7 min read

Jan. 30, 2024 | How 'easy' is it to buy a home in Fort Wayne?

Jan. 30, 2024 | How 'easy' is it to buy a home in Fort Wayne?

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Hey Locals,

Fort Wayne made the New York Times this week: a new study says we're the "easiest" city for Gen Z to buy a house. But what does that really mean? We break it down. We also look into what's behind a slew of recent closures in Fort Wayne's craft beverage scene, from Three Rivers Distilling Co. to Trubble Brewing. Plus, we fill you in on Indiana's new Poet Laureate and more.

We have a new deal for all paid subscribers in February, too! Starting Thursday, our paid subscribers get a FREE 12 oz. drip coffee at Tall Rabbit Cafe + Community at 2001 S. Calhoun St. You can gain access to our monthly freebies (and our premium newsletter) with a paid membership. See what the hype is about with this 30-day free trial.

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A national study called Fort Wayne the "easiest" city for Gen Z to buy a house.

Photo via @nytimes on Instagram.

What's happening?

On Friday, the New York Times published a story on a recent study conducted by Point2, a real estate blog. The study found, among other things, that Fort Wayne is the "easiest" city in the country for Gen Z to buy a house – and, of course, the resultant graphic (above) made the rounds on local social media over the weekend.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The study looked at seven key economic factors, including: price-to-income ratio; inventory; average days on market; unemployment; and homeownership rates. Our city "ranked particularly high in terms of home price-to-income ratio and unemployment rate" among younger people, according to the authors.
  • It focused on the 100 largest cities in the country. (Ranked by population; Fort Wayne is #82). So while it might be cheaper, for example, to buy a house in a rural area or small town, those weren't evaluated.
  • Generation Z, or Gen Z, refers to people born between 1997 and 2012 (about 70 million people), the oldest of whom are just entering the real estate market. It does not consider prior generations, which may have different needs and financial resources.
  • As a result, the study is simply a snapshot of the current housing market for one particular segment of the population, defined solely by birth year.

Why it matters

We dig into what this means for affordable housing in the city (and what's missing from the conversation) in our premium newsletter, available with a 30-day free trial.

  • Three Rivers Distilling Co. is closing down. Last week, Fort Wayne's only craft distillery announced it was closing permanently. The Bottle Shop will be open through Saturday, Feb. 3, if you'd like to make any last purchases. This news follows GnomeTown's exit from the Landing last week and the recent closure of Trubble Brewing, marking an unfortunate moment for Fort Wayne's craft beverage scene. (We're looking into what's behind the trend and will report back.)
  • Purdue Fort Wayne's Curtis L. Crisler has been named Indiana's new Poet Laureate. The PFW professor is a Gary native who did his undergraduate work at IPFW (now PFW) before receiving an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has written a dozen books, including THe GReY aLBuM [PoeMS] and Indiana Nocturnes (co-authored with Kevin McKelvey). Crisler is the state's eighth official poet laureate; terms for the honorary position are two years long with the option for renewal.

Plus: FWPD gets a raise, USF's immersive lab and saving an Auburn Birth Center. Read about these local stories in our premium newsletter.

Meet Tall Rabbit Cafe + Community.

A powerful social enterprise with some of the best coffee and events in town.

A few Tall Rabbit staff members from left are Cafe Manager Megan Spring, Barista Aaron Kistler, Barista Arianna Voles and Executive Director Tony Hudson.

What’s happening? 

This month, we’re partnering with our friends at Tall Rabbit Cafe + Community at 2001 S. Calhoun St. to bring all paid members a FREE 12 oz. drip coffee. We also have a story on how Tall Rabbit is helping locals from all walks of life overcome barriers to employment in the food service industry. And we have details on their can’t-miss menu items and events.

Did you know…

Tall Rabbit not only brews locally roasted Utopian Coffee, but also, gets regular tips from Utopian’s highly coveted Director of Coffee and Sales, Jonathon Sepulveda? He’s a recent transplant to Fort Wayne from LA who’s one of a handful of "Master Coffee Roasters" in the U.S. (yes, that’s a thing). Sepulveda frequently tests roasts at Tall Rabbit and coaches its baristas on how to achieve the best brews.

Learn more in our full interview!

  • Stream: PBS Fort Wayne's documentary on the history of the Arts United Center, A Home For the Arts, on pbsfortwayne.org or the PBS Fort Wayne app.
  • Experience: an exhibit on historical Black icons at the ACPL's Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, featuring photos of Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass (now through Feb. 29 at the main library downtown).
  • Keep: the Dry January vibes going with a Dry Lounge Social pop-up at Paw Paw House on Feb. 2 at 8 p.m.

What else? We recommend more things to do in our premium newsletter. Try it out with a 30-day free trial.

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Have a great week, Locals!

-Ryan Schnurr (filling in for Kara and Mike)