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4. Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

“Fort Worth is like the Rodney Dangerfield of the Dallas-Fort Worth area – It gets no respect!” Sperling quipped.

But those who live in Fort Worthknow the secret: It’s close enough to Dallas that you get all of the amenities of a world-class city, from shopping to cultural events, but it’s cheaper. The average home price is about $119,300, well below the national average of $171,700. Plus, the cost of living is nearly 14 percent cheaper than the national average.

It has a growing arts & culture scene, including an orchestra, ballet, opera, botanical garden and one of the best zoos in the country. In fact, the city has started billing itself as the “City of Cowboys and Culture.”

Arlington is home to the Dallas Cowboys football team, the Texas Rangers baseball team, as well as American Mensa, the U.S. chapter of the high-IQ society, and the International Bowling Museum.

The unemployment rate in the area is 8.3 percent, below the national average of 10.2 percent.
Companies That Are Hiring Now: Texas Health Resources, JPS Health Network and Bank of America, according to Indeed.com.

Photo: Jeremy Woodhouse | The Image Bank | Getty Images