choose to move based on the school district, and a great school district is also an indicator of an up and coming neighborhood. If you notice that families with young children are moving to a particular neighborhood, it’s probably worth considering.
New restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses appearing in an area almost always suggests that the neighborhood is growing. This is especially true when you see chain stores and restaurants popping up nearby.
These corporations put a great deal of money into researching new locations, and when they decide to build in a particular neighborhood, it’s because they know that the area will soon be thriving.
Crime Rate Decline
There are many factors that influence the crime rates in a neighborhood, and crime is one of several important considerations when deciding which neighborhood to move to. Typically, a decrease in crime is a sign that the area is changing.
Sometimes, crime rates decline because more families move in. Other times, an increase in police presence leads to a decrease in crime.
You can find crime rates and other helpful statistics online when evaluating neighborhoods. Don’t just look at the current crime situation, though. Consider what the crime rates were one year ago and five years ago.
Even if there’s currently more crime in the area than you’re comfortable with, if the rates have declined in the last few years, they’ll probably continue improving.
Nearby Hot Real Estate Markets
The areas that border trendy, wealthy neighborhoods tend to be the next spots that develop. As people get priced out of the hottest markets, they’ll look to the nearby neighborhoods for more affordable options.
Buying a home near a highly desired neighborhood can be a great move. You’re close to the amenities and attractions of the trendy neighborhood, but you don’t have to deal with the excessive housing prices. However, it’s also very likely that your property’s value will skyrocket in the next few years as the revitalization spreads out to your neighborhood.
It’s impossible to predict the future with complete certainty, but there are plenty of signs that suggest that a neighborhood is up and coming. If you want to invest in a property that will dramatically increase in value, look for these signs during your home search.
Although the neighborhood might not be the preferred place to live today, in a few years, you’ll likely be in one of the most desired spots in your area.
Michael Carr is the Co-Founder & COO of BrandFace, LLC. He is also a real estate branding expert and international bestselling author. As America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer, he has sold billions of dollars in commercial and residential properties.