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Indianapolis Among Best Cities for First-Time Homebuyers

Updated on February 27, 2020
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Natasha is a freelance writer and Christian author who lives with her family in the Indianapolis area.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana | Source

All across the U.S., searching for affordable homes to buy has been problematic for many first-time buyers who don’t even necessarily take a look at what’s available thinking that owning a home is out of their budget. This is especially true of millennials, who have risen to become the largest segment of the population, and are now starting to buy homes. Depending on where they live, homebuyers of all ages have better access to affordable homes than others. Considered the best city for renters, Indianapolis, IN, is ranked 4th on SmartAsset’s top 11 cities for first-time home buyers.

Here’s why:

  • The median home price in Indianapolis is $137,700, which is lower than the national average of $199,200. Affordable homes are valued at $70.58 per square foot.
  • Annual income for homeowners in Marion County averages at $42,168, with total housing costs per year upwards of $9,833.42 (also including closing fees on the purchase of a new home).
  • First-time homebuyers who make the average annual income can afford to make a down payment on a home within 3 years if saving up for a 20% down payment.

Where to Live in Indy

Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana with a population close to 900,000, and has earned many distinctions. Considered the 2nd largest city in the Midwest (Chicago, IL is 1st), and 15th largest city in the country, Indy is a centrally-located hub for commerce in the state and within the region, and several major businesses are headquartered in Indianapolis and surrounding areas – including Eli Lilly, Anthem Inc., Simon Property Group, CNO Financial Group, Lids, Emmis Communications, Dow AgroSciences, and Roche Diagnostics. The Indianapolis International Airport is the top airport in North American for customer service, and the IU Health Academic Health Center is the best hospital in Indiana, while St. Vincent Hospital and Health Center holds the top ranking for adult specialty medicine.

Indiana Home
Indiana Home | Source

Indy’s desirability gives residents lots of housing options throughout its neighborhoods and prestigious suburbs. According to Niche’s most recent list of Best Places to Live in Indianapolis, the top 10 are:

  1. Carmel
  2. Fishers
  3. Zionsville
  4. North Central
  5. Westfield
  6. Delaware Trails
  7. Meridian Hills
  8. Glendale
  9. Noblesville
  10. Broad Ripple

Living in any of those areas makes for any easy commute around the city to get to work or school. You’ll find single-family homes, condos, and townhomes for sale anywhere from the low $100,000s to upwards of $1,000,000 or more, and lots of new construction as well as existing homes for sale and homes in historic districts such as Fountain Square, the Old Northside, and Herron-Morton Place, among others.

Indycar driver Will Power
Indycar driver Will Power

What to Do in Indy

There’s so much to explore around the city – take your pick from recreation and culture, to sports, entertainment, shopping, and dining and more!

  • Indy Parks and Recreation offers year-round programs for families at their many parks around the city, while places like the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, Connor Prairie, the Indianapolis Art Museum, and the Indianapolis Zoo team up with several organizations in town to host community events, holiday celebrations, and non-profit fundraisers throughout the year.
  • During the month of May, Indianapolis is especially busy with month-long family-friendly activities all leading up to the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend.
  • Sports-enthusiasts love cheering on the Indianapolis Colts during football season, the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever for basketball, as well as attending Indianapolis Indians baseball games, or Indy Fuel hockey or Indy Eleven soccer matches, and regularly-held college sports tournaments.
  • Attend concerts at White River State Park, Banker’s Life Fieldhouse, the Murat, and Hinkle Fieldhouse, or take in stage productions at Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre, Clowe’s Hall, and the Carmel Civic Theatre.
  • For the best shopping destinations, visit the Castleton Square Mall, the Keystone Fashion Mall, Circle Centre Mall, and Clay Terrace, or browse the many eclectic boutiques and shops found in Broad Ripple, Zionsville, the Carmel Arts District, Fountain Square, and Mass Ave.
  • Food-lovers seeking a taste of Indianapolis can sample cuisines that are regional favorites, Indiana specialties, unique eats, and comfort foods with such dining events as Devour Downtown, a Taste of Indy, First Friday Food Truck Fest, the Indiana State Fair, neighborhood farmer’s markets, and seasonal menu pairings with cheeses, wines, or beers at Traders Point Creamery, Easley Winery, and several microbreweries available in the area. For family dining, high-end dining, and other types of cuisine, the must-try restaurants and eateries include St. Elmo’s Steakhouse, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse, Bru Burger, Jockamo Uppercrust Pizza, Café Patachou, Yats, Shapiro’s Delicatessen, Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant, Goose the Market, and Santorini Greek Kitchen, and many more from this top 25 list.


The Bottom-Line for Homebuyers

If you are interested in moving to Indianapolis, you’ll find that the more you explore the city and engage with its people, the more you will be inclined to call it home. To learn more about the area, go to Visit Indy or Downtown Indy today!

© 2017 Natasha L Polak


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