Whether you’re looking for your next home or a hot investment, New York City is ripe for the choosing. New York’s real estate market is known for delivering consistently strong profits over the long run, with fewer fluctuations than other cities.

But what borough is best? That depends on what you’re looking for. Here are a few of the recent rises and up-and-coming areas.

Flushing has a comfortable neighborhood feel and lots of personalities. Once ignored because of its outer-borough location, investors are starting to recognize its potential. Flushing has a diverse population, both ethnically and religiously. There are over 200 places of worship in this area of roughly 2.5 square miles. Flushing’s Chinatown is one of the largest and fastest growing outside of Asia.

Long Island City (Queens)

With stunning skyline views and waterfront condos, there is a lot of potential in this neighborhood. With the move (and money) of Rolex and Jet Blue, Long Island City has a bright future.

Bushwick (Brooklyn)

Bushwick was known as an up-and-comer before the market crashed, but the opening of the CastleBraid luxury high-rise has changed its aura and attitude. This neighborhood is popular among hipsters and trust fund kids who find the starving artist grit appealing.

Prospect Heights (Brooklyn)

This area seems to have a new bar or restaurant opening every week and an increased investment started by the Atlantic Yards project, which includes the Barclays Center Sports Arena. Although not everyone supports the Yards project, the money it is bringing into the area is significant.

Hell’s Kitchen (Manhattan)

Like Prospect Heights, you can expect a jump in housing prices when significant development hits the area. Hell’s Kitchen has experienced this with Hudson Yards. This area will continue to experience growth with the No. 7 subway extension opening in 2014.

Flatiron (Manhattan)

This iconic neighborhood has seen some recent increases in rent, so it’s certainly not an up-and-coming area. However, the flow of tech companies into Flatiron and its central location between uptown and downtown have made it very appealing. The stunning architecture and housing options – lofts, pre-war conversions, and townhouses have made it popular with the affluent real estate buyer.

While it seems to take a crystal ball to predict the next Soho, there are a few things you can do to improve your real estate investment odds. Look for up-and-coming areas that are about to receive significant cash infusions through possible upcoming development projects. (The risk here is if the project falls through you might be left with property that will take a while to catch up.)

If you don’t have the stomach for buying in a speculative area, buy in a neighborhood that’s already started to become redeveloped but buy an older place you can rehab to “unlock” its potential.

Investing in real estate is easy when you do your homework. Working with a broker gives you access to someone whose career has focused on watching the market and developing areas.

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