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If you've arrived in a new city and are looking for the best place to buy a new home, start by opening up a history book. During an economic downturn, a city's historic neighborhoods are often the stalwarts of stability. For example, Philadelphia's Society Hill neighborhood dates back to the days of Benjamin Franklin and is also the city's most stable real estate market, and when practically the entire city of New Orleans was washed away in Katrina the one area to withstand the storm was the French Quarter, which was founded in the early 1700's.
Although historic neighborhoods tend to stand the test of time, some would be hardly recognizable to the settlers who founded them. It would seem that the eclectic Upper East Side would be New York's oldest neighborhood, but Dutch settlers were putting down roots in what is now the Financial District as early as the 1626. While the area used to be strictly business, restaurants and residential spaces are now becoming part of the landscape.
Not all historic neighborhoods are considered to be the jewel of the city, but you'll never be lacking for culture. Other great historical neighborhoods include Georgetown in Washington, DC, the playground of presidents and diplomats; Pioneer Square in Seattle, home to the nations first skid row (they actually promote this on their website) and the North End in Boston where you can roam the streets with Paul Revere's ghost.
Would you choose a home in an historic neighborhood? [Forbes]