38. Hamden, Conn.
|AT A GLANCE|
|Median Home Price||$180,000|
|Commute time||21 minutes|
Set amid picturesque hills and valleys, “the Land of the Sleeping Giant” combines a great school system, affordable housing, and abundant natural beauty. A suburb of New Haven, Hamden mixes quiet suburban life with the more urban and collegiate atmosphere of the city, and is home to Quinnipiac University, a small private college.
Hamden's low crime rate puts it in the top 60 among similarly-sized cities around the country, making it attractive to families looking to benefit from the amenities of New Haven without living within city limits. It also ranks highly in terms of green space.
In terms of job growth and economic opportunity, Hamden doesn’t rank as highly on the list; jobs are expected to grow at just 2% over the next five years. It is, however, an affordable place to live. Median home prices are about $159,000, with average property taxes of $6,496.