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Santa Monica Ranked 18th in Money Magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Live


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Santa Monica Travel and Tourism

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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

September 20, 2017 -- An abundance of sunny days, views of the Pacific Ocean and a thriving economy helped Santa Monica climb to 18th place in Money Magazine’s 2017 Top 100 “Best Places to Live.”

Santa Monica was only one of three California cities making the list, including 3nd place choice Monterey Park.

Number One on the list is Fisher, Indiana, a small city (population 86,000) about 16 miles from Indianapolis.

Santa Monica, meanwhile, “runs along a three-mile coastline, with views of the Pacific Ocean from almost anywhere you stand,” the publication wrote.

“In the middle of the city, you’ll find gems like Bergamot Station, an art-gallery hub, as well as a Saturday farmers’ market that stretches for four blocks,” it noted.

For this year’s Best Places to Live list, Money focused on municipalities with a population of 10,000 to 100,000, purposely avoiding the biggest cities in favor of smaller towns/cities and affordable suburbs, a draw for Millennials as well as empty nesters.

Finalists offer healthy economies, affordable homes, and a high quality of life (including good schools), editors said.

Although the Top 100 shared all those factors, the California cities were far higher in terms of home prices -- and for California, not particularly high.

The list put the median price of a home at $533,083, which is relatively modest for the L.A. metro area but still more than double the median price of $236,167 of top choice Fisher.

The last on the list, South Portland, Maine, boasted median home prices at $205,625.

By comparison, the median home price of Monterey Park -- about eight miles east of downtown L.A -- was $533,033.

In Los Alamitos, a small city of about 11,400 people in Orange County, the median home price was $657,016.

Money also gave Santa Monica kudos for being “environmentally conscious, looking for ways to reduce congestion and greenhouse-gas emission,” and for its local bike share program.

“You can pick up and drop off a bicycle at stations around the town. The New York Times called it ‘a town made for walkers.’ ”

Santa Monica also “offers more than idyllic weather, palm trees, and sunsets on the pier,” Money said.

“Its high school graduation rate is 92%, and Moody’s Analytics predicts continued job growth in the area through 2021. Companies headquartered here include Hulu, TOMS, and Lionsgate."


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