When it comes to finding a place to settle down, there are a number of factors to consider. For me, I wanted to find a place with plenty of restaurants, fishing holes, and rural land. I was fortunate enough to find an area like this near my hometown, but you may have other things in mind that you'd like around your home. Regardless of how mine and your preferred amenities may differ, I think we both can agree that finding someplace affordable is certainly a box to check on the moving list.

U.S. News has compiled a list of the 25 most affordable cities in which to settle down in the United States. Some of these actually surprised me, like Chattanooga, Tennessee, which came in at number 17. Being that this area has become such a large tourist destination, I assumed prices would be higher. However, Tennessee does not have a state income tax, so this could also be a contributing factor to the affordability aspect. More notably, two Indiana cities also made it on the list, one of which happened to check in as the fifth most affordable place to live in the entire country.

Before we mention the most affordable Hoosier cities according to U.S. News, let's take a look at which place took the number one spot. The most affordable city to live in the United States appears to be Hickory, North Carolina, which is located about 60 miles northwest of Charlotte. Data compiled by Rent Cafe shows that the cost of living in Hickory is 1% less than the rest of the state and 6% less than the rest of the country. Further, housing costs are 10% below the national average.

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The Indiana City that came in at number 14 out of the most affordable places to live in the United States was South Bend, Indiana. While healthcare costs and goods may be higher than those of Hickory North, Carolina, Rent Cafe reports Southbend's housing prices are 18% lower than the national average. However, the fifth-most affordable city in the United States is just above that, with housing costs 26% below the national average. Therefore, the fifth-most affordable place to live in the country is none other than Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Here is the entire list from U.S. News:

  1. Hickory, NC
  2. Youngstown, OH
  3. Huntington, WV & Ashland, KY-OH
  4. Huntsville, AL
  5. Fort Wayne, IN
  6. Beaumont, TX
  7. Peoria, IL
  8. Green Bay, WI
  9. Quad Cities, IA-IL (Davenport-Bettendorf, IA & Moline-Rock Island, IL)
  10. Knoxville, TN
  11. Spartanburg, SC
  12. Greenville, SC
  13. Fayetteville, AR
  14. South Bend, IN
  15. Brownsville, TX
  16. Winston-Salem, NC
  17. Chattanooga, TN
  18. Lafayette, LA
  19. Springfield, MO
  20. Tulsa, OK
  21. Toledo, OH
  22. Dayton, OH
  23. Little Rock, AR
  24. Pittsburgh, PA
  25. Montgomery, AL

I've only ever been to Fort Wayne twice, but it does seem like a very nice place to live. There is plenty of shopping and museums, in addition to being home to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. While I have no plans of moving, if you'd like an urban setting in northwest Indiana, you probably won't go wrong with Fort Wayne.

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