Looking for a great place to raise a family? Forbes Magazine has a list that may help you. Titled "The Best Cities For Raising A Family", Forbes has compiled and analyzed data from America's 100 largest metropolitan areas, accounting for seven lifestyle factors including cost of living, commuting ease, school quality, crime density, and home affordability. Given these selection criteria, it's no surprise that Grand Rapids, Michigan took top honors. The area's low median income is offset by an extremely low cost of living and a school system that's among the best in the nation. Nearly 90% of the homes in Grand Rapids are affordable families earning the median income -- the seventh-highest affordability ranking in the country -- and commutes are quick. Since the housing peak, home prices are down just 12% in Grand Rapids -- a figure below the national average. The complete Top 10 list for the Forbes "The Best Cities For Raising A Family" piece were:
Now, before you make a home-buying decision based on the Forbes report, remember that real estate is a local market and even city-wide statistics can be too broad to be helpful to everyday home buyers in Bethesda. Even within Grand Rapids, there are some neighborhoods that outperform in terms of home valuations and school quality, for example; and some areas from which a daily work commute may be more cumbersome. For accurate, real-time housing data for any of the above markets or for a smaller neighborhood like Bethesda , be sure to ask a real estate professional.