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Newton: Best place in the country to be rich and single!

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis August 21, 2012 07:40 AM

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Really, I'm not kidding. That's anyway what Money Magazine says.

Newton got a fair bit of attention after coming in No. 4 this year on Money Magazine's list of the best places to live in across the country.

The Garden City is behind only idyllic sounding Carmel, Ind., Eden Prairie, Minn., and McKinney, Texas.

But apparently overlooked was the fact that Newton came out No. 1 on another, related list Money also released yesterday, "The best places for the rich and single."

Really, here's the writeup.

Population: 84,655
Single: 31.2%
Median family income: $145,639

Move to Newton to meet someone rich and famous. Matt Damon and Louis C.K. grew up there. Amy Poehler was born there. Media magnate Sumner Redstone still calls it home, and even though he's pushing 90, he still is on the market.
For a little nightlife, head next door to Boston or catch some local culture from one of Newton's two symphony orchestras. Go incognito with your future celebrity sweetheart at a secluded spot along Crystal Lake. Or go public and shout your love to the world beneath Hemlock Gorge's Echo Bridge.

Not sure about the single part, but you do need a few bucks to buy in town.

The median home price in Newton was $750,000 at the end of July, The Warren Group reports, while rents in the city are typically near the top of local surveys.

Still, while not knocking Newton, it does make you wonder how these lists are put together. Certainly Newton ranks high in the estimation of Money Magazine's editors.

As mentioned, having been married for years, I don't feel qualified to judge Newton's merits for the unattached. That said, I'm skeptical the upscale, well-manicured suburb is some sort of hotbed of single action.

But when it comes to the more general question of best places to live, while Newton is certainly great, it is really No. 4 in the country?

After all, the Boston area has a lot of great suburbs. Why not Belmont or Concord or Needham, or for that Hingham or Manchester? Why not Natick, Franklin or Medfield, for that matter?

After catching the Globe story on Newton's good fortune in landing in the top five, I went to the Money Magazine site to look at the writeup and get a better understanding of what separates Newton from the pack.

But after reading the short but glowing description of Newton's merits, I found myself even more confused than ever.

Proximity to prestigious universities and swimming at Crystal Lake were two things that apparently set Newton apart, according to Money Magazine. I am sure swimming in Crystal Lake is out of this world, but really.

High housing prices, by contrast, are mentioned in a throwaway line at the end, even though both home prices and rents in the city are some of the highest in the Boston area.

Here's what Money Magazine says:

You might think folks in Newton are obsessed with education. The city is divided into 13 villages built around elementary schools, making it easy for kids to walk to school amid the city's lush greenery.
Being close to prestigious universities adds even more benefits -- MIT partnered with the innovation lab at a local high school on a project to convert algae into fuel, for example, and Boston College will donate $300,000 for technology for Newton schools over three years.
There's also a wealth of activities, from swimming at Crystal Lake to browsing boutiques in Newton Centre to celebrations like Taste of Newton. Though housing prices are high, families say the perks are well worth it

Sorry, but this all sounds as scientific as a high school popularity contest.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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