March Madness has caused the Market Leader staff to become bracket-crazy, and NCAA men’s basketball simply isn’t enough to satiate our need for bracket-based competition. We thus decided to create “Real Estate Madness” and pit 64 U.S. cities against each other to see which one is the best city to live in.
Making this little real estate tournament also helped ease the pain of having my alma mater, the University of Washington, fail to make it into March Madness. I'm sure some of you have favorite NCAA men's basketball teams that were in the same boat. *Sigh* ... there's always next year.
Results of Round One
Click here to read the rationale behind our first round picks.
Real Estate Madness Tournament Structure Real Estate Madness is very similar to March Madness in that it places 64 competitors into a large bracket and then runs them through a single elimination tournament. Each city is given a ranking, or “seed,” between 1 and 16, and is matched up against a city with the opposite seed (i.e., 1 seeds are matched up against 16 seeds, 2 against 15, 3 against 14, and so on).
Real Estate Madness differs from March Madness in that the cities are split up by geographic region - East, Midwest, South and West - so that cities will only face off against their regional peers until the Final Four is reached.
How We Will Determine the Best U.S. City
To win Real Estate Madness, a city must be the best place to live in the U.S. What exactly does this mean?
Our staff will choose the winners of every round up until the Final Four. The only criteria for earning wins is this: cities that are pleasant and easy to live in will beat cities that make its denizens grumble and want to move away.
More specifically, cities with the following qualities (among others) will go far in Real Estate Madness:
- Strong, diverse and robust economy
- Excellent parks and outdoor recreation possibilities
- Low crime rates
- Good walkability
- Manageable cost of living
- Good public transportation
- High quality of life
- Superb local healthcare (quality and number of facilities)
- Low unemployment
Please Provide Your Input!
We are also interested in getting your input! What city do you think should win it all? Did we goof up and pick the wrong city in any of the matchups? Were our rankings completely off from the get-go? Many of the winners were only determined after our team had long discussions about the merits of the two cities involved, and it's probable that we missed a couple of each city's strong points.
Most importantly, support your favorite city ... Your votes will help us determine the winner of Real Estate Madness - the best city in the U.S.!