There’s No Place Like Home

I’m calling it now: I grew up in the best neighborhood.

My childhood home was in Maineville and I loved it there. There were always kids the same age playing around. I could see the Kings Island nightly fireworks through my bedroom window. I could find hills for sledding and our huge backyard was perfect for soccer games. Possibly my favorite thing, though, was that the streets were lined with trees that would bud with white flowers every spring. The wind would always pick them up, carrying the flowers away and creating an almost ethereal scene. This was the life.

I clearly love the neighborhood in which I grew up. When it comes to this year’s “Rating the Burbs,” that neighborhood—spoiler alert—barely made it into the top 25. What gives?

“Rating the Burbs” takes all those subjective feelings out of the process. There’s no way to rate “pretty trees.” While my favorite parts of my neighborhood came from day-to-day living, they’re not what you’re looking for when you’re buying a house.

The value of “Rating the Burbs” is seeing all those statistics and facts laid out for you. Get rid of your assumptions about these communities; we’re giving you the nuts and bolts that tell the behind-the-scenes story.

If your community made it to the top, congratulations! You now have bragging rights for the year. If yours didn’t, take heart in the idea that a community is more than a series of numbers.

My parents sold their house in Maineville this spring. Saying good-bye to the house was sad, but I think I’ll miss the neighborhood even more. I lived in two houses on that street for most of my life, and now I don’t live anywhere near it.

I know that next time I move, I’ll be pulling up the numbers we collect for “Rating the Burbs”: statistics about safety, home values and commute times. But I also know that I’m going to compare it to my childhood neighborhood. There better be some pretty trees.