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
A look back on all of the tiny tasks that 30 years of technology has saved you from.
What sets you apart from everyone else looking for a new job or bigger paycheck? Your profile!
With all those deals you snagged on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, today is your chance to give back to those in need with #GivingTuesday.
Miss Manners provides guidance on how to handle a request for party contributions
Miss Manners instructs on why tit-for-tat never works
Miss Manners offers thoughts on guests who disregard dinner party instructions
Rinse and repeat.
Make big bucks, from home, having fun? These women got creative and figured out a way to have it all. You can too.
Your boss. You might like her, you probably respect her, but do you know how to approach someone who seems so different from you? (Spoiler: She’s actually not.)
Over the weekend, Oprah decluttered her Montecito mansion and three other properties in a Santa Barbara yard sale that brought in more than $600,000(!). (Proceeds will benefit her girls’ leadership academy in South Africa, and not half of a Crate and Barrel chair, the traditional end goal of yard-sale proceeds.)
Exclusively for MSN, we bring you a six-part series from the new book: MISS MANNERS MINDS YOUR BUSINESS by Judith and Nicholas Ivor Martin.
Miss Manners weighs in on the financial burdens of remote weddings