Here Are The Most Obnoxiously Rich Suburbs Of Americas Biggest Cities

Dated: 06/01/2018

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BY RJ. WILSON   


According to the 2015 U.S. World Wealth Report, America’s wealthiest citizens live in major metropolitan areas—no huge surprise there. After all, if you could afford to live anywhere, you might as well live in a major city, right?

Well, not so fast. While the richest people in America live near major cities, they don’t always live in those cities. Real estate firm Engel & Völkers set out to compile a list of the wealthiest suburbs of each major U.S. city, and some of their findings were fairly surprising.

For instance…

Atlanta: Brookhaven, Georgia

Population: 51,029

Average Household Income: $121,989

Founded in 1810 by plantation owner John Evins, Brookhaven is home to many of the Atlanta metropolitan area’s richest residents.

Premier Atlanta Real Estate

It’s also a great place for golf; Bobby Jones helped develop Peachtree Golf Club in 1940, one of the country’s best courses.

Austin: West Lake Hills, Texas

Population: 3,063

Average Household Income: $232,913

Sure, Austin is a hipster paradise, but West Lake Hills is pretty nice, too. It’s the hometown of football superstar Drew Brees, and the city has some of the best public schools in the nation.

We should note that Austin’s Curbed took issue with West Lake Hills’ place on this list.

Zillow.com

“Like many small towns that became suburbs, even rich suburbs, West Lake still has a fair number of modest homes and longtime residents,” wrote Cindy Widner. “Due to its now-convenient location, it’s also home to some not particularly luxurious apartments, condos, and townhouses and a healthy number of renters.”

Baltimore: Clarksville, Maryland

Population: 11,236

Average Household Income: $186,796

Clarksville lies in Howard County, which is the second-wealthiest country in the United States, according to the U.S Census Bureau.

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Its public schools are among the highest-ranked in the nation, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise (highly ranked schools are something of a constant on this list).

Boston: Wellesley, Massachusetts

Population: 27,982

Average Household Income: $214,837

Located in Norfolk County, Wellesley has America’s highest percentage of adults who hold at least one college degree.

Boston Design Guide

It’s also a leader in sustainable energy, with numerous programs to encourage responsible energy practices among its citizenry. Hey, at least they’re putting all of that wealth toward something positive, right?

Charlotte: Ballantyne, North Carolina

Population: 20,936

Average Household Income: $119,580

In 2012, residents met to try and break away from the city of Charlotte and form their own city, Providence. They’re still in negotiations, so Providence is on hold for the time being.

Chicago: Kenilworth, Illinois

Population: 2,513

Average Household Income: $247,187

In January 2011, Forbes.com named Kenilworth the second-most affluent neighborhood in the United States and the “most exclusive” neighborhood in the Midwest. The average house sells for just over $1 million.

Of course, the wealthiest homes in the area are still in Chicago proper; a full-floor residence at the famed Waldorf Astoria sold for $11.7 million in July 2016.

Cincinnati: The Village of Indian Hill, Ohio

Population: 5,785

Average Household Income: $209,250

Astronaut Neil Armstrong lived in the Village of Indian Hill for many years prior to his death in 2012. However, it’s not an extraordinarily large town, as it has a total area of “nearly 20 square miles,” per its website.

Cincinnati Magazine

“The families who live in the Village value its rural atmosphere, its reputation for safety, its strong sense of history and community, its firm administration of zoning ordinances, and its proximity to the cultural life of a large city,” the Village of Indian Hill’s website reads.

Cleveland: Hunting Valley, Ohio

Population: 750

Average Household Income: $200,000

The 20th president of the United States, James Garfield, was born in this area in 1931. The town is actually less wealthy than some other nearby suburbs by some metrics, as writer Sam Allard notes for Cleveland’s Scene.

Realtor.com

Allard writes that he’s “at once sort of envious and repulsed by exorbitant wealth, but the homes really are magnificent down there.”

Columbus: New Albany, Ohio

Population: 7,724

Average Household Income: $179,405

Jack Nicklaus designed a golf course here, and while it’s a fairly small community, New Albany has its own symphony. There are also over 600 acres of public parks and green spaces, per Business Insider, along with various walking trails and equestrian areas.

Dallas/Fort Worth: Frisco, Texas

Population: 156,320

Average Household Income: $112,155

Voted as one of the state’s “best places to raise a family,” Frisco’s growing rapidly. The town’s population grew by 247 percent from 2000 to 2009, and its income growth was 10 percent above the state’s average rate as of 2009.

