Columbus, OH Moving Guide: From Coast to Heartland for a Career Leap
Leaving behind familiar surroundings, saying goodbye to friends and family, and starting a new life in a different city can be daunting. But sometimes, taking a leap of faith is necessary for professional growth and career advancement. In this article, we follow the journey of someone who decided to embark on a bold move to Columbus for a new job opportunity.
We'll explore the reasons behind the decision, the preparations made, the challenges faced, and ultimately, the rewards of taking such a significant career leap.
Cost of living
According to Numbeo, a website that compares the cost of living in different cities, the cost of living in Columbus, Ohio is generally lower than the national average in the United States. In fact, the cost of living in Columbus is about 11% lower than the national average.
When compared to other major cities in the United States, Columbus is typically less expensive than cities like San Francisco, New York, and Boston, but more expensive than cities like Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta. However, it's important to note that the cost of living can vary significantly depending on factors such as neighborhood, lifestyle, and personal spending habits.
Housing: The cost of housing in Columbus is relatively affordable compared to other major cities in the United States. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is about $1,100, while a similar apartment outside of the city center is about $900. If you're interested in buying a home, the median home price in Columbus is around $200,000.
Transportation: The cost of transportation in Columbus is also relatively affordable. A monthly pass for public transportation, which includes bus service and limited access to the city's light rail system, costs around $65. Gasoline prices in Columbus are also lower than the national average, with the average price per gallon being around $3.00.
Food and dining: The cost of food and dining in Columbus is generally affordable. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant typically costs around $12, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs around $60. Groceries are also relatively affordable, with the average cost of a gallon of milk being around $2.50 and a loaf of bread being around $2.75.
Utilities: The cost of utilities in Columbus is about average compared to other cities in the United States. The average monthly cost of basic utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment is around $150.
Overall, Columbus is a relatively affordable city to live in, with the cost of living being about 11% lower than the national average. However, as with any city, the cost of living can vary depending on factors such as lifestyle, neighborhood, and personal spending habits.
Columbus is the capital and largest city in Ohio, with a diverse economy that includes industries such as healthcare, education, retail, finance, and technology. The city is home to several major employers, including Nationwide Insurance, Ohio State University, JP Morgan Chase, and Cardinal Health.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of February 2022, the unemployment rate in Columbus was 3.7%, which is below the national average of 4.1%. This indicates that the job market in Columbus is relatively stable and strong.
The city has a growing technology sector, with several tech companies such as CoverMyMeds, Root Insurance, and Upstart operating in the city. Additionally, Columbus has a robust healthcare industry, with several major hospitals and healthcare providers, including OhioHealth and Mount Carmel Health System.
Columbus is also home to several research and development organizations, such as Battelle Memorial Institute, a non-profit research and development organization that conducts research in areas such as national security, energy, and health.
Overall, Columbus has a diverse economy with a strong job market, offering opportunities across a range of industries. While it's always important to do your own research and assess your own career goals and needs, the job market in Columbus appears to be relatively stable and promising.
Researching the housing market in Columbus is an important part of preparing for a move. Be sure to consider factors such as proximity to your workplace, safety, cost, types of housing, and amenities when choosing a neighborhood that meets your needs.
- Proximity to your workplace: Columbus is a sprawling city, so it's important to consider the proximity of potential neighborhoods to your workplace. Some popular neighborhoods close to downtown Columbus include German Village, Short North, and Victorian Village, while others further out include Hilliard, Dublin, and Westerville. Consider your commute time and transportation options when choosing a neighborhood.
- Safety: Columbus has both safe and less safe neighborhoods, so it's important to research the safety record of potential neighborhoods before committing to a rental or purchase. You can research local crime rates on sites like City-Data or by checking with the Columbus Division of Police.
- Cost: As mentioned earlier, the cost of living in Columbus is generally lower than in Stamford, but housing costs can still vary widely depending on the neighborhood and type of home. According to Zillow, the median home value in Columbus is around $200,000, while the median rent is around $1,300 per month.
