Best Places to Live, 2009 Edition
Monday : Jul 13th, 2009
If you are looking for a great place to raise a family with a healthy job market, these charming towns should be at the top of your list.
These days, when you think about a great place to live, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Right: the economy. In a recent CNNMoney.com poll of more than 43,000 people, respondents named availability of good jobs as their most important concern when sizing up a town.
The winners were chosen by measuring and weighting the factors that Americans value most. According to the CNNMoney poll, after good jobs, the key criteria are low crime, affordable homes, lots to do, and top-notch schools. Also factored in: data on health care, diversity, weather, and more.
The top-ranked towns not only rack up terrific scores but also possess that indefinable something—a mix of community spirit, can-do attitude, and simple charm—that makes them magnets for people looking for a great little place to raise their families.
Top 100 rank: 10
Typical single-family house: $435,000
Estimated property taxes: $3,260
Unemployment rate: 7.1%
Pluses: Great natural beauty, good schools
Minuses: Rain, traffic
Much of the West Coast is an economic mess. Not this picturesque waterfront community.
Mukilteo also happens to be drop-dead gorgeous, with views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, and the Cascades. More reasons to love it: top-notch schools and low property taxes.
“We considered Seattle, but the cost of living is cheaper here,” says Michael Chun, 47, a neurologist who moved to town in 2007 with his wife, Tina, 42, a realtor. “Restaurants in Seattle are great, but I can get a great dinner locally for less.”