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Apex has all the things you’d expect in the No. 1 place to live as rated by Money Magazine in 2015. It features a charming downtown, top-notch schools, and strong historical significance. It also has something else: high-paying tech-industry jobs that help make the quality of life here second to none.

The local economy is driven by the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park, 18 miles away. More than 200 companies, including IBM, Cisco, Fidelity Investments, Credit Suisse, Lenovo, and GlaxoSmithKline, have offices there and provide high paying jobs for thousands of workers. Proximity to the tech hub also gives a boost to the local schools, already among the state’s best. Apex High School offers the Academy of Information Technology, a four-year program that exposes students to the IT field through coursework and internships.

With so many attractive qualities, Apex has seen its population double since 2000. The town has taken steps to address the rapid growth, including a new toll road that cut the commute time to Research Triangle in half, to 20 minutes. And the just-opened Apex Friendship High School, with cutting-edge technology like 70-inch monitors in every classroom. The community has also managed to retain its close-knit vibe, even as the population has grown, with events like a weekly farmers’ market and an annual jazz festival.

The average home price in Apex is in the mid $300’s.

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