- Types of housing: Columbus offers a variety of housing options, from downtown apartments to suburban homes. Consider what type of housing best suits your needs, whether that's a spacious house with a yard or a more convenient, low-maintenance apartment.
- Amenities: Finally, consider what amenities you need in a home or neighborhood. Do you want to be close to parks or recreation areas? Are you looking for a walkable neighborhood with lots of shops and restaurants? Make a list of your must-haves and prioritize neighborhoods that meet those needs.
Here's some additional information to help you research the housing market in Columbus:
- Neighborhoods: Columbus has a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from, each with their own character and amenities. Some popular neighborhoods for families include Upper Arlington, Dublin, and Worthington, which are known for their good schools and safe, family-friendly atmosphere. For young professionals or those who prefer a more urban environment, neighborhoods like the Short North, Victorian Village, and German Village offer a vibrant, walkable lifestyle with lots of restaurants, cafes, and nightlife.
- Real estate market: The real estate market in Columbus is relatively affordable compared to many other major cities in the United States, but it is still competitive, particularly for desirable neighborhoods. According to Zillow, the median home value in Columbus is $200,000, which is well below the national average. However, homes in popular neighborhoods like the Short North or German Village may be more expensive.
- Renting: Renting is also a popular option in Columbus, particularly for those who are just starting out or are not ready to commit to buying a home. Rent prices vary depending on the neighborhood and type of housing, but are generally more affordable than in larger cities. Many apartments in Columbus offer amenities such as pools, fitness centers, and laundry facilities.
- Utilities: When considering housing costs, don't forget to factor in utilities such as electricity, gas, and water. These costs can vary depending on the size and type of home, as well as the time of year.
- Property taxes: Property taxes in Columbus are relatively low compared to other major cities in the United States. According to SmartAsset, the average property tax rate in Columbus is 1.27%.
Overall, Columbus offers a diverse range of neighborhoods and housing options to suit different lifestyles and budgets. Be sure to do your research and visit potential neighborhoods in person to get a feel for the area before committing to a rental or purchase.
The public transportation system in Columbus, Ohio is relatively small compared to other major cities in the United States. The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) operates the city's bus system, which includes fixed-route buses, express buses, and limited access to the city's light rail system, known as the CBus.
Compared to other cities, Columbus' public transportation system is not as extensive or convenient as those in cities like New York, Boston, or Chicago. However, it is generally considered to be affordable and reliable for those who live and work in the city.
In recent years, Columbus has taken steps to improve its public transportation system through initiatives like the Smart City Challenge, which is a partnership between the city and the Department of Transportation to develop and implement innovative transportation solutions. Additionally, COTA has plans to expand its bus rapid transit (BRT) system, which provides faster and more reliable bus service, in the coming years.
The public transportation system in Columbus, Ohio is called the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA). COTA operates a network of bus routes throughout the city, as well as limited access to the city's light rail system known as the CBus. Here's a comparison of the public transportation systems in Columbus to other cities:
Columbus vs. New York City: The public transportation system in New York City is one of the most extensive and widely used in the world, with a network of subway trains and buses that cover all five boroughs. The New York City subway is particularly well-known for its accessibility and frequency, with trains running 24/7. While COTA operates a network of buses in Columbus, the system is not as extensive as New York's, and there is no comparable light rail system.
Columbus vs. San Francisco: The public transportation system in San Francisco is also known for its accessibility and convenience, with a network of buses, light rail trains, and cable cars that cover the city and surrounding areas. San Francisco's BART system also provides commuter rail service to areas outside the city. In comparison, Columbus' COTA system is primarily focused on bus service, with limited access to the city's light rail system known as the CBus.
Columbus vs. Atlanta: The public transportation system in Atlanta consists of buses, light rail trains, and a streetcar that serves downtown areas. While Atlanta's system is more extensive than Columbus', it has faced challenges with reliability and funding in recent years. COTA's bus system is more reliable than Atlanta's system, but the city's light rail system is not as extensive as Atlanta's.
