U.S. News & World Report just ranked Denver the No. 1 place to live in the U.S. But a Bloomberg article revealed that being a highly desirable place doesn’t always have its benefits. The median home price in Denver surged to $337,500, jumping more than $40,000 since 2014. What’s more, Denver-metro is holding one of the top spots – out of all major U.S. cities – for the fastest home appreciation rates.

You don’t have to comb through headlines to know the real estate market is on fire.

If you’re a homeowner, this probably makes your day. But if you’re a prospective home buyer, trying to live the American Dream, you might be one Adele song away from putting on your favorite sweat pants and drowning your sorrows. Don’t worry. FirstBank has you covered.

To find out where home buyers can get the most bang for their buck, Denver-born real estate company, Usaj Realty, owned and operated by husband-wife duo, Jenny and Anton Usaj (pronounced ‘u’-‘say’), gave us the skinny on which up-and-coming Denver neighborhoods have the most potential. The good news? All these neighborhoods are within a five mile radius of downtown and house values are well below the median list price.

To help you kick off the home-buying season, here are the top Denver neighborhoods.

1) Ruby Hill

Average List Price: $237,000.

Why Usaj Recommends It: Running along the South Platte river, Ruby Hill, offers several great parks, bicycle paths and is conveniently located on the west side of I-25, making commuting into the city or mountains a breeze. The neighborhood has several improvement projects planned, including a new pavilion and highly anticipated outdoor amphitheater.

2) Barnum

Average List Price: $224,000

Why Usaj Recommends It: Located west of I-25 and south of Sixth Avenue is the Barnum neighborhood, which offers an eclectic scene, great starter homes and one of Denver’s more popular recreational parks. The area is in close proximity to the West Rail RTD Line, only minutes from the Highlands and some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants.

3) Clayton

Average List Price: $327,000

Why Usaj Recommends It: Clayton is a stone’s throw from the more affluent Park Hill area. The neighborhood is a great fit for  families who still enjoy the bright lights of the city, but desire a more family-friendly environment. With the Denver Zoo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the City of Nairobi Park just minutes away, this location can be a paradise for young kiddos.

4) Globeville

Average List Price: $216,000 

Why Usaj Recommends It: Globeville, located south of I-70 and east of I-25, used to be known for its abandoned warehouses. But one of Denver’s oldest and more industrial neighborhoods is getting a face-lift. Developers are excited about adding more residential buildings, restaurants and even plan to open a 77-acre commercial park. Not to mention, Globeville will have a new light rail train, making the area much more desirable and commuter friendly.

5) Chaffee Park

Average List Price:  $275,000

Why Usaj Recommends It: The Chaffee Park area widely known as Northwest Denver sits only a few minutes from the Lower Highlands and consequently some of the best bars and restaurants in the city. While homes may be older, they also boast larger than average backyards and patios.

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