25. Wylie, Texas
|AT A GLANCE|
|Median Home Price||$187,062|
In the 1940s, Wylie was nicknamed “Wide Awake Wylie” because of its residents’ penchant for late-night socializing and shopping. Today Wylie residents still like to get together for good times, whether it's at the annual JazzArts Fest, the local rodeo, bluegrass festival, or pedal car races. The strong community spirit is one of the many reasons Wylie has landed on Money's "Best Places" list for the first time this year.
With Wylie’s location, tucked between two expansive lakes just 35 minutes outside Dallas, residents also enjoy getting out and about to the local hiking trails and fishing spots, not to mention regular outdoor concerts. Even the town's new new library and recreational center will get your heart rate up, courtesy of a 50-foot-wide, 30-feet high climbing wall.
In a sense, those amenities are a bonus in a town that is really built on solid fundamentals. Schools in Wylie consistently scores above state and national averages on the SAT and ACT, while the crime rates rank is among the lowest.
The economy is booming as well. Unemployment stands at 3.1%, and projected job growth is estimated at a whopping 19.1%, compared to the U.S.'s overall outlook of 7.4%. A new $64 million state-of-the-art international railroad terminal, which opened just this year, has improved the prospects of regional economic development ever further.
The downside of all this growth: property values have increased almost 12% over the past year, meaning property taxes are set to rise too.—Michaela Ross