15-year population growth: 5.6%
Median home price: $176,700
Home price 2-year forecast: 1.4%Real, American, Midwest living. That pretty much sums up Ames. The town's pride and joy is Iowa State University, and going to see the Cyclones take on one of their Big 12 rivals is a pretty cool way to spend an October afternoon. Ames is also on the docket for big-name musical acts and touring theater groups. Extemely affordable housing and low crime complete the package. Life here is quiet and calm, just the way you might like it.