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Kiplinger: Wichita a best-value city for 2011

Date: Monday, July 25, 2011, 9:31am CDT

The Wichita metro area ranked No. 8 on Kiplinger’s Best Value Cities for 2011 list, which scores cities based on their economies, costs of living and amenities.

Kiplinger acknowledges recent aviation layoffs and sluggish job growth in Wichita, but says “Kansas is invested in helping a key industry fly high, and engineers continue to be in demand here.”

The report also credits Wichita with relatively abundant amenities and a low cost of living.

“Wichita has a high livability factor often only found in towns a fraction of its size: People are friendly, commutes are short, and the cost of living is unusually low,” the report says.

   

2008 MSN Real Estate best bargain markets       8/11/2008

By Melinda Fulmer, MSN Real Estate

Why live in an expensive city when there are some great, affordable treasures out there? Here's MSN Real Estate's list of the nine best, livable cities where you won't need to trade the good life for the boring.

But if you're willing to look beyond these urban hot spots to midsize cities in the middle of the country, there are cheap places to live where the economy is strong, home prices are appreciating and the quality of life is good.

To develop the 2008 MSN Real Estate Most-Livable Bargain Markets list, we asked Bert Sperling of Sperling's Best Places to evaluate the most affordable housing markets from the 100 largest U.S. metro areas and pinpoint the nine most livable areas: places where unemployment is low, commute times are short and there's enough interesting entertainment or recreation to keep most people busy. We defined affordability by the ratio of median income to median home price.

Moving to one of these cities could allow you to "sell your two-bedroom bungalow in Southern California … and buy a house on a number of acres and suddenly have a nest egg you've never had before," Sperling says.

The cities chosen for our list have a population of at least 500,000 between the major city and surrounding county. They range in size from Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa., with a population of 525,380, to one of the nation's largest metropolises, Dallas-Fort Worth, with a population of 6 million. Three are state capitals, and many have universities or colleges to provide cultural amenities.

Here's a look at what makes these cities in the middle of America great, and the drawbacks you might find in moving from another area.

Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, Kan.

Wichita is one of the most affordable places in the study, and has some of the best numbers for employment and job growth, thanks to a boom in agriculture and ethanol.

Houses are appreciating in value, even in today's tough economy. And commute times are blessedly short. The downtown area is being revitalized with new restaurants, shopping centers and parks. Arts and entertainment facilities are stronger than one might expect for a city this size, and the community feel is strong.  And there's a new convention center along the Arkansas River.


Wichita deemed a best place to live

Wichita Business Journal - August 23, 2006

Money Magazine has included Wichita, which was also recognized by Forbes earlier this month, as one of its top 10 places to live.

Wichita ranked in the top 10 of big cities with more than 300,000 people. The August edition of the magazine cited Wichita's economy, education and low crime. It also pointed out that Wichita has more sunny days than Daytona Beach or Honolulu.

Within the last year, Forbes rated Wichita the No. 1 least expensive place to "live the good life." Earlier this year, Kiplinger's rated Wichita in its top 50 "Smart Places to Live."