Money magazine has named Chanhassen as one of the best places in the nation to live. The Twin Cities suburb was named the second-best small American town to call home. For the 2009 rankings, Money focused on "small towns," defined as having a population between 8,500 and 50,000. Chanhassen came in behind only Louisville, Colorado.
Money ranks the communities based on financial data, housing, safety, crime rates, weather and similar factors. Reasons for the ranking include an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent, falling property taxes and rising median income. Here is what Money Magazine had to say about Chanhassen:
Apparently Chanhassen never got the memo that it's supposed to be in a recession. Unemployment here was more than three percentage points below the national average in May, thanks to a broad jobs base in the Twin Cities area.
Property taxes have dropped every year in the past five, even as median home prices have crept up. And the town still boasts a perfect triple-A bond rating.
But Chanhassen has much more going for it than terrific numbers. "There's a genuine small-town feel," says Sarah Pinamonti, 41, who moved here with her husband, Rick, 43, in 2002. They've never regretted it. "We rarely have to leave town to have fun," says Rick.
No wonder: The town has 11 lakes, 34 parks, and the 1,047-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Come winter there's a carnival, ice-fishing contests on Lake Ann, and skating and hockey everywhere (town officials flood grassy areas to create outdoor rinks). Wimps beware: Those activities require braving temps that often dip into single digits.
This isn't the first time a Twin Cities community has breached the Top 10. Last year, Plymouth was listed at the #1 place in America to live. Eden Prairie was listed at the #10 best place to live in the U.S. in 2006.
Though no other city in Minnesota besides Chanhassen MN made it to the top 10, there were other recognizeable towns that made the top 100. Chaska came in at No. 20, Lino Lakes at 36, and Owatonna at 97. Chaska also came in at No. 8 on the list in 2007. To see the full list of the 100 best cities in which to live and how they compare to Chanhassen, please click here.