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Stockton, CA

The Bad: Stockton is one of those hard-hit California cities that has yet to show signs of stabilizing or recovery. Unemployment remains high at 18 percent, and it’s one of the worst cities for foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac, with 1 in 14 homeowners facing foreclosure. Its struggles have resulted in high crime and obesity rates.

The Good: “Declining housing prices mean new affordability, which is difficult to find on the West coast and California especially,” Sperling said. Plus, it’s got a mild Mediterranean climate and “the surrounding area is becoming know for its wineries and vineyards,” he said.

The Recovery: With low real-estate prices, nice climate and its proximity to San Francisco and Sacramento, Stockton is an attractive option for business. It’s becoming a hub for the renewable-energy industry – a good position to be in, given rising oil prices and increased demand for alternative energy.

Photo: Getty Images