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The Best Places to Live in Ohio: An In-Depth Guide

The Buckeye State is a proud midwestern state known for its friendly residents. If you’re thinking of buying a home in Ohio in 2019, be sure to look for a place with a steady economy, great amenities, and affordable cost of living. Here are five places home buyers should explore in Ohio this year.
The Buckeye State is a proud midwestern state known for its friendly residents. If you’re thinking of buying a home in Ohio in 2019, be sure to look for a place with a steady economy, great amenities, and affordable cost of living. Here are five places home buyers should explore in Ohio this year.

Nestled in the Midwest, Ohio is home to many top U.S. cities like Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. But not all Ohio cities offer a balanced combination of high quality of life for an affordable cost.

Though Ohio is one of the most affordable states to purchase a home, home buyers should do their homework before committing to a place to move. From access to outdoor recreational spots to downtown attractions, here are the five best Ohio cities to call home that won’t cost you a fortune.

1. Columbus

This artistic, whimsical city is one of the most attractive cities to millennials with great access to job opportunities, downtown amenities, and home to the prestigious Ohio University.

Columbus is also relatively affordable for home buyers, with average cost of living expenses well below the country’s average. Housing and healthcare costs are just barely over the state’s median cost of living, though groceries are more affordable in Columbus than the state’s average.

While the state’s average home value sits at $139,100, Columbus is a little higher, clocking in at $156,500, according to 2019 data from Zillow. Home values have gone up by 9.4% over the past 12 months and are expected to increase by 6% over the next 12 months. With a strong economy, however, and slightly cooling market, an experienced agent can help you find your dream home in Columbus for the right price.

2. Dayton

This Ohio city is interesting, because while it’s quite large with a population of 140,939 residents, it offers more of a suburban feel. With great access to downtown amenities and nightlife, Dayton is a great place to buy a home in the Buckeye State.

The cost of living in Dayton is well below the country’s average and housing costs in Dayton are more affordable than the rest of the state. Grocery, healthcare, and transportation costs are also under state and country averages.

Though the housing market is very hot in Dayton right now, the average home value is $51,800, making buying a home affordable for most Buckeyes. Home values have increased by 14.3% in Dayton over the past 12 months and are projected to increase by another 3.3% over the next 12 months.

3. Cincinnati

Cincinnati is one of the most well known midwestern cities, and luckily, it’s also one of the best when it comes to balanced quality of living and cost of living. Located along the Ohio River and near the state’s Indiana and Kentucky borders, this large city is a mecca for industry, has plenty of historical and cultural attractions, and amenities to boot.

As far as cost of living, Cincinnati is surprisingly affordable, coming in under the country’s average cost of living and just barely over Ohio’s average. Housing is just under the state average, while grocery, healthcare, and utilities are all more affordable than the state’s average prices.

Right now, the local housing market in Cincinnati is very hot, favoring home sellers. Home values are at $144,400, a 9.5% increase from 12 months ago. They’re also expected to rise another 4.7% over the next few months. Despite the hot market, there are still plenty of homes buyers can find for affordable prices around this bustling city.

4. Akron

Akron experienced some economic turmoil in the past decade but is in the midst of economic revitalization. More businesses and job opportunities are coming to this Ohio city, with a recent job numbers increase of 0.83%. With quick access to top downtown amenities and a more laid-back vibe, Akron is a great place to invest in a home.

The cost of living in Akron is well below both the country and state averages. Housing is much more affordable in Akron than other Ohio cities, as are grocery, healthcare, transportation, and utility expenses.

The current real estate market in Akron is very hot, though home values are still below state averages, at only $67,000. Home values increased by 6.5% over the past 12 months and are expected to increase by another 3% over the next 12 months. Now is the perfect time to find the best deal on a home in Akron.

5. Springfield

Nestled between Dayton and Columbus is the smaller city of Springfield, Ohio, home to approximately 59,500 Buckeye residents. Recent job growth has brought more employment opportunities to this city, helping to boost the overall economy.

One of the main perks of buying a home in Springfield is the low cost of living in the city. Right now, all around cost of living is much cheaper than Ohio and U.S. averages, with housing costs at less than 50% of the Ohio average cost and 30% of the U.S. average cost.

Though the housing market in Springfield is very hot, home values are still lower than average, at $64,800. Values have gone up 11.5% over the past 12 months and are on track to increase by another 5.1% over the next 12 months. Buying now before these increases take hold will help you find the best deal on a home in Springfield.

Next Steps

Once you’re ready to take the next step in the buying process, you’ll need a talented local Ohio buyer’s agent. If you don’t already have an agent, let Clever connected you to an experienced agent near you.

Clever Partner Agents offer on-demand home showings and Home Buyer Rebates. These rebates mean $1,000 back to buyers at the time of closing (or up to 1% back for homes over $500,000). Find out more by connecting with a Clever Partner Agent today.

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Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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