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12 Neighborhoods Where Locals Want to Live

Off the Beaten Path

When you move to a new city, you’re often flying blind when it comes to choosing a new neighborhood. Chances are good that you only know a few of the more famous neighborhoods in town (for instance, Beverly Hills in Los Angeles), so unless you’re able to talk to locals and explore the city before buying a home, you might overlook some of the more obscure parts of town.

With this in mind, real estate site Trulia.com produced a listing of the “best-kept secret neighborhoods” in 12 of the country’s major metropolitan areas. To assemble the list, Trulia looked at relatively affluent ZIP codes in each city based on the median list price of homes, then identified which ones had the lowest proportion of searches by out-of-towners on its website. In that way, they were able to see which neighborhoods attract a high level of interest from knowledgeable locals – but are often overlooked by house hunters unfamiliar with the city. Here they are.

Photo Credit: H.L.I.T.

New York: Hunters Point, Queens (11101)

Median list price: $695,750

Part of the larger Long Island City neighborhood located just across the East River from midtown Manhattan, Hunters Point benefits greatly from its proximity to the city. Despite nominally being in one of the “outer boroughs” it’s just one subway stop from Manhattan, and that means plenty of spillover from residents who can’t quite afford the island’s pricy rents. That gentrification has brought with it a thriving arts community – and higher rents and home prices, of course.

Other overlooked neighborhoods in the Big Apple include the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Red Hook (best known as the home of the city’s only IKEA) and Vinegar Hill (one of the few parts of the city where you can still find cobblestone streets).

Photo Credit: Jay Gorman

Los Angeles: La Brea/Hancock Park (90036)

Median List Price: $959,000

The only thing we know about this area is the La Brea Tar Pits, which we primarily know as the site of a lava eruption in the 1997 film Volcano. In real life, there is no lava in Hancock Park, just a large country club and a lot of wealthy residents.

Another lesser-known LA neighborhood listed by Trulia is Encino, which we mainly know from the 1992 Pauly Shore film Encino Man.

Photo Credit: Clinton Steeds

Chicago: West Town/Wicker Park (60622)

Median List Price: $350,000

According to the city of Chicago’s official tourism website, Wicker Park is historically known as an artist’s enclave, and it’s still home of the Chopin Theatre and numerous art galleries.

Photo Credit: Adam Jones

San Francisco: Diamond Heights/Glen Park (94131)

Median List Price: $779,000

If you’re going to San Francisco, don’t forget to check out Glen Park, a small neighborhood named for nearby Glen Canyon Park. Another one of the off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods that Trulia highlights is Sea Cliff, a wealthy neighborhood overlooking the ocean.

Photo Credit: Phliar

Miami: Key Biscayne (33149)

Median List Price: $832,500

An island just south of Miami Beach, Key Biscayne is connected to the mainland by the Rickenbacker Causeway. In addition to the tiny residential neighborhood, the island features the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park and the Tennis Center at Crandon Park, known to tennis fans as the site of the Sony Ericsson Open.

Photo Credit: Ines Hegedus-Garcia

Washington, D.C.: Logan Circle (20005)

Median List Price: $499,000

Located about a mile north of the National Mall and its parks, the neighborhood of Logan Circle has experienced rapid gentrification in recent years, so don’t expect it to stay a secret for long. Other lesser-known neighborhood in the D.C. area include Chevy Chase and Mt. Vernon Square.

Photo Credit: tedeytan

Boston: Fort Point/Seaport District (02210)

Median List Price: $927,000

While South Boston (or “Southie”) is often depicted in Hollywood films as a rough part of town, gentrification in the area means that films depicting the old South Boston have to shoot in other parts of the city to get the intended effect these days. Leading the redevelopment of Southie is the South Boston waterfront, and Fort Point in particular has seen office and luxury buildings pop up in recent years. The neighborhood is within walking distance of downtown Boston, and attractions include the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Harpoon Brewery.

Other “best-kept secret” neighborhoods in the city include the South End, which has seen gentrification but remains affordable, and West Roxbury.

Photo Credit: Kan Wu

Houston: Spring Branch East (77055)

Median List Price: $332,000

Homes for sale in this Houston neighborhood run the gamut, with listings on Trulia ranging from a $1.6 million four-bedroom home to a 742-square-foot condo for $35,000.

Photo Credit: Patrick Feller

Dallas: Greenway Parks (75209)

Median List Price: $448,975

Located in the northern Dallas, Greenway Parks is nestled between Southern Methodist University and Dallas Love Field, a small airport.

Photo Credit: Trulia.com

Seattle: Sunset Hill/North Beach (98117)

Median List Price: $419,000

Sunset Hill residents can take full advantage of the park that shares its name, which attracts Seattle residents who want to – you guessed it – watch the sun set. While primarily a residential neighborhood, it does have a small business district with an organic grocery.

Photo Credit: Cliff Williams

Philadelphia: Bella Vista/Southwark (19147)

Median List Price: $320,000

Located in southeast Philadelphia, the Bella Vista neighborhood was paid a visit last summer by President Obama, who stopped in for a snack at ice cream shop John’s Water Ice. When the president’s not in town, attractions include bocce and the Fleisher Art Museum.

Photo Credit: italianmarketfestival.com

Atlanta: Virginia-Highland (30306)

Median List Price: $385,000

Found in the heart of Atlanta – at the intersection of Virginia and North Highland Avenues, naturally – this neighborhood is known as a commercial center and hot nightlife spot. Residents and visitors can find everything from day spas to antique shops.

Photo Credit: John M

Cliff-Side Real Estate

Want to get really off the beaten path? If you’ve got several million dollars to spend, consider buying one of these upscale homes built on the edges of cliffs.

Photo Credit: Coldwell Banker

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