Friends and family: I have a 4000 sq ft house (w/ 2500+ sq ft currently being used as living space) with a yard and two car garage and my mortgage is ~$525 per month. Since we’re not spending even a quarter of our income on housing, our home will be paid off fairly quickly. I am within 3 miles of a top-rated art museum, high-end dining, two separate theaters (Victoria and Schuster), a children’s museum, amazing parks and bike trails. Within ten miles, there are boutiques in the UD Area, the Oregon, and Oakwood, as well as three shopping malls (and all of the big box stores). Within 20 miles are WPAFB and numerous world-class hospitals (including Dayton Children’s) and medical centers. Within thirty miles are some great small towns such as Yellow Springs, Waynesville, Tipp City and Troy–full of amazing events and festivals (and some pretty amazing noms!). Want to spend a day in the big city? Columbus (home of the best zoo in the country) and Cincy (museums and the Levee are a must!) are an hour away.

As far as education goes, Dayton gets a bad rap, but the people that denigrate the educational system always gloss over Stivers and River’s Edge, not to mention the top-notch charter schools like DECA (Prep, Middle, and High School) or the STEM schools.

As far as higher education, the city proper contains the University of Dayton and Sinclair Community College—both are great choices. Wright State is only ten minutes away, as well.

If you’re looking to make your dollar go further and get out of the rat race feeling of working 10 hour days and never getting ahead, Dayton might be for you!

Shared with permission from Amanda