Drees Homes 

Frisco is on the rise, and has been almost the whole time since its founding. The town grew gradually due to traffic from cattle drives through Austin, wagon trains along the old Shawnee Trail, and the San Francisco Railway starting in the 1800s. After a few name changes and a relocation, Frisco was officially incorporated in 1908.

Denver: Cherry Hills, Colorado

Population: 5,987

Average Household Income: $232,000

You know that a Denver suburb has a few famous football residents, right?

When Peyton Manning played for the Denver Broncos, he lived in Cherry Hills in a $4.6 million house. It was over 16,000 square feet with seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

Houston: The Woodlands, Texas

Population: 109,679

Average Household Income: $108,635

Encompassing a total of 17,455 acres, The Woodlands is an extensive suburb of Houston.

Chron

In 1964, George Mitchell of the Mitchell Energy and Development Corporation began designing the HUD-financed community, including plans for conference centers, hotels, office parks, retail malls, schools, large distribution centers, and golf courses. At the time, this might have seemed somewhat fanciful; the HUD program had a fairly low success rate.

The Woodlands, however, was a success and gradually attracted major corporations including Chevron Phillips, ExxonMobil, and Halliburton.

Indianapolis: Carmel, Indiana

Population: 85,927

Average Household Income: $107,916

In 2012, Carmel was named “the best place to live in the United States” by CNN Money magazine.

Quakers settled this city in 1837, and the town was originally named Bethlehem prior to a renaming in 1874. Carmel is home to one of the world’s first automatic traffic lights, which is still on display in the city’s old train station.

Kansas City: Overland Park, Kansas

Population: 85,927

Average Household Income: $107,916

In 2012, Carmel was named “the best place to live in the United States” by CNN Money magazine.

Quakers settled this city in 1837, and the town was originally named Bethlehem prior to a renaming in 1874. Carmel is home to one of the world’s first automatic traffic lights, which is still on display in the city’s old train station.

Tinkler Partners

Those amenities might be why Overland Park has remained so successful; in 2014, HousingWire named the city one of the 10 “absolute best housing markets for families.” Actor Jason Sudeikis was born here, by the way—he’s also a big Kansas City Chiefs fan.

Las Vegas: Summerlin, Nevada

Population: 102,311

Average Household Income: $136,508

Las Vegas is, of course, America’s gambling capital, but a number of celebrities and athletes have lived in Summerlin, including Dana White, Nicolas Cage, David Copperfield, Andre Agassi, and Brandon Marshall, per the city’s Wikipedia page.

Summerlin

Summerlin is a planned community comprised of over 20,000 acres, nestled near the Spring Mountains and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Los Angeles: Beverly Hills, California

Population: 35,176

Average Household Income: $193,000

No surprise here. The famous Los Angeles suburb is virtually synonymous with affluence—you know at least one of its zip codes—and some houses sell for upwards of $100 million. The town also has nohospital, no cemetery, no billboards, and visible no telephone wires or power lines.

Zillow.com

Beverly Hills might be one of the most famous neighborhoods in the world, but behind all the glitz and glam, it’s a fairly small, close-knit community with just over 35,000 residents.

Nashville: Belle Meade, Tennessee

Population: 3,112

Average Household Income: $211,000

The town was originally the grounds of a massive plantation built and owned by John Harding in 1820. In addition to a farm, the plantation had a blacksmith shop, gin mill, grist mill, saw mill, and a cotton gin.

In 1893, a weakened economy forced the Harding family into serious debt, and by 1906, they’d sold all 2,600 acres. The current Belle Meade community is located on this acreage, and has one of the highest incomes per capita in the country. Tourists can still check out the Belle Meade mansion, which features 19th-century artifacts from the plantation.

New York City (by way of Connecticut): Darien, Connecticut

Population: 21,732

Average Household Income: $199,444

Darien was listed by CNN as one of the top earning towns of 2010. It’s been home to a number of notable celebrities including Christopher Plummer, Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace, Moby, Chloe Sevigny, and Gus Van Sant.

Trulia 

Movoto named Darien as the town in Connecticut with the highest rent and second-highest home value. If you’re lucky enough to live here, you can enjoy a trip to the nearby Norwalk Maritime Aquarium or walk through the spacious Cove Island and Cummings parks. Feel free to walk, by the way; Darien has an excellent crime rate of only 751 crimes per 100,000 people.

