America’s best places to live, buy and retire

Carmel, Indiana, ranked no. 1 in's 2018 Best Places to Live in America, while an eastern Dallas suburb took the top spot for buying a home.

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Results from’s 2018 Best Places to Live in America rankings are in, and the charming Carmel, Indiana, came in at no. 1 with its median home value of $306,500 and median rent of $1,132. A+ ratings for public schools, housing, health and fitness, family friendliness and jobs also make the city desirable, as do its high marks for safety, diversity, nightlife, commuting and cost of living.

Chesterbrook, a suburb of Philadelphia, ranked strong at no. 2 with a median home value of $312,600, median rent of $1,991 and an A+ “Overall Niche Grade,” which is calculated by data scientists and researchers who analyze user opinions and data to determine rankings.

Three St. Louis, Missouri suburbs — Richmond Heights, Clayton and Brentwood — came in at no. 4, no. 7 and no. 8, respectively, while Clarendon Hills and Buffalo Grove in Chicago took the no. 3 and no. 6 spots, respectively.

Carmel, Indiana, Arts and Design District (Credit: Douglas Sacha/Getty Images)

Okemos, Michigan (n0. 5) rounded out the top five with A+ Overall Niche Grades.

Residents of Birmingham (no. 9), a suburb of Detroit, will be pleased to hear their area beat out Columbus, Ohio, suburb Dublin (no. 10) and Ann Arbor (no. 11).

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When looking at best places to purchase a home, placed Wilshire Heights in Dallas at the top spot. The median home value in this Texas city is $420,546, and the median rent is $1,495.

Pennsylvania also did well in this category, with two areas — the small town of Lemont near State College (no. 2, with a median home value of $229,000), and Bradford Woods (no. 5, with a median home value of $288,300) — in Pittsburgh ranking high. Dunlap, Illinois, came in at no. 3, and Chackbay, Louisiana ranked fourth.

Despite hurricanes and rising sea levels, Florida remained at the top of the list for folks looking to retire. Whiskey Creek, Florida was no. 1 (median home value: $203,300), followed by Hillsborough Beach in Miami ($359,700) and South Sarasota ($293,500). Windy Hills in Louisville, Kentucky, and Cypress Lake, Florida rounded out the top five.

San Francisco scored high for millennial living, with Showplace Square and South Beach taking the no. 1 and no. 2 spot, respectively. New York remains a popular place for the young and upwardly mobile — Hell’s Kitchen came in at no. 3 and the Theater District at no. 4.  The more affordable Juneau Town in Milwaukee, Wisconsin came in at no. 5.

For more, including best places ranked by public schools, diversity, economy and cost of living, view the complete list here.

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