Top 10 Cities to Work Remotely

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Downtown San Antonio. (Corey Leopold)

Is telecommuting right for you?

IBM, as well as some other high-profile companies, recently announced it would be curbing or ending its telecommute work policies.

Related: Does your resume pass the 6-second test? Get a FREE assessment.

In spite of these recent developments, telecommuting is not on the decline.

A recent Forbes article highlights the most popular places where job seekers are looking for telecommuting jobs. If you're the type of person who can work for themselves or find a job that lets you work and live wherever you want and would love living in an amazing city, read on. (*Fast Facts are from the most recent data by Sperling's Best Places.)

The Most Popular Cities for the Digital Nomad

10. Orlando, Florida

If you love to telecommute and want to live in the "Theme Park Capital of the World," then Orlando is for you. Before Walt Disney World came to the area in the 1970s, Orlando was a sleepy town with an economy based on citrus and cattle.

Starting with the clandestine purchase of 43 square miles of farmland southwest of the city in 1965 and the opening of Walt Disney World six years later, the city has become a major tourist destination and entertainment center.

It is so much a tourist attraction, and known so well for its tourist venues, that evaluating it as a place to live is a challenge.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Orlando is 3.9%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Orlando jobs have increased by 2.46%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Orlando's cost of living is 3.7% lower than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Orlando is $157,600. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been -16.64%.

9. Denver

If you like beer and telecommuting, Denver is the place for you. Denver brews more beer than any other city -- with 80 different beers brewed there daily. Denver is the commercial, financial, industrial and government center for Colorado and a seven-state region of Rocky Mountain and western Plains states.

The city and its surrounding area continue to rank high as one of the best places to live; however, crowding and growth are taking its toll.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Denver is 3.8%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Denver jobs have increased by 1.84%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Denver's cost of living is 27.5%, higher than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Denver is $343,400. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been 31.97%.

8. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

If you ever wanted to try fried beer, fried Coke and fried Cadbury Creme Eggs, then Dallas/Fort Worth is for you. These odd delicacies and more are available at the Texas State Fair.

Dallas is the eastern, larger half of the Dallas-Fort Worth "Metroplex." Dallas is what most people think of when they first think of Texas -- big, busy, growing, cosmopolitan, rich, glitzy and self-confident. Dozens of gleaming downtown skyscrapers tower above the level plains, while an assortment of neighborhoods and suburban commercial centers sprawl in all directions around the city core.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Dallas is 3.9%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Dallas jobs have Increased by 3.09%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Dallas's cost of living is 4.8%, lower than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Dallas is $148,100. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been 31.79%.

7. Charlotte, North Carolina

If you're like Ricky Bobby and believe that "if you ain't first, you're last," then Charlotte is for you. In this city, NASCAR is both the main sport and one of the biggest attractions.

The city is reputedly the headquarters for more banks than any city outside New York, and it is the home to such financial heavyweights as Bank of America and Wachovia, as well as Lowe's (home improvement retail) and specialty steelmaker Nucor.

A diverse commercial and industrial economy has developed around the financial industry. Downtown Charlotte is a mix of contemporary skyscraper architecture and a number of well-preserved, 19th-century neighborhoods.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 4.5%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Charlotte jobs have increased by 3.5%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Charlotte's cost of living is 2.8%, lower than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Charlotte is $169,700. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been 14.05%.

6. Raleigh, North Carolina

If you love farmers markets, then Raleigh might be for you. Raleigh is home to a 30,000-square-foot farmers market that is open seven days a week. Previously, the so-called "Durham" metro area was part of the larger Research Triangle triumvirate of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metro area.

Now Raleigh -- and the large suburban enclave of Cary -- has been split off into a metro area of that name, leaving the western half of the former metro area under the name Durham. The Durham area includes Chapel Hill, so on the surface, the two major cities in the area are college towns. Durham is home to Duke University, while the University of North Carolina is in Chapel Hill.

