17. Mason, OH
Mason, OH
Median home price: $173,000
Median family income: $101,034

If a town can produce George Clooney, past winner of People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, how bad can it be?

A former childhood stomping ground of the Oscar-winning actor, Mason also boasts one of the nation's top school systems. And when school's out, many kids take a break at nearby Kings Island Amusement Park, which brings in three million visitors a year.

Not as exciting but just as enticing are Mason's low tax rates, which have helped to attract new employers and residents. Located outside of Cincinnati, Mason has recorded double-digit population growth each of the past four decades, according to Mayor Don Prince.

Newcomers find plenty of housing stock to choose from, with homes downtown a bit more affordable than the big suburban homes that cost $300,000 and up.  

See complete data and interactive map for Mason

Last updated August 15 2011: 2:48 PM ET
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These terrific small towns -- even now -- boast great job opportunities, top-notch schools, safe streets, economic strength, and more.

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