Miles from Boston 15
Population 11,443 (2006)
Median house price $516,250
Tax rate $9.51
Average single-family property tax $5,687 (statewide average $3,962)
Transportation Routes 1, 128, 129, I-95.
MCAS Among 280 systems, 10th-graders ranked 16 in English and 40 in math, according to a Globe analysis of 2006 results. Sixth-graders ranked 31 out of 305 systems in English and 88 in math. Third-graders ranked 91 out of 298 systems in reading and 38 in math.
Census facts Median family income is $91,869, compared to national rate of $50,046, and 49 percent held a bachelors degree or higher, compared to national rate of 24 percent.
LYNNFIELD - Were this town a poker player, it would be described as flush with cash.
Unlike other communities struggling to balance budgets, Lynnfield is increasing school spending by 7 percent this year and is considering spending $1 million to install an all-weather field at its high school. Lynnfield will soon own its second nine-hole golf course, and has a full roster of youth athletic programs.
Town finances received a shot in the arm earlier this year when Town Meeting overwhelmingly approved zoning changes that will lead to the redevelopment of the Sheraton Colonial Golf Course into a 400,000-square-foot development called Meadow Walk at Lynnfield that will include retail space, restaurants, and residential housing.
Town administrator William Gustus said the project will net the town $1 million annually in new tax revenue once it opens in 2010. "I think we are financially stable," he said.
Gustus said the town benefits from its high-performing school system and that only 3 percent of its students now attend private schools - compared with about 13 percent about five years ago.
"It's got a first-rate school system," he said. "And it's got a small town feel, but is still very close to Boston."
In the last five years, the town built a new middle school and renovated three others. Two years ago, it spent $12 million to buy its first golf course, Reedy Meadow.
Originally home to the Saugus Indians, Lynnfield broke off from Lynn and was incorporated in 1814. Once a farming and small manufacturing community, it has been a bedroom suburb of Boston since the 1950s, the result of access to Routes 1 and 128.
On a recent week, Realtor.com listed 81 single-family homes, ranging from $359,000 for a two-bed, one-bath, 1,794-square-foot home to $2.9 million for a four-bed, 4.5-bath 7,000-square-foot home. Median price of a single-family home through July was $516,250, according to the Warren Group, which publishes real estate information.