New York City (by way of New Jersey): Summit, New Jersey

Population: 21,457

Average Household Income: $121,291

Summit experienced a huge boom after World War II when many of New York City’s residents began moving out of the city. With gorgeous tree-lined streets, great schools, and an active downtown area, Summit quickly became a desirable destination for commuters.

Patch

These days, Summit is well known for its gorgeous architecture. One of its most famous landmarks is the Carter House, the oldest building in town and the site of the city’s historical museum.

And if you’re not into architecture, you’ll surely love Summit’s shopping (via the busy Springfield Avenue) and, of course, its close proximity to New York. The New York Times even wrote a glowing piece about Summit, describing it as “a place to grow into and stay.”

New York: Roslyn (Long Island)

Population: 2,800

Average Household Income: $122,321

If you’re looking for a quiet and quaint (but incredibly expensive) place to live, Roslyn is for you. Founded in 1633, the town is serious about maintaining and preserving its many historic landmarks. Along Main Street, East Broadway and Old Northern Boulevard, Roslyn has more than 100 historic sites. There’s also an art museum in the nearby Roslyn Harbor.

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park and creator of the television show ER, lived in Roslyn, per the city’s Wikipedia page. Other notable residents include baseball player Darryl Strawberry and investment scammer Bernie Madoff.

Orlando: Celebration, Florida

Orlando: Celebration, Florida

Population: 8,192

Average Household Income: $120,369

Master-planned by The Walt Disney Company, Celebration is modeled after the entrance of the nearby Walt Disney World Resort. It was intended as an expansion of Walt’s dream of EPCOT—the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It’s literally designed to be a “town of the future,” and while it was something of a victim of its lofty marketing, it’s still an amazing place to live.

Created in 1994, Celebration was supposed to be a Disney-inspired utopia, capable of accommodating residents’ needs all within its 11-square-mile radius. It features a walkable downtown area, decent schools, and “friendly streets that encourage neighborly interaction,” per Brandy Davis of Impact Press.

We cannot confirm that residents have talking animal friends, and we’re not sure whether they regularly break out in song, but if you’re into the Disney lifestyle, this is probably your place.

Philadelphia: The Main Line, Pennsylvania

Population: 100,000

Average Household Income: $150,000

The Main Line is a great place to live, and it also wins our “coolest name on this list” award. That name, by the way, refers to how the suburbs follow the path of the “Main Line” of the Pennsylvania railroad; over the last two centuries, it’s been home to some of the richest families on the East Coast.

Philadelphia

The Main Line encompasses a number of communities, including Overbrook, Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Narbeth, and Wynnewood, among others. While there are plenty of reasons to stake out a home here, the schools are especially notable. Private schools like the Haverford School for Boys and Merion Mercy Academy are among the best in the country.

Phoenix: Paradise Valley, Arizona

Population: 12,820

Average Household Income: $86,723

An extraordinarily affluent suburb of Phoenix, Paradise Valley is known for its ritzy resorts.

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Paradise Valley, the most expensive suburb of Phoenix, is filled with shopping centers, golf courses, and lavish resorts. This town started as an agrarian community, but since the end of World War II, it has only gotten more refined (and more expensive). As the town’s website points out, it’s the “winner of the voice of the people award for excellence in foundations of livability.”

That award, coincidentally, wins our award for “most dubiously long award name.”

Pittsburgh: Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania

Population: 5,388

Average Household Income: $185,000

This borough in Allegheny County was home to the Seneca Indian Tribe and other American Indians until the 18th century. Entrepreneur James O’Hara purchased much of the property in the early 19th century, then sold it to James Ross, who built a massive estate called The Meadows at the intersection of Freeport and Fox Chapel.

Today, the tiny community is 100 percent residential, with gorgeous walking trails and exclusive private clubs. As the borough’s websitepoints out, “Fox Chapel is a classic example of what can be done to preserve a rural atmosphere that includes tree protection and steep slope preservation in the very midst of urbanization.”

Portland: Lake Oswego, Oregon

Population: 38,496

Average Household Income: $127,292

In 1847 Albert Alonzo Durham founded the town of Oswego and built its very first saw mill. The town sat on top of iron ore deposits, but it wasn’t until 1861 that people began mining for it full time.

