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The Top 25 Wealthiest Counties in America

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Where the money is

heather elias' photo of loudoun countyIf you want to rub elbows with people who live in the wealthiest counties in America, you won’t end up in the glamorous big apple, nor in 90210. No, those areas are a mixed bag with posh living next door to lower income families, not areas where all residents enjoy higher incomes. The wealthiest counties in America are all suburban areas near large cities, showing that money flows from the cities outward even today.

Forbes outlined the 25 wealthiest counties and interestingly enough, the east coast dominates the list and shows that the urban areas are not where the biggest paychecks are landing.

  1. Loudoun County, VA
  2. Fairfax County, VA
  3. Howard County, MD
  4. Hunterdon County, NJ
  5. Somerset County, NJ
  6. Fairfax City, VA
  7. Morris County, NJ
  8. Douglas County, CO
  9. Arlington County, VA
  10. Montgomery County, MD
  11. Nassau County, NY
  12. Stafford County, VA
  13. Calvert County, MD
  14. Prince William County, VA
  15. Putnam County, NY
  16. Goochland County, VA
  17. Williamson County, TN
  18. Marin County, CA
  19. Santa Clara County, CA
  20. Forsyth County, GA
  21. Charles County, MD
  22. Summit County, UT
  23. Alexandria City, VA
  24. Chester County, PA
  25. Suffolk County, NY

Forbes reporter Francesca Levy closes the top 25 list by saying, “Where you choose to settle tends to be an extension of how much you make, rather than the other way around.” I couldn’t agree more.

Photo courtesy of Heather Elias

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Mike

    March 9, 2010 at 6:25 am

    I live in Loudoun County. Until a few years ago Fairfax was #1, until Loudoun surpassed it. I’m surprised that Loudoun is still at the top, considering the 25-50% reduction of home values. Fairfax hasn’t depreciated as much. Loudoun is also the fastest growing County is the Country. 20 years ago, it was mostly farm land.

  2. Brandie Young

    March 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Hmmm, a few NJ and only one in California. Those Jersey Shore kids must have skewed it somehow…

  3. Nashville Grant

    March 9, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Ah, there you are Williamson County, TN. At number 17 and climbing! Thank you Brentwood, Cool Springs and Franklin. I’ll bet you guys were surprised to see us on the list…well, don’t be, your healthcare bucks flow through Nashville.

  4. Brian Brady

    March 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    “Hmmm, a few NJ and only one in California. Those Jersey Shore kids must have skewed it somehow…”

    Bigger counties out West. eg- The largest and 4th largest cities in the State are both in LA County. Few CA counties are “suburban” counties (and Marin is one of them). What surprised me was that Orange County didn’t make the list

  5. Pam Rumley

    March 14, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Franklin Tennessee (Williamson County) was one of the richest counties in America before the Civil War. Then it was just about destroyed during that war. Several homes in the area still have bloodstains and bullet holes to prove it. But, it’s meant to be…because once again it is on the list of the wealthiest counties in the country. It’s very beautiful and a great place to live.

  6. Jonathan Benya

    March 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Charles County Made #21 Whoot!

  7. Teri Lussier

    September 22, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    More proof that DC really is out of touch with the rest of country.

  8. Lee Taylor

    January 29, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    wow… 8 VA counties! way to go Virginia!!!!!!!!

    • Ffx Co

      August 22, 2011 at 6:16 pm

      Lol, actually, all but one of those counties is in NoVa, which is barely VA. We are politically entirely different. The only thing that makes us VA is that our tax money goes to the rest of the state…

      ffx co

  9. Christina

    April 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    How is Fairfield County, CT not on here?

  10. dave

    June 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I grew up in Va, never liked it, was uptight. Went to UT knoxville, thought I'd escaped from 'ell. So Nor Va's got a few bucks but from where and from how (how much utility does it provide). Bottom line is, is it any fun? I'd take Marin 20 to 1 over that freezing place. Is it any fun, ever hear Emperor's clothes fable or King Midas and the golden touch. If it doesn't translate then it's lost in trans . . . How does their lifestyle boil down. That which you can't translate to fun is an illusion. But dream on keep telling yourself, if that's what keep U goin.

  11. amy

    October 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    So 11 of the top 25 are in the DC Metro; just shows how much money is generated by doing business with the federal gov't.

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Austin

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?

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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, SelfStorage.com 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.

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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.

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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, Realtor.com, 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 Realtor.com’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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