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CNN names America’s top ten best places to live – small city edition



According to, there are plenty of reasons to love the small cities listed in their top places to live for 2010.

CNNMoney analyzed median family income, job growth, median home price, test scores, crime, number of restaurants, number of higher education institutes, weather, median age, and other quality of living data to create their top ten list for 2010:

  1. Eden Prairie, MN
  2. Columbia-Elicott City, MD
  3. Newton, MA
  4. Bellevue, WA
  5. McKinney, TX
  6. Fort Collins, CO
  7. Overland Park, KS
  8. Fishers, IN
  9. Ames, IA
  10. Rigers, AR

According to CNNMoney, Eden Prairie is number one this year because, “not only is it family-friendly, it has a dynamite economy too. At 5.1%, its unemployment rate is nearly one percentage point below the county rate and more than four points below the national average. It helps when you’ve got 50,000 jobs right in town.”

If your favorite small town didn’t make the top 10, maybe it made the top 100 and if not, tell us in comments why it should have!

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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  1. Jason Sandquist

    July 13, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I can vouch for Eden Prairie… no joke

  2. Alison Shuman

    July 13, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Great list! In my opinion, one of the good things about lists like this is that it encourages people to consider living in places beyond the big cities, where perhaps the homes are less expensive, and the lifestyle more relaxed. It also encourages businesses to locate to these areas.

  3. Joe

    July 13, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Funny thing how I’m disappointed when our area is not in these top 10 lists. We’ve made several top ten lists lately that I’ve kinda come to expect one of our cities being there.

  4. Property Marbella

    July 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Nice list, but it can be so small different thing who do your town number 8 or number 12 and not on the list.

  5. BawldGuy

    July 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Seriously, La Mesa, CA ain’t on that list? You can buy a condo for not much over $100K or a house on the hill in Mt. Helix for several million — and they’re 2-3 miles apart. The police force does their job exceptionally well. There are parks everywhere. I’ve lived here since 1979, raised my kids here, have my business here. It’s truly one of the safest cities around. The weather is heavenly. Heading west for 20 minutes I can be on Coronado Island, Mission Bay, or the Gaslamp District downtown.

    Heading east I can be in the mountains in an hour, eatin’ the world’s best apple pie in Julian. Goin’ north gets me to the small, calm coastal cities of Del Mar and Solana beach.

    The options here are crazy good, with 90% of the destinations within a 15-40 minute drive. If there’s a better place, I’d love to hear about it. Beaches, mountains, limitless outdoor recreation, and everything else in between.

    But the best part about La Mesa? Ya can’t swing a dead cat without hittin’ a taco shop.

  6. Bryan Thompson

    July 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    I can’t vouch for the other cities, but this is the second mention I’ve heard of Overland Park in the last week. I live a couple of hours from there now and almost moved there a couple of years ago. I don’t know that I’d have put it in the same category with Eden Prairie, but I think it has grown like crazy.

  7. aMY L cavENDER

    July 13, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I lived in Ft Collins, CO for 18 years. Love that place!

  8. Doug Francis

    July 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    A few years ago my town, Vienna,VA topped one of these lists… but the following year it didn’t even rank. Well, now I have to move to Minnesota!

  9. Bob Jack

    July 13, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Another huh list? Are those listings paid for by cities? Don’t know about Eden Prairie, but it’s in Minnesota, correct. Weather? Million degrees below zero. Bellevue, Wa. RAIN. McKinney=rednecks, HOT, divided between nicer homes and poverty shacks; Rogers, Ark. COME ON. Been there. Pit. So, what gives?

  10. Debra Sinick

    July 14, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Bellevue is doing something right. It’s been on both US News’ and Newsweek’s top schools list, Kiplinger’s list of the best places to be over the next decade, and now CNN/Money Magazine’s list of top places to live. Bellevue has a huge variety of housing and prices from mega mansions to modest one level homes which fall in the high 200’s, terrific green spaces, lakes and mountains, a strong economic base with Microsoft right next door, and some great weather!

    Yes, Bob Jack, there’s even great weather here. I love the milder temperatures and our fabulous summers, which is our big secret. Is it gray a lot? Yes, it can be, especially in the winter. But winters are short with flowers that start blooming at the end of January!

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Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?



Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.



aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.



zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub,, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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