Lilburn listed as No. 5 best affordable place to live, Suwanee also recognized

Downtown Lilburn (File Photo)

Downtown Lilburn (File Photo)

As Lilburn boasts affordable housing where a well-maintained three-bedroom ranch could cost $125,000, Money magazine this week recognized the Gwinnett town as a top five city in America.

The city in southwest Gwinnett was named on a list of the top 25 “Best places to live: Where homes are affordable.” The magazine said a median home price in Lilburn is $84,478, while a median family income is $64,762 for city, which has a population of about 12,000 people.

“We are delighted that Money magazine chose to recognize our beautiful city,” Mayor Johnny Crist said in a press release. “The residents of Lilburn love our small town feel, top notch schools and parks, and convenience to Atlanta. We are glad that others around the country will see what we have to offer, thanks to this spotlight by Money magazine.”

Crist also told the magazine about the city’s Hindu temple, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, which attracts 250,000 visitors each year. The city also counts the South Asian community as 10 percent of its population, while the total city population has more than tripled in the last 30 years.

The top four “most affordable” cities were Altamonte Springs, Fla., Plano, Ill., Homewood, Ill. and Powder Springs.

For the third time since 2007, Money magazine listed Suwanee as one of the top 50 best places to live in America.

This time, the city was ranked No. 33 in the country and tops in Georgia as the magazine highlighted many well-known aspects, such as Town Center Park, food truck days, public art, the recent Berlin Wall exhibit and concerts. On the magazine’s web site, it said, “America’s top 50 small towns are not only thriving economically, they’ve also got all you could want in a place to raise a family: plenty of green space, good schools, and a strong sense of community.”

“It’s great to receive national recognition for our community through such a rigorous process and from such a prestigious publication,” Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette said in a press release. “We’re excited to be recognized as the best small town in Georgia and committed to continually improving our community and the quality of life for our residents.”

But everything wasn’t positive about the piece.

“This is an Atlanta suburb — and a fast-growing one at that — meaning that traffic is often brutal,” the magazine wrote about Suwanee.

The towns all had populations between 10,000 and 50,000, and the list began with 1,326 towns.

The other Georgia towns on the list were Evans at No. 43 and Peachtree City at No. 48.

The top five towns on the list were Sharon, Mass., Louisville, Colo., Vienna, Va., Chanhassen, Minn. and Sherwood, Ore.

For Suwanee, Money listed its median annual family income at $95,747, job growth from 2010 to 2012 at 12.2 percent and a median home price at $199,000.

Money magazine also listed Suwanee on its “Best places to live” list in 2007, at No. 10, and No. 35 in 2009. Last year, Kiplinger named Suwanee No. 3 in the U.S. to raise your kids.

Earlier this summer, Family Circle magazine listed the northern Gwinnett city in its 10 Best Towns For Families for its August issue.


LilburnsFuture 1 year, 10 months ago

Lilburn should not spend the money that Suwanee does simply because they do not have residents who want that much development or the tax revenues. However, they should strive to grow in that direction. Which means eventually including the development of middle to higher end shopping centers, recreation (not a big league overly expensive little league park), and restaurants.

Lilburn should ensure that Gwinnett County does not add another Wal-Mart in 10 mile proximity or immediately sue the county if so. There is a Wal-Mart between Lilburn and Stone Mountain, between Lilburn and Snellville, and a new one going in between Lilburn and Norcross.

Finally, as more residents move into Lilburn to avoid commuting through the HOT lanes heading downtown, a stronger police presence should help to keep the area safe and secure.


kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

Great piece for Lilburn. Keep up the small town work you all do and stop whining about competing with Suwanee, which is starting to see some corruption. You will be better of in Lilburn if you keep Wal MArt far away from you. Your BOC really keeps spending under control and the result is a great and affordable place to live, unlike Suwanee.


Haughton 1 year, 10 months ago

You cannot keep out Walmart, that is unless you keep everyone else out to. Companies look at who rejects who. If companies and retailers are interested in Lilburn, they should feel lucky to get who they get. Residents turn down Walmart or the like, then look for lower end Dollar stores. That's the way it works.

Lilburn cannot compete with Suwanee, people will move to those places for totally different reasons.


Sign in to comment