Money's list of America's best small cities

Affordable homes
Residents who buy real estate in these growing towns from the Best Places database see their incomes go the furthest.
Rank City Median home sale price 2007
1 Nicholasville, KY $70,000
2 Watauga, TX $117,040
3 Redan, GA $115,000
4 Franklin, IN $103,000
5 Clay, NY $124,000
6 Plainfield, IN $124,000
7 Marion, IA $131,500
8 Omaha, NE $113,000
9 Bellevue, NE $120,000
10 Russellville, AR $85,000
11 Mission Bend, TX $133,000
12 Arnold, MO* $119,600
13 Des Moines, IA $105,000
14 Spring, TX $131,005
15 Lake Jackson, TX $149,426
16 Janesville, WI $124,700
17 Beavercreek, OH $168,000
18 Atascocita, TX $171,462
19 West Des Moines, IA $161,500
20 Pearl, MS $100,000
21 La Porte, TX $136,990
22 Westerville, OH $184,950
23 La Vergne, TN $127,000
24 Papillion, NE $169,000
25 Martinez, GA $145,000
From the August 2008 issue
Source: OnBoard, Actual sales collected from county and municipal assessors' offices. Only includes sales within town boundaries. Only towns where there were more than 100 home sales in 2007, and that were experiencing job and population growth, were considered.
*Median based on fewer than 50 home sales in the area.
Clarification: An earlier version of this page included Clinton, MI, at no. 9. While Clinton does rate highly on home affordability, the top 25 is meant to include only growing cities, and Clinton should have been disqualified for having negative job growth at the county level. As a result, Martinez, GA, was added as no. 25.
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Top 3

City Median income
New Canaan, CT $231,138
Darien, CT $218,130
Lake Forest, IL $212,122
City % single
Hoboken, NJ 57.7%
Cambridge, MA 52.4%
Somerville, MA 51.4%
City Median home price
Nicholasville, KY $70,000
Watauga, TX $117,040
Redan, GA $115,000
Using statistics from data provider Onboard Informatics and consultant Bert Sperling of, we crunched the numbers in order to zero in on America's best small cities for families. (Last year, we looked at small towns, with populations between 7,500 and 50,000.) More

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