Median home price: $395,000
One-year change: +11%
If you didn’t have the foresight or the cash to buy in ultra-hot Arlington 10 years ago, console yourself with the possibility of neighboring Medford—especially West Medford, which has its own commuter-rail station and is just a short drive over the river to Arlington’s cultural charms. Townwide, the median price for a single-family home remains a reasonable $395,000—a steal compared with Arlington’s $550,000. Find larger, rambling homes on the Winchester side of town; smaller single families and condos, in the hills close to I-93. Other fringe benefits include proximity to the Middlesex Fells Reservation, the urban appeal of independent businesses in Medford and West Medford centers, and Orange Line access to Boston. As these home values steadily increase, it’s a savvy—and centrally located—investment.