How To Identify the Next Up-and-Coming Neighborhood

In metropolises like Chicago, popular neighborhoods can get jam-packed. As neighborhoods grow, people may find themselves priced out of the area they have their hearts set on.

Choosing to buy in areas that aren’t booming yet can have many advantages. Home prices are lower, allowing you to get more for your money. It can also be fun and fulfilling to be part of a neighborhood as it grows and changes.

We spoke with several experts who are active on Truepad, and here are some tips on how to find an up-and-coming neighborhood.

Early Signs

To shorten the early signs into one word: “Coffee”. As neighborhoods start to rise in popularity, you’ll begin to see more grocery stores, boutique stores, and places to get a coffee. As Mike Opyd of RE/MAX NEXT explains, “If a Starbucks moves in then look for it to be the next big area. Starbucks has a whole real estate division that’s sole purpose is to find up-and-coming areas in cities.” 

Another few signs that Joshua Berngard of Buzzer Real Estate mentions include, “First would be if the City of Chicago puts any of our tax dollars into the community. Rehabbing a train stop, changing the street for bikes….Big retail chains like Target, Starbucks, Whole Foods, these chains have done extensive research to get into areas they feel will expand in the future.” 


One of the signs you know you’re in a depressed area are when there are neglected parks and empty warehouses. So when these things start to change, you know the area is beginning to pick up.

Olin Eargle of @properties points out, “Chicago is great about that. We turn old warehouses, churches, and firehouses into new swanky restaurants and housing all the time.” 

Tina Marie Aguilar of HomeSmart Connect agrees, “the city and business owners work hand in hand to keep the neighborhoods moving forward and improving.” Lindsey Evans of Real People Realty also mentions, “You’ll see new developments of residential and commercial.” 

As a warning, however, Opyd includes this caveat, “the city is not usually on the forefront unless it’s a poverty area they’re are trying to revitalize, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that area is going to be a housing hotbed.” 


Location is huge for a neighborhood to get more popular. If it’s hard to get to and not near anything, development of the area may be slower. Keep an eye on areas that are close to public transportation and major highways. Further, areas that are right next to an up and coming area will likely to expanded to people start getting priced out of the original neighborhood.

Berngard confirms, “Parking is an issue everywhere in the city. Being close to the highway or L stop are always important. The key is to not be on top of the L or the highway. One block away is perfect.” 


Introducing some numbers here, when you can see crime rates dropping, the area is likely on the up-and-up. Similarly, a slow and steady decrease in how many days a home is on the market is a big indicator of how that area is doing.

On the increasing side, don’t forget about the big positive out of picking a home when the timing is right – increase in your home value! Berngard explains, “The range is wide – the small end, $25,000. There is no limit. I have a client … this was the perfect time. It was 2 years before we saw the real change happening, but Starbucks and Target had already [moved in].” 

Hopefully, as these tips are all put together, you can begin to put together a picture of how to find the next up-and-coming neighborhood that is perfect for you. Don’t forget to pay attention, and keep an eye on the neighborhoods as they change and grow.

If you need help finding an agent to help you pick the best neighborhood for you, be sure to take our “Find your Agent” quiz.

Katie Beutler

Katie is the Communications & Operations Associate at Truepad

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>