This week, Forbes released its ranking of America's safest cities (pop. above 250,000— sorry, small-towners). These might not all be dream destinations, but if not getting run over or stabbed are high on the list of priorities, the top five are certainly worth a once-over. Let's start at the bottom:
#5 Omaha, Neb. | Price: $399,000 (above)
Investment demigod Warren Buffett lives around the corner—no, literally around the corner. Sharing the block with the Oracle of Omaha couldn't hurt property values, and his dark criminal past is well behind him.
#4 San Jose, Calif. | Price: $1,489,000 (above)
The value of this home has plummeted with the recession, but that doesn't prevent it from being a symbol of bloated excess. When Mark Zuckerberg tires of his post-collegiate charade in nearby Palo Alto, maybe he'll decide to take baby steps on the way to living like a billionaire should (and the sellers can finally get this white elephant off their hands).
#3 Honolulu, Hawaii | Price: $18,500,000 (above)
Safe living isn't the only thing Honolulu has up its sleeve. There's impressively overpriced real estate too: $9M per bedroom for this place. Yes, the weather is beautiful, yes, the air is clean and pure, but, no, it's not worth it.
#2 Portland, Ore. | Price: $2,695,000 (above)
Portland, an outdoor wonderland, used to be a city populated by offbeat hippie-types, but now it's a tech hotbed. That means, of course, yuppies. The yuppies may or may not be responsible for the low crime numbers, but they almost certainly made some part of the computer you're using right now—Intel employs some 14,000 Portlanders.
#1 Plano, Texas | Price: $2,599,900 (above)
What is it about safety and McMansions? Do those gates really work? This is one of what seems like hundreds of "sandstone" homes. Apparently, suburban sprawl works when it comes to reducing crime: criminals get lost in the endless labyrinth of similar-looking houses. OK, so Plano isn't the worst place in the world, but it might actually need some crime, just to spice things up.
· 107 South 55 St, Omaha [Realtor.com]
· 4039 Moreland Way, San Jose [Zillow]
· Facebook's Billionaire CEO Is on a Month to Month Lease [Gawker]
· 1199 Bishop St, PHA, Honolulu [Zillow]
· 4131 NW Thunder Crest Rd, Portland [Zillow]
· 5049 Royal Creek Ln, Plano [Zillow]
· America's Safest Cities [Forbes]