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Housing and Neighborhoods in Ohio

Choosing the right place to live is perhaps one of the most exciting parts of moving to Ohio. The state boasts a variety of cities and neighborhoods that cater to different preferences, whether you’re seeking a bustling urban environment or a tranquil suburban setting. Cities like Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland offer vibrant cultural scenes and are known for their diverse communities. On the other hand, smaller towns or suburban areas might appeal to those looking for a quieter lifestyle with close-knit community vibes. Researching these areas thoroughly will help you find a place that not only fits your budget but also your lifestyle and personal preferences.


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Major Cities and Their Appeal


Columbus, the state capital, is known for its diverse economy, thriving arts scene, and educational institutions like The Ohio State University. The city is a hub for innovation and has numerous parks, museums, and cultural festivals.

Neighborhood Highlights

  • German Village: Known for its historic charm and brick houses.
  • Short North Arts District: Famous for galleries, boutiques, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Clintonville: Popular for its community feel and green spaces.


Cincinnati is famous for its historic architecture, sports teams, and the scenic Ohio River. It’s a city with a rich cultural heritage and numerous family-friendly attractions.

Neighborhood Highlights

  • Over-the-Rhine: Renowned for its 19th-century architecture and vibrant arts scene.
  • Hyde Park: Known for its upscale feel and excellent schools.
  • Mount Adams: Offers stunning views of the city and a bohemian vibe.


Cleveland, located on the shores of Lake Erie, is known for its healthcare sector, cultural institutions like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and its robust sports culture.

Neighborhood Highlights

  • Tremont: Features trendy restaurants and a historic feel.
  • Ohio City: Known for its breweries and West Side Market.
  • Shaker Heights: Offers a suburban feel with top-rated schools.

Suburban and Rural Areas


Dayton provides a mix of urban and suburban living, known for its aviation history and vibrant arts community.

Neighborhood Highlights

  • Oakwood: Known for its historic homes and community-oriented vibe.
  • Kettering: Offers a range of parks and good schools.
  • Centerville: Popular for its small-town feel and excellent public services.


Akron combines the charm of a small town with the amenities of a larger city, known for its rubber industry history and beautiful parks.

Neighborhood Highlights

  • Highland Square: Features eclectic shops and a vibrant arts scene.
  • Fairlawn: Offers suburban living with plenty of shopping and dining options.
  • Copley: Known for its rural charm and excellent schools.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Ohio varies significantly depending on the city or town you choose. Here’s a comparison of some key areas:

City Median Home Price (2023) Average Rent (2-bedroom) Cost of Living Index*
Columbus $260,000 $1,200 91
Cincinnati $220,000 $1,050 89
Cleveland $180,000 $950 88
Dayton $150,000 $900 86
Akron $140,000 $850 85

*Cost of Living Index is based on a national average of 100.

Sources: Zillow Research, US Census,

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Neighborhood


Your budget is a primary consideration. Determine how much you can afford for housing, whether buying or renting, and look for neighborhoods that fit within your financial plan.

Lifestyle Preferences

Consider what type of environment suits your lifestyle. If you enjoy nightlife and cultural events, an urban area might be best. For those seeking a quieter life, suburban or rural areas could be more appealing.

Proximity to Work and Amenities

Evaluate the commute to your workplace and the proximity to essential amenities like schools, hospitals, and shopping centers.

Community Vibe

Each neighborhood has its unique vibe. Some are known for their close-knit communities and family-friendly environments, while others are more fast-paced and geared toward young professionals.


What are the best neighborhoods in Columbus for families?

Clintonville, Upper Arlington, and Bexley are popular choices for families due to their excellent schools, parks, and community-oriented atmosphere.

How does the cost of living in Ohio compare to other states?

Ohio generally has a lower cost of living compared to the national average, making it an attractive option for both families and individuals looking to maximize their budget.

What should I consider when moving to a suburban area in Ohio?

When moving to a suburban area, consider the quality of local schools, availability of parks and recreational facilities, and community events that can help you integrate into the neighborhood.

Are there any particularly safe neighborhoods in Cleveland?

Shaker Heights, Lakewood, and Rocky River are known for their safety, excellent schools, and strong community ties.

What is the average home price in Cincinnati?

As of 2023, the median home price in Cincinnati is around $220,000.

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