Top 20 Places to Settle Down

LeafFilter's Number 14 Place to Settle Down - Waterbury, VT

Making a decision on where to settle down for a while is a tough decision. With so many factors to consider, it may seem easier to just throw a dart and move to wherever it lands. We at LeafFilter don’t want you to choose your home based on a dart, so we decided to compile this list of the Top 20 Places to Settle Down. With statistics like population, median household income, and median house or condo value, this comprehensive list will kick your house hunt off on the right foot.
All statistics are gathered from Note that most statistics have not been updated to include 2015 figures. Please contact city officials if you are interested in learning more about these locations.

1. Winder, GA

Winder,GA ranked number 1 by LeafFilter
This little city is located about an hour outside of Atlanta. With a moderately sized population, Winder is the perfect place to retreat from the big city and settle down. As an added bonus, Winder also offers a great school district! Check out the Fort Yargo State Park to get in touch with nature and for some background on the native inhabitants of what was originally known as The Jug, or Jug Tavern. When you’re starting to get hungry, grab some Smoking-PO-Boys BBQ for a delicious Southern barbecue meal– you’ll thank us later!

Population: 14,679
Median Household Income: $48,309
Median House or Condo Value: $113,020

2. Clayton, MO
Clayton, MO ranked number 2 by LeafFilter
If your family has some disagreements about whether to live in a big city or a small town, Clayton is a great compromise. There are some quaint neighborhoods, a rich history, and a vibrant business district. Bonus: It’s only a hop skip and a jump away from St. Louis! The majority of its current residents – a whopping 96% – report feeling “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with the quality of life in Clayton. Are you picturing yourself living there yet?

Population: 15,884
Median Household Income: $90,056
Median House or Condo Value: $584,146

3. Doylestown, PA

Doylestown, PA ranked number 3 by LeafFilter
Doylestown is in a great location if you prefer to live in a smaller community while still living close to a big city like Philadelphia. It’s considered a borough, but don’t let that fool you. The area offers great shopping and dining, and a family-friendly atmosphere. As an added bonus, take the extremely affordable SEPTA Regional Rail from Doylestown to connect to practically anywhere in the Philadelphia area.

Population: 8,337
Median Household Income: $65,916
Median House or Condo Value: $383,455

4. Franklin, TN

Franklin, TN - Ranked Number 4 By LeafFilter
When people think of Tennessee, they usually think of Nashville. But nestled just a little bit south of the big city is Franklin. Known as the best small town in Tennessee, Franklin has that Southern hospitality mixed with small town charm going on. You’ll find a great mix of local shops and chain stores in Franklin, and you can catch a movie or a show at the recently-restored Franklin Theater. Retreat to this town to slow life down a bit and bring out your creativity.

Population: 68,886
Median Household Income: $82,300
Median House or Condo Value: $315,200

5. Spokane, WA

If you’re looking to move somewhere picturesque, check out the breathtaking scenery in Spokane. With tons of gorgeous views like the River Falls, Centennial Trail, and the close-by Northwest Rockies, you’ll never run out of nooks and crannies to explore. The city is constantly improving and “beautifying” its neighborhoods, so pride in this city abounds. Want to love where you live? Move to Spokane!

Population: 210,721
Median Household Income: $39,385
Median House or Condo Value: $155,300

6. Maysville, KY

Maysville is another small town brimming with charm and a great place to raise a family. There’s a little something for everyone in Maysville. If you’ve got a creative side, you’ll love to check out the downtown galleries and Russell Theater, where Rosemary Clooney once graced the stage. Or, if your family is more into nature, you’ll probably want to spend time at the zip line or biking trails.

Population: 8,920
Median Household Income: $36,623
Median House or Condo Value: $109,151

7. Portage, MI

Portage has an excellent school district and housing market. This community flourishes, in part, due to large employers, like the nearby Stryker Instruments and Pfizer. Job opportunities abound in many different industries in this city. If you’re looking for a lively place to live, you should definitely check out Portage.
Population: 47,523
Median Household Income: $55,131
Median House or Condo Value: $138,349

8. Saratoga Springs, NY

Saratoga Springs, NY, ranked number 8 by LeafFilter
Saratoga Springs is a booming tourist destination, with plenty of job opportunities. This city has low crime rates and is home to two colleges. If you like to live a little on the wilder side, you’ll probably enjoy hanging out at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway (Remember: Gamble responsibly!). Or, if you like to live to a slower pace, you’re likely to frequent the many spas and natural mineral springs, which are said to have healing powers. Widely regarded as one of the best places to live in New York, you’ll have no problem finding a home here.

