Editor’s note: This is a transcript of the audio file.

You don’t need a crystal ball to see where a neighborhood’s headed.

Tell-tale signs can shed light on what’s in store for your neck of the woods. I’m Janet Stauble with your Bankrate.com Personal Finance Minute.

The single most important factor in maintaining property value is proximity to high-paying jobs. A prominent college or a research facility are good neighbors to have. Even if it’s not the fanciest neighborhood, it’ll still retain value.

And a pleasing park and nice retail stores nearby certainly don’t hurt.

Of course, almost every neighborhood has “that” house. But if you notice a pattern of unkempt homes and eyesores, it could be the sign of a slide.

Consistently rising home values over the long term are a good sign. Looking at recent figures will give you a skewed perspective. You wouldn’t check two days of weather to find out about a climate, so look at the pattern of property values going back 10 or 20 years, predating the bubble.

Low crime rates are always in demand, and safety can set a neighborhood apart from riskier areas.

Want to know more? Log onto Bankrate.com. I’m Janet Stauble.