Pace was selected as the second-best "city" in Florida for young families to live, according to a study released by a financial-literacy group this week.



The study, "Best Cities in Florida for young families" was based on three main factors of importance to young families, according to analyst Mark Anderson, an analyst with NerdWallet. The considerations were the quality of schools, affordability of housing and the growth and prosperity of the area.



"Every young family is trying to get off the ground," Anderson said. "Young families may not be as established as others in careers, yet. Cheap homes are especially important."



The information used in the study gave Pace the average home value of $170,000. There was no exact definition of a "young family," according to the analyst.



The group reviewed 178 cities with data from the U.S. Census and ratings from the GreatSchools organization. The U.S. Census Bureau, from a 2011 ACS study, recognized Pace as a "designated place," according to Anderson. He said the data recognized 20,276 citizens as defined as living in the Pace area.



"Designated places could mean a town, a place or a city," Anderson said. "We evaluated towns with a population greater than 20,000 because they typically offer more opportunity when it comes to jobs."



The group considered major metros such as the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas. But they failed to rank because of low scores, primarily in the school-rating category. 



Valrico, located in the Tampa area and boasting nearly 95 percent growth from 1999 to 2011., took the number one ranking with an overall score of 69.13. Pace came in at second with a score of 66.67. Winter Garden rounded up the bottom of the podium at number three with a score of 64.61.



"Homes in Pace were by far the cheapest," Anderson said. "By far, in all the top ten, it was the most accessible."



To learn more, visit the full NerdWallet study at: http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/2013/cities-florida-young-families/



 



Rank



City



Closest Big City



Median Home Value



Monthly



Monthly Owner Costs



Growth 1999-2011



Overall Score for Young Families



1



Valrico



Tampa



222,100



1,912



76,016



94.14%



69.13



2



Pace



Pensacola



170,900



1,485



61,294



67.75%



66.67



3



Winter Garden



Orlando



247,600



2,004



65,424



76.21%



64.61