There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Ohio:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Ohio, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Buckeye State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Ohio that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.
The best deal in Ohio at the moment? That would be Dover according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Ohio:
- Dover (Photos | Homes)
- Wauseon (Photos | Homes)
- Newark (Photos | Homes)
- Norwood (Photos | Homes)
- Lancaster (Photos | Homes)
- Mentor-on-the-Lake (Homes)
- Reading (Photos | Homes)
- Ontario (Photos | Homes)
- Englewood (Photos | Homes)
- London (Photos | Homes)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Ohio?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Ohio. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Ohio with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2012-2016 and compared it to the previous vintage (2011-2015). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still ‘cheap’ for Ohio with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 1,203 cities and towns in Ohio, only 31 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 31 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a ‘best place to buy’ index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Dover is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Buckeye State.
Read on for more on these places.
Dover was platted in 1807, and most likely was named after the local Dover family. A post office has been in operation at Dover since 1815.
The first seat of justice in the county was Ottokee, because of its central location in the county; a wooden courthouse was built in 1851. Wauseon was platted 1854 when the railroad was extended to that point. The village was incorporated in 1859. With the commercial success that the railroad brought to Wauseon, it was designated county seat in 1871. The Fulton County Courthouse was built in 1872.
Indigenous peoples lived along the river valleys for thousands of years before European contact. From more than two thousand years ago, 100 AD to 500 AD, people of the Hopewell culture transformed the area of Newark. They built many earthen mounds and enclosures, creating the single largest earthwork complex in the Ohio River Valley. The Newark Earthworks, designated a National Historic Landmark, have been preserved to document and interpret the area’s significant ancient history. The earthworks cover several square miles. The Observatory Mound, Observatory Circle, and the interconnected Octagon earthworks span nearly 3,000 feet (910 m) in length. The Octagon alone is large enough to contain four Roman Coliseums. The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt would fit precisely inside Observatory Circle. The even larger 1,180-foot (360 m)-diameter Newark Great Circle is the largest circular earthwork in the Americas. The 8 feet (2.4 m)-high walls surround a 5 feet (1.5 m)-deep moat. At the entrance, the walls and moat are of greater and more impressive dimensions.
The earliest humans in the area now known as Norwood are believed to have been Pre-Columbian era people of the Adena culture. Norwood Mound, a prehistoric earthwork mound built by the Adena, is located in Norwood and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Adena constructed the mound at the location of Norwood’s present-day Water Tower Park, which is the highest land elevation in the city and one of the highest in all of Hamilton County. Archaeologists believe the mound was built at this site due to the high elevation and was used by the Adena for religious ceremonies and smoke signaling.
The earliest known inhabitants of the southeastern and central Ohio region were the Hopewell, Adena, and Fort Ancient Native Americans, of whom little evidence survived, beyond the burial and ceremonial mounds built throughout the Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Many mounds and burial sites have also yielded archaeological artifacts. (See also: Serpent Mound and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, which though not located in Fairfield County, are close by.)
In 1794, a German immigrant by the name of Abraham Voorhees moved his family from their home near Philadelphia, building a large double log cabin along the west bank of the Millcreek in Sycamore Township. Shortly after, a visitor from Reading, PA (Harvey Redinbo) was pleased with the land that Voorhees had acquired and purchased his own land, in the area of Hunt Road and Columbia Avenue. This early settlement (1797) was known as Voorhees-Town, but was changed to Reading in the honor of Redinbo?s hometown, and the birthplace of his father-in-law (William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania ? born in Reading, England).
Ontario was founded by Hiram Cook, and was platted in December 1834 as a settlement in Springfield Township near Mansfield. During that same month thereafter, the original settlement of Ontario merged with New Castle, another small settlement that was originally located just to the west of the Ontario settlement along the Mansfield and Bucyrus route (known today as State Route 309) that had just been laid out and platted. New Castle was named for Henry Cassell, while others stated that it was named in honor of Newcastle upon Tyne, a city in England. Ontario was named after Ontario County, New York, the native place of the founder of the town. In 1863, the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad (later Erie Railroad mainline) reached Ontario and a train station was built, but was later demolished after much of the railway was abandoned in the late 20th century.
Although Englewood was not actually founded until 1841, many early settlers began to come to the area known as Randolph Township around 1800. Earliest settlers were the families of David Hoover, David Mast, Daniel Hoover, Robert Ewing, John and Abraham McClintock, John Rench, Martin Sheets, Jacob Smith, Daniel and Peter Fetters. Also among the early settlers were the families of the Ellers, Fouts, Frantzs, Wertzs and the Brumbaughs.
Soon after the village was platted in the early 1810s, a Methodist church was founded in the community. Today known as First United Methodist Church, this congregation built a small log church building in 1820; it was London’s first church. In the early 1900s, the church added facilities for the storage of human milk to sustain the orphanage it then operated.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Ohio
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Ohio. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 0 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Ohio reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Ohio