How To Spot an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood for Your Next Property
When you’re thinking about investing in a new piece of real estate, it’s important to remember that you can fix up a property, but you can’t fix up an area. Property managers can put as much fairy dust as they want into making a place look nice, but it’s just not going to work if the surrounding neighborhood is undesirable.
When an area of town starts to decline, chances are it’s likely going to continue to go down that path. One well-maintained and tidy apartment complex isn’t going to turn a neighborhood around (even though it can play a vital role), and residents aren’t going to move in if there are few or no amenities nearby. A neglected neighborhood can do damage to your property, however, which is why I say if you don’t see any new construction, it’s usually better to stay away. If lenders aren’t giving money to developers nearby, it’s usually a sign to look elsewhere.
There are a few things you can look out for that are telltale signals of an up-and-coming neighborhood, though:
· Gas Stations -- For one thing, I always look for new gas stations – revitalization tends to begin with those types of services. Where there’s a new gas station nearby, new restaurants will often follow, and then offices and housing.
· Hotels -- Also, new hotels can be a solid bellwether of development activity. New places for tourists to stay – especially if they’re chic bed and breakfasts – mean the revitalization of an area is already happening.
· Infrastructure -- Another signal to look for is change to infrastructure. If you see a new freeway or overpass being built, then you’re looking at an area primed for development. Even a new traffic light can be evidence the city’s planning department is conducting traffic studies and counting heads because more people are moving to the neighborhood. Keep your eye on any part of the city where that’s happening – commercial and residential investment, maybe even yours, is right around the corner.
· Transportation -- Finally, make sure you watch for new or increased transportation options. A new bus line, bus stop, or an influx of cabs or ride sharing services can be a sign that there’s a sudden interest in a certain part of town when there wasn’t one before. And not only can new transportation signal future development, it also means residents will have options to get to other parts of town when they do move in.
If you keep your finger on the pulse of these sort of investment cues, you’ll find your new property is right in the heart of a city’s action.