Columbia Avenue Corridor
The first neighborhood I want to talk about is what I would call the Columbia Avenue Corridor. I don’t know if it actually has a name, but this neighborhood is fantastic. It’s dear to my heart because it’s where I purchased my first home. It was a massive duplex, and I was way in over my head. I bought it when I was 25 and I learned a lot of things with this house. But most importantly, this is the house that I met my wife in. I’m forever grateful for this area of town and this house. She actually lived two corners down and we met just walking in the neighborhood. So it’s kind of a love story.
But anyhow, some of the reasons why people like this neighborhood so much is because of the affordability, but for a young person, you’re going to like this because there’s a super high concentration of other young people. There are a lot of rentals in this neighborhood, but there’s also a lot of single family homes that are affordable. This kind of hits the mark for both!
This area has a lot of things to do. There’s a coffee shop on the corner of Columbia Avenue and St. Joe Boulevard, where the three rivers meet. This junction where the rivers meet brought on the famous name “Summit City” for Fort Wayne. If you go over the bridge, you’re basically downtown. A lot of younger people hang out at the Deck in the summertime, and it’s just over the river. You can get on the River Greenway really quickly, which will take you anywhere in the city on a bike, but you can also play in a volleyball league at Fair Play. People drink beer and it’s always a good time to hang out. There’s also the North Anthony area, which is a home to restaurants and bars.
You can check out Lakeside Park as well. I used to go there all the time and take my wife and dog, and enjoy the beauty of the park. The types of homes that you’re going to find in this area are going to be old; there are no new homes in this area. They’re all built pre-1900 up to the 1940s, so a lot of these homes are Victorian. A lot of them are multi-family properties, so if you’re looking to rent, this is certainly a good option for you. If you’re looking to purchase, you can do what I did and purchase a duplex. I had my tenant pay for a good part of my monthly expense of owning that property, which is awesome. There’s always a few properties that are on the market at any given time.
Real estate home prices in the Columbia Avenue area are pretty low compared to the rest of the city. You can definitely snag a pretty nice house for under $180,000, but you can find a duplex for under $150,000. It might need a little bit of work, but anywhere in that area will have a very reasonable price range.
The next great spot for a young professional like yourself, is what I would call the Broadway-Packard-Oakdale area. Trubble Brewery is on Broadway, and just over the Bluffton Bridge you have the Clyde, which has shows. The Club Room is next door, and plays live music every night of the week. Just a short walk from the Clyde Theatre is the Pub 07, which is one of my favorite bars in the area.
This is an up and coming area in terms of home prices and the desirability. There are still a good mix of rentals, but there’s mainly single family homes. Some of these homes need work, but they’re not going to be complete fixer uppers. There’s a lot of cool people that live in this neighborhood, and I live pretty close to it as well. In fact, I grew up in this area.
You can go to Foster Park, an art gallery called the Wunderkammer, and Packard Park that has baseball and foosball. This is not too far from the up and coming Electric Works, which is an old General Electric building that they’re turning into a massive project.
The home prices are really affordable, so you can get homes under the $150,000 price range. The larger ones are going to need a little more work if they’re under $150,000, but you can get a standard two story home with 1,300 square feet for around $130-$140,000. These homes will have a front porch, backyard, and a detached garage. They’re perfect starter homes, and this is a perfect neighborhood to buy your first home in.
The next neighborhood is what I would call the Fairfield-Washington area. This is where the baseball park is where you can watch our professional baseball team play. There’s a newer apartment complex in this area called Cityscape Flats, which are really new and nice; they’re always sold out. There are some rentals in this area and houses you can purchase that are pretty affordable.
What I like about this place the most is the proximity to so many things. You’re even closer to Electric Works, and you can get to Promenade Park and all the fun that downtown has to offer. There’s usually something going on every night of the week. Around five years ago, you could’ve said downtown Fort Wayne was a ghost town, but now it’s booming. This is a place you want to be looking at if you’re going to be moving to Fort Wayne. It might be a good spot if you just want to rent and get a feel for the city, or if you’re not planning on being here that long and just want the energy of a downtown.
The final neighborhood that I want to tell you about today is called West Central. It’s just on the west side of downtown Fort Wayne, and is the hippest neighborhood in Fort Wayne. There are some really cool houses. There are massive homes and hold a lot of character. Featuring hardwood floors, arch doorways, fireplaces, etc. There’s a super high concentration of single people in this neighborhood, and plenty of things to do.
This is a vibrant high-energy neighborhood. I will say, though, this is actually one of the highest appreciating areas of our city. So if you’re a first time buyer and you don’t have a lot of money, you might find yourself pretty priced out of being able to purchase a home. I would say that’d be the case for most first time buyers that I know. However, you can land a decent house that’s been remodeled. There’s a lot of investments or house flipping going on. You can buy a house has been flipped remodeled in the $300,000s. At that price point, you’re probably not going to get a garage. Off street parking is a premium in this neighborhood because of the population density. There’s just a lot of people packed in a very small area. If you go in the $400,000s, you’re going to find a nice remodeled house with a detached garage. If you’ve got the skills and the resources to put some money into a house, you can snag one well under $200,000 and then do your own investing.
Like I said, this is one of the quickest accelerating neighborhoods in terms of appreciation. It’s because so many people want to live here, and you can get to downtown super quickly. There’s a coffee shop and ice cream shop in the area, and you’re close to everything. If you get on Washington, you can go right out to Jefferson Point in two minutes. There’s Swinney Park, and Electric Works is a short walk or a bike ride south of the neighborhood. It’s under heavy construction right now, but in the next two years or so, it’s going to draw a lot of people in the area. I would definitely recommend this neighborhood if you’re looking for a place to buy your first home and you care about future growth and stability.
So I hope this helped you guys. All of these neighborhoods are great for young singles, and I know them well. If this is something you have interest in, continue to do some research and let me know if I can help. My team and myself will answer the phone every time. Call, text, or email and we’d love to serve you.