Do you live in or near one of the most affordable suburbs in America?
Life with children is expensive, but in some places a dollar goes a lot further. Bloomberg BusinessWeek evaluated information provided by community data company OnBoard Informatics to determine the best affordable suburb in each state.
While many of the places on this year’s list are near amenities such as country clubs and golf courses, the focus is not luxury, but rather communities where families can live well for less and enjoy good schools, low crime, and reasonable commutes. The selected suburbs were limited to towns within 25 miles of the most populated city in the state, with populations of 5,000 to 60,000, median family incomes of $51,000 to $120,000, and lower-than-average crime rates. We weighted a variety of factors including livability (short commutes, low pollution, green space), education (well-educated residents, high test scores), crime (low personal and property crime), economy (high job growth, low unemployment rate, high family income), and affordability (median household income, cost of expenditures). Affordability was most heavily weighted in our calculations. We penalized places with bad weather, a lack of racial diversity, high divorce rates, and few children.
The results range from established high-income neighborhoods to growing middle-income communities. For example, the smallest town on the list, Cave Creek, Ariz., has a population of about 5,000 and a median family income of $108,546, while Moore, Okla., one of the largest, has more than 51,000 residents and a median income of $63,309, according to OnBoard’s estimates. Despite their differences, all these places offer young families an attractive location to raise children and remain close to employment opportunities
Top 10 Best Affordable Suburbs in America
1. Fishers, Ind.
Nearest major city: Indianapolis
Median family income: $108,086
Median home price: $174,438
Unemployment rate: 6.5%
Violent crime index: 12
With reasonable property prices, an unemployment rate lower than average, and a good grade for safety, Fishers is the best affordable suburb overall in this year’s survey. The school district here has grown in recent years to accommodate the expanding population, and now includes 12 elementary schools, several intermediate and junior high schools, and two high schools. The town, on the West Fork of the White River, has 12 developed parks, five undeveloped sites totaling 152 acres, and more than 65 miles of multipurpose trail.
2. Papillion, Neb.
Nearest major city: Omaha
Median family income: $92,077
Median home price: $145,000
Unemployment rate: 4.5%
Violent crime index: 13
Papillion was one of the best affordable suburbs overall on this year’s list. Golf courses, nature trails, parks, and recreational opportunities near Papio Creek and Walnut Creek can be found. Many residents of this bedroom community commute to Omaha, about 20 minutes away. Students in the Papillion area score above the national and Nebraska average on the American College Test, according to the city’s Web site.
3. Mililani Town, Hawaii
Nearest major city: Honolulu
Median family income: $98,384
Median home price: $370,000
Unemployment rate: 5.3%
Violent crime index: 3
This planned community has a golf course, tech park, community centers, and shopping malls. There are several schools in this upper-middle-class area, which serves as a bedroom community for Honolulu. The area also has upscale communities, such as Mililani Mauka, and a very low crime rate. It was considered by Money magazine to be one of the best places to live in 2005.No comments