Right as 2016 came to a close, SmartAssest named Cary as No. 1 on the Top 10 Boomtowns of 2016 list. Outranking Raleigh, the town scored a 100 percent based on factors including net migration rate, housing growth, current unemployment rate, 2015-16 change in unemployment, and GDP growth.

The quickly-expanding town is currently the seventh largest municipality in North Carolina, sharing ownership between both Wake and Chatham counties. The commuter town is home to many that work in the Research Triangle Park, which includes the cities of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Because of this, living in Cary makes commuting to the Park an easy drive.

The town boosts an unemployment rate of 4.2%, with a 7% GDP growth. From 2015-16, there was less than a 1% change in the unemployment rate in Cary.

So what makes living in Cary so attractive aside from its convenient location? Several other factors: beginning with the fact that it’s one of the safest cities in the United States. In 2013, the FBI released crime data that revealed Cary as being the lowest in total crime rate among cities with population of 100,000-500,000.

Cary has seen its population increase by more than 20,000 in the past five years alone, which isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Cary public schools rank among the top in all of North Carolina. More than 60% of Cary resident’s have a bachelor’s degree, in comparison to less than 30% for the rest of the country. From kindergarten through high school, living in Cary means being a part of the Wake County Public School System, which consistently receives honors year after year.

North Carolina State University , the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Duke University are all located within 20 minutes of the town’s limits. In the past year, all three of these universities ranked in the Top 100 list according to studies done by US News & World Report.

Divided into east and west sections, there is both a downtown area as well as plenty of neighborhoods, parks, and lakes for recreational use. One of Cary’s most popular neighborhoods is the Preston community, which features a 54-hole championship golf course. Cary has more than 70 miles of recreational facilities, as well as 36 greenway trails that include Stevens Nature Center at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve.

If you like parks, you can find 29 park areas including 310 acres of land at Bond Park that is highlighted by a lake for boating. Whether you’re looking to take your furry friend on a walk or enjoy a summer picnic, Cary is guaranteed to have something for you.

Aside from this, the town also has the Cary Tennis Park, the USA Baseball National Training complex, and the WakeMed Soccer Park. Before House Bill 2 resulted in the removal of championships, Cary had hosted 18 NCAA championships and 29 ACC championships.

Besides outdoor activities, Cary also has plenty of dining and shopping centers as well. Cary Towne Center, Crossroads Plaza, and Cary Village Square Shopping Center include well-known stores featuring places like Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bed Bath & Beyond, and a lot more.

Local coffee shops include Crema Coffee & Bakery, It’s a Grind Coffee House, Fresca Café & Gelato, Java Jive, Gather, Coffee & Crepes, and more for plenty of options for the caffeine lover. If you’re a fan of local businesses, the town of Cary has four farmers markets spread throughout.

If the housing market is something that interests you, Cary’s housing growth saw a 9.1% increase in 2016. As far as analytics are concerned, that number sits well above most cities in other markets. Research Triangle Park and its many jobs have drawn plenty of tech and business-savvy individuals to the area at an alarmingly high rate.

Currently, there are 19 new communities that are located within five miles of the town’s center. According to the MLS website, there are 129 homes that are currently for sale labeled under new home construction. Cary has many different types of communities, ranging from townhomes to luxurious mansions. Here are several you may want to consider:

Townhomes:

Creeks at Weston

Franklin Park at Carpenter Village

Green Hope Crossing

Mills Park Square

Park West

Village at Evans Farm

Single-Family Homes:

Piazza at Stonewater

Bailey Court

Southerlyn

Sedgefield

Bellewood Manor

Copperleaf

Preston Retreat

With all of these factors combined, it’s easy to see why Cary is the place to be. Aside from being a beautiful town, you’ll find great schools, art and dining galore, and a place to call home that has plenty of accolades.

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