By Brenda L. Holmes firstname.lastname@example.org
Hendricks County Flyer
---- — PLAINFIELD — Young families might want to consider Plainfield when deciding where to raise their children.
NerdWallet.com, a consumer advocacy website, recently released a study of communities in Indiana. It asked questions about public schools, affordability, growth and prosperity and then used that data to determine which communities were best.
Plainfield was ranked number six.
“The community includes hundreds of acres of parkland, a winery, and over 50 restaurants,” the study noted. “Quite a few Hoosiers have flocked here in recent years, too — the population grew by over 50 percent between the years 2000 and ‘10.”
Mike Anderson of NerdWallet.com has been helping to conduct studies like this one across the country. The website is based out of San Francisco.
“We’re a financial literacy website,” Anderson said. “We study financial products such as credit cards and checking accounts. In this instance, we studied real estate.
“We were looking at the idea of buying a home and how far your dollar will go. Young families probably have kids and they’re really investing in the community when they buy a home.”
The study looked at data from the schools’ academic ratings from GreatSchools, a non-profit that compares a district’s standardize test scores to the state average. That study offers a 1 to 10 scale with 10 representing the highest score.
Anderson also looked at both the median home values in each town and ongoing monthly home costs, including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities, fuel, and other bills. Communities with lower costs got a higher score.
The final aspect the study considered was the town’s economy. That part was done by looking at average household income and income growth over the last decade. The higher the income and greater the growth led to a higher overall score.
“I think Realtors would be very interested in this information,” Anderson said. “This makes Plainfield more appealing when young families are buying a home.”
Only towns with a population greater than 25,000 were considered for the study.
The top 10 communities listed were Carmel, Fishers, Granger, Crown Point, Greenwood, Plainfield, Valparaiso, Noblesville, Jeffersonville, and Schererville.
To see the entire study, visit the link at http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2013/best-towns-indiana-young-families/.