You may find a lot of hustle and bustle in the country's big-name cities, but in this economy the best places to settle down are towns that boast good jobs, affordable home prices and a quality schools. The top 10 towns in the country to live in range from a cozy mountain town to a scenic suburb of Seattle, according to a poll conducted by CNNMoney.
1. Louisville, Colorado
Like the outdoors? Then Louisville, Colo., Money Magazine's choice in 2009 for the best place to live, may be the spot for you. This pristine, pastoral town settled adjacent to the Rocky Mountains offers myriad options for the alfresco-inclined, like its almost 30 miles of hiking trails and proximity to prime ski resorts and natural parks. Or, if you're more of a flaneur than a hiker, skier or biker, head instead to the family-owned restaurants and ice-cream shops in Louisville's historic downtown, where its 18,000 residents are known to mingle. A typical single-family house here costs $325,000 with estimated annual property taxes of $1,590.
2. Chanhassen, Minnesota
Chanhassen, Minn., is one American town that has remained impervious to the country's economic downturn: Unemployment here was at a miniscule 6.1 percent in May, Money Magazine reports. In addition to its economic stability, Chanhassen is also reputed for its natural bounty: 11 lakes, 34 parks, and the 1,047-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. A typical single-family house costs about $310,000 and property taxes are about $3,500.
3. Papillion, Nebraska
Citizens of the Midwest are famously affable, but the 22,200 residents of Papillion, Neb., a town outside of Omaha, have something extra to smile about: A 4.5 percent unemployment rate in May, less than half the national average, according to Money. Thinking of moving here? A typical single-family home in Papillion costs $200,000 with estimated property taxes of $4,000.
4. Middletown, Wisconsin
Middletown, Wisc., chosen as Money Magazine's best place to live in 2007, provides its residents with a buoyant downtown, a solid school system and proximity to Wisconsin's hip capital, Madison. Many of the town's 16,900 residents work for the state or for the University of Wisconsin, according to Money, and thus enjoy enviable job stability, which may account for the town's measly 5.9 percent unemployment rate. Middletown's typical single-family home costs about $350,000 and estimated property taxes are about $6,000.
5. Milton, Massachusetts
Milton, Mass., may be located just outside of Boston, but its 25,400 residents don't necessarily need to venture into the city for jobs -- there are 5,000 of them in town, according to Money Magazine, which also reports that unemployment in Milton was at 5.8 percent in May. A typical single-family house costs about $460,000 here with estimated property taxes of about $5,400.
6. Warren, New Jersey
Many families and commuters are attracted to Warren, N.J., for the town's public school system, recreational activities and proximity to New York City. With a population of 16,100, the typical single-family house in Warren costs $500,000, Money reports. The town's property tax is estimated at $7,500. The unemployment rate comes in at 6.9 percent. Job hunters may want to try their luck at insurer Chubb, which is headquartered in Warren, or at Citigroup, which has a large office in town.
7. Keller, Texas
In this family-friendly Dallas suburb, the typical single-family home only costs $300,000 but home values are on the rise, according to Money Magazine. Currently, property taxes are estimated at $7,430. Here, residents can enjoy local parks and a new town center. The rapidly growing town of 38,100 is keeping its economy going—many large employers including FedEx and Fidelity Investments have offices nearby. Unemployment is 5.8 percent.
8. Peachtree City, Georgia
If you have a knack for driving golf carts, Peachtree City, Ga., may be the place to settle. The Atlanta suburb, population 34,500, connects its five villages through both roads and 90 miles of golf-cart paths. In addition to three golf courses in town, residents like Peachtree City's top-notch schools and its lowest crime rate of any small town in Georgia, Money Magazine reported. The typical single-family home here costs $344,000 with property taxes of about $4,670. Unemployment, however, is at 7.4 percent.
9. Lake St. Louis, Missouri
Lake St. Louis, Mo., population 13,900, boasts a variety of activities for residents including five parks, three golf courses and a large equestrian center. Single-family homes cost about $230,000 in this St. Louis suburb, Money Magazine reports. Property taxes are about $3,000 but residents also have to pay annual dues in the Community Association if they want access to some of the town's facilities. The unemployment rate here is more than 7 percent, which may be further affected by the expected layoffs of 1,800 at a nearby General Motors plant. Luckily, residents may be able to find employment through one of many health-care providers in town.
10. Mukilteo, Washington
With a population of 20,500, Mukilteo, Wash., capitalizes on its scenic views, location to nearby Seattle and a myriad of employment opportunities in the area. The unemployment rate is currently 7.1 percent, but sectors ranging from high-tech to the Internet industry have job offerings in the Seattle area. A single-family home here costs $435,500 and residents enjoy low property taxes of $3,260, Money reports.