The perfect location for your family is one that supports your lifestyle and goals. While selecting a home can be a complex emotional decision, quantitative data about livability can help you narrow the field.


Livability is an important consideration when buying a home-- but it can be tough to define.

It depends greatly on which factors you and your family look for in a community and how those may balance with affordability, proximity to family and friends and other considerations that may inform your search.

While we’d all like to live on the lake in a million-dollar mansion, that may not always be practical.

Selecting a target area for a real estate search therefore is an exercise that is equal parts quantitative and qualitative. When analyzing the former, there are few areas as highly regarded as the west metro.

School District Rankings

An analysis of the school districts for the entire state of Minnesota was completed by the website Niche and the results reflect incredibly favorably on the west metro which is home to six of the top 10. This included a remarkable five schools that received an overall A+ ranking with several others receiving As.

#1 Wayzata A+
#2 Minnetonka A+
#3 Edina A+
#4 Eden Prairie A+
#6 Hopkins A+
#9 Orono A
#28 Osseo A-

Source- 2018 Best School Districts in Minnesota

A similar report issued by US News and World Reports looked at college readiness and attempted to rank how well individual high schools prepare their students for secondary education. Again the west metro performed well with each of the major schools earning medals.

Gold Medals- Orono, Edina
Silver Medals- Minnetonka, Wayzata, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Osseo

Source- Minnesota Best High School Rankings

Taken together, these studies indicate that in a state that takes public education seriously, the west metro finished at the top of the class.

Parks and Community Events

Another key component to quality of life relates to parks, city festivals and events. The west metro includes many public areas that support outdoor activities.

Of course there is proximity to Lake Minnetonka and the unique cities of Excelsior and Wayzata, but the area also offers several larger regional parks. These include Clifton French in Plymouth, Bryant Lake in Minnetonka, Fish Lake and Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove. Each offering trails for running, hiking and biking, beaches, disc golf and other amenities.

In terms of festivals and farmers markets, the west metro calendar is packed with options throughout the summer months. The list reflects a public investment in parks and recreation, a key component to livability. Healthy living is a way of life in Minnesota and by leveraging these resources you can ensure your family enjoys the best there is to offer.

National Livability Awards

Perhaps the best validation for west suburban living has come via Money Magazine which has consistently featured cities from the area when ranking the best places in the entire US.

This is a based on a combination of fabulous communities, economic factors, proximity to the metro and significant investment in green space and infrastructure.

Money Magazine Best Places to Live in the US
2017 Minnetonka - 100 Best Places to live
2016 #2- Eden Prairie
2014 #2- Maple Grove
2008 #1- Plymouth


The Bottom Line

While livability is a moving target and subjective based on your goals, there is no mistaking that something unique is going on in the west metro.  Overall reviewers found the area economically vibrant and dynamic with incredible schools and public infrastructure bolstered by a prime location near the Twin Cities.

If you are ready to see what all the fuss is about and look into calling the west metro home, we’d love to match a quantitative screen of communities with a list of your must-have features. Together we can find the city, neighborhood and home that is right for you. We have unmatched local knowledge and the wisdom of 100s of transactions matching families to the homes that they love.

An introductory meeting is a great start. Contact Us today to get started.