Population: 27,315
Median Household Income: $67,522
Median House or Condo Value: $297,771

9. Plano, TX

If their slogan – City of Excellence – doesn’t say it all, we don’t know what does. Plano is an ideal place if you’re looking to own a home in a safe community. You’ll enjoy the many community events, like their breath-taking air balloon festival. If you prefer green transportation, Plano offers the luxury of three DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) stations to help you get around.
Population: 274,409
Median Household Income: $80,448
Median House or Condo Value: $226,500

10. Marblehead, MA

Do you dream of being able to see the ocean from your own backyard? If so, Marblehead is the place you’re looking for. Between sailing, yachting, fishing, and other water sports, it is clear why the historic harbor is the focal point of this town. Marblehead’s upscale community has inspired many writers, film makers, and other artists. It is situated just a little north of Boston, which makes for easy trips to the big city.

Population: 19,808
Median Household Income: $98,707
Median House or Condo Value: $56,671

11. Bethesda, MD

Located just outside of Washington D.C., Bethesda is the perfect little urban area. Job opportunities abound here, with companies such as The National Institutes of Health, Marriott, and Comcast Sportsnet calling Bethesda home. You certainly won’t be bored after moving here either – plan to attend tons of festivals and community events, as those are the perfect way to get involved and meet other residents.

Population: 60,858
Median Household Income: $149,932
Median House or Condo Value: $827,400

12. Daphne, AL


Daphne has it all – low crime rates, decent cost of living, good school districts, higher than average income, and lots of entertainment. While moving to a new place can be lonely, you’ll quickly learn just how welcoming this city is. And, if you like seafood, you’re in luck. Located on the Eastern Shore, Daphne is known as one of few Jubilee Cities, or places where the sea life occasionally comes into shallow waters…close enough to scoop up from the shore!

Population: 23,633
Median Household Income: $54,706
Median House or Condo Value: $178,826

13. Bend, OR


Do you long to be outdoors? Do you prefer a fit, active lifestyle? If you answered ‘yes’, you need to move to Bend ASAP! Bend is considered “metropolitan,” but with a highway described as “100 miles of organic eye candy,” you better bet this city is truly scenic. Tourism drives the economy here. This is a great time to jump on buying a house in this area, as Bend is starting to bounce back from the real estate downturn that hit the U.S. hard the past few years.

Population: 81,236
Median Household Income: $48,014
Median House or Condo Value: $250,300

14. Waterbury, VT


Tropical Storm Irene rocked this city back in 2011, but, four years later, there’s no doubt the little town of Waterbury is on the upswing. Its biggest employer is Ben & Jerry’s, so you know there will never be an ice cream shortage here! With many annual festivals and community outings, you’ll certainly get the New England experience in this family-friendly little town.

Population: 1,807
Median Household Income: $51,949
Median House or Condo Value: $253,341

15. Buckhannon, WV


This is a quaint little college town nestled into the Alleghenies, home to West Virginia Wesleyan College. Check out their annual strawberry festival for the perfect way to kick off every summer. With plans for future development into 2020, you can be sure that living in Buckhannon is a smart move.

Population: 5,683
Median Household Income: $30,352
Median House or Condo Value: $121,221

16. Wooster, OH


Home of The College of Wooster, this little college town is the perfect place to settle down. It has a mixture of relaxed rural living and energetic downtown life. Wooster boasts a beautiful historic area as well. With an assortment of housing options – from mid-sized homes to larger farms and more – your options are endless. Make a day trip to Cleveland or Columbus for your big city fix, then retreat back to your home base for the perfectly balanced life.

Population: 26,384
Median Household Income: $41,223
Median House or Condo Value: $118,915

17. Western Springs, IL


If you want to live in a place with strong community values, Western Springs is the way to go. Between May and October, you can peruse the French Market every Thursday for local produce. You’ll also enjoy holiday events, checking out the historic water tower, and taking advantage of the close proximity to Chicago. It is widely agreed that this town is one of the very best places to raise a family.

Population: 13,171
Median Household Income: $137,416
Median House or Condo Value: $479,625

18. Madison, MS


Named after President James Madison, Madison is one of the most affluent cities in Mississippi. It was a railroad town in its early days, which lead to steady economic growth. Madison also has one of the top school systems in Mississippi. This city is a little unique because, after opening relations with Sweden in 1997, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce South Central U.S. was established here to continue this relationship.

Population: 25,304
Median Household Income: $109,873
Median House or Condo Value: $246,436

19. Manchester, IA


Manchester is among the smallest locales on this list, so if you’re looking to move to a tight-knit community, this is a good place to look. There is a strong sense of pride in this city, which is working to make steady improvements and create a welcoming family-friendly environment. It is within an hour of Cedar Rapids, so you can still make day trips to the big city. The city holds many community events, including an upcoming sesquicentennial (150 year) anniversary celebration!

Population: 5,113
Median Household Income: $45,789
Median House or Condo Value: $100,050

20. Winter Park, FL


Don’t let the name fool you – Winter Park is anything but wintery. Located in central Florida near Lake Virginia, it has a very mild, albeit a little rainy, climate. You’ll never have a chance to get bored in Winter Park with access to upscale shopping centers, museums, galleries, theaters, and more. Winter Park even offers occasional outdoor movie screenings in the park! Take part in community gardening for yet another way to get involved with this city.

Population: 29,203
Median Household Income: $56,499
Median House or Condo Value: $305,459