12 Kinds of Neighborhoods

Whether you like big yards or hip nightclubs, there's a community type that fits your lifestyle.

1. Urban Core (Downtown)

Where to find it:
Downtown, the heart of major metros

What you can call home:
Aging single family homes and apartments, modern luxury lofts and condos converted from old warehouses and above businesses

Your Neighbors:
Ethnically diverse mix of young single professionals, low to middle income families and seniors

Why You'll Like It:
Affordable housing, eclectic mix of high-end and modest, close to nightlife and city attractions

Why You May Not:
Little to no public parking, typically has higher rate of crime, transients

Examples:
Downtowns in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Downtown Memphis, Downtown Kansas City, MO

2. Urban Pioneer (Up-and-Coming)

Where to find it:
Near downtown and inner-ring suburbs

What you can call home:
Fixer uppers, older single family homes ranging in style from ranch to modern, garden-style apartment buildings

Your Neighbors:
Ethnically diverse mix of young singles and couples, recently divorced and single parents, aging retirees who have lived in the neighborhood for years, immigrants

Why You'll Like It:
Cheaper homes that are likely to increase in value, working-class sensibility, new development

Why You May Not:
Construction noise and eyesores, neighbors who can't renovate their homes

Examples:
Potrero Hill in San Francisco; East Austin, Texas; Montrose in Houston

3. New Urban

Where to find it:
Near a business hub other than the city's main downtown

What you can call home:
New single family homes in retro styles, upscale apartments and condos, lofts above businesses

Your Neighbors:
Educated, affluent-to-middle income couples with no or few children, young single professionals

Why You'll Like It:
Close to work, shopping and nightlife

Why You May Not:
Too many hipsters, inflated home prices push some buyers out of the market

Examples:
Royal Oak in Detroit; Fairfax in Los Angeles; Verrado in Phoenix

4. Cul-de-sacs & Kids (Bedroom)

Where to find it:
Suburbs and new subdivisions

What you can call home:
Large single family homes with manicured lawns and finished basements, tract homes, newly built homes

Your Neighbors:
Middle-aged soccer moms and dads whose lives revolve around their children

Why You'll Like It:
Lots of curb appeal, playmates for your children, active neighborhood associations

Why You May Not:
You're single or don't have children, not close to city hotspots

Examples:
The Reserve at Dog River in Atlanta; Blackstone in Portland, Ore.; Chandler, Ariz.

5. Pedestrian

Where to find it:
Small pockets in major metros

What you can call home:
Cozy condos and apartments, lofts above businesses

Your Neighbors:
Hipsters and single professionals

Why You'll Like It:
You don't need a car to get what you need

Why You May Not:
Little to no parking, noise, density

Examples:
Wicker Park in Chicago; Capitol Hill in Seattle; Beacon Hill in Boston

6. Historic

Where to find it:
Anywhere

What you can call home:
Large, well-preserved, older single family homes known for their architectural styles ranging from Victorian/Queen Anne to Colonial Revival

Your Neighbors:
Style-conscious middle-aged couples, aging adults who grew up in the neighborhood, home-improvement buffs

Why You'll Like It:
Lots of curb appeal, history and character

Why You May Not:
Stringent home maintenance and style requirements

Examples:
French Quarter in New Orleans; Kenwood in St. Petersburg, Fla.; Buxton near Portland, Maine

7. Status/Destination

Where to find it:
In the hills or mountains, by water, behind gates

What you can call home:
Large, custom-built single family homes and McMansions on the lake, on the beach, with city views, in gated communities; plush penthouses and lofts in trendy, urban areas

Your Neighbors:
Affluent high-powered executives and wannabes, upper-middle income achievers, celebrities, millionaires

Why You'll Like It:
Status, exclusivity, privacy, security

Why You May Not:
Keeping up with the Jones is hard work

Examples:
West Village in Manhattan; Highland in Denver; La Jolla in San Diego

8. Ethnic

Where to find it:
Near downtowns in major metros

What you can call home:
Small apartments, older single family homes

Your Neighbors:
Immigrants from a particular ethnicity, young couples, budget-conscious singles

Why You'll Like It:
Affordable housing, interesting cuisine and products

Why You May Not:
If you're not the same ethnicity, you may feel like an outsider

Examples:
Koreatown in Los Angeles; Chinatown in San Francisco; Little Italy in Manhattan; Ukrainian Village in Chicago

9. Active/Resort

Where to find it:
Sunbelt and coastal cities, in the desert, by water or in the mountains

What you can call home:
Large single-family homes in newer architectural styles, luxury cabins, upscale condos

Your Neighbors:
Affluent and active middle-aged adults and seniors

Why You'll Like It:
Outdoor activities to fit your lifestyle, tons of places to get a tan, go fishing or hiking

Why You May Not:
You're a couch potato

Examples:
Palm Springs, Calif.; Lake Placid, N.Y.

10. Golf

Where to find it:
New subdivision surrounding a golf course

What you can call home:
Upscale single family homes and condos in mostly contemporary styles

Your Neighbors:
Families with young children, retirees, golf fanatics

Why You'll Like It:
You love golf, tons of amenities

Why You May Not:
You hate golf

Examples:
Greenbrier in New Bern, N.C.; Hideout Canyon in Park City, Utah

11. Retirement

Where to find it:
Sunbelt and coastal cities

What you can call home:
Small, low-maintenance apartments and condos with all kinds of amenities

Your Neighbors:
Empty nesters, single seniors

Why You'll Like It:
Weather, organized activities and social events

Why You May Not:
You're young and single

Examples:
Palm Springs, Calif.; Palm Beach, Fla.

12. Rural

Where to find it:
Miles from the city

What you can call home:
Custom-built homes with lots of acreage and room to grow

Your Neighbors:
Nature

Why You'll Like It:
Space and privacy

Why You May Not:
Far from everything

Examples:
Jackson, Wyoming.; Worthington, MN.; Rio Linda near Sacramento, Calif.

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