VAN WERT – Van Wert residents looking to live in an affordable small town need not look any further than their own backyard. Van Wert was recently ranked number two on realtor.com’s Top 10 “Affordable Small Towns Where You’d Actually Want to Live.” Van Wert came in second out of over 500 metropolitan cities. Van Wert Area Economic Director Stacy Adam was proud of the ranking and said there are plenty of good reasons Van Wert is a great place to live and raise a family.

“Affordable housing is something that continues to be an issue across the country,” said Adam. “People are making decisions to flee areas across the country where it is nearly impossible to have single-family homes, and it’s becoming an even bigger issue for families everywhere.”

Adam said that Van Wert is a great place to look for affordable housing. In fact, Van Wert’s median home price was the lowest on the realtor.com list at $94,600.

Realtor.com’s list took into consideration several criteria to come up with their rankings. They looked at over 500 U.S. Census-designated metropolitan areas and considered the following factors: median home list prices on realtor.com, low unemployment rates, low violent crime rate, low property crime rate, home affordability, and two-year home price appreciation.

The site also considered the things that make each city unique such as festivals, shops, and destinations.

“We have some amenities in our community that are unprecedented,” said Adam who referred to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center, the Wassenberg Art Center, several parks, and even historic buildings.

“We have unusual, unique, fun activities that are available in our community,” added Adam. “I think of the events like the Peony Festival, Town Creek Live, and the Apple Festival that draw thousands of people.”

Adam said that one aspect that wasn’t shown in the rankings but that sets Van Wert up to succeed is that there are building blocks in place to keep Van Wert growing.

“When you look at Dickinson Farms, we’re positioned to increase the number of affordable homes that are available in the community,” she said. “We also have hospital expansions that are adding state-of-the-art equipment and services. People will be able to get those services here, which I think is great when we look forward to what our community will be in the future.”

Adam also noted that those looking to live in Van Wert have plenty of job opportunities with National Door & Trim planning to double their workforce and manufacturers like Eaton and Braun adding jobs to their facilities.

Aside from Van Wert having an economy that is moving forward, Adam noted that the residents of Van Wert add to making the city a place to consider living in.

“We have an incredible amount of people who love this community that give financially in their charitable giving and that also give a ton of time in volunteerism to help support and make this community a better place,” Adam said. “People are willing to roll up their sleeves and give their time to make Van Wert better than ever before. I think it shows.”

Adam noted that Van Wert is also in a great location where it is relatively close to bigger cities to the east and west.

Van Wert came in second on the realtor.com list to Boone, Iowa, which has a median home price of $134,500 and a population of 26,484. Other cities that made the list were Decatur, Indiana, at number three; McPherson, Kansas, at number four; Los Alamos, New Mexico, at number five; Austin, Minnesota, at number six; Williston, North Dakota, at number seven; Mexico, Missouri, at number eight; Merrill, Wisconsin, at number nine; and Andrews, Texas, at number ten.

“There is a great foundation for families to consider this community because of reasons such as affordable housing, low crime, and low unemployment; there are jobs available, we have good schools, and good amenities. Van Wert is a fun place to be and a clean place to be,” said Adam. “I think Van Wert is a great place for someone to chose to come and live and raise a family.”