10 Towns Resisting the Great Recession

August 19th, 2011 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on 10 Towns Resisting the Great Recession

Perhaps claiming the following 10 towns have been completely untouched by the recent Obama recession is a little farfetched. There surely have been at least a few citizens with recent experience in job loss, inflation and foreclosure, but, according to Moneywatch.com, these towns are the Top Ten Places to Live in the United States this year, based on good jobs and schools, low crime, nice weather and plenty to do.

Feel free to violently disagree with any of the choices. It’s a free country and, after all, this is a subjective list.

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Louisville, Colorado
Population: 18,400
Unemployment: 6.3%
Don’t call it “Louie-ville” – it’s pronounced Lewis-ville and sits at number one on CNN Money’s Top 100. The city is described by the Chamber of Commerce as a blend of hometown atmosphere, high tech jobs and modern values. Lots of positions are available in the tech, telecom, aerospace, clean energy and health care fields, and more companies are moving into the area every year.

There’s no shortage of entertainment either. Go hiking on over 25 miles of trails, camping in one of the 27 parks or skiing down one of the many runs surrounding Louisville. If you’re feeling really adventurous, check out the world-class mountain biking trails in the nearby Rockies. Looking for something more relaxing? Catch a movie at the 12-screen movie theater, visit the Louisville Public Library or watch a game at one of the four fields in the Louisville Recreation Center.

All the charm and action of Louisville come at a surprisingly affordable rate – the median home price sits at $343,750 according to Trulia.com. With all the job opportunities, good schools and one of the lowest crime rates in Colorado, it’s no wonder Louisville is number one.

Milton, Massachusetts
Population: 27,000
Unemployment: 6.6%
Milton boasts the most privately and publicly conserved land within 20 miles of Boston, giving the town a country feel that belies its proximity to the greater metropolitan area. It was settled by Puritans in 1640 and retains its history in the architecture.

Though the cabins from the 1600s are long gone, several 18th and 19th century homes still remain to remind residents and visitors of the past. Milton history is also evident in the over 27 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include the Milton Cemetery – which dates to 1672 – and the Captain Robert Bennett Forbes House from 1833.

(A good friend of mine used to live in a converted barn where George Washington once stabled his horse, and supposedly spent the weekend – hopefully at the main house up the road.)

In addition to the tree lined streets, historic architecture and country charm, Milton also offers an outstanding school system and fairly stable housing market. Median sales prices hovered at $475,000 from May to July 2011, over $45,000 less than nearby Boston. Residents of Milton get access to all of Boston’s culture and jobs – it’s only a 25 minute drive – without the big city hassles.

Solon, Ohio
Population: 23,300
Unemployment: 8.2%
Solon is a small town with good job opportunities. Major employers include Nestle, L’Oreal and industrial equipment maker Swagelok. The affluent suburb is located roughly 20 miles from Cleveland and boasts a wide variety of restaurants, its own philharmonic orchestra and the highest-achieving school district in all of Ohio. Solon is also dedicated to “Going Green” and encourages residents to do the same by offering a single-stream recycling program that requires no sorting by the individuals getting rid of the waste.

The median home price in this quaint little town is $269,950. Residents have access to the booming park district, easily accessible downtown and three golf courses. In addition, Solon boasts the highest-achieving school district in Ohio for the 2010-2011 school year.

Leesburg, Virginia
Population: 42,600
Unemployment: 4.1%
The town of Leesburg is located just 45 miles from the nation’s capital of Washington, D.C. and offers plenty of job opportunities in government, defense contracting, consulting and technology. While the commute from Leesburg to D.C. can be atrocious, residents get the perks of enjoying weekends in the town that calls itself “the gateway to D.C. wine country.” Citizens cite the city’s small town feel and access to a wide variety of recreational activities as key reasons for living in Leesburg. Combined with a startlingly low unemployment rate, it’s no wonder this historic settlement makes the Top 100 list.

Visitors and residents alike can enjoy Colonial architecture, fantastic restaurants and a charming downtown that is perfect for window (or

real) shopping. Leesburg is home to plenty of Civil War history, and residents can walk along the same trails that Civil War soldiers used hundreds of years ago. All this gravitas comes at a reasonable price: the median home value is $363,500.

Papillion, Nebraska
Population: 18,900
Unemployment: 4.2%
Papillion is located just south of Omaha and offers the lowest crime rate in the state, a stable economy and loads of recreational opportunities. It’s one of the few remaining Parisian-inspired 18th century towns left in the Midwest and that European influence is reflected in its architecture. The town boasts two 18-hole golf courses, a 500-acre lake that’s perfect for fishing and tons of biking, hiking and horse trails. The quaint downtown is the perfect platform for many businesses, including restaurants and retail shops, to open their doors.

The economy benefits from the health care and transportation industries in nearby Omaha, as well as the agricultural boom happening in the U.S. right now. Papillion offers a quality educational system, tons of green space and plenty of economic opportunities in a variety of fields. Best of all, the median home price is $211,000 – an increase of 2.9 percent from last year. With the perks Papillion offers and the economic growth the town is experiencing, it’s possible home prices will rise even more next year.

Hanover, New Hampshire
Population: 8,600
Unemployment: 4.4%
This jewel of the Connecticut River Valley is home to Dartmouth College, a factor that contributes to its low unemployment rate: the college and its top-rated medical center provide over 12,000 jobs to the small town economy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory is also headquartered here, offering even more job opportunities to local residents. These employers, combined with the culture afforded by Dartmouth, make Hanover an anomaly in the world of small towns. While those that thrive are usually located within close proximity to a large city, Hanover is quite far from any large urban center.

Every season offers something to do in Hanover. Residents can enjoy colorful foliage and apple picking in the fall, cross-country and alpine skiing in the winter, festivals in the spring and hikes along the Appalachian Trail in the summer. Visit one of the many museums or galleries, dine at a delicious restaurant or see a play at one of the surrounding theaters. Housing ranges from century-old Victorians to new construction in close proximity to downtown, and the average purchase price is $421,000.

Discover the mystery of the final four best places to live…

Unlike John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band sang so many years ago, maybe things AREN’T so tough all over, especially if you lift your eyes and ears from the mind numbing doomsday chant of the mainstream media and notice a few pockets of resistance to the recession.

The Jetsetter Show Team

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(Flickr / Nina Mathews Photography)

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