Ranchos a hit for young families | RecordCourier.com

Ranchos a hit for young families

A sign welcomes people to the Gardnerville Ranchos, founded in 1965.
Kurt Hildebrand |

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The Gardnerville Ranchos is the second best place in the state for young families to live, according to a San Francisco consumer advocacy website.

Neighboring Gardnerville came in at No. 5, according to the site Nerd Wallet, which listed the top 10 best places for young families based on school quality, housing and monthly costs, and economic growth. Leading the list was Spring Creek, near Elko.

Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District Manager Bob Spellberg said his community has always welcomed families.

“We’ve always strived to make it a family-friendly place to live,” he said. “We’ve got a wide variety of homes, from starters on up. We’ve got schools, playgrounds, parks and good restaurants.”

Spellberg said the only thing the community is lacking is a strong commercial core, but there is shopping 5-10 minutes away in nearby Gardnerville.

Mitch Park, the Ranchos’ largest, is home to the county’s latest fishing pond, and plans are in the works to build a bicycle pump track. Groundbreaking on the bicycle track that includes a start hill is set for Sept. 9, with completion expected by mid-October.

Douglas County’s single most populous community with 11,300 residents, the Ranchos is home to two elementary schools and a middle school. The median home value is $285,700 and median household income is $59,246.

“If you look at the list for the whole state, almost all of it is in the north,” Spellberg pointed out.

After the Ranchos, Southern Nevada cities Henderson and Boulder City came in third and fourth.

At fifth, Gardnerville beat out Carson City, Dayton, Sparks, Fallon and Elko.

“Young families in Gardnerville have access to great education. Carson Valley Middle School earned a perfect rating from GreatSchools, and the Nevada Department of Education gave it five out of five stars for students’ performance on standardized tests,” Mike Anderson, the analyst who conducted the study said.

“That designation recognizes achievement overall as well as improvement from English Language Learners, students with disabilities and those who qualify for free and reduced lunch. In other words, this district is great in general and gives a leg up to the disadvantaged, too.”

Gardnerville is home to the Valley’s oldest elementary school and Carson Valley Middle School.

All of the top five communities had great school ratings of 8. Gardnerville’s median home value was $238,500. The town had the lowest median household income of the top 10, with $43,315.