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Jed Kolko

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Trulia: Best-Kept Secret Neighborhoods Across America

Posted: 02/ 9/2012 12:41 pm

House hunters typically don't venture too far from where they live today. Most people look for homes for sale or rentals across town, not across the country. However, more than one-third of searches are to homes at least 100 miles away. And as anyone who's had to move knows, finding the best place to live isn't easy -- especially if you're moving to an unfamiliar place.

Using the same analysis behind our Metro Movers report -- a forward-looking housing report that starts with where people are today and offers insights on where they want to live tomorrow -- we found that out-of-towners tend to look in name-brand neighborhoods such as Tribeca in New York, Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, Miami Beach in Miami, Pacific Heights in San Francisco and Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

But if you're moving to a new city, maybe you want to find the neighborhoods that locals know but aren't nationally famous. (Or maybe you're a local trying to avoid the transplants and carpetbaggers.) These are what we call a city's "best-kept secret" neighborhoods. They're not secrets to most local house hunters, but outsiders looking to move in typically overlook them.

To find out which neighborhoods are the locals' best-kept secrets, I looked at the zip codes within a city where locals account for more search activity than other similarly priced neighborhoods where out-of-towners tend to search. In general, pricier neighborhoods that are more famous tend to get more attention from non-locals. But many of our best-kept secret neighborhoods are pricey, too: many have been recently gentrified or redeveloped, while some have been quietly upscale for decades.

Using this methodology, here's our list of America's best-kept secret neighborhoods.

U.S. City Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood Zip Code
New York Hunters Point (Long Island City, Queens) 11101
Los Angeles La Brea / Hancock Park 90036
Chicago West Town / Wicker Park 60622
San Francisco Diamond Heights / Glen Park 94131
Miami Key Biscayne 33149
Washington DC Logan Circle 20005
Boston Fort Point / Seaport District 02210
Houston Spring Branch East 77055
Dallas Greenway Parks 75209
Seattle Sunset Hill / North Beach 98117
Philadelphia Bella Vista / Southwark 19147
Atlanta Virginia-Highland 30306

New York: Hunters Point in Queens
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New York's Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Hunters Point in Queens

Median List Price: $695,750


What's kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,060 sqft condo at 2415 Queens Plaza North for $699,000.
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