Neighborhoods to watch for renovators, young families and pioneers

For Renovators: Olde Towne East

When successful 19th century civic leaders, industrialists and politicians wanted to build a home, they did it in Olde Towne East. This neighborhood of more than 1,000 homes is steeped in Columbus history-they just need some work. If you're inspired by "This Old House," a purchase in Olde Towne East could be for you. OTE is infused with a strong sense of community, thanks to an active homeowners association and events like the Olde Towne East Tour of Homes and workshops on home improvement. Businesses are paying heed to the growing customer base-places like Corner Stone Craft Beer & Wine, Upper Cup Coffee, The Angry Baker and the Olde Towne Tavern have sprung up in the last couple years.

For Young Families: Westgate

Young professionals are flocking to Westgate for affordable housing and easy access to parks, restaurants and Downtown. "The houses are 1940s-era, and they're just solid. They've got great bones," says real estate agent Jill Taylor of ERA Real Solutions Realty. "A lot of them need cosmetic work here and there, but if an owner is creative, this is a terrific starter home." Homes tend to be in the 1,300- to 1,700-square-feet range. One recent listing on Brinker Avenue was in contract just 10 days after being listed. "The detail is so nice. There's a lot of natural light, hardwood floors and smooth ceilings," she says. "It reminds me of a Clintonville house in a different neighborhood."

For Pioneers: Italian Village

The historic neighborhood east of the Short North is home to several new food and beverage establishments-including Seventh Son Brewing Co., Little Rock, Cravings Carryout Cafe, soon-to-open The Market and a yet-unnamed project from the owners of The Rossi. Misty Linn, a real estate agent with Keller Williams, says she sees all the signs of a neighborhood on the rise. She should know-she chose the neighborhood for herself. "If you go down Fourth Street, there are two lots that have been sitting empty for years that are being developed," Linn says. Typical residents are young professionals in their 30s. "It's people who want to be in the Downtown area but don't necessarily want to be on High Street or on Neil Avenue in Victorian Village," she says.