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The hippest, safest, and most attractive neighborhoods in American cities won’t be found on the East Coast or West Coast. Those looking for an enriching lifestyle in an elegant urban setting would do best to look toward mid-sized cities in the Midwest or Northeast.

Sure, sections of New York City or San Francisco offer some of the most iconic streets globally, but they also come with astronomical prices. If you don’t want to sell one of your bodily organs on the black market merely to afford a downpayment on a home, consider a city like Grand Rapids, Michigan.

For two years in a row, named Grand Rapids America’sAmerica’s best city for starting a new life. The second-largest city in the Wolverine State has undergone years of urban renewal, modernizing the downtown area while avoiding acrimonious urban gentrification. Grand Rapids sports a youngish population that enjoys the city’s many cool craft breweries, pubs, and farmer’s markets.

A suburban-style single-family house with a decent backyard can be purchased for about $120,000, and it won’t be a fixer-upper or a dump. Furthermore, Grand Rapids features plenty of parks, excellent schools, and cultured art venues.

It’sIt’s hard not to think of corn when Nebraska is mentioned, or life insurance when talking about Omaha. But this city of just under one-half million people has plentiful jobs offered by exciting companies like Berkshire Hathaway, Werner Enterprises, and Lindsay.

Omaha, called “the Gateway to the West,” is a city of gorgeous green spaces, a surprisingly hip music scene, and hundreds of diverse restaurants. The Prairie Lane neighborhood of Omaha has been cited as the “2nd hottest neighborhood” in America by national home and living observers. The average home comes in for $160,000, and selection has been described as a set of “stunning choices.”

Moving to the Northeast, the seeker will find the affluent Boston suburb of Melrose. Ten miles north of the city, the public school system is among the best in the nation. The downtown area is described as “quaint” and scattered with art venues and fabulous eateries.

Houses are admittedly pricey in Melrose, but a beautiful condo can be had for $250,000 to $275,000 range.