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|
|Washington DC||Logan Circle||20005|
|Boston||Fort Point / Seaport District||02210|
|Houston||Spring Branch East||77055|
|Seattle||Sunset Hill / North Beach||98117|
|Philadelphia||Bella Vista / Southwark||19147|