Pros and Cons of Living in Columbus, Ohio

Table of Contents

Are you thinking about moving or relocating in Columbus Ohio and wondering if Columbus
a good place to live? In this article I’m going to break down some of the things that make
Columbus an awesome city to live and a couple things that kind of stink about living here.

Update: This article was updated in February 2024 with additional insights

Is Columbus Ohio a good city to live?

Columbus is a fantastic City in my humble opinion but not every city is rainbows and lollipops so let’s break down the good and the bad starting with the good and make sure you read until the last con because it is a big one, it’s a health hazard and something you absolutely need to know about living in Columbus Ohio especially if you have have children.

5 Pros about living in Columbus Ohio

Lets start with the pros of living in Columbus Ohio

1. People in Columbus Ohio are friendly

Friendly? What the heck does that mean that people in Columbus Ohio are friendly? If you’re moving from Chicago or in Austin or maybe in Indianapolis you’re not going to see a big difference. But if you’re moving from the West Coast an L.A. or San Francisco or the East Coast like a New York City or Boston you’ll definitely be able to tell the difference. When you go into a store people are actually going to come up to you and ask how can I help you. If you’re walking through a grocery line people are going to are going to chat you up a little bit. If your car breaks down on the side of the road there will be actually people who will stop and help you.

I lived in New York City for seven or eight years after college and moving there as a kid from the the Midwest it was a complete culture shock because you didn’t have these casual conversations that people in Columbus are going to have with you. People are going to wave they’re going to say good morning as your walking down the street, your neighbors gonna are going to wave to you. I understand that depending on where you’re coming from that might be a bit of a culture shock but people in Columbus here are just very very genuine it’s just a very, very nice Midwestern city to live. If you’re coming from a city on the East Coast or West Coast where that’s not necessary the norm then it’s really going to stand out.

2. Columbus Ohio has a strong economy and good jobs market

Columbus Ohio has a really strong economy and good jobs market. There are two main reasons for this. First, Columbus is the state capital, which means there are numerous government jobs available here along with companies that provide services to the government. Second, Columbus is home to Ohio State University. OSU has over 50,000 undergrad students that come in every year making the university a huge employer here in town.

In addition, you have to all the university research that occurs at the university. Another aspect is the diversity of industries in central Ohio, with 17 Fortune 500 companies headquartered here. These industries range from manufacturing, insurance, to medical, covering a wide spectrum. During economic downturns, the city is not as heavily impacted due to the variety of industries. Furthermore, the city attracts a significant amount of relocation, making it easy for people to find new job opportunities within their industry if needed. This stability is a major advantage for the economy in Columbus.

3. Cost of living in Columbus Ohio

 

Pro three is the cost of living. If your moving from larger cities like San Francisco, LA, Boston, or New York to Columbus can feel like winning the lottery. You won’t be paying exorbitant prices for gas or utilities like you have in California or on the East coast. Columbus can be a very affordable city, even more for families with school aged children. Many of the public school systems in Central Ohio are excellent, no need for expensive private schools which are common in other parts of the country. Overall, Columbus is a very budget-friendly city very comparable to other Midwest cities.

4. Columbus Ohio is diverse

Forth is the amount of diversity you will find across Columbus. Now this will totally depend on where you are moving from. Are we as diverse as a Las Angles or a New Your City, no but for a nice midwestern city there is quite a bit of diversity. One of the great benefits of having the Ohio State University in central Ohio is it brings in a lot of professors and students from other countries and parts of the country. They go to school in Columbus and end up liking it so much here they settle in Central Ohio.

The other draw is we have these Fortune 500 companies who bring in people from all over the country and the world who end up loving living in this city and and end up staying here. A good example of that would be Honda. Honda’s has a large manufacturing plant up in the Marysville area which was built like back in the 80s and they brought in Japanese Executives for for years to work up there. Many settled in on the North West side of Columbus so Dublin has a large population of of Japanese residents. Now with Intel coming into Columbus by 2025 when they start hiring I think we’re going to see even more diversity in Central Ohio.

5. Columbus Ohio has great public schools

Lastly are the public schools in Central Ohio. There are probably 10 to 12 public school districts that I wouldn’t have any qualms about recommending to a client moving here to Columbus. The nice thing about living in Columbus and again I I learned this from my clients who I relocate here is that many public schools across the country are not very good, and they have to send their children to private schools. There are private school options here in Columbus I do have clients who use them but not a necessity.

