The key to making a fortune in real estate, says Barbara Corcoran, who sold her real estate empire, The Corcoran Group, for an astounding $66 million in 2001, "is to always buy in the up-and-coming areas." You'll get in at a lower price and, if you make a smart bet, you'll see "tremendous appreciation," she says.
Corcoran's strategy for finding the next hot spot is unconventional but effective: "What I've always done is I've asked my very nice, very young waiters at new, posh restaurants: 'Hey, where are you living?' They'll always cite a neighborhood I've never even heard of and then I go out there and shop for real estate."
After all, "if people are talking about it, it's already been up and it's already coming. Too late for that."
Corcoran was ahead of the curve when she shopped in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn 15 years ago and the South Bronx 10 years ago. She didn't buy in these now trendy areas "because I knew anything that anyone else didn't know," she says, "but because I paid attention to the creative community and where they were migrating.
"You will always find the up-and-coming area if you follow their lead."