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07/24/2014 05:36 pm ET Updated Jul 24, 2014

The 10 Best Cities For Families To Live, According to ZipRealty

It's often said that the first rule of real estate is "location, location, location." But if you have a spouse, a couple of kids and maybe even a dog, other factors like affordability and proximity to schools really start to play larger roles.

And it's those factors exactly that were used by the online residential real estate brokerage company ZipRealty, Inc., to determine the best of the best metro areas for families across America. To compile the list, ZipReality, Inc. compared the performances of public school districts to the corresponding median price per square foot for real estate. To learn more about ZipReality, Inc.'s methodology, see below.

Turns out families don't even have to sacrifice the first rule of real estate, anyway. Looks like you really can have it all.

  • 10 Seattle, Washington
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    School Score: 9.1
    Price Per Square Foot: $344
  • 9 Orange County, California
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    School Score: 9.2
    Price Per Square Foot: $321
  • 8 Austin, Texas
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    School Score: 9.1
    Price Per Square Foot: $237

    Second consecutive year on the list.
  • 7 New York, New York/Long Island, New York
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    School Score: 9.0
    Price Per Square Foot: $199
  • 6 Portland, Oregon
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    School Score: 9.8
    Price Per Square Foot: $192

    Second consecutive year on the list.
  • 5 Boston, Massachusetts
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    School Score: 9.1
    Price Per Square Foot: $179
  • 4 Chicago, Illinois
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    School Score: 9.0
    Price Per Square Foot: $122
  • 3 Dallas, Texas
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    School Score: 9.1
    Price Per Square Foot: $114
  • 2 Charlotte, North Carolina
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    School Score: 9.1
    Price Per Square Foot: $102
  • 1 Minneapolis, Minnesota
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    School Score: 9.2
    Price Per Square Foot: $101

    Second consecutive year on the list.

To be considered, at least 10 home sales must have closed in that region's school district in 2013. ZipRealty's School Score ratings measure the performance of each school district, including elementary, middle and high schools, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. ZipRealty calculates the School Score based on test-score data. Cross-referencing those School Scores with housing information such as per square foot sales prices gives consumers a window into the most affordable areas with the strongest local education systems.

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