We chose three of the best small cities to raise a family by looking at schools, crime and home prices

Life changes when singles become couples, and it changes dramatically when the couple evolves into a family. Priorities change, habits adjust and, most of all, lifestyles morph. One of the biggest changes is location – where does a family live, when schools are a priority but convenience to work is still important? Crime rates become more of a consideration, as does housing affordability. To help you find the ideal small city to raise your family, . . .

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Houston, Texas is one of the best cities for recent college grads

In just a few months, the Class of 2014 will be donning their mortarboards to take that long, decisive step to the commencement stage and then out into the world. Unfortunately, with double-digit unemployment for those aged 18 to 34, this isn’t a great time to start a career. In fact, this age range accounts for half of almost 11 million unemployed Americans. . . .

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The most affordable places to retire include three Southern cities

Unless you were financially savvy your entire working life, looking forward to spending the rest of your life on a fixed income can be scary. The Employee Benefit Research Institute conducted a 2013 study of Americans over age 55 and found that 60 percent have saved less than $100,000 toward retirement. Forty-three percent have less than $25,000 in savings. Frighteningly, 36 percent of all preretirement Americans have less than $10,000 in a retirement savings plan. . . .

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What

Southern California is a great place to live with beautiful weather year-round, gorgeous natural treasures and exciting things to do. The question is, where in Southern California should you settle? When it comes to the decision of Riverside County versus Orange County, here’s a breakdown of all the stats and facts to help you make the right choice. . . .

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Historic downtown Wilmington, NC

The Carolinas offer up the best of everything, from lush forests and scenic mountains to rich and rewarding cultural experiences. There are warm beaches, charming historic neighborhoods, and bustling metropolises — all with excellent schools, lots of jobs, and plenty of parks. Here are some of the best places to lay down roots in the Carolinas. . . .

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San Francisco, California is one of the least affordable housing markets in the U.S. based on average income and home prices

When one thinks of the most expensive cities in the country, New York invariably comes to mind. In fact, New York, N.Y. placed sixth on Forbes list of the World’s Most Expensive Billionaire Cities. It didn’t make the list, however, of the five least affordable housing markets. In fact, all five markets lie in the western part of the country. The folks at Trulia measured affordability using current asking prices for an 1,800 square-foot home, with a mortgage payment on a . . .

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Leiper

Leiper’s Fork is a tiny village in Williamson County located just 30 miles south of Nashville, resting halfway between the cities of Franklin and Fairview. Families looking to live in an authentic rural environment come to Lieper’s Fork for its Southern charm. And despite the fact that there is only one main road running through town, folks here still have access to the perks of big-city living with all that Nashville has to offer; there are ample . . .

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Buyers and sellers can get expert advice on the local housing market in Knoxville, Tennessee

It may be the birthplace of the blues, but Tennessee is singing an optimistic tune. “Some areas are really hot, and some are harder because they are isolated from the big cities,” said Cathy Glass, Realtor® with Realty Executive Associates. Glass recommends buying a home around the Nashville area or looking at real estate near Knoxville. “The great thing about Knoxville is it is a big city, but with a hometown feel to it, and home prices in the area are relatively good compared . . .

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Orange County, California is a popular location for retirees, but they should keep a few tips in mind when shopping for a retirement home

The temperate climate and coastal stretches make Orange County, in Southern California, an attractive destination for retirees. The area has been voted one of seven favorite beach retirement destinations by 55places.com. “There are tons of retirement communities around,” said Isaac Dozor, director of marketing at Mac Mackenzie, Coldwell Banker. If you like luxury living, this is where you want to be. . . .

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Austin has a hot real estate market thanks to low inventory and high home sales

Austin homebuyers seem to be having a feeding frenzy. Inventory is very low and demand is very high. Because of job creation and quality of life, people are moving to Austin from all over the place. Many are fleeing states with high tax rates to move to Texas, where there is no state income tax. . . .

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