But that's where the similarities end. Durham is an old tobacco town, not too prosperous, not too interesting but livable. Some of the old tobacco processing plants in town add some historic interest.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Raleigh is 4.3%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Raleigh jobs have increased by 3.48%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Raleigh's cost of living is 2.1%, higher than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Raleigh is $204,700. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been 19.8%.

5. Phoenix

If you love to golf in the sun, then Phoenix is for you. Phoenix has more sunny days than any other metropolitan city and boasts more than 200 golf courses. As an aside, it's illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs in Phoenix. Make of that what you will.

Originally a resort city, Phoenix has grown phenomenally in the past 40 years into a full-scale urban center -- largely made possible by the advent of air conditioning. The Phoenix metropolitan area covers more than 1,000 square miles.

Downtown, which is fairly modest for a city its size, features a few skyscrapers, the capitol, government offices and a few quality museums. Surrounding downtown are several large and fairly distinct suburbs, mostly built on a sprawling grid, in some cases separated by low hills.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 5.5%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Phoenix jobs have increased by 3.17%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Phoenix's cost of living is 0.6%, lower than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Phoenix is $191,000. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been -11.40%.

4. Nashville, Tennessee

If the force is with you, you might want to make Nashville your home. Nashville will soon be home to a full-scale replica of the Millennium Falcon. Chris Lee, the man behind the Full-Scale Millennium Falcon Project, is constructing the model on his 88 acres of land, an hour outside of Nashville. Lee and a team of like-minded fans are volunteering their time and resources to build the 1:1 scale version -- 114 feet long, 81.5 feet wide and 30.9 feet tall -- and design it to perfectly mirror the real thing (minus the flying).

Oh, and it's illegal to keep a cheetah as a pet in Nashville -- if you could even catch one. Nashville is the capital and second-largest city in Tennessee. Known worldwide as the center of country music, it has long been a destination for music-related tourism.

The city has been working for some time to renovate its downtown area and attract first-class amenities.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Nashville-Davidson is 3.80%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Nashville-Davidson jobs have increased by 2.46%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Nashville-Davidson's cost of living is 0.4%, lower than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Nashville-Davidson is $205,800. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been 34.96%.

3. Tampa, Florida

Argh, Matey! If you like Talk Like a Pirate Day, you'll love Tampa; it is the only city that is invaded by pirates each year. Tampa's Gasparilla Pirate Fest happens every year in late January.

While soft in the early part of the decade, the economy has gained traction recently as the benefits of a business-friendly climate have paid off. Among other new economic pursuits, the area has become a favorite as a secondary location for information processing for the financial industry.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Tampa is 4.8%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Tampa jobs have increased by 1.62%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Tampa's cost of living is 5.9%, lower than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Tampa is $159,100. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been -6.33%.

2. Jacksonville, Florida

No. 2 keeps us in Florida. If you skate to live, grind over to Jacksonville -- home to the first skatepark in the United States. Jacksonville is a large commercial and financial center, with the most "northern" feel among large cities in Florida.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Jacksonville is 5.0%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Jacksonville jobs have increased by 2.11%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Jacksonville's cost of living is 8.00% Lower than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Jacksonville is $138,900. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been -16.53%.

1. Atlanta

It was once illegal to put an ice cream cone in your back pocket in Atlanta, as well as tying your pet giraffe to a telephone pole. In spite of these strange laws, Atlanta has boomed, first as home to such giants as Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, and more recently as a vital regional and headquarters business center for large corporations.

Home offices for Home Depot, UPS, CNN and BellSouth are in the area. Almost any company you can think of has an operation here, and some are quite large.

Fast Facts:

  • Economy: The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 5.9%. (The U.S. average is 5.2%.) Recent job growth is positive. Atlanta jobs have increased by 2.21%.
  • Cost of Living: Compared to the rest of the country, Atlanta's cost of living is 1.8%, higher than the U.S. average.
  • Real Estate: The median home cost in Atlanta is $191,600. Home appreciation the last 10 years has been 1.52%.

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