2. Jamaica PlainOnce known as a place for renters, especially students, Jamaica Plain's owner-occupancy rate has gone up in recent years as prices have risen for its intricate - and often huge - Victorians. The neighborhood has much that is appealing, with a lot of diversity, dozens of ethnic eateries, easy access to downtown, and green space galore, such as Jamaica Pond, the Arnold Arboretum, and Forest Hills Cemetery.
And there's something in every price range: A low-income first-time buyer can get a three-bedroom right now in the old JP high school for $170,000, says Karen McCormack, a realtor with McCormack & Scanlan Real Estate in Jamaica Plain. And there's another condo on the market for $1.65 million - a 3,900-square-foot three-bedroom across from the pond. Single-family homes, too, run the gamut, but there are plenty under $600,000. A small price to pay for an area with so much going for it.