Columbus is a small city with a lot of culture and fun. It is located 46 miles south of Indianapolis and is known for its first-class architecture, public art, live music, and a farmers market in the center of the city. On the east side of the Wabash River, 63 miles northwest of Indianapolis, lies Lafayette. It is home to IU-Health's Arnette Hospital and the Indiana Haan Museum of Art, which showcases works by historic and contemporary Indiana artists.
Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, just across the Wabash River. Mishawaka is located along the St. Joseph River, in northern Indiana and next to South Bend. It has dozens of parks, a historic district, and new construction to accommodate its growing population.
Chrysler still maintains a plant in Kokomo and plans to convert a transmission factory into a new plant for producing engines. West Lafayette has more to offer than just Purdue University. Locals can enjoy live music at Riehle Plaza, buy art during the annual Art on the Wabash art fair, and enjoy restaurants downtown and across the city. South Bend is filled with several museums, including the South Bend Museum of Art and the Civil Rights Heritage Center.
It also has cozy coffee shops, breweries, shopping options, from independent boutiques to the major retailers found in the Greenwood Park Mall, and a farmers market. Greenwood is just 11 miles south of downtown Indianapolis and offers access to big city services but with the charm of a tight community. Muncie is located in east-central Indiana and is home to Ball State University. It also has the Cardinal Greenway, Indiana's longest paved trail which spans 100 km and includes Muncie.
Evansville is home to Indiana's first zoo, the Mesker Park Zoo and Botanical Garden. Fort Wayne has the Embassy Theater, a performing arts theater built in 1928 and currently home to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Fort Wayne Civic Theater for live concerts or shows. Kids love visiting the 40-acre Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Randolph County has the lowest cost of living because it has relatively cheaper child care and housing costs compared to Indiana in general.
North Vernon's housing costs are approximately 28% cheaper than other parts of Indiana. When looking for an affordable place to buy a home in Indiana, there are plenty of cities that offer reasonable living expenses and lots of entertainment options. Idaho's beautiful landscapes and welcoming communities attract thousands of homeowners every year. Three metropolitan areas in Indiana have made a list of the 20 cheapest American cities to live in this year: Columbus, Lafayette, Mishawaka, Kokomo, West Lafayette, South Bend, Greenwood, Muncie, Evansville, Fort Wayne, and North Vernon.
The 30% rule gives a general idea of how affordable a given area is by comparing median income to average housing costs. This rule states that you should not spend more than 30% of your gross monthly income on monthly housing costs when buying a home.