Urban Pacific Real Estate

The Oregon Iron Company was founded, and helped usher in a huge industrial era for the community. In the early 1900s, the expansion of the railroad helped bring new people to the area, and Oswego grew fast. It’s now known as one of the best places to live in Oregon.

Sacramento: Roseville, California

Population: 128,382

Average Household Income: $78,181

Roseville was originally a stagecoach station, but with the help of the Central Pacific Railroad, it became a fully incorporated city in 1909. The city enjoyed a population boom during the 1950s following the completion of a railroad underpass, which allowed people to maneuver across town and tracks more easily.

Today, the town is known as a shopping destination thanks to several walkable retail areas, including the Fountains, a collection of 40 stores and nine restaurants.

San Antonio: The Dominion, Texas

Population: 3,000

Average Household Income: $180,000

Okay, we’re taking our award back from The Main Line. “The Dominion” is absolutely the coolest suburb name on this list.

Celebrity Detective

The Dominion is home to a premier country club, and according to the master-planned community’s Wikipedia page, it’s also home to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The mansions in the Dominion are certainly stone-cold stunners; unless you’ve got about $500,000 sitting around, you’re probably not living here.

San Jose: Los Altos, California

Population: 29,000

Average Household Income: $157,500

In 1906, Paul Shoup, a Southern Pacific Railroad executive, wanted to plan a new stop along the railroad between Mayfield and Los Gatos. Shoup purchased 140 acres of land in 1906, creating Los Altos.

The city had a population boom after World War II, and it gradually became a relatively affluent community. Forbes named it one of its “25 top places to retire rich,” noting its great scenery and one-acre minimum lot sizes.

San Diego: Rancho Santa Fe, California

Population: 3,000

Average Household Income: $203,000

If you’re rich enough to live here, you’ll have some notable neighbors, including Microsoft entrepreneur Bill Gates. In fact, Gates is often seen walking around town.

The bad news: Rancho Santa Fe maintains a set of rules called the Protective Covenant, intended to preserve residents’ exclusive lifestyle, so your home will need to meet exceptionally strict standards. There’s also no home mail delivery—those mail trucks would look absolutely horrific rolling down the streets—and you won’t find any sidewalks or streetlights.

On the plus side, it’s an incredibly safe community, and some residents reportedly leave their keys in their unlocked cars at night.

San Francisco: Atherton, California

Population: 7,283

Average Household Income: $283,000

The average house price in Atherton is over $2 million, and mansions in the suburb regularly go for more than $10 million. If you land a home here, you’ll live near Sheryl Sandberg, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and other high-tech celebrities.

KQED

Why do people live here? Well, it’s a short drive from Silicon Valley, and nobody likes a long commute. Most homes sell for cash, and Chinese investors quickly snap up available properties, so good luck landing an Atherton home.

Seattle: Medina, Washington

Population: 3,000

Average Household Income: $149,000

Medina started off as a community of berry farms and orchards in the 1880s. Thomas Dabney was the town’s first permanent resident, and he built the first ferry dock, which eventually attracted wealthy Seattleites to Medina.

Today, it has the second-highest income per capita in Washington and the 49th in all of the United States. Residents enjoy gorgeous Lake Washington waterfront, nicknamed “Medina’s Gold Coast,” along with one of the best-ranked school districts in the country.

St. Louis: Town and Country, Missouri

Population: 10,828

Average Household Income: $176,393

Originally established in 1950 as a village filled with large, land-limited residential plots, Town and Country became an official city in 1975.

California Rich

It’s a bit more scenic than some of St. Louis County’s more commercialized areas, and it boasts the highest median household income of any city in Missouri. If you drive through, you can marvel at some beautiful properties, but just watch out for the white-tail deer.

Washington, D.C.: Great Falls, Virginia

Population: 15,427

Average Household Income: $222,737

Great Falls had an 80 percent population increase from 2000 to 2010, and CNN Money ranked it as one of the top-earning towns in the United States, indicating a high percentage of six-figure earners.

While Great Falls, Virginia, is a suburb of the nation’s capital, residents of this community can opt out of the city life and enjoy some quality time in nature. Major attractions include Great Falls Park, which features the Great Falls of the Potomac River.

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Jason McLaughlin

THERE WERE TWO THINGS I WANTED TO DO WHEN I GOT OLDER! Number One: Make sure that I had the ability to take care of people in time of need. Number Two: Be involved in real estate. As for ....

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