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Strip away the pretty furniture, crown molding, and hardwood floors, and you’ll realize that even the dreamiest homes are, at their core, a financial investment. Even if you’re convinced you’ve found your forever place, it’s hard not to think about what kind of return you’d get if you sold it down the road. Ultimately, it comes down to right place, right time.

Zillow recently asked more than 100 U.S. economists and real-estate experts to rate 25 metro areas for home value growth for 2020. (The panelists scored each market by weighing their expectation against the national average.) Austin was the clear winner, with 83 percent of respondents predicting homes in the Texas capital will rise in value. Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, also ranked high on their must-watch list. California markets, such as San Francisco and San Jose, on the other hand, got some of the worst scores. 

Austin has been buzzy for a while now (U.S. News & World Report has dubbed it the best city to live in for the past three years), and it’s easy to see why. Between staycation-worthy hotels like the stylish South Congress, cozy cottages that double as restaurants (à la Josephine House), and plenty of spots to cool down in the summertime (Deep Eddy Pool and Barton Springs are two of Outdoor Voices founder Tyler Haney’s favorite spots to hang out), residents essentially never have to leave. We’d put down roots for the barbecue alone. 

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