The Most Livable Suburbs Can Be the Most Affordable, Too
Low crime, high value, and deals to offer.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:13 AM
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If you can’t help but want ample space, tree-lined streets, and neighbors you don’t share a wall with, a life in one of these towns could be for you. A new study from loan provider Renofi cataloged the 50 most livable suburbs across the country, ranked by nine different criteria:
- Household income
- Income growth
- Median house price
- House price growth
- Property taxes
- Unemployment rate
- Crime rate
- Proximity to medical care
While some neighborhoods, like Druid Hills, an affluent suburb of Atlanta, top the list in several key factors but are on the expensive side, there are plenty of places that offer everything from home gyms to solar-powered heating systems without breaking the bank. Check out some of our favorites, below, before they’re scooped off the market.
Royal Oak and Berkeley, Michigan
Just 20 minutes north of Detroit, these two neighboring towns rank among the top 50 at 7th and 24th, respectively. This three-bedroom home in Royal Oak is under $350,000. That leaves plenty of budget room for some renovating where needed, but the house has already been outfitted with new appliances, like a double-wide stove, and even has a working fireplace.
Sandwiched between the campuses of the University of Missouri and Washington University at St. Louis, Wellston enjoys the energy of a college town and the dividends of being only a short drive to downtown St. Louis. Despite a higher crime rate than the others on the list, home prices are on the rise in this town, so buying property now could be a good investment. An extra 10 minutes north, though, this house in Black Jack, Missouri, is a steal at $225,000. A massive wall of windows floods the home with natural light—and solar panels keep the place heated into the night. Plus there’s a wood-paneled porch just begging for a large-scale plant wall to grow in the sun.
For those who want a neighborly feel without fully parting with city living, look no further than Bellevue. The town of 5,804 has the second lowest median house price—$130,900—on the list, but is just across the river from downtown Cincinnati and its Krohn Conservatory botanical gardens. In the East Row Historic District, this house still has its original stained-glass windows, mixed with modern details like a deep claw-foot tub. There are also fireplaces on the ground and upper floors for when winter returns.
Roeland Park, Kansas
Across state lines from Kansas City’s center, this suburb trades the bustle of the downtown area for small-town charm like Artist of the Month exhibitions at the Schlegel Gallery and the effort to restore Cooper Creek Park by tearing out invasive species of plants. Extra amenities—a finished basement complete with a new gym, plus a backyard pergola—go a long way in this two-bedroom house. A built-in bar inside also makes the place perfect for entertaining someday soon.
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