There are plenty of reasons to join in the O-H-I-O chant even if you aren’t at a Buckeyes football game. Ohio has something for everyone from every age group to celebrate. The state earned a spot on Bankrate’s list of best places to retire, thanks to its affordable Midwest lifestyle. But buying a home in Ohio isn’t just for those who are ready to wave goodbye to work. Cincinnati and Columbus, both with thriving downtowns and plenty of recent college graduates, appear in Bankrate’s list of the best places to live in the entire country, and there are plenty of other cities with youthful energy and opportunities, including Dayton, Cleveland and Toledo.
Buying a house in Ohio hasn’t exactly been easy lately, though. Like everywhere else in the country, the state has a shortage of available housing that has pushed average prices up to nearly $274,000 as of July 2022. While those prices might make you think about waiting to buy a house, the market is beginning to look better for buyers as more inventory hits the market. Plus, more sellers are now dropping their prices — more than 7 percent more than this time last year, according to Redfin data.
Read on for everything you need to know about how to buy a house in Ohio.
How to buy a house in Ohio
Decide where in Ohio to live
The Buckeye State covers more than 40,000 square miles, so you have plenty of land to choose from as you think about where to plant your roots. However, housing prices can look very different depending on where you’re trying to buy. While average prices in Athens were up by 16 percent in July, average prices in Lancaster actually declined by more than 27 percent in the same timeframe.
The cost of the house is only part of the equation, though. You should consider how much you’ll pay for everything else you need to live, too, like transportation, groceries and utilities. Bankrate’s cost of living calculator can help you understand how far your earnings will take you in different parts of the state. In Columbus, for example, the cost of living is more than 4 percent lower than it is in Cincinnati. That may sound small, but every dollar counts — particularly during a time of very high inflation.
And as you try to find the best place to live in Ohio, think beyond the current market and your current lifestyle. Will you be planning to have a family? Make sure you consider schools in the area. Do you travel a lot for work? Perhaps you’ll want to find a place near an airport. Buying …….