Overall, while Columbus' public transportation system is not as extensive as some other major cities in the United States, it does provide an affordable and reliable option for residents and visitors alike.
Columbus has a humid continental climate, which is characterized by four distinct seasons with hot summers and cold winters. The city experiences relatively high precipitation throughout the year, with an average of 39 inches of rainfall and 28 inches of snowfall per year.
Summer in Columbus is hot and humid, with average high temperatures in the mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 29°C) and average low temperatures in the mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 18°C). The hottest months are July and August, when temperatures can occasionally reach into the 90s Fahrenheit (around 32-35°C). Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are common during the summer months.
Fall in Columbus is mild and pleasant, with cooler temperatures and less humidity than in the summer. Average high temperatures in the fall range from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 16-22°C), with average lows in the 40s to low 50s Fahrenheit (around 4-10°C). The fall foliage in Columbus is renowned for its vibrant colors, making it a popular time of year for outdoor activities like hiking and leaf peeping.
Winter in Columbus is cold and snowy, with average high temperatures in the low to mid-30s Fahrenheit (around -1 to 2°C) and average low temperatures in the mid-teens to low 20s Fahrenheit (around -9 to -6°C). Snow and ice storms are common in the winter months, with an average of 28 inches of snowfall per year. Dressing warmly and preparing for winter weather is important during this season.
Spring in Columbus is mild and often wet, with average high temperatures ranging from the mid-50s to low 70s Fahrenheit (around 12-22°C) and average low temperatures ranging from the mid-30s to low 50s Fahrenheit (around 2-10°C). Thunderstorms and heavy rainfall are common during the spring months, but the weather can be unpredictable, with occasional cold snaps and snowfall even in April.
Overall, the climate in Columbus is characterized by four distinct seasons with hot summers and cold winters. While it may be vastly different from what you're used to, it offers a range of weather conditions throughout the year, making it possible to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities and experiences.
Columbus has a strong healthcare system, with several major hospitals and medical facilities that offer a range of services to meet various medical needs. Here's an overview of healthcare in Columbus:
- Hospitals: Columbus is home to several major hospitals, including The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Mount Carmel Health System, and OhioHealth. These hospitals offer a range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, cancer treatment, and specialized care for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and neurological disorders.
- Primary Care Physicians: Columbus has a robust network of primary care physicians, with many practices and clinics offering services in family medicine, pediatrics, and internal medicine. Some popular practices include OhioHealth Primary Care Physicians, Nationwide Children's Hospital Primary Care, and Mount Carmel Medical Group.
- Specialists: Columbus also has a range of specialists who can provide care for more complex medical conditions. Some popular specialties include cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, and oncology.
- Health Insurance: When choosing a doctor or medical facility, it's important to consider your health insurance coverage. Columbus has several major health insurance providers, including Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna, and UnitedHealthcare.
- Telemedicine: Many healthcare providers in Columbus also offer telemedicine services, which can be a convenient option for accessing medical care from the comfort of your own home. These services may be particularly useful for individuals with mobility issues, busy schedules, or who live in remote areas.
Overall, Columbus has a strong healthcare system with many options for medical care. When choosing a doctor or medical facility, be sure to research your options and consider your specific needs and preferences.
Researching schools in the area is an important consideration, particularly if you have children. Columbus has a range of educational options, including public schools, private schools, and charter schools. Here's some information to help you research schools in Columbus:
- Public Schools: Columbus City Schools is the public school district that serves the city of Columbus. The district has over 100 schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools. The district offers a variety of educational programs, including gifted and talented programs, English language learner programs, and special education services. You can research individual schools on the district's website, which includes information about enrollment, test scores, and other important metrics.
- Private Schools: Columbus also has several private schools, including religious and secular options. Some popular private schools in the area include Columbus Academy, Wellington School, and St. Charles Preparatory School. Private schools may offer smaller class sizes, specialized programs, and a more individualized approach to education.
