Columbus, Ohio is the 15th largest city in the U.S by population. In 2020, there were about 900,000 people living there. When people say that Ohio is the heart of it all, they could be well referring to Columbus city specifically. Over half of the U.S population lives within a 500-mile radius of Columbus. You can drive to Chicago, Atlanta, and New York city from Columbus and get there on the same day.
If you are considering moving to Columbus, you are making the right move. The city is growing fast, and a lot of young people are moving there. Columbus is creating jobs quite fast, and unemployment is below 3.5%. Besides the good job market, the city's culturally vibrant and the people are passionate about sports. But what other reasons will make you want to move? Here are 12 things to know about Columbus Ohio.
One of the main reasons for the young median age in Columbus is the high student population. Columbus is not exactly a college town but there are over 100,000 students enrolled in more than 50 different colleges. Ohio State University's Main Campus is the biggest college with over 61000 students enrolled while Columbus State Community College has over 27,000.
Having a big student population presents an opportunity for real estate investors to tap into the student-housing niche. Each year, at least 20,000 new faces join the various schools in Columbus.
The city of Columbus has two professional team sports that call it home. The Columbus Blue Jackets play their National Hockey League home games at Nationwide Arena. The Columbus Crew play in the Major League Soccer, building a fast increasing interest in soccer in North America. The Ohio State University's football game is well regarded by residents. Over 90% of the people say that they love football. The streets of Columbus are mostly empty whenever the football team is playing at home.
Columbus hosts a public library system dubbed Columbus Metropolitan Library with 22 branches spread out over Franklin County. The system serves over 800,000 people each year with a collection of over 1.4 million volumes. The main library opened its doors in 1907 and since then, the city has funded its maintenance and expansion. Andrew Carnegie was the biggest donor for the construction of the library and there is a special series of book events held each year in his honor.
Columbus, Ohio experiences all kinds of weather during the year. There are 178 sunny days, on average, each year. That's slightly below the average for the country. There are 130 days of rain, snow, or hail during the year. July is the warmest month in the year with temperatures reaching 90°.
When it's sunny, there are tens of parks you can visit in Columbus. The Franklin Park Conservatory is one such park where you can go to see exotic plant collections and botanical gardens. There is a small entrance charge but it's worth your while. You need at least 3 hours to take everything in. You can also visit Topiary Garden, Schiller Park, Hayden Falls Park, among others that are within a few minutes from the heart of the city.
You do not necessarily need to have a car to settle in Columbus, Ohio. It's easy to get around for a few months before deciding whether you need to own a car. The first option would be the COTA bus service. They have buses to take people around the Greater Columbus area with a frequency of 15 minutes on all days of the week. Columbus residents have also embraced bike-sharing services. The CoGo service has over 70 stations across the city with 600 bikes in total. Lastly, taxi-hailing services such as Lyft are available in Columbus.
The cost of living in Columbus is a few points lower than the US average. The median cost of a house in 2022 is $205,800 compared to $291,700, which is a huge difference. Renting a 1-bedroom unit in Columbus costs about $820 on average. The national average is $1048. The cost of groceries is in step with the national average, but you will spend far less on utilities such as energy in Columbus.
For people who work remotely and would want to live in an uncongested metropolis, Columbus is a great option. Ohio's minimum wage is now $9.30, which is above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
The value of property in Columbus has increased by over 17% over the last one year according to a report by Columbus Realtors. The median price of closed sales also rose by 13%. There has been a positive trend of increasing house prices in the area since 2013.
The first major reason for this has been a small but steady increase in population. While other cities along the Rust Belt have had a declining or stagnant population, Columbus has seen a growing demand for renovated family-friendly homes. The city has also given some tax concessions for people that own homes in downtown Columbus. This has increased demand for people who want to buy and live in such properties or convert them into rental units. There are no limits to how many days people can put up their homes on Airbnb.
The business environment in Ohio is quite friendly with the state allowing small businesses a lot of breathing room in terms of taxes. There is no state corporate income tax. Personal state income tax is also minimal with a rate of 4.9997% being the top marginal rate.
Setting up a business in Columbus is relatively easy. You can do so via the Ohio Secretary Of State's website. The filing fees vary between $39 and $99 depending on the type of entity you wish to set up. A vendor's license is only $25. Getting a Tax ID or EIN is free.
Columbus is rich in cultural diversity. In fact, 10% of the population in the city are people born in other countries. According to official statistics, 58.64% of the population are white, 28.99% are Black or African American, and 5.82% are Asian.
The city has the second largest Somali population in the US, about 60,000 of them. There is even an annual festival to celebrate Somali food, art, and history. It creates quite a spectacle each year in fall. People come to view artifacts, music, dances, and fashion.
The diversity is also visible in the food scene. There are numerous culturally inspired restaurants including Chinese, Indian, Nepalese, and many more.
Thurman Eateries is famous for some of the biggest and tastiest burgers in Ohio. It's located in the German district and has an 80-year history. People love them for the loaded fries and a wide beer selection too.
If you prefer a more sophisticated dining setting, then Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse should be top of your list. They offer an assorted menu of grilled meat and seafood. They are also famed for their range of cocktails.
Barcelona Restaurant and Bar is Spanish-themed eatery with a relaxing ambience. It's a nice place for a family brunch in a courtyard setting. The management has gone the length to research and perfect their menu to give even the most seasoned travelers the feeling of being in Europe through food.
The North Market's Farmers Market happens every Saturday. It's a great place to do your organic grocery shopping. There is also a wide selection of ready food to sample, from Somali to Italian. There are no chain restaurants at the farmer's market, so most vendors are small business owners offering their own crafted dishes.
If you host someone in Columbus, make sure you bring them to the farmer's market. They will not be disappointed. It can get a little crowded late in the afternoon so getting there early is advised.
Columbus may not be renowned for being a technology hub in the same way as San Francisco but do not be fooled. There is a bubbling technology scene and Computer Science graduates can find great work opportunities here.
JP Morgan Chase has over 20,000 employees in Columbus, 5000 of them working as software engineers. Other big employers in the area are Desco, Astute, and Ventech Solutions. There are many start-up success stories from Columbus including Olive, which is in the AI space. Others include Path Robotics, Loop Returns, Beam Dental, and Branch Insurance, all which have gone through successful funding rounds.
Columbus is great for anyone thinking about getting real estate in Ohio. It's a great purchase, both for people looking to earn rental income and those who wish to settle there.
The people are friendly and helpful, which helps with integration into the community. The sports arenas are a great place to meet new people. Nature-lovers and pet-lovers will find communities of people with similar interests in the parks.
With a vibrant job market and friendly business regulations, Columbus is a great place to establish your corporate or business career.
To learn more about Columbus, Ohio, and the real estate market there, reach out to me for firsthand information on statistics, trends, and hidden gems. I help clients identify, negotiate, and purchase real estate in the Columbus metropolis.
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