Numbers Count: Rankings for family-friendly cities
Numbers count. They matter to bankers and to prospective homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.The numbers: Best cities for families
What’s the best city in America to raise a family? How does your city rank? WalletHub has tried to answer these questions by comparing the 150 most populated U.S. cities based on 30 family-friendly measures, including playgrounds per capita, quality of schools, health-care quality, and the relative cost of housing. Number One on the list? Overland Park, Kansas. One California city makes WalletHub’s top 10. The full, 150-city list is viewable on WalletHub, a financial education website.What counts: Every city has its charms and flaws, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this “ranking” sparks a lively conversation about which cities are tops for tots. Regardless of where a city or neighborhood land in anybody’s rankings, this report is a good reminder that whenever you start house hunting, you should have a checklist of what’s important and what may not be so important.
Empty nesters looking to downsize may want certain things in a home and a community, and young couples with a child or a child-on-the-way may want something very different.
Take a look at this report’s methodology. It offers a useful list of factors you may not have thought about for evaluating a city or a neighborhood. Such as:
- Parkland acreage per 100,000 residents
- Percentage of families with children under 18
- Number of pediatricians per 100,000 residents
- Childcare costs
While you may not be able to quantify all these factors, it is helpful to think about them and decide what is truly important in your decision-making process regarding a home and a neighborhood. A good real-estate agent may have the answers to a lot of your questions on these topics.
Take families with children under 18, for example. I have a colleague in the San Francisco Bay Area with two college-age sons. They grew up on a street with just one other family, so it wasn’t the most fun block around. When one of his sons returned from college a week ago, there was a summer block party with dozens of kids swarming everywhere! One generation’s retiree community can become the next generation’s playground!