Girard, Youngstown among most affordable cities in Ohio

Feb 10, 2015
Girard and Youngstown are among the Top 10 most affordable places to live in Ohio, according to a new study released by SmartAsset.
YOUNGSTOWN – Girard and Youngstown are among the Top 10 most affordable places to live in Ohio, according to a new study released by SmartAsset.

Girard and Youngstown secured their rankings due to their relatively low property taxes, homeowners’ insurance fees and mortgage payments when measured against the local median income, according to SmartAsset. Girard is ranked sixth and Youngstown ninth. Topping the chart is Wapakoneta.

“This kind of notoriety helps our business attraction efforts,’’ said Sarah Boyarko, vice president of business expansion for the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber. “The SmartAsset study looks at some of the most important site selection factors – such as property taxes.”

This comes one year after the larger Youngstown-Warren metro area repeated its ranking among the top 10 most affordable urban areas in the United States, according to the 2013 Cost of Living Index. The metro area, which includes Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio and Mercer County in Pennsylvania, ranked ninth lowest among 308 urban areas. The 2013 study was conducted by the Council for Community and Economic Research in Arlington, Va.

“We wanted people to gauge the true affordability of a home,” said AJ Smith, Managing Editor of SmartAsset. “Many folks only pay attention to the listed price of the home, but aren’t as attentive to the other costs.

“Girard and Youngstown have a strong showing in not only the state ranking, but nationally as well,” Smith added. “Both cities made it in the top 250 most affordable cities to live out of over 4,000 cities.”

SmartAsset is a Web site that uses software and data to simplify answers to complex financial questions, such as locating the most affordable places in America or the best places to retire. Last month, SmartAsset determined that Cortland and Youngstown were the No. 1 and No. 2 best places in Ohio to retire. Canfield ranked 5th on that list.