How to Spot Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods Early

You want to live downtown, but all the neighborhoods you've looked at are way out your price range. Wouldn't it be cool if you could spot the next "hot" neighborhood before it's popular?

Up-and-coming neighborhoods are always desirable for home buyers, but the problem is that once the buzz word has been thrown around, often the prices are already on the rise. Getting into a neighborhood before it’s even labeled as “up-and-coming” means you’d get the property for cheap, and in a few years you could be living in one of the most desirable spots.

There are, of course, risks. That neighborhood you gamble on might never turn around and if it does it could take as much as a decade. During that time, you may have to live in a high-risk area with crime and neglected buildings. But the pay off can be worth it when prices shoot up and the neighborhood is revitalized.

But how to spot such a trend before it happens? has listed its seven clues that a bad neighborhood is on its way up.

Young people, artists and musicians are usually a good indicator of the future of a neighborhood. People flock to where creativity is, so more people move into the area followed by bars, restaurants and art galleries. For example, in 2008 Bloomberg BusinessWeek listed its top 15 up-and-coming neighborhoods, one of which was San Francisco’s Mission District. A year ago, Travel + Leisure wrote about the neighborhood’s “hip, artistic spirit” and its new restaurants and boutiques.

Then, after the prices start to go up, those young people leave the area for neighboring towns, leaving behind a revitalized area, like in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Read more about spotting an up-and-coming neighborhood before it gets popular.