Located just east of Washington, D.C., Silver Spring is an excellent choice for buyers who seek proximity to our nation's capital. The largest portion of the city's population (14.19 percent) work in professional, scientific or technical services.

The city is full of lovely outdoor spaces, varied and delicious restaurants and an excellent theater scene. The American Film Institute Silver Theater, located in downtown Silver Spring, offers indie movies and rare films that appeal to all generations. Après movie, grab a bite to eat at the casual-yet-elegant Nicaro or imbibe on a classic cocktail at the "glam dive bar" Sidecar. Fans of quirky wares will enjoy the Crafty Bastard Arts and Crafts Fair, a bi-annual market that features works by Silver Spring's plethora of artists and artisans.

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy one of Silver Spring's many parks, including Rock Creek Park, which boasts hiking trails and picnicking areas. Acorn Park is the fabled home of the gurgling mica-filled spring that, glistening like silver in the summer sun, inspired the area's name. Nearby is the Rachel Carson House, home of the renowned naturalist who was also a resident of Silver Spring during the time that she wrote her famous book, "Silent Spring."

Residents say that Silver Spring is an excellent mix of urban and suburban living. With the average home price in Silver Spring hovering around $422,000, buying a home in Silver Spring is still financially feasible for younger buyers who are building careers (and families) in the D.C. area. Favorite neighborhoods include the affluent Rock Creek Forest area and the train-convenient Woodside Park. The fact that Silver Spring has some of the lowest real estate availability in the country suggests that buying a home is a smart investment. Low poverty rates, generous amenities and highly educated residents make Silver Spring an attractive place to buy for young people and retirees alike.