In recent years, California has earned a reputation for being an expensive place to live. According to Zillow, the median home value in the state is $570,348, and the cost of living is 49% above the national average. For those looking for a way out of the high cost of living, Indiana may be the answer.
For one family, the decision to leave California for Indiana was prompted by an unexpected offer. In 2018, the town of New Haven, Indiana, offered $5,000 to anyone who bought a house in their historic downtown area. The incentive was aimed at revitalizing the area and attracting new residents to the town.
The Wall Street Journal recently profiled the family that took advantage of this offer. Sean and Andrea Scott had been living in Redondo Beach, California, with their two children. Tired of the high cost of living in California, they began looking for other options.
When they stumbled upon the offer from New Haven, they were intrigued. The small town of around 15,000 people offered a slower pace of life, a close-knit community, and a low cost of living. They decided to take the leap and move to Indiana.
The Scotts bought a 2,800 square foot home in downtown New Haven for $160,000. They used the $5,000 incentive to update the kitchen and bathrooms. The family quickly found that their money went much further in Indiana than it did in California. They paid less for groceries, utilities, and even healthcare.
In addition to the financial benefits, the Scotts found that they enjoyed the small-town lifestyle. Their children were thrilled to have more space to play, and they quickly made friends with their new neighbors. Andrea Scott even started her own business, a vintage clothing store, in downtown New Haven.
The Scotts are just one of many families who have been lured away from California by the promise of a more affordable life. According to a recent survey by Edelman Intelligence, 53% of Californians are considering leaving the state due to the high cost of living.
For families like the Scotts, the lure of a simpler, more affordable life has proven too strong to ignore. While leaving behind the familiarities of home is never easy, the benefits of a lower cost of living and a tight-knit community have made the decision worthwhile.