Although it's true, one part of town may be hotter than another part of town (or surrounding area), a rising (or falling) tide moves all boats. Picking a better location WITHIN a market is something you should do, just like negotiating a better deal - but it's the OVERALL market that dictates if you are going to get great or poor appreciation.
You shouldn't drill down to zip code level until you have evaluated and chosen a strong market at the metropolitan 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.
While this will not replace the accuracy and importance of looking primarily at the closest major city, it will provide additional insight into these very small micro-markets.
We implemented the Neighborhood (Census Tract), Zip Code and County level Micro Maps.
To find the Micro Maps, simply click on the Maps tab on the menu bar, and select Micro Maps from the drop-down list.
Or, you can locate it in the Dashboard (Silver section).
... and Micro Market Ranking Tools (available State (or higher) market level). You can now target the hottest neighborhoods with a single click!
To find the Micro Market Rankings, simply click on the Market Finder tab on the menu bar, and select Micro Market Rankings from the drop-down list.
Or, you can locate it in the Dashboard (Gold section).