The “best county” in California is Marin, according to real-estate site Movoto. Of course “best” is a very subjective term, but Movoto used 2010 Census data on unemployment rankings, percent of families below the poverty line, average commute time (the lower the better for all of the above), as well as the median household income, median rent, median home price and high school graduation rate (the higher the better for all of these).
Unsurprisingly, the “best” counties ended up being some of the wealthiest, with tony Marin at the top of the heap:
1. Marin County
2. San Mateo County
3. Santa Clara County
4. San Luis Obispo County
5. Ventura County
6. Placer County
7. Napa County (tie)
7. Orange County (tie)
9. Santa Barbara County
10. San Francisco County
San Francisco, just making the top 10, received high points for low unemployment, high median household income and very few families below the poverty line. But an average 53-minute commute time brought down the overall score enough that San Francisco just barely beat out Mono County in the Eastern Sierra, which came in the middle of the pack in terms of home prices and unemployment, but boasts only a 3-minute average commute!
Back in number-one Marin, the commute time was a much heftier 41 minutes, but the county ranked first in unemployment (or lack thereof), median household income, median rent and median home prices. Just like San Francisco, Marin’s median home price hovers just above $1 million. The photos above show what you can get for that price in California’s “best” county.
According to Movoto, it wasn’t just numbers that put Marin over the top. “The Marin Museum Of Contemporary Art, Muir Woods, one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Center (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) all make this a hub of culture, natural beauty and just plain awesome,” its editors wrote.
Emily Landes is a writer and editor who is obsessed with all things real estate. She also has a DIY problem that she blogs about at pritical.com.