4 Cons of living in Columbus Ohio

Lets break down the 4 worst things about living in Columbus Ohio.

1. Columbus Ohio has horrible weather

Con number one has got to be the weather. The weather in Columbus is pretty crappy I mean we are like the fourth most cloudy city in the United States right behind Seattle, Cleveland I think is number two, Indianapolis might be number three. As I look outside today it is gray and overcast and that’s pretty common especially in the winter months. For the last two weeks I don’t know that that sun has come out and when you’re dealing with all the gray especially in the winter time it can be pretty depressing. On the positive side we do get all four seasons. We usually get really nice Fall’s and Spring in Columbus can be quite lovely. Summers can also be a little bit brutal in terms of humidity, I mean we’re not talking like Atlanta or Houston humid but August here can be pretty hot. The Winter has got to be absolutely the worst for a couple of different reasons. One because it’s so gray outside and two we don’t even get that much snow. Columbus sits in a huge lake bed which causes a lot of the fronts to pass north and south to us. So instead of getting snow we get a lot of 35 degree days and and freezing rain.

2. Columbus Ohio has high property taxes

Con number two are the the high property taxes. Remember those great school districts I discussed earlier how do you think they get funded from the property taxes. I relocate people from the Colorado area and other Western states where the the property taxes are relatively low. They relocate here and are absolutely shocked and blown away by the high property taxes. I’ve been told that our property taxes are right at the same level as as some of the highest places in the country. So if you’re thinking about buying a home in Columbus Ohio make sure you’re going out to the Delaware County or the Franklin County websites which are the two big counties that make up Central Ohio and check out the amount of property taxes.If you’re looking in one of the better school districts like in Upper Arlington or New Albany or a Olentangy School district the taxes are going to be pretty significant. It will be a big portion of your monthly mortgage payment. The good news at least the property taxes are going to something worthwhile great school systems.

3. Direct flights at the Columbus Ohio Airport

Number three is Port Columbus the Central Ohio Airport. We are lucky to have a pretty nice airport here in Columbus Ohio. It’s clean it’s easy to get in and out of but the problem is we just don’t have that many direct flights. For as large of a city as Columbus is, I think we’re like the 14th or 15th largest city in the country, you would think that we would have more direct flights or at least be a hub for a national carrier. Unfortunately this is not the case so if you have to travel for business or r vacations you’re going to be connecting through other cities. You understand how frustrating it is when you don’t even have l direct flights to the West Coast. I think that Delta or one of the other larger carriers just last year started having at least one direct flight to Las Angeles during the day but its a real hassle having to connect through busy airports like Denver and Chicago.

4. Columbus Ohio has very high radon gas

Lastly is Radon gas. In Columbus Ohio and throughout Central Ohio we have a huge radon presence. What is Radon it’s a carcinogen that’s odorless and colorless caused by the breakdown of shale and slate. When the rock breaks down the gas permeates up through the ground into our basements. Columbus has a lot of homes that have basements and because there’s not much natural air movement the Radon gas gets trapped. The EPA says if if that radon count is above 4.0 pCi/L you should put in a a rate on mitigation system and there are many licensed mitigation companies in Columbus. If you are purchasing a house you’re going to want to do a radon test during your inspection period. 98% of houses I deal with have high radon counts its just that prevalent here in Columbus. What I explain to people moving here is just expect that there’s going to be high Radon in the house that you purchase and figure out how to mitigate it correctly. It’s a serious issue a carcinogen and it’s actually the number two leading cause of lung cancer.

Are you moving or relocating to Columbus Ohio

If you’re thinking about relocating to Central Ohio and feel like you could use some
professional help, feel free to reach out. I’m a full-time REMAX Realtor with over 20 years of
experience in helping people move and relocate to Columbus. In fact, I come from a family of
real estate agents, spanning three generations. You can give me a call, shoot me a text or
send me a email however you want to reach out. Also, check out some video testimonials
from come of my past clients vansteynpartners.com/testimonials/
Marc Van Steyn
REMAX Premier Choice
614-596-2934
[email protected]

Marc Van Steyn

Marc Van Steyn is a graduate of The Ohio State University and represents the third generation in his family’s real estate business. Their family co-owned company, RE/MAX Premier Choice, has been the #1 ranked RE/MAX Brokerage (based on sales volume) in Central Ohio for 18 of the last 20 years. His business philosophy is centered on what he learned from his mother and grandfather “who put the needs of their clients first and built business on trust, dedication and uncompromised service."

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