Funny thing about moving to a perfect neighborhood: it’s never what you think it is. I loved the David Lynch films that looked underneath the Leave It to Beaver neighborhood of my youth. That’s why I crack up whenever I read these endless lists published across the Web about “best places to live” or “best place to retire”, etc. And who’s going to be able to retire, anyway? Sure there are places that are definitely better than others, but they’re hardly perfect.
This week Yahoo published its latest survey of the “Most Expensive Suburbs 2010”. I’m not sure each brings with it automatic panache. Wouldn’t it simply be easier to make home improvements than trade one set of problems for another? Well, here’s the Yahoo list, along with some grim realities:
Yahoo cites the Bloomfield Township northwest of Detroit where the median home price is $224,977. The article doesn’t, by the way, mention the tornado of March 20, 1976.
Some 27 miles from New York City Scarsdale boasts of an average home price of $1,177,500. But your Scarsdale neighbors may have a rather disgusting way of tossing out old technology.
Some 19 miles from Philadelphia, Radnor residents pay a median $512,600 price on homes. Yet, according to the Save Ardmore Coalition, Radnor public works likes to dump its suburban trash in Skunk Hollow Park.
Just north of Atlanta, Dunwoody’s median home price is $305,000 and there’s a median annual income of $90,355. Nonetheless, Yahoo omitted details about the township’s propensity to flooding.
Hunters Creek Village, TX
Here in Texas’ most expensive suburban Shangri-La outside Houston, residents pay a median home price of $865,500 for what looks like average architecture. I’m looking at this photo from the old village and wonder what makes it a nicer place to live than, say, Panorama City, CA?
In brief, dear reader, if you make life decisions based on “most expensive” lists, I have an pricey bridge for sale. More is not necessarily better, and even expensive neighborhoods can offer deadly monotony.
From Marilyn Monroe, “Imperfection is beauty…and it is better to absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
Happy New Year!