Relocationg to Ft Wayne IN or Cinci/Dayton OH?? (Fort Wayne: real estate market, to rent)
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We are considering relocating from TX to Ft Wayne IN (family reasons). Ideally we'd like to own a home with a basement on about 5 acres (4 bd, 2.5 bath, 3 car garage) up to the upper 200's. We'd prefer to be in an area of similar homes (not sure if they have "subdivisions" with these mini-farm homes but would prefer to protect the property values and have certain restrictions such as no mobile homes,etc) and would like some animals (chickens,maybe a goat). Or plan is to rent for a year and really get a feel for the area. Then we may buy a newer home or land and build (probably the latter). So here are our questions:
1. Is this real estate scenario above likely? How far outside the city are these types of properties?
2. How is traffic?
3. How are the schools? We have 2 young children not yet in school but this will be a concern.
* Do they have things such as school choice? Do they do busing?
4. What are the average electric bills (like for a 3000 sq ft home)? (I read some alarming posts about the electricity in OH)
5. Is the weather significantly different between the 2 areas?
6. If anyone is familiar with both IN and OH, how do they compare?
7. Cost of living in general between the two? It seems like OH is more.
8. What about food? Do they have local farmers market and good, cheap produce?
The reason we are adding Cincinatti and Dayton is that there seem to be a lot of job opportunities there. Recruiters have been contacting about jobs there so we are having an open mind.
So for OH, in addition to the above, how would you compare Cincinatti and Dayton?
We were preferring to be in a smaller city. Our concern is that Cinci is a really sprawling place. Although we'd be on the outskirts (around Sharonville). The metro area sizes vary dramatically between them.
Thank you so much for any insight! Obviously we would be planning to visit the areas but just wanted to get some information ahead of time, especially cost of living items.
I lived in Fort Wayne for many years and moved away in April 2008. As far as electric bills, it really depends upon the situation yo are in, I cannot answer for someone in your financial bracket. But I do know that Fort Wayne is considered an excellent place to raise a family. A new baseball park was opened in April of this year., as a part of the downtown improvement project. They have one of the best public libraries in the midwest, with much to offer for adults and children alike. ( There is a posting under 'Indiana' that reads something like: "Why doesn't Fort Wayne have more restaurants, stores,?" Please read my postings in the thread, wherein I have described the main library ). I do not know much about the public schools, but if you are interested in home schooling there are sources ( such as librarians ) to guide you to the right people. The Chamber of Commerce Bldg. is located just caddy-corner to the west entrance of the main library -downtown.
Fort Wayne is a conservative kind of city. As for the type of real estate scenario that you are looking for, you would find that sort of arrangement, if it exists, on the outskirts of the city...or beyond the city limits. There are many housing sub-divisions in Fort Wayne, but of course, you would have to familiarize yourselves with city ordinances, or check with local Animal Control. You might want to search the areas north of Coliseum Blvd., and west of the city - around Covington Rd. in the Aboite township area.
As far as places that sell fresh produce, there used to be a Bar St. market, downtown, but it never amounted to much. Slightly north of the downtown area is the 'Three Rivers Food Co-op'. You would probably enjoy shopping there. Volunteers who work just a few hours each week enjoy a discount; wherein, self-service bulk foods are, of course, less costly than some of the packaged, organic fare. They supply many fresh herbs and spices; bag up only the amount you need. And there's a full inventory of bath and beauty products. Also, a breakfast/lunch cafe, educational material, and live entertainment on various evenings. But if you want to find those extensive, outdoor markets, or roadside stands, I would guide you to the smaller, rural towns in northeast IN. The Amish community of Grabill is a charming, little place to look around. Then the town of Shipshewanna is well-known for it's flea market.
The weather patterns in northeast In and northwest OH, I'm sure, are pretty much the same. But you seem to be asking about the southern part of the Ohio. In the Dayton/Cinci region, still, I doubt there would be a whole lot of difference; if anything, slightly warmer in the winter. When I lived in Fort Wayne, it often seemed that the weather forecast was inaccurate. Personally I did not like the overall climate there.
As for the traffic, it is probably no more congested than any other city unless there is re-routing due to construction.
But years ago I went to college in Ohio. I would encourage you to explore those areas, as well. You know, if you lived in Cinci, you wouldn't be far from the Thoroughbred horse region of Kentucky. I am a big animal lover, would love to have a farm full of animals to care for. I will soon be studying for a vet tech degree, at home, just for my own enrichment, and to assist other people with their pets.
So anyway, I am sure this will be quite a new experience compared with Texas.
Good Luck to you in finding your own "private Idaho" !
