It's all about Honfest, right? Or maybe the spectacular Christmas displays that make it a go-to destination every holiday season? Or maybe because Atomic Books really is the coolest bookstore for miles around?
Whatever the reason, Hampden's reputation as a great place to live is clearly spreading. And that's not us talking, either. The real estate site Redfin.com is predicting that Hampden will be one of the "Hottest Neighborhoods of 2016."
That's not "Hottest Neighborhoods in Maryland," either, or "Hottest Neighborhoods on the East Coast." We're talking the entire U.S. of A. here. And Hampden comes in No. 8.
The list, according to Redfin, is all about "access to public transit, affordability and charm." And who didn't know Hampden has all that in abundance?
(More objectively, the rankings also take into account data Redfin tracks on users' visits to the site and which homes customers mark as their favorites.)
"While Hampden has always been home to locally-owned shops and restaurants, the food scene has taken off over the past few years and I think that has attracted more buyers to the neighborhood," Redfin agent Chris Calabretta writes. "The major appeal for my buyers is that houses are relatively affordable and have a historical touch and lots of potential to upgrade into a dream home. Hampden is a village in the city, which appeals to buyers who want to live in the city, but like the sense of community of a small town. When I think of the Hampden area, I think of good food, great art and a community of quirky, but extremely welcoming people."
The No. 1 neighborhood, Redfin proclaims, is Chicago's Ukranian Village, followed at No. 2 by Eastwood in Nashville, Tenn. Also included on the list is D.C.'s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, at No. 6.
(For the record, Redfin lists the South Baltimore neighborhoods of Riverside and Federal Hill as Nos. 2 and 3 in the "Baltimore-Towson, MD" area.)
Absent from the list entirely, for the first time, is the San Francisco Bay area, as well as any neighborhoods from the Los Angeles or San Diego areas.