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Incubate This: 5 Potential Hacker Homes in Tech Hubs That Aren’t Silicon Valley

Incubate This: 5 Potential Hacker Homes in Tech Hubs That Aren’t Silicon Valley

Courtesy of HBO

Courtesy of HBO

Our favorite nerd comedy has returned, and we snuggled up on the sofa this weekend with the lovable Steve Jobs wannabes of “Silicon Valley.” (There are more good times to come—HBO announced on Monday that it had renewed the show for a third season.)

But what if we wanted to shack up with our own bunch of awkwardly charming geeks? (Or, you know, start our own incubator?) We decided to develop an algorithm for finding the ideal “hacker home” that would make Erlich Bachman proud.

Of course, our algorithm is nowhere near as intricate as the show’s infamous and salacious math equation, but we think it’s spot-on. Using SmartAsset’s list of the best cities (that aren’t Silicon Valley) to be a tech worker, we found homes in the top five cities that are ideal for a Pied Piper kind of startup life. Each home is quite affordable, has five or more bedrooms for optimal co-living, and has some distinctive, hip feature that would make it a young hacker’s dream habitat.

5. Springfield, IL

Address: 2604 Hazelnut Dr.
Specs: 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, 5,713 sq. ft.
Price: $ 340,000

Yes, Springfield. The City Water, Light & Power company, which owns Lake Springfield, is a major source of tech employment here. Plus, the cost of living is a relative bargain. We splurged a bit to find this house, but we think it’s a worthy investment. Check out this sick working space—can’t you just picture some bean-bag chairs and a sea of laptops by the wet bar?



4. Dallas, TX

Address: 10444 Lanshire Dr.
Specs: 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2,868 sq. feet
Price: $ 359,900

Already home to electronics company Texas Instruments and the major offices of AT&T and ExxonMobil, Dallas is sometimes called “Silicon Prairie.” If you want to get in on this up-and-coming tech sector, we’d recommend the home below, which is only minutes away from a local lake and hiking and biking trails. It has a rad home office and a pool, which is a must for any party professional co-living home.



3. Huntsville, AL

Address: 3923 Nolen Ave SE
Specs: 6 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,743 sq. feet
Price: $ 299,900

Who says the South isn’t hip? Huntsville earned the nickname the “Rocket City” for its contributions to the U.S. space program. On top of that (or perhaps because of it), 6.5% of the city’s labor force is tech workers. The University of Alabama in Huntsville also drives the tech sector with its engineering programs. So after you’ve graduated, settle down with your roomies in this gorgeous 1920s plantation-style house with picture windows and ample space for playing when you’re not working. I think I see some prime beer pong real estate just to the left of this chic blue kitchen.



2. Colorado Springs, CO

Address: 3745 Birdie Ct.
Specs: 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 4,407 sq. feet
Price: $ 349,500

Colorado Springs is the hub of manufacturing for much of the nation’s high-tech equipment, including servers and semiconductors. It’s also a hot spot for major defense contractors and home to the nonprofit Space Foundation, which is dedicated to continuing our exploration of outer space. Perhaps that’s why we thought this home was out of this world (yep, we totally went there). Complete with a “super family room” with floor-to-ceiling windows, lots of office space, and this theater with a 120-inch screen, we think you’ll have a hard time getting work done in this house.



1. Omaha, NE

Address: 4108 S 12th St
Specs: 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 3,370 sq. feet
Price: $ 179,900

Bet you didn’t know that the heartland community of Omaha is home to Fortune 500 companies such as Berkshire Hathaway and Union Pacific, and it was ranked the best city to work in tech by SmartAsset. If you can bear the brutal winters, there’s a reward waiting for you at this home. After a long day of working on your next product release, we think you’d love to kick back with your roomies in this indoor hot tub.

Omaha, NE


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