Greetings, ladies and gents, boys and girls, future Fort Wayners of all ages! We’ve heard you’re in the market for the perfect crash pad in Indiana’s second most populous city, and we’ve got some good news for you: You’ve stumbled onto the right site, because setting Hoosiers up in the lodgings of their lives is what we do best. Just take a moment to peruse the following nuggets of info, and we guarantee you’ll be living the dream in Fort Wayne in less time than it takes to say, “Who the heck is Wayne, anyway?”
Getting to Know You, Fort Wayne
For the record, Wayne refers to “Mad” Anthony Wayne, an American general who founded the city during the Revolutionary War. A bustling trading post city in its infancy, Fort Wayne has grown in recent years into a hub for professionals in the insurance, defense, and healthcare industries.
Like much of Northeast Indiana, Fort Wayne is geared more towards married couples, families with children, and careerists than singles and youths. The city is dotted with parks, playgrounds, a children’s zoo, and plenty of riverside trails, while the unofficial nickname, the “City of Churches,” speaks for itself in regards to the values many residents hold most dear.
But never fear, night owls: Fort Wayne is more than just a sprawling terrain filled with Suburban Suzies and Sunday morning worshippers. If you’re a live music aficionado, you won’t be disappointed by Fort Wayne. The Allen County Coliseum routinely attracts nationally recognized artists, while local haunts like the Green Frog, Legends, Club Soda, and the Mad Anthony Brewery feature bands playing every type of music from mellow acoustic rock and obscure indie rock to jazz, death metal, and pop.
Navigating the Streets
For a city its size (more than 400,000 residents call the metropolitan area home), Fort Wayne has a surprisingly minimal public transportation system, so you’ll likely need your own set of wheels to bum around town. Fortunately, traffic jams are rare, even during rush hour, and parking is rarely a hassle, even in the busiest parts of town.
Word to the wise: Bring a reliable navigation system along, because a common complaint among visitors and new residents is that many one-way streets (especially in downtown) aren’t marked clearly and take some getting used to.
The Leasing Life: Whether you’re looking to settle down in Forest Park, historic Lakeside, downtown, or anywhere else in Fort Wayne, you shouldn’t have a problem finding numerous attractive rental properties. Because new residents don’t typically flock to Fort Wayne in masses, apartment complexes rarely if ever see large spikes in occupancies, so you can afford to be choosy and scout out a variety of possible dwellings. Fort Wayne also continues to experience a housing surplus (nearly nine percent of single-family detached homes remain vacant), so you may want to consider checking out the glut of freestanding rent-to-own houses that are scattered throughout the city.
The cost of an apartment, townhouse, or condo depends on a number of factors, including size, amenities, and location, but the average unit costs only around $600, with the least properties going for less than $500 and luxury rentals approaching the $1200 range. But whether you live in a basic studio pad or a modern unit with all the bells and whistles, we recommend that you give your new unit a close inspection before settling in to make sure that your appliances, plumbing, and lighting fixtures function properly. Remember that you have the most leverage before you’ve officially taken up residence.
Also, make sure your landlord changed the locks after the previous tenant moved out. If you’re the extra cautious type, you can probably have the locks changed yourself. Most property managers have no problem with this, but they will require you provide them with a copy of the new key.
No matter how cautiously you scope out your new abode, there are always certain risks that you run when renting an apartment. Will the neighbors across the hall have an irritating habit of blaring Kanye on their speakers at three in the morning? Does the couple living above you sound like a herd of buffalo stampeding whenever they move around? Does the apartment staff prove helpful and friendly even after you’ve committed to a lease? To minimize these risks, we recommend you research a specific property before signing the dotted line and, if at all possible, pick the brains of current leasers to get a feel for the pros and cons of the property and the neighborhood.
The ‘Hoods of the Fort
You might hear a lot about Fort Wayne’s south side. Just be sure, especially if you’re considering this part of town, to scope it out in advance to see with your own eyes whether or not the area is a good fit for you.
Generally, the most economical apartments are located down south, but it’s very possible to find first-rate rental units pretty much anywhere in Fort Wayne that are relatively inexpensive. Centrally located neighborhoods like Forest Park, the artistically inspired West Central district, and the scenic Lakeside area boast some of the city’s most eclectic lodgings and freestanding houses. The southwestern and northwestern edges of town are home to the city’s highest income residents and also serve up some surprisingly affordable rentals. It’s not uncommon to find spacious (1000-plus square feet), modern, multi-BR apartments in these areas for less than $700, while lucky leasers can even find grandiose estates that cover 2000-plus square feet for a grand or less.
And now you’re all set to begin the hunt for your humble Hoosier abode. So welcome to Mad Anthony’s trading town, and best of luck!