Tempe and Scottsdale Among Best "Fun, Affordable" Cities in U.S., Says Magazine Report

Two Valley cities rose to the top of a list of 25 "fun, affordable" cities compiled by a magazine that reviewed median home prices along with proximity to eateries and nightlife.

The report from Better Homes and Garden Real Estate, which used data from Onboard Infomatics, reviewed 6,106 ZIP codes to come up with its list, says a write-up of the report in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Tempe's 85281 came in at No. 3, with a population of 61,000, median home price of $119,900 and 265 nearby bars and restaurants. Downtown Scottsdale came in just behind Tempe, with a population of 35,383, median home price of $140,000 and 196 bars and restaurants.

No. 1 and 2 were ZIP codes in Ocean City, Maryland and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Of course, home prices in the Valley have become much more affordable since the real estate crash wiped out about 50 percent of home values. Plenty of empty storefronts remain in both Tempe and Scottsdale's downtown. And more people have time on their hands, considering that Arizona's unemployment rate remains above average.

At least there's no shortage of places to buy a beer and forget your troubles.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern