I'm a sucker for lists and rankings, so every year when CNNMoney.com comes out with its Top 100 Best Places to Live list I have to click through and take a look. This year, four Chicago suburbs made the list: Bolingbrook (No. 43), Naperville (No. 54), Mount Prospect (No. 56, pictured) and Arlington Heights (No. 59).
4 Chicago Suburbs Make 'Money' Top 100 Cities List
The rankings factor in things like home affordability, family-friendly amenities and low crime rates. As you can imagine, most of the cities are small towns with low crime and little diversity. Interestingly, though, the average home prices of the cities vary dramatically.
For instance, the poll ranks Eden Prairie, Minn. as the Best Place to Live in America. As of June 2010, the average listing price for homes in Eden Prairie was $430,710. Meanwhile, Newton, Mass., which was ranked No. 3 on the list, features an average listing price of $989,445. In Ames, Iowa, which was No. 9 on the list, the average listing price is $189,657.
Polls like this can serve a valuable purpose. They arm real estate professionals with some attractive selling points. You can be certain that real estate agents in Bolingbrook, Naperville, Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect were eager to click through and find their towns on the list. And despite the fairly arbitrary nature of the rankings, they do impact buyers.