Westerville can add another feather in its cap of national recognition: The city recently was chosen by Money magazine as the fifth-best place in the country for affordable homes near water.

Westerville can add another feather in its cap of national recognition: The city recently was chosen by Money magazine as the fifth-best place in the country for affordable homes near water.

Westerville also made the pages of the magazine in 2006, when it was listed as one of the top towns overall in the United States.

Mayor Anne Gonzales said Westerville's sense of community may have put the city on this year's list.

"This recognition is a reflection not only of our home values but of our overall quality of life here in Westerville," Gonzales said. "We have it all here, from atmosphere, values and amenities to our beautiful landscape. Westerville is the kind of neighborhood-focused community I'm proud to call home."

At a total population of 34,900, Westerville broke into the listing with a median family income of $100,385. The average median housing price of cities making the list was $293,712.

Westerville Visitors & Convention Bureau director Jeff Hartnell pointed out that there is more meaning behind the recognition than might be obvious at first.

"It's kind of an understatement, because it's more than just housing, but also cost of living, which I imagine is more than housing -- it's property taxes, insurance and all that," Hartnell said. "It's how you maintain your home and provide insurance for that home, that's what I think it's coming from.

"I think it re-verifies that Westerville is doing well and that these kind of costs reflect the operation of this community by the city; they do an impressive job."

"There's no shortage of charm in Westerville, Ohio's largest suburb," the Money Magazine article says. "Historic architecture has been preserved in Uptown Westerville, where 19th-century homes mingle with bed-and-breakfasts, mom-and-pop stores and a weekly farmers market in the summer . Head to Hoover Reservoir for afternoon sailing or kayaking, or buzz on over to Alum Creek Lake for some water skiing. Landlubbers can admire the scenery at Alum Creek while picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, or just relaxing on the beach."

Fort Smith, Ark., claimed the top spot on Money magazine's list as the best place in the country for affordable homes. Ohio boasted five cities on the list, including Westerville (fifth place), Wadsworth (sixth place), Stow (11th place), Brunswick (14th place) and North Ridgeville (17th place).