America’s most popular neighborhoods
The five towns most searched by home buyers.
What makes a neighborhood great? Some say it’s the people — then they get there and build fences. Some dream of remote rural locales but want easy access to good schools and amenities. Some love the pulse and pace of an urban setting but can’t afford a decent place in the city.
Identifying the ideal location for you and yours is undeniably subjective, and is based not only on personal tastes but on the more rigid realities of what’s affordable, near to work, and appropriate for a family. Retirees may be looking for the most accommodating weather (San Luis Obispo, CA), while younger couples might be looking for places with the highest job growth (Houston, TX). “Best” might be judged by what’s most expensive (Bel Air, CA) even though far more people seek the most affordable city (Dayton, OH).
More from MSN Living: 100 ways to save money in 2013
Realtor.com has determined its list of Most Popular Neighborhoods based on searches by zip code. Though not entirely scientific, the site’s hundreds of thousands of users are searching most often for homes in the following five neighborhoods (as seen on the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch site). Join the comment thread below and let us know why your neighborhood should have made the list.
More from MSN Living: 50 best celebrity makeovers of all time
5. Stoneybrook in Orlando, Florida. If golf courses, sunshine, and easy access to the ocean sound like heaven to you, make the easy hop from Orlando airport to Stoneybrook in the Kissimmee-St. Cloud region of central Florida.
4. Spring Valley in Las Vegas, Nevada. A spring in the desert sounds like a reliable draw. Not far from the Vegas strip, Spring Valley is built around a “master-planned community” and boasts a mixed housing stock — as long as $600k and up is in your mix.
3. Keller, near Fort Worth, Texas. Anytime a locale is identified as a great place to live, it faces the prospect of becoming not-so-great by virtue of becoming overcrowded. But Keller’s spacious properties and green neighborhoods can expand to accommodate a population increase.
2. Willow Bend Country in Plano, Texas. With Dallas-Forth Worth a short train ride away, a rich local culture, and Lewisville Lake as a crown jewel, Willow Bend Country is good livin’.
1. Old Town in Chicago, Illinois. The only urban entry in Realtor.com’s top 5 is historic Old Town, a neighborhood well remembered as a home to Second City comedians, to hippie history and the rise of gay culture, and to diverse creative types — though the price tags on its lovely Victorian buildings have since gentrified the area.
Photo: Charles Cook/Getty Images // Wells Street in Old Town sign in Chicago, Ill.
inspire: live a better life
Summer and winter tend to hog all the glory when it comes to travel high seasons. Sure, you want to soak up all the time at the beach you can during the summer, and you just want to escape the cold during the last months of the year.
Who just wants to stand around and watch the red and gold leaves slowly fall from their tree branches to the ground as we move from summer to fall? Instead, take in the changing seasons while you're on the move.
In September, I'll turn 38. I'm at the age now where, when people ask how old I am, it takes me a minute to remember. I don't know if that's because I've already been 37 different ages and it's hard to keep straight which one I am now, or if it's because I'm in denial, or if it's because I am going senile. Maybe a combination of all of the above. Regardless, my 30s have flown by and soon they will be but a memory. So, in an effort to preserve the memory I have left (or at least keep a record of it), and to celebrate what has been an amazing decade so far, here are 30 things that have happened to me in my 30s (and will probably happen to you too):
Traveling doesn't have to be stressful. And what you can fit in your carry-on can make all the difference (and not just a fresh pair of socks), especially when you get that low battery signal.
Volunteering (and these other rituals) might be just as good as exercise when it comes to extending your life.
Use these tricks to set a better tone for the rest of the week.
Whether it involves a food fight, mermaids or a torch-lit procession, people the world over know how to have a good time. Here are some of the biggest, boldest, booziest celebrations around, along with some tips to get the full experience.
Research could mean more effective treatment for human disorders.
An entry a day might keep the doctor away (or at least the shrink).
One woman's shout-outs to daily moments of joy — and how to cultivate them.
Our best health and fitness tips including the one move that tones all, berry news, and more.