Columbus, OH Quality of Life??

Old May 4th, 2006, 03:28 PM
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Columbus, OH Quality of Life??

Hiya Fodorites! Not exactly a travel question, but y'all are experts, so here goes:

I'm planning to move my family (wife and 7 y/o great little athlete boy) to Columbus, Ohio, basically because we've had it with the third world island we've lived in for 20 yrs.!!! The main reason for moving to Columbus is my wife's brother lives there, and our son would have an immediate "family", and I expect that would help him (and us) adjust quicker to the new lands.

Now, what about the "real" quality of life there; we like the snow and cold, so that's not a problem, but is it SAFE, is it a good place to open a Fast Food mini-chain, are the locals nice, friendly, etc.?

Much obliged, as usual!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Not long ago, someone posted about leaving Ohio to start life somewhere else, crime and climate were the reasons why she was leaving.

Since I know nothing about Ohio , I would recommend putting Ohio into the Search box and see if you can find relocating threads on there, while you wait for an answer here
Good luck!!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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If all you are looking for is safe and friendly locals, you will be fine. Columbus is a family town. Note the summers are as least as unpleasant as the winters. They are hot and humid.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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I lived in Columbus for many years. It is a large city, with the same types of problems all large cities have: crime, drugs, poverty, etc.

As with any large city, some sections are a lot better than others. Of course the better neighborhoods are also a lot more expensive.

Overall I found Columbus an easy city in which to live, except for the weather. There were basically 2 seasons: summer and winter. Autumn lasted about 1 week, and spring was non-existent. Winters were brutal.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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I have absolutely nothing negative to say about Ohio. The state is really a great daytrip for me and the cities are not too overcrowded.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 06:43 PM
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Thanks (?) to global warming, winters in the Ohio Valley aren't what they used to be. We haven't had a sub-zero winter day in at least a decade. Not at all like the 70's when we set records for number of days in a row below zero.

I've liked Columbus when I've visited a few times over the last 5 years. Great science center. As a previous poster mentioned there are good areas and bad. Just like any other city. Shop around and see what you can get.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:01 PM
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How much are you wanting to spend for a place. I lived in the Gahanna area for many years. If you are looking for a nice area that is one to consider. Look arount the outside of the beltway. If you have bunches of money then New Albany is the area you will have no problem spending it in. Columbus is a very large spread out area, you can find any kind of area that you look for. It would help knowing the price range and the area you would consider.
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Old May 4th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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We spent last weekend in Columbus and thought it was a lovely town with many nice restaurants, shopping areas, and suburbs. A great university town!!
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Old May 4th, 2006, 09:33 PM
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Hey GPaul!

What third world island are you leaving? There are probably plenty of people from Ohio who would gladly switch

I live in Ohio and I am one of the many that post on this board trying to get out. If I may make a suggestion, talk to people who live here now. Don't talk to a person whom comes in for a weekend or a person whom used to live here.

Ohio is not what it was 5 years ago and it has to be lived in to really know what it is like.

I wouldn't suggest anyone move here. I lived in Hawaii 10 yrs for college and I lived in Guam. I made the mistake of coming back to Ohio for family and it is horrible. I miss living on an island.

If you travel out of Ohio then you can really see what I am talking about.. so many people here are heavy, have multiple health issues, they just look unhealthy and unhappy.

Now I know there are a few Ohioans that it will offend but I am not saying everyone, I am saying "a lot"

The houses are falling in value, companies are heading out of here. We have lost some big employers. The weather is 2 seasons, summer (hot and humid) and winter which lasts from Oct.-May.Grey gloom is here probably 75% of the days in the winter.

The skies are grey and the pollution is horrible here. The air quality index is 13 in Columbus (100 is best) The crime is bad in Columbus it ranks a 6 in Violent Crimes and a 6 in Property Crimes and the US average is 3 in both categories. (6 is the highest)

I know there is more to do down there but I have a friend whose moved there because her hubby is a Store Manager. Anyway, they moved from Georgia thinking Columbus was going to be fun, clean, plenty to do etc. They lasted 1 yr and he requested a transfer.

I am just telling you my humble opinion and I would talk to people to live there, not visitors.

People even come to Cleveland and say it is nice. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, etc. Just about any place is nice to visit, try waking up to it everyday.

Good luck in whatever you do and no matter where you end up!
Jenny
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Old May 5th, 2006, 05:26 AM
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I live in Ohio and would not live anywhere else. Both DH and myself were raised here. We moved away for 17 yrs and have been back for a year and a half. We came back because our family is here and that is why we will stay here. We love doing things with our family and old friends. We love hanging out in Cleveland. There is always something to do. For us, being part of family and community is what living on this earth is all about.

It is Spring now. The grass is green and the trees are either in bloom or green, the air smells sweet and the sun is warm. 70 degrees is perfect.

Summers can be humid, but we have air conditioning, Winter can be snowy and cold but we have heat. The colors and fresh air of Fall is wonderful.

To choose a perfect location in terms of geography it would be somewhere 2 hrs to the beach in one direction, and 2 hrs to the mountains in the other direction. However, home for us is where our family and lifelong friends live.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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Our son moved to Columbus after he graduated from college 2 years ago. He just bought a home in Powell. The Powell/Dublin area is lovely and in the Worthington school district--a very good school system.

He grew up in Akron, which is in NE Ohio so he likes the weather in Columbus--they get a lot less snow and have warmer winters.

