Fort Wayne, Indiana

Summit City

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What's it like to live in Fort Wayne?

What are the positives and negatives of Fort Wayne?

I came to Ft. Wayne for college starting in 2016 from a town of ~1300 people in Ohio. Coming from that background, to me Ft. Wayne was "moving to the big city". The only city I had any somewhat recurring experience with prior to coming here was Dayton, which I've never liked much. Dayton is a transportation and logistics hub, and therefore has interstate connections all over the place to take you everywhere. Being from a rural area, I never had much experience driving on interstates and to this day would rather avoid it. Ft. Wayne doesn't have a lot of interstate, and I basically never have to jump on it unless I'm going to Indy. So that's a positive for me.

I've always said to people that what I love about Ft. Wayne is that it really feels like a big town pretending to be a city. 85% of what you (me, at least) might want to go to can be found in and around the city, with a max of a 30 minute drive. Granted, I'm not one for going out and having adventures very often. There are always some neat public events going on here though. There are tons of great restaurants around and that's where I satisfy most of my need for "new experiences".

Having the lowest cost of living (for cities) in the country is a huge plus, and despite being so cheap, the infrastructure (quality of roads) is generally quite good, especially by Indiana standards (my sister lives on one of Indiana's patented gravel roads). As a tech nerd, Ft. Wayne having a fiber internet provider (Frontier Fiber) has also been a massive plus.

The biggest inconveniences for me are what others have already mentioned - those times when you do want to do something Ft. Wayne doesn't have, it's gonna be a real drive to do it. Pacers/Colts game, 2 hour drive. Roller-coasters / water park at Cedar Point, King's Island, Holiday World? 3-5 hour drive. We do have a pretty good amount of concerts from recognizable, if not A-list, musicians though.

Why I moved to Fort Wayne

I'm a young guy in my 20s and i'd like to tell you why I, personally, moved to fort wayne and why other people in a similar demographic may too. I find that alot of people take Indiana, as a whole, for granted and don't truly realize it's potential.

Why Indiana? :

Being a particularly right-leaning individual, Indiana is one of the freest states in the country, especially in comparison to it's neighboring states. I'm from the chicago area where taxes are significantly higher and there is little social (unless it's weed) and economic freedom.

Why Fort Wayne? :

It's cheap. When I was in the chicago area, half of my income was going to rent if I wanted to live in a safe area. Otherwise, you're priced out and forced to live in violent areas. Meanwhile, I can live in fort wayne comfortably with a total $1.5k/month budget. I'm able to save significantly more money with a higher standard of living.

Low crime. I was actually trying to decide on Indianapolis or Fort Wayne but the deal breaker for me was the crime in Indianapolis. Fort wayne has relatively lower crime rates compared to both Chicago and Indianapolis. I can live in a safe area for cheap without worrying about drug dealers, hobos, or gangbangers bothering me.

Economic Development. Eventhough Fort wayne is a relatively small city compared to Chicago and Indianapolis, I was satisfied with the present and future plans of economic development, according to sources like Greater Fort Wayne. There has been alot of economic development in the past 5 years and alot of future projects to come, especially in the down town area. I especially look forward to projects like Electric works to encourage entrepreneurship here. I look forward to being able to contribute to it by starting my own tech company here someday.

It's location. Fort wayne proximity to various campuses and cities here in the midwest is insane, all within 2-4 hour drives. It's a great place for future entrepreneurs to attract talent, especially since it's a developing city.

I thank anyone who took the time to read this and am giving my personal insights and experience on why I chose Fort Wayne, out of all places. I'm from the chicago area and wanted to stay in the midwest. As someone who holds midwestern values, I want to see small midwestern cities like Fort Wayne thrive.

Considering a Move to Fort Wayne

Howdy! My husband and I moved from Austin in May after living there for 8 years. I feel for you and the rapid rise in living costs there. You’ll likely make a profit selling your house, but then never be able to afford anything better, that’s for sure. We moved back because we have family here in town and all over the state.

We are excited about Fort Wayne as it seems to be growing quickly and has a burgeoning artsy community that is fun to explore. I needed to move away and come back to appreciate my state a little more. It’s quiet- and ‘culture’ seems to happen in small pockets, but once you start finding them it’s fun. I’m not super familiar with northern Indiana yet- so I’m still learning. However we are very close to lots of big cities in several states- so you’ll get a bit of variety instead of driving 8 hours to find yourself still in Texas.

There are several nice areas of Fort Wayne. We chose the southwest side near Homestead HS since that’s where my husband grew up, but we heard good things about the NWAC school system when looking for a house. Everyone is friendly so far, and people can drive in the rain- unlike in Austin. Haha.

Considering a Move to Fort Wayne

I lived in Chicago for 12 years and Columbus, OH for another two. I moved back here for the cheaper living. I run my own business and it's all online now, so it just made sense.

It's not just housing that's cheaper, though: EVERYTHING is cheaper. Utilities, food, health insurance, taxes (well, for me). I used a TON of water last month. I cringed opening my bill and it was… $18.46 (for one person). That's just one example. Also upgraded my health insurance and am spending about $100 LESS per month.

Also, while FW is pretty dead in the winter due to the cold (we're getting down to something like -6 this weekend… yay), the mayor's administration here has been working hard to bring more amenities to the city. Downtown is really starting to bloom. We've got a baseball park down there that looks just as cute as all get out (really looking forward to attending a game). We've got the Riverfront opening this spring, and there's a project called Electric Works that stands to bring in more stuff to do. But there's lots of stuff for families to do already. The city has improved the trail system. We also have a pretty stellar philharmonic and a ballet company, if you're into that sort of thing.

You do run into some people with a smaller-town mentality here--meaning they expect conformity. There are areas in FW that are run-down, but overall it's a very safe city, and (I think, anyway) the police do a pretty spectacular job of keeping it that way.

It's pretty right-leaning as far as politics--though we have a Dem mayor, so there's some balance. I do think the city is really well-run (the trash company debacle notwithstanding). Maybe follow The City of Fort Wayne on FB for one method of staying up-to-date on the projects they are working on.

Top 5 Things You MUST Know Before Moving to Fort Wayne Indiana