Fort Wayne is the second-largest city in Indiana. Learn more about what this great city has to offer before moving there.Fort Wayne is the second-largest city in Indiana. Learn more about what this great city has to offer before moving there.Local Guide

6 Things to Know Before Moving to Fort Wayne, IN

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Why Should You Move to Fort Wayne Indiana?

Fort Wayne is the second-largest city in Indiana. It’s located in the Northeast of the state and is the seat of Allen County. This city a great place to live for people who like to explore different states since it is just 18 miles from the Ohio border and 50 miles south of Michigan. As of the 2019 census, Fort Wayne’s population was 270,402 which makes it only less populated than Indianapolis. It’s also among the top 100 most populated cities in the United States.

Fort Wayne is proud to be a cultural and economic hub in northeastern Indiana. Its history is steeped in hundreds of years of Native American legacy and early European settlers that arrived in 1794. It was originally just a settlement of forts at the confluence of the Maumee, St. Mary's, and St. Joseph rivers and served as a basic pioneer trading post. After Erie and Wabash Canals were complete and railroads reached the Fort Wayne area in 1823, the city started to grow exponentially.

By becoming a major manufacturing center for a variety of goods, Fort Wayne became a significant place to live in Northeast Indiana, attracting people of many talents and trade. Today, it’s a vibrant place to live, work, and play. If you plan to move to Fort Wayne, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. It’s a Big City with a Small Town Feel

If you’re into the excitement of urban life, then this city is sure to satisfy your need for interesting sights and experiences. Fort Wayne is only second in population to Indianapolis, so it’s a place where you can easily blend in to mix and mingle. But though it’s a big city, the people are still as friendly as can be. In fact, Fort Wayne is steeped in polite Midwestern culture where people wave to each other and are kind to strangers. This is an assurance to anyone new in town.

2. The Cost of Living is Awesome

While most big cities come with a big price tag, Fort Wayne has an unexpectedly low cost of living. Specifically, it is 78.9% of the nation’s average prices for homes, healthcare, housing, taxes, and other necessities. The median house price is $135,100, which is even lower than Indiana’s average of $142,600.

If you’re moving from a place with a high cost of living like Southern California or New York City, be prepared to be amazed at how much real estate you can get for so little. In addition, Fort Wayne scored 8.6 out of 10 on the US News Value Index for quality of life and cost of living and ranked #2 on the list of cheapest places to live.

3. It’s a Good Place for Kids

Indiana is overall a good state for families, and so Fort Wayne also fits the bill. This city has plenty of kid-friendly activities such as proximity to public parks, the Children’s Zoo, Science Central, and Historic Fort Wayne. The Allen County Public Library system also has plenty of free activities for kids, which helps them stay busy on rainy days and school breaks. Parents also have the choice between public and many private schools to find just the right fit for their kids’ needs.

4. You’ll Enjoy the Outdoors

Fort Wayne’s Parks and Recreation Department manages and maintains over 86 public parks that total around 2,805 acres. Every day, many residents enjoy biking, hiking, and walking to get exercise and fresh air. Check out the city’s 90+ miles of trails, dog-friendly parks, and beautiful scenery that include riverside walks. The most frequented parks are Franke Park, Johnny Appleseed Park, and McCulloch Park. Also, if you are a water enthusiast, Hurshtown Reservoir is a popular place to sail, kayak, and fish.

5. It Has a Diverse Economy and Job Market

Fort Wayne's modern economy is based on a variety of markets like healthcare, professional services, hospitality, leisure, financial services, transportation, and more. The defense industry is also a major employer of thousands of residents. This is one of the reasons why the average commute is just 20 minutes for most locals, which greatly reduces stress levels and increases their leisure time.

Parkview Health and the Lutheran Health Network are also significant employers in the area’s booming healthcare market. You’ll also find employers like General Motors, Vera Bradley, and Nestle. And, if you’re worried about the pandemic and its effects, rest easy — Fort Wayne recovered from the recession, and job opportunities continue to grow.

6. Prepare to Be Entertained

Fort Wayne is a place where people gather from all around to enjoy many activities. When it comes to arts and entertainment, you can always find something to see or do. For instance, The Embassy Theatre, which has over 2,400 seats, has countless shows around the year.

The Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra and University of Saint Francis Robert Goldstine Performing Arts Center also delight the community around the year with new musical performances and theatrical performances. Other hot spots include the Grand Wayne Convention Center, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Arts United Center, Fort Wayne Dance Collective, and Auer Center for Arts and Culture.

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