In Ft Wayne area, Leo schools are rated 10 and you can get more land than the other high rated districts. I also like Columbia City area, schools are decent. South Whitley is also highly respected for a country school. Roanoke is a charming town( 10-15 min. to SW Allen, with good shopping)and has a quaint downtown with a farmers market and gourmet restaurant. The elementary is popular.I would choose that over the others for the atmosphere and location. Lots of other country schools are not so highly rated academically. For what you want, it may be hard to find that acerage in SW Allen or NW Allen districts, which are highly rated.
You can choose your schools in Ft Wayne Community Schools, and drive your child there, but you are less likely to find the country life you want. But I wish you all the luck, we think Ft Wayne is a great place to raise children.
1. Not sure.
2. None really, but S.R. 14 (Illinois road) on the SW side is bad.
3. S.W. Allen County, N.W. Allen County, and Leo are all very good.
4. Fairly low.
5. Yes, Fort Wayne will have a lot more snow than Cinci/Dayton. Cinci and Dayton will have more rain/snow mix or ice. This makes Fort Wayne better depending on how you look at it.
6. Not familiar with Ohio, but the speed limits are slower.
7. Fort Wayne is about the cheapest mid-sized city in the country, so it would be less.
8. During some of the year there is the barr street market downtown.
FYI - traffic on SR 14 (Illinois road) on the SW side of Fort Wayne is only bad right now due to road expansion. The expansion of the lanes will be completed early next year, while the expansion project complete with new lights, and a new side walk on the south side may take until next summer. The project seems to have taken forever, but I can now see an end in sight as they've recently (a couple days ago) prepped for pavement a significant portion.
Once expanded the traffic flow will be ten times better so I wouldn't discourage anyone from buying a home nearby. It's a fantastic area overall.
THanks so much for your replies! Ft Wayne was our first pick based on location plus I really like the size......the metro area is soooo much smaller than Cinci but certainly not tiny. It seems like a great size. But supposedly there are some outlying, rural areas in Cinci that won't feel like you are in a big metro area (one prospective job is on the far northern outskirts, so that would be a good option). I guess it will depend where the jobs are, specifically in the defense industry. Ft Wayne has quite a few defense companies but it still depends on what type of work, etc. We had read articles about how Ft Wayne was trying to attract technical talent to its growing defense industry but I think these jobs come in cycles....there hasn't been too much now.
Anyone there in the defense field?
2 more questions on the areas:
1. I have developed bad allergies from being in TX (which is very common from what I heard from other people). I realize this depends on each person, but in general is the allergies really bad up there?
2. I've been talking with realtors. It seems like the housing market is depressed, like most of the country. So there can be good deals BUT the question is if the prices will keep falling.....then it'd make more sense to maybe hold off a bit more. Any ideas or feedback on the local real estate market?
As far as the allergies are concerned, I have allergies and I do not have a problem here. When the seasons change however, i notice a little stuffy nose here and there but the air is very clean around here. The housing market in Fort Wayne will be starting to pick up soon because about 700+ families will be moving to the area because the GM plant just announced the addition. They will be moving from the Detroit area. If you are considering moving to Fort Wayne, I would definitely consider the northern outskirts of the city (Dupont Road and north of it) and the Southwest area (I-69 and to the west). Also, if you can't find an area on those parts of the city try the Northeast area. In addition, Leo-Cedarville, Grabill, Huntertown and many of these tiny suburban cities have very nice ranch homes that you are talking about. All of these areas i talked about take no longer than 30 minutes to get to downtown, which is one aspect I love about Fort Wayne. Considering the size of Fort Wayne, the traffic is nothing compared to a large city (another positive). You will notice that most of these areas will not have many mobiles homes because most of it is relatively new construction. The roads to get out to some of these areas do have mobile homes, but not by the actual houses themselves. You will definitely be able to find the house you are looking for around Fort Wayne.
Have you guys narrowed down the possible sites?
Like I said before, there are signs that the Fort Wayne economy is starting to recover so relatively soon would be a good time to move.
thanks....i saw some of the rankings of Dayton pretty high up in allergies. A lot of people (like me) didn't have bad allergies until moving here. Was hoping for a big improvement in that!
We were originally thinking to rent for 1 year while we scout out areas. But we thought IF we got a good relocation package (a big IF) it might make more sense to buy. But if the area prices are stagnant or maybe even falling, it would make more sense to wait.
We plan on taking trips soon to scout out both areas. I prefer Ft Wayne's size but Dayton seems to have some pluses...the flights out of that aiport seem to work much better. I suspect the Ft Wayne airport isn't as big (because of the smaller metro size). DH will have to travel for work, although maybe not frequent enough for it to be a determining factor.
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