Sandwiched between Eagle Rock, the Arroyo Seco, South Pasadena, Montecito Heights and Mount Washington, Highland Park recently ranked top on Redfin’s list of up-and-coming neighborhoods in the nation, based on sales volume, average price per square foot, sale-to-list ratio and on-market listings. But that’s all technical mumbo jumbo. Best to hear a summary of what the neighborhood is about from one of its natives, Highland Park artist Jena Cardwell. She says: “There are a lot of artists around here. It’s very creative. Highland Park is going through a renaissance now and it’s changing and focusing on art a lot. The art scene here is accessible to everyone but like most areas of any city, they like to focus on local artists…” The average home price in the area, as per Zillow, is $473,600.
Glassell Park is an East Side (technically North East) neighborhood with rustic, hillside pockets. The diverse area butts up against Mount Washington and is close to Silver Lake. Once a bit on the rundown side (a particular vibe there at night), the area has transformed tremendously in the past decade as young creative people and families have moved in. Many found that while Glassell Park was a quick commute to places like Pasadena and Glendale, it also offered housing at comparitively reasonable costs. It’s still not been completely gentrified though so occasionally crime can be a problem. More »
An even more recent Redfin report (than the aforementioned one featuring Highland Park—which it’s adjacent to), named Eagle Rock the second most up-and-coming neighborhood in Los Angeles. For locals, this area has been up-and-coming for well over a decade — and quite slow to really come into its own. The average sales price of a home in Eagle Rock has now jumped to $539,000 — so get it while it’s hot, so to speak. Although the neighborhood has one of the highest percentages of Asian residents in LA County, it is still very diverse. The area is popular with thirtysomethings, and is also the home of Occidental College. More »
• Faircrest Heights
So far, the entries on this list have been located in the East—the usual direction of urban sprawl. However, West Side quarter Faircrest Heights (a.k.a. the Pico-Fairfax Corridor) is also among the city’s most promising neighborhoods. It’s a lovely little residential area whose pinpoints are Fairfax, Pico and Robertson. Having lived there long ago in the ’90s, I can say that this neighborhood is more of an up-and-comer for buyers as it’s been quite popular with renters for a while for its amazingly central location and nice, civilized often deco-style houses. When I was there, no one referred to it as Faircrest Heights, so it’s clearly come up in the world. As a result of its closeness to Beverly Hills and Century City, the area’s median house prices are not as low as the others on this list (close to $800,000). Still, it’s a great neighborhood for families.
This is one of the city areas that is being largely popularized by the extension of the MetroLink—the others below being Azusa and Glendora. Monrovia is tucked away amidst Arcadia, Sierra Madre and Duarte, and not too far from Baldwin Park as well. It’s an ethnically diverse area with a high African American profile, located at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. For lovers of nature, the city boasts Monrovia Canyon Park with a host of trails like Monrovia Falls. As per Zillow, the median house price there is $538,000. The feeling of the area is much more akin to a “Southern California town” than to living in LA. More »
Adjacent to Irwindale, Glendora and Duarte, this strongly Latino San Gabriel Valley city is another MetroLink expansion hot spot (it will be the Eastern terminus of the Foothill Extension of the Metro Gold line). Azusa boasts a fairly young population of mostly twentysomethings and a median house price of $338,300 with that value having gone up by 23.1 percent in the past year according to Zillow. Driving commuters access the neighborhood through the I-210 freeway between the I-605 and State Route 57. Most recently in 2014, it was the site of wildfires (as was neighboring Glendora). Locals have voiced concerns over the area’s safety, particularly at night so it remains an on-the-rise rather than fully gentrified area. It’s home to Azusa Pacific University. More »
Located 23 miles East of Downtown LA, Glendora is again another potentially breaking area (actually a city in and of itself in LA County) in large part due to the MetroLink extension. This is a generally well-off town that boasts a top-ranking public school system viewed as one of the best in California and the U.S. As far as crime goes, Glendora is considered 30 percent safer than other cities in the nation. The family-friendly city consists of many sales and office workers, professionals and managers with a strong percentage working in admin office support. The ethnically-diverse area is sometimes referred to as the “Pride of the Foothills.” The median house price in Glendora, according to a recent Zillow estimate, is $481,000. More »
This neighborhood has a pretty fascinating back-story if you’re into LA spiritual lore. Before even moving to America, the renowned late Indian spiritual leader Paramahansa Yogananda set up his Yogoda Satsanga Society of India and Self-Realization Fellowship here in 1917. Today, the San Rafael Hills area is an extremely ethnic diverse neighborhood consisting of Hispanic, African American, Asian, Caucasian and mixed race residents. Bordering Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Cypress Park, and Glassell Park, the area’s median house price is $595,000. It also boasts the highest percentage of never married males in LA County, so single ladies watch out! More »
Closer to the designation of ‘up and come,’ Culver City underwent a cultural renaissance throughout the Millennial years, with LA natives now barely able to recognize the renewed neighborhood. It’s home to some great restaurants and art galleries, and its downtown center is easily and pleasurably navigable by foot. So, if you’re more of a West Sider than an East Sider, this area will be of interest. However, as seems to be the case with a lot of West Side neighborhoods, the median house price is a bit higher, coming in at $742,500. It’s however, a great place to buy a starter family home. The graduation rate in its local school district is 87 percent. More »
Family-friendly neighborhood Mar Vista enjoys a virtually perfect geographical position adjacent to Santa Monica, Palms, Sawtelle, Venice and Del Rey and it’s not far from upmarket family neighborhood of Cheviot Hills. It has an exceptionally high percentage of locals with four-year degrees (42.3 percent of residents 25 and over) within the city. That’s not surprising considering its educational offerings. These include public schools like Mar Vista Elementary School, as well as nearby private schools like Le Lycée Francais and parochial schools like Notre Dame Academy. With a median house price of $976,800, it’s hardly a cheap area in which to live but merits a place on this list as a higher end family neighborhood up-and-comer. More »