What makes it great: Cheap but chic, Oxford is full of university-town charm and Southern graciousness. It's still quaint enough to be considered a small town, but it's distinguished enough to become a vacation destination. Mississippi is about 10 percent cheaper than the rest of the country, so your dollar goes further.
What you can learn: Oxford is one of the Top 3 places where wealthy people from New Orleans moved after Hurricane Katrina. Anytime there's been a mass migration like that, a real estate boom is bound to follow.
Another tip: When vacant lots start selling like hot cakes, the market is ready to take off.