Des Moines was just named #1 in the 2009 MSN Real Estate Most-Livable Bargain Markets! According to their report, Des Moines may be one of the best and most overlooked places to jump-start your career.  They also rate the economy of our area as solid, with a large number of well-paying jobs in the insurance, bioscience and agribusiness fields. Yet the median house costs just $150,000. Forbes has ranked it one of the best places for business and careers three years running.

The report also notes that the Des Moines area has some of the cleanest air in the country. The residents reported that there’s enough outdoor recreation, culture and fine art to keep most people happy.  According to Lauren Burt of the Greater Des Moines Partnership “There’s so many things that are accessible here,”  “There’s a lot of volunteerism and ways to be engaged with the community.”

MSN Real Estate asked Bert Sperling of Sperling’s Best Places to evaluate the most affordable housing markets from the 100 largest U.S. metro areas and pinpoint 10 of the most livable areas: places where unemployment is low, commute times are mercifully short and there are enough interesting entertainment and cultural amenities to keep most people busy and satisfied. Congratulation Des Moines for making #1 on this list!