Try looking at H Street. They are adding a new light rail (trolley) and some new anchor stores are coming in to place. You can still get a nice TH between $450-$550K. I see lots on potential. If you follow what is going to happen ABOVE Union Station, then the growth could be very big in that area!
I think you are right on with Bloomingdale. Two other areas near Bloomingdale are Mount Vernon Square and Eckington. More business are flocking to these areas. There are 4 metro stations in close proximity: New York avenue, Mount Vernon Square, Rhode Island and Shaw. H Street has developed a lot and some parts are not far from Union Station. Here are some sites that could be helpful--http://www.nomabid.org, http://www.hstreet.org, http://www.bloomingdaledc.org, http://www.shawdc.com
Good article about H Street http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09
Here is a great listing in Bloomingdale: http://www.postlets.com/res/739191#tr55440
Citylights Realty Group,LLC
I recommend you search neighborhood Yahoo groups or blogs. A really good DC real estate blog is Urbanturf.com. Also try Princeofpetworth.com. Prince of Petworth covers more than the Petworth neighborhood. Good information about development and neighborhood demographics can be found in this publication by the Washington DC Economic Partnership: http://www.wdcep.com/pdf/neighborhoods/neigh.pdf.
I often try to get new buyers in touch with my buyers who already bought in certain neighborhoods but ultimately you have to make your own decision if you feel "safe" in a certain neighborhood.
Good luck with your search!
Both of those areas are "up and coming". I am not an agent, but a seller who has lived in DC for some time. H street has had a major business and nightlife Renaissance but in my opinion still has some way to go. It does have an advantage that it is anchored by the major development around union station. Bloomingdale on the other hand is more of a traditional DC neighborhood. The improvements there tend to surround the bloomingdale market, and the cafe located there. I think that both neighborhoods are good places to invest in long term. My place is located in Shaw. I chose the location because it was in a transitional area, but it was walkable to both down town, U st. the Dupont Logan area. It also had excellent access to metro and to 395. Where ever you go, I recommend you park your car, and spend a few hours just walking around to get used to the area. Lastly each neighborhood seems to have a blog or two associated with it, these seem to keep good track of major developments in the area. Good luck!
You didn't mention what price range you are looking for, so up and coming can mean a lot based on price.
If you're looking for a single family and don't mind going just barely outside of DC - Mount Rainier is an up and coming area. It's being turned into an artist's community and there are a lot of renovations going on. If you don't mind doing some cosmetic work, some real deals can be had for under $200,000. Also Hyattsville, which already has a reputation as an artists community and parts of Takoma Park, another arts community, come with a Hyattsville address. These are both established rather than transitional areas, but there are single family homes to be had in both areas, which may need a little work, for under $200,000.
If that's not what you're looking for, I'd be glad to help you with more information.
You have a great question! I assume you are looking for value and a property that will be a great investment over time. In terms of areas, it really depends on the type of property you are thinking about, what you like close to you in your new area and a number of other factors. Your best bet would be to talk with a buyers agent that knows the areas well and discuss your exact needs and wants. I would love to assist your home buying needs so please feel free to contact me and we can go over details. Best part, the seller pays for your agents commission!
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
1606 17th St. NW
Washington DC 20009
"Bold Company, Staightforward Real Estate"