PROS and CONS of living in Fort Wayne Indiana

PROS and CONS of living in Fort Wayne Indiana
Dave Brough:
Fort Wayne is blowing up. I’ve lived here my whole life, and it’s been fun to watch the expansion take place in the last few years. You can see the effect from downtown all the way out to the suburbs. There’s a ton of growth, expansion, development, and new construction going on. There’s a really great energy in our city, but there are definitely some pros and cons to living in Fort Wayne.

Let’s Start with the Cons of Living in Fort Wayne

Let’s Start with the Weather

Fort Wayne has true four seasons. This means that we have a real summer, a real fall, a real winter, and a real spring. I enjoy the four seasons, and I talk about this as a pro later.

In Fort Wayne, our winters last from December to March. We have 182 sunny days per year, while the national average is 205. If you don’t like the dark, Fort Wayne might not be a place for you. It’s not terrible, but I will say that during the winter time, there’s long stretches of darkness. In the summer time we get super sunny days, but the winters can be kind of tough. Now, what does it look like in the winter time in regards to snow? We might get a couple of days where it snows 3-5 inches, but it doesn’t stick around for long. Most of the days are typically between 20-35 degrees, but we can get some negative temperatures. The ground goes through cycles of freezing and thawing, so it can get slushy. If you can get through the winter time, there’s some beautiful things that come in the spring, summer, and fall. Another con about the weather, although they don’t happen often, is that we get tornadoes. Every once in a while, we’ll get some tornadoes that rip through a trailer park, or blow though a restaurant. It’s only every couple of years where something major happens, but it does happen, and that’s something we have to deal with. 

We Have Three Rivers That Run Through Fort Wayne

That alone isn’t a con; our city was developed because of the three rivers. We were a trading outpost between settlers and the natives here. However, the last hundred years our rivers have taken an agricultural hit in commercial waste, so our rivers are kind of nasty. You don’t usually swim in our rivers because they are dark ugly looking. Due to these three rivers, there’s also several flood zones. I’ve lived in a flood zone, so I know you have to pay flood insurance. However, it’s a very small fraction of the total households. That’s a good thing to keep in mind if you’re getting a mortgage and want to buy a house close to a river. 

Our Airport is small

Even though it’s called Fort Wayne International Airport, is nothing like an international airport. If you’re going to be flying out of Fort Wayne, you’re going to be taking a connecting flight to Chicago O’Hare, Detroit, Dallas, or Atlanta. You’re not going to fly too many one-stop destinations. As of today, there are 14 one-stop destinations that you can fly out of from, and they are Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Dallas, Sarasota, Florida, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Myrtle Beach, Chicago, Detroit, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Fort Myers, and Charlotte. It’s a very small airport, but I will say it’s very efficient. You can get boarded super quick, there’s not a lot of lines, and there’s only a couple of terminals. You can even stop and get a beer at a local place called Mad Anthony’s while you’re waiting! 

We Have a Growing Homeless Population

Like any other major city, we struggle to find a solution to this problem. During the summer when I was on a riverboat cruise, I saw part of this community camping out by the rivers; I was shocked. I know Fort Wayne has some really great organizations and shelters that are helping people with addictions and mental health issues get back on their feet, and that’s encouraging to me.

Our City School District is One of the Lowest Ranked School Districts in the State

If you want to be in a high rated school district, then you’ll want to be in one of our two bigger suburbs, Southwest Allen County School District or Northwest Allen County School District. These schools are always ranked in the top 5 or 10 in public school districts across the state.

Fort Wayne Community School is one of the largest school systems in the state, and it gets a bad rap. One of the best things about it is the fact that it’s ranked number two across the state for being the most diverse school district. Out of 11,822 school districts across the country, it’s ranked 48th. I think that’s something to celebrate. With a diverse school district, there’s going to be challenges. There’s a lot of complex problems that administrators are going to have to encounter when it comes to language or lack of resources. They have to deal with a lot of issues that the average school system doesn’t have to deal with. My two boys go to Fort Wayne Community Schools, and we love it. We think the staff is awesome and the people are great. We wouldn’t trade that for a private school. 

Outside of Fort Wayne Community Schools, Northwest Allen County Schools, Southwest Allen County Schools, there are more options. You can choose a private parochial school, or you could choose to go to Canterbury High School, Middle School, Grade School. This is a very nice, but expensive, private school with a very good education. If this is something that you think you’re interested in, go look it up and I’m sure you can visit. The other private schools are typically faith-based throughout the city, and there are some awesome options to choose from. Fort Wayne by no means is an undereducated city, but it has its challenges.

Here Are Some Pros to Living in Fort Wayne!

There are way more pros than there are cons.

Let’s go back to the weather. I talked about how our winters are pretty tough. Once again, we have four seasons in Fort Wayne, so when I get burnt out with one season, another season starts. It gets really hot and humid in the summer, with an average temperature sitting around 85, but getting to temps of 90-100 occasionally. Yet, it seems like as soon as I get tired of the heat, we have fall. Fall rolls around and is such a beautiful time of the year. We have beautiful 60 degree crisp days, and they’re gorgeous. There’s this rebirth with each season and new energy in the air. You don’t get that if you don’t have four seasons. If you live in a climate where it’s the same kind of weather, you don’t get to appreciate it as much. 

Our Airport is in a Great Spot

I talked about how Fort Wayne International Airport is very limited, but it’s geographically located in a really good spot. From a driving distance, we’re a couple hours away from seven major Midwest cities. So you can just hop in the car and experience some really cool day trips. You can go watch concerts, go shopping in Chicago, Indianapolis, go to Cincinnati, catch a baseball game in Detroit, or head down to Louisville. You can find a lot of fun things to do with just a short drive, so you don’t even have to fly everywhere!

Our Lakes are Awesome

Fort Wayne is located within about a 1-2 hour drive from 200 natural lakes. This is what we do in the summer time; and if you don’t have a lake house as a second home, chances are, you know somebody who does. Most people in Fort Wayne spend at least one day at a friend’s lake over the summer time. This is just an awesome place where you go to chill out. You can ski in these lakes, or go to a “no wake” lake where they’re more peaceful. If you like to be involved with the outdoors, don’t discount Fort Wayne. Even in the winter time, we have things like ice skating.

Downtown Activities

Fort Wayne built an awesome mixed use park downtown called Promenade Park. They just built the first stage, but there’s a couple stages to follow. You can take your family there and hang out, or play some of their games they have there, or utilize the boat docks by going on boat tours. The city and the people are behind getting these rivers cleaned up. My hope one day is that these rivers are going to be as beautiful as they once were. 

For the sports fans, a really awesome pro to Fort Wayne is our top ranked baseball stadium. Our baseball team is called the Fort Wayne TinCaps, and there’s always lots of fun things to do for. They have fireworks every week, and you can hear them throughout the entire city. It’s an awesome atmosphere!

If you are someone who likes to eat out, then Fort Wayne is a great city for you. We have a ton of restaurants, and most of them are local! We have several local breweries with really good beer. We also have local cafes and coffee shops. 

Like every area, Fort Wayne does have its cons, but I believe the pros outweigh any of the cons. That’s why we have a positive migration, and we have more people moving into Fort Wayne than moving out. Fort Wayne is growing. And if you want to be a part of that, make sure to reach out to me.

If you’re thinking about moving to Fort Wayne, I have a whole team that works with me to make sure you’ll get the best experience possible.

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