10 Suburban Cities With Big-City Feel at an Affordable Price

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Where moving to the suburbs may once have been a dream for many Americans, the revival (gentrification) taking place in some of the country’s largest cities has made the cities both more attractive and more expensive.

The ‘burbs have typically been a less expensive option for would-be homeowners willing to accept the trade-offs of longer commutes to a job in the city and, usually, a less-vibrant nightlife than the city has to offer.

That doesn’t have to be the case now, according to Lindsey Grossman at Trulia.com. She identifies 10 suburban cities that have both reasonably priced housing and some level of amenities of a city — good food, good entertainment, good drinks, among them.

Here are 10 affordable suburbs with that “je ne sais quoi” of a big city.

Forest Park, Illinois. This Chicago suburb’s median home price is $157,500, well below the city’s median of $235,000.

Red Bank, New Jersey. An hour from New York City by car and 20 minutes by train, a home in Red Bank costs an average of $238 per square foot, far below the NYC average of $1,425 per square foot.

Petaluma, California. Compared with San Francisco, home prices are cheaper just about anywhere else. Petaluma, about 40 miles north of the city, sports a median home price of $638,000 alongside a San Francisco median of $1.4 million. In this case, cheap is relative.

Littleton, Colorado. Just south of Denver, where home prices have appreciated rapidly for more than a year, Littleton’s cost per square foot is $238 compared with Denver’s $308.

Round Rock, Texas. The average listing price for a house in this Austin suburb is nearly 50% below the $594,379 average in big city.

East Point, Georgia. This Atlanta suburb features a median sale price of $100,000, compared with a median of $232,000 in the big city. Any questions?

Alexandria, Virginia. Like San Francisco, affordability is relative in the suburbs around the nation’s capital. The median sales price in Alexandria is $455,000, compared with $545,500 in the District of Columbia.

Edmonds, Washington. Home prices rose most in the past year in Denver and Seattle. Again, prices are relative, but the median sales price in Edmonds is more than $100,000 below the $545,500 median in Seattle.

Culver City, California. A Los Angeles suburb where the median sales price of $562,500 is more than $100,000 below the median in the big city.

Covington, Kentucky. This Cincinnati, Ohio, suburb’s median sales price is $99,000, compared with the big city median of $135,000.

For more information about these 10 suburban cities, see Grossman’s story at Trulia.com.