When using the HousingAlerts system, here is the sequence to follow when searching for hot local markets, hot counties, hot zip codes, or hot neighborhoods:

Do NOT to drill down to zip code level UNTIL you have evaluated and chosen a strong appreciating market at the metropolitan city level – because zip code “micro-markets” follow what’s happening in the overall city-level markets. Many investors think a hot micro-market in an otherwise flat or declining market is OK, but it’s not. And, that’s because the zip code micro market will eventually equalize with the overall local market. 

With this said, here’s the “sequence” of steps to follow:

1) The first step would be to locate a strong appreciating local market, and the best way to do this is to use the 
Hot Market Finder tool. (please read Hot Market Finder Users Guide)

2) Once you find an attractive local market, check its 
Summary Market Scoring Report and verify that it’s indeed a strong market with good momentum and in the Wealth Phase (Market Strength – TAPS tool, Momentum – STAR tool, Wealth Phase – Wealth Phase Chart).

3) The third step would be to visit 
Micro Maps, find the desired local market on the map, and then zoom in to find an appreciating micro market.

4) An easier and quicker method at this point in the sequence is to visit the
Micro Ranking Tools. With these tools, you can quickly find the hottest counties, zip codes and neighborhoods within any market on your list!

Here are the User Guides to the above tools:

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