Came across this post on the Philadelphia Real Estate Blog by agents Christopher and Stephanie Somers of ReMax. In this article they emphasize the upside that can be achieved when buying a home in an up and coming neighborhood, like Brewerytown - which they actually mention. Here are their tips, click here for the full post:
1) First, pick a neighborhood close to the border or "fringe" of an established community that you really enjoy. This fringe neighborhood should offer you an environment you feel is comfortable for you and is within your price range. 2)Once you have chosen a neighborhood, choose the blocks where there are few to no vacant properties. Those blocks have a jump start on appreciation since they are all occupied and preferably cared for. Sometimes one well maintained block is like a beacon and can be the inspiration for other buyers to move into the community.
3) Even if there are a few rugged looking homes, look for signs of development on the block. Typically where one or more investors and homeowners are making big improvements to homes, there are more to come in the near future. It is like a domino effect.
4)Look for proactive neighbors getting involved to keep th streets clean and drug free as well as a strong neighborhood association. A strong neighborhood association is the life blood of a community.