We always say that Ohio is a nice place to raise a family. The weather is not great and it is about an 8 hour drive to the ocean and the mountains. We are getting tired of the winters. Florida, however is only a 2 hour direct flight. Housing is affordable. We enjoy being around family. It's always a trade-off.

Moving from an island will be a major change. However travel should be easier and cheaper from Columbus. Good luck as you relocate.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:08 AM
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Gpaul, I have lived in Columbus, Ohio for about half of my life. I am willing to bet that Jennie, who dissed CMH, does not have children. As another poster pointed out, it is a wonderful place to raise a family with children. My DH and I met and lived in Chicago suburbs for about 18 years and moved back to CMH when our children were in elementary school. We live in Bexley, which is an older suburb totally surrounded by Columbus. The school system is excellent here. We felt we gained 2 1/2 hours a day back from commuting compared to Chicago. Housing is much cheaper as compared to most similar sized large cities. Jennie is correct, house have not gained as much in value as some other places (avg. 3-4% annually), but not gone down in value. The restaurant scene is very diverse as compared to 20 years ago. The Short North is a very up and coming urban renewal area with great cafes, bakeries, tea & coffee houses. Columbus is the home of several large chain restaurants, obviously Wendy's, Max & Ermas, etc. German Village is also an urban renewal area with unique restaurants. When I grew up (back when dinosaurs were young!) the restaurant scene was very whitebread and boring, but you can eat Somali food (big population!), Thai, Ethiopian, Korean in addition to other ethnic groups. Different parts of the city and different suburbs all have pros and cons. A tip to you, when we were moving back here, I struck up correspondence with the Education editor at the Columbus Dispatch, the major newspaper on the educational merits of various areas. All this research only to end up living 6 blocks from where I grew up! I strongly suggest you try reaching Jon Christenson or Doral Chenoweth at the Dispatch to check on the business end of the restaurant scene in Columbus. If you would like more information, send me an email at [email protected]. Good Luck!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:54 AM
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I've lived near Cleveland for all of my life, except for college which was just 30 min outside of Columbus (in Delaware). I think Ohio is a great place and has a lot to offer. We have great park systems, lots to do, and excellent suburbs for families. I would move to Columbus in a heartbeat from Cleveland (I feel like there's more to do there), except that it doesn't have Lake Erie. I think I am the type of person that needs to live on a large body of water.

Good luck!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:58 AM
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Columbus is large enough to have about anything you want and small enough to find it!!
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Old May 5th, 2006, 08:32 AM
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Columbus is not like the rest of Ohio. The economy is much more stable--bouyed by state government, higher education, and a service-based economy. I lived in Columbus and go back. It is a surprisingly sophisticated city with a nice arts scene, great diversity, good schools, and smart people.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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I've lived in various parts
of Ohio at different times
the last almost 20 years
(due to DH's work)
including both Cleveland and
Cols suburbs.

We have lived in new,
custom built upscale homes
3500+ sq. ft for around 300 - 450K
among amazing school systems
and a plethora of colleges/
universities. (go BUCKS!)
(Ohio is noted for fine education)

You are close to state and National
Parks, world class culture
(Cleveland Orchestra and art
museums) Summers are the best with Cedar Point, the Lake Erie Islands,boating and other water activities.

Winters aren't as harsh now,
aren't the best, but
as others say, its a trade-off.

You could do much worse than
live in Ohio!
We've all seen places you couldn't
pay me to live
(smog, population explosion and no
greenspace whatsover
or just the opposite,
in the middle of *nowhere*)

Good luck with your decision.
As in everything in life,
it's what you make of it.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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My niece lives in Columbus. She stayed there after college, then returned to Chicago shortly, and then finally moved back permanently to Columbus.

She doesn't have children and loves it.
But it IS a great place to raise kids.

You'll love the sports for your son and I can tell the way you have worded your post that you'll be right at home.

I wouldn't even consider weather in the criteria. Ohio is fine.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:05 PM
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First, my apologies for not acknowledging the plethora of information you GREAT Fodorites have offered; as is usual with the third world (Santo Domingo, Dom. Rep. in our case), lack of electricity and voltage surges/plunges AGAIN burnt my mother board, and then the computer line went dead. Need I say more about relocating....

Anyway, y'all had me scared in the first few replies, but it all seemed to point POSITIVELY as more locals (thanky) replied, and you have given me a great gut feeling for this move.

Columbus does seem different from many other OH cities, I guess due to Govt. and Bucks largely! And my brother in law speaks highly of quality of life, things to do, no real crime problem, etc. My only regret is the drive to VT/NH/ME for skiing is a long 13-15 hours, and Salt Lake City is double that. Thank God for Southwest and Jet Blue!

Again, many thanks for good vibes, and more replies will be appreciated!

All the best!
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Old May 9th, 2006, 04:57 AM
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Gpaul
My kids ski at Brandywine all the time. Check out: http://www.skiingwv.com/Ohio-Ski-Resorts/
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Old May 9th, 2006, 11:04 AM
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GPaul, Bexley Middle & High School located in Columbus offers students membership to an organized ski club with weekly outings on Friday nights during Jan, Feb and March. I believe they go to Mad River Mountain. Probably other schools in the area have ski clubs as well and there are a couple of ski equipment stores in Columbus. Granted, it is not like skiing in New England, but there are a couple of decent places to ski between Columbus & Cleveland. Other ski resorts include: Alpine Valley, Clear Fork and Snow Trails. Also, I just booked a r/t between CMH-Manchester, NH for $175, so not too bad if you decide to go.
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