Median home price: $240,000
Originally known as Minor or Minorville, Calif., this community of some 15,200 people on the Pacific Ocean some 300 miles north of San Francisco changed its name to McKinleyville following 25th president William McKinley's 1901 assassination.
These days, the town is home mostly to a mix of retirees and locals who primarily work in businesses geared toward other McKinleyville residents.
The community also hosts the area's airport and gets some tourism business that spills over from the larger communities of Arcata and Eureka. (Arcata also hosts the 7,400-undergraduate-student Humboldt State University.)
"We're a coastal town with pretty redwoods right behind the coast," Cindy Harrington of the McKinleyville Chamber of Commerce says.Zillow lists some 70 properties for sale in the McKinleyville area, where a median-priced home costs $240,700. Local home values have risen 6.4% over the past year. Taft, Calif.
Median home price: $67,400
This city of 9,300 people is named after William Howard Taft, who led our country from 1909 to 1913 but is mostly known today for being America's fattest president ever (he weighed some 340 pounds). While that might not seem like an auspicious person to name your town after, "Taft" sounds a lot better than the community's previous name: Moron, Calif. City fathers are said to have renamed the community after a fire around the time of Taft's presidency burned down much of the original community, about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Originally an oil town, Taft is perhaps best known today as the home of a 2,300-inmate federal prison. Parts of the 1991 hit movie Thelma & Louise were also filmed in the community. If all of that has you thinking of moving to Taft, Zillow lists around 100 properties for sale there. The city's residences cost a median $67,400, with prices rising 7.3% during 2012.
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