- Charter Schools: Columbus also has several charter schools, which are public schools that operate independently from the traditional public school system. Some popular charter schools in Columbus include Columbus Collegiate Academy, Columbus Preparatory Academy, and KIPP Columbus. Charter schools may offer specialized programs or a unique educational approach.
- Higher Education: Columbus is also home to several colleges and universities, including The Ohio State University, Columbus State Community College, and Franklin University. These institutions offer a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as continuing education opportunities.
Overall, Columbus offers a range of educational options for families with children. When researching schools, be sure to consider factors such as academic performance, extracurricular activities, and proximity to your home or workplace. Additionally, consider visiting schools in person to get a better sense of the school culture and community.
Making new friends and getting involved in the community is an important aspect of a successful relocation. Columbus offers a range of opportunities for socializing and getting involved in community activities. Here are some ways to meet new people and get involved:
- Join clubs or groups: Columbus has a vibrant community of clubs and groups that cater to a variety of interests, from sports and fitness to arts and culture. You can find groups through sites like Meetup, or by searching for clubs and organizations in your area of interest.
- Attend community events: Columbus hosts a variety of community events throughout the year, including festivals, concerts, and sporting events. Attending these events can be a fun way to meet new people and get involved in the community.
- Volunteer: Volunteering is a great way to meet new people while making a positive impact in the community. Columbus has many volunteer opportunities available, including opportunities at local food banks, animal shelters, and community organizations.
- Take classes: Columbus offers a variety of classes and workshops, from fitness classes to art classes, that can help you learn new skills and meet like-minded people.
- Get involved in local politics: If you're interested in politics or civic engagement, getting involved in local politics can be a great way to meet new people and make a difference in your community. Columbus has a city council and mayor, as well as various community organizations that focus on issues like housing, education, and the environment.
Columbus offers many opportunities to get involved in the community and meet new people. By joining clubs or groups, attending community events, volunteering, taking classes, and getting involved in local politics, you can create a social life and sense of community in your new home.
Columbus has its own unique culture that is worth exploring and appreciating. Here are some aspects of Columbus's culture to consider:
- Arts and Culture: Columbus has a thriving arts scene, with several museums, galleries, and performing arts venues. The Columbus Museum of Art, the Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Ohio Theatre are just a few of the cultural institutions that offer a range of exhibits, performances, and events throughout the year.
- Sports: Columbus is home to several professional sports teams, including the Columbus Blue Jackets (hockey), the Columbus Crew (soccer), and the Columbus Clippers (baseball). Attending a game or sporting event can be a fun way to experience the local culture and connect with other fans.
- Food and Drink: Columbus has a diverse and growing food and drink scene, with a range of restaurants, cafes, and bars. The city is known for its craft breweries and distilleries, as well as its local cuisine, which includes dishes like Buckeye candy and Columbus-style pizza.
- Parks and Outdoor Recreation: Columbus has several parks and outdoor recreation areas that offer opportunities for hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. The Scioto Mile, the Olentangy Trail, and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are just a few of the popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Festivals and Events: Columbus hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, including the Columbus Arts Festival, the Ohio State Fair, and the Columbus Pride Festival. These events can be a fun way to experience the local culture and connect with others in the community.
Overall, Columbus has a unique and diverse culture that is worth exploring and appreciating. By taking the time to experience the arts and culture, sports, food and drink, parks and outdoor recreation, and festivals and events, you can gain a deeper appreciation for your new home and connect with others in the community.
🙋♀️ In summary, relocating to Columbus, Ohio for a new job requires careful consideration of several important factors. These include the cost of living, job opportunities, housing options, transportation, healthcare, education, social life, and local culture. While the differences between the two cities may take some adjustment, Columbus offers a range of opportunities for professional and personal growth, including a strong job market, diverse neighborhoods, a thriving arts and culture scene, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation and community involvement.
By researching your options, staying open to new experiences, and embracing the local culture, you can make a successful transition to your new home and build a fulfilling life in Columbus.