Survey names Greenville among top places to live
Climate, scenery, economy, people all contributed to high national ranking
Comments about the people, entertainment, community and climate in Greenville
helped it earn the number four spot on Relocate-America.com's list of "America's
Top 100 Places to Live."
Relocate-America is an online service that provides relocating homebuyers with
community information and real estate resources. It is owned and operated by HomeRoute,
a Michigan-based real estate broker.
Steve Nickerson, president and chief executive officer for HomeRoute, said the
list is created from user-generated comments the Web site receives throughout
the year. The nominations are typically from people who live or have lived in
the community they nominate.
What the company looks for in those nominations, he said, is "the story that
the data doesn't tell about a community." And once all those nominations are in,
they are compared against data points such as housing, the economy there, the
environment, education and crime.
"Once we've done that, we then bring all the cities together and we identify
our top 100," Nickerson said. Aiken, Charleston, Columbia and Rock Hill were the
other South Carolina areas that made the Top 100 for 2008. They ranked 46, 47,
48, and 49, respectively. Asheville made number seven on the list.
More than 2,000 cities were considered, Nickerson said.
Greenville attained its designation among the top five cities because "there
was a real strong passion from people that went to our Web site and talked about
Greenville," he said. "We liked what we read, and then the data supported it."
Users talked about the friendly people who live in Greenville, the nearby mountains,
affordable housing and the quality of life, as well as the entertainment offerings
and the community, Nickerson said. One thing that came up often was the weather
"The climate really stood out, which is very popular with our service," he said.
"We find that an area that has opportunity and good climate tends to really stand
out, and that really resonated with Greenville."
Falls Park was one feature that led Diane Ludwig to relocate to Greenville from
"To me, it's kind of a mini Central Park thing that's so rare. It's just a gem,"
said Ludwig, who recently opened The Barkery Bistro in downtown Greenville with
her daughter, Meghan Ludwig.
She also said the warmth and friendliness of the people, the area's vibrancy,
energy and enthusiasm were "huge." She also liked the quality of life brought
on by the arts and schools here, as well as the vision that Greenville has to
"be better than it is."
"It's definitely up and coming," she said. "We just wanted to be part of the
Gary Cohen, general manager of Century 21 Bob Capes Realtors, said other features
such as Greenville's proximity to places such as Atlanta, Asheville and Charlotte,
make it attractive to many people.
He also said the city's cultural aspect, vibrant downtown, institutions of higher
learning and strong job market are also a strong draw to people.
And, from a family point of view, the communities do a "great job" developing
recreational opportunities for children, whether it be baseball, soccer or football,
Relocate-America has compiled its list of America's Top 100 Places to Live for