By LIZ BUTTON
Rye has been ranked number 10 on Money Magazine’s annual list of top 25 highest earning towns across the country, as reported by CNNMoney.com.
High-earning families who move to Rye are drawn by its small town charm, school district and its proximity to New York City, the report said.
With a population of 15,870 people, Rye has a median family income of $221,457, while the median home price in the city is $1,237,500, according to the list.
The highest-earning town in America is another Westchester town, nearby Scarsdale.
This is all before taxes, as Westchester County is the highest taxed in the nation.
Using 2010 U.S. census data and statistics from data services company Onboard Informatics, Money Magazine crunched the numbers and came up with the top 25. Only two places per state could qualify for the list, which was published Monday, Aug. 12.
Money Magazine, which covers personal finance and contains investment tips, is chiefly known for its annual list of America’s Best Places to Live, which is compiled based on economic and census data as well as various ease-of-living criteria.
Real estate agent Ruth Jeffries, who works at the William Raveis agency on Purchase Street, said people point out a variety of reasons for moving to Rye.
They like that the city is very family-oriented, with a packed schedule of community events and immediate access to the Long Island Sound. Additionally, “it’s commutable and yet it’s still very suburban,” said Jeffries, who calls herself a big Rye fan.
The remainder of the list includes nearby Weston, Conn. at number two and New Canaan, Conn., at number five. The top 25 list ends with Leawood, Kansas, which has a median family income of $142,712 and a median home price of $260,703.
In 2010, Coldwell Banker reported that Rye was the third most expensive city in the country in which to buy a home.
Jeffries said that some buyers have said they came for the school district. Rye residents pay considerable money for property taxes anyway, so if private school is not option, they want the best school system they can get, she said.
And when showing these families around, “the more they see of Rye, the more they usually like it.”
Despite high home prices, it is the schools that draw many high-earning families to Rye. This year, Rye High School was voted the ninth best public high school in the state, U.S News & World Report, not counting charter and magnet schools, and is ranked 61st in the country.
It is common for Rye residents to work in Stamford, Conn., which is about 20 minutes away by train, or in New York City, which is around a 40 minute commute.
And at home, top earners are attracted to Rye’s suburban lifestyle, which features impressive houses, many of which have been used as the sites for commercials, charming stores and upscale restaurants.
Another draw listed was activities at the city’s waterfront on the Long Island Sound, from yachting at the Rye Marina to patronizing the city’s exclusive beach clubs, the area’s public beaches or the historic Rye Playland amusement park.
Ellen Abrams, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker’s Rye/Harrison office, said prospective home buyers know about Rye because it is a city that has put itself on the map, simply because of the quality of life offered there.
“It’s a place where the reputation almost precedes itself,” she said.
Abrams said the city has features that make it uniquely spectacular, even compared to other remarkable communities on the Sound Shore, one being its historical nature.
Rye is one of the first American settlements and is the site of the home of John Jay, one of the country’s founding fathers. Running through the city is the Boston Post Road, one of America’s oldest thruways.
“People truly appreciate the historic and preservation aspects of the town,” she said.