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America’s most popular neighborhoods

The five towns most searched by home buyers.

By Rich_Maloof Jan 3, 2013 5:44PM

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.

Photo: Charles Cook/Getty Images // Wells Street in Old Town sign in Chicago, Ill.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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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