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The Top 10 ‘Dreamy’ Neighborhoods

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scottsdale-web.jpgRISMEDIA, January 26, 2009-In honor of HGTV’s 13th Dream Home Giveaway, FrontDoor explores 10 of the dreamiest places to live in the United States. Whether it’s lush acreage, majestic views or exclusivity that you crave, each of these neighborhoods offers all that and more. Perhaps that’s why they’re in high demand, with buyers willing to pay millions to call them home. Find out what makes them so irresistible.

1. Sonoma, California. What’s not to love about Sonoma? The wine country’s rolling hills and sandy beaches make it an all-inclusive place to live. While the median home price is more than $500,000, acreage is in high demand here and buyers pay millions for it. Architecture ranges from Mediterranean to Victorian to Craftsman, and houses come in all sizes, from stunning estates to modest bungalows. No wonder HGTV chose this quaint northern California town to be the site of this year’s Dream Home. Don’t forget to sign up for a chance to win it.

2. Buckhead, Atlanta, Georgia. This trendy district north of Atlanta is a fascinating blend of old-money mansions and new-money nightlife. Whether it’s a cozy cottage in Peachtree Hills or a magnificent estate in Tuxedo Park, you’ll find Southern charm on every corner. Buckhead is a shopper’s paradise, with two major shopping areas-Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza-that offer high-end retailers and great people-watching. The district also boasts the best dining and nightlife in the region, with more than 300 restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

3. Gold Coast, Chicago, Illinois. Old money and stunning lake views characterize this hot neighborhood that runs contrary to the Chicago phrase, “cooler by the lake.” Oprah lives on the border of this high-priced community, where home buyers can pay millions for a two-bedroom condo. The neighborhood offers world-class shopping, dining and entertainment as well convenient proximity to the lake and business district.

4. Scottsdale, Arizona. With upscale shopping, an active nightlife scene and a number of high-end residential golf communities, Scottsdale is the “it” place to be in the Phoenix area. The average home price is $2 million to $3 million, but homes can easily sell for a lot more. Home to more than 70 resorts and hotels, the city has designed itself to be a big tourist draw, creating a high demand for land in this area and raising property values.

5. Coral Gables, Florida. Just eight miles south of Miami, Coral Gables is quintessential old South Florida, featuring historic architecture, good schools and the Miracle Mile, a lively street lined with restaurants, bars and high-end boutiques. Expect to see lush landscaping and charming 1920s stucco homes with red tile roofs, archways and private courtyards.

6. Mercer Island, Washington. Location plays a key part in the high-end real estate market on Mercer Island. Connected to Seattle by two bridges, the island offers incredible views of the city’s skyline without the hustle and bustle of urban life. Tranquility and convenience come at a price: a luxury home on Mercer Island can cost up to $40 million.

7. Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York. This neighborhood’s historic charm, top-notch restaurants and shopping, and proximity to Prospect Park make it an attractive alternative to Manhattan for families and professionals. Seventh and Fifth avenues are Park Slope’s main commercial areas, while other streets are occupied by renovated brownstones, which can sell for millions of dollars.

8. Lower Downtown (LoDo), Denver, Colorado. Looking for a Rocky Mountain getaway? Lower Downtown Denver is perfect for urbanites who love the mountains. The neighborhood is filled with old brick buildings converted into lofts, new condo towers, and a density of restaurants, bars and shops. The Riverfront Park, a rolling, meandering grassy swatch of real estate fronting the Platte River, offers great mountain views, places to barbecue and plenty of space to enjoy the fresh air of the Mile High City. Colorado boasts excellent skiing, world class dining and majestic views, which made Winter Park a great Dream Home location in 2007. And ski havens Aspen and Telluride are within driving distance.

9. Atherton, California. Located on the San Francisco peninsula, this high-end California neighborhood is home to computer company execs and venture capitalists. By preserving the area’s wooded scenery and rural charm, Atherton is able to offer a quieter lifestyle than its neighbor, San Francisco. As of December 2008, the median home price in Atherton settles in at more than $4 million.

10. Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts. One of Boston’s priciest neighborhoods, Back Bay is both a residential and commercial area, featuring Victorian brownstones on its northern end and some of Boston’s tallest skyscrapers on its southern end. The neighborhood’s historic Newbury and Boylston streets offer trendy cafes and upscale shopping, and Copley Square boasts several 19th century landmarks.

For more information, visit http://www.frontdoor.com.

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