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    Considering a Pandemic Move? These Are the Top Small Cities in 2020

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    The coronavirus pandemic has boosted the appeal of a simpler life. With more white-collar professionals able to work remotely indefinitely, some of the priciest big cities have seen an exodus. But many people don’t want to leave their urban lifestyles completely behind—so smaller cities are suddenly in the spotlight.

    Folks looking for more space, a short commute, and a strong local economy may want to consider Sammamish, WA, which was rated the top small city by WalletHub in a recent study. The personal finance website looked at affordability, the local economy, education, health, quality of life, and safety in 1,268 cities with between 25,000 and 100,000 residents to come up with its findings.

    “The residents of these cities tend to have higher credit scores, which is an indication of economic health,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in a statement. “These cities also have low shares of their populations living in poverty, as well as low percentages of residents in poor health. Another thing the top small towns have in common is the fact that they are very safe, which make them great places to live in.”

    But buyers, be warned: These cities are very hot with buyers. That’s a polite way of saying they’re expensive. All but one came with a median home list price well over the national median of $350,000. Five had a median price tag of more than $1 million.

    Bordered by Lake Sammamish and the Snoqualmie Valley, much of Sammamish’s appeal lies in its highly rated school system, multiple golf courses, plenty of parks, and proximity to Seattle, just 20 miles to the east. The bedroom community is popular with tech workers from Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

    How much will buyers pay for those highly rated schools? On the lower end are the newer four-bedroom townhomes with multiple bathrooms. They start at about $850,000. Single-family homes built in the 1980s and 1990s usually begin at about $1 million, while newer construction starts at $1.3 million and goes up from there. These are roughly 3,000-square-foot homes with four bedrooms and at least 2.5 bathrooms.

    “The school district is fantastic. That’s what draws people to Sammamish,” says local real estate broker John Jergens, of John L. Scott Real Estate. “Most of the people moving in are international transplants or are from Northern California.”

    These are America’s top small cities in 2020:

    1. Sammamish, WA, at $1,290,050
    2. Lexington, MA, at $2,124,550
    3. Carmel, IN, at $525,050
    4. Needham, MA, at $1,399,050
    5. Sugar Land TX, at $423,800
    6. Milton, MA, at $832,050
    7. Brentwood, TN, at $1,117,50
    8. Southlake, TX, at $1,000,050
    9. Cedar Park, TX, at $399,000
    10. Redmond, WA, at $888,450
    11. Leawood, KS, at $654,550
    12. Dublin, OH, at $529,050
    13. Arlington, MA, at $838,750
    14. Princeton, NJ, at $669,550
    15. Castle Rock, CO, at $626,600
    16. Westfield, IN, at $415,050
    17. Wheaton, IL, at $429,550
    18. Kaysville, UT, at $549,950
    19. Mason, OH, at $557,450
    20. Fishers, IN, at $349,950

    The post Considering a Pandemic Move? These Are the Top Small Cities in 2020 appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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