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Renter's Guide to Indianapolis
The capital of Indiana, Indianapolis is nicknamed “The Crossroads of America,” because more highways intersect within its city limits than anywhere else in the United States. Established in 1821, Indianapolis takes its military history very seriously, maintaining the country’s biggest collection of war monuments outside of Washington D.C. - but most notably, Indianapolis is an extremely popular American sports destination. Each year the city hosts the Indianapolis 500, the car race also known as the “Indy 500,” the world’s largest one-day sporting event. Moreover, Indianapolis is also home to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, and apart from Chicago, it’s the second largest city in the Midwest. Chicago is almost three times the size when compared to Indianapolis, and at 165 miles away, it’s about a three-hour drive. The people of Indianapolis are known for possessing a warm Midwestern candor; nearly 60% of the population is white, and approx. 30% is African American.
Indianapolis has four seasons. Hot, humid summers tend to range from 75 to 90 °F, from May through September. The fall and spring seasons are mostly pleasant, although in March and April the weather is known to be a little volatile - occasionally subject to a random heat streak followed by snow a few days later. Winters are cold, from December through February, averaging around 28 °F, with temperatures dipping below 0 °F a handful of days.
Indianapolis, IN Demographics
- Total Population853,431
Female 411,970Male 441,461
- Median Age34.1
Cost of Living in Indianapolis, IN
IndyGo is Indianapolis’ publically operated transportation system, which consists of buses that operate on 32 routes with about 4,000 stops, and transport about 10.2 million passengers yearly. A one-way ticket is $1.88 and a monthly pass is $60. The vast majority of people own cars, and the average Indianapolis resident’s commute is 23 minutes, lower than the national average of 26 minutes.
A meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant in Indianapolis would cost about $45 (compared to the U.S. average of $50), and lunch in the business district part of town goes for $11. A regular cappuccino is $3.72. The average Indianapolis resident pays $139 for a 915 square ft. apartment, which is a bit cheaper than the U.S. average of $147.
Average Rent in Indianapolis, IN
- Indianapolis, IN Average Rental Price, December 2019 $888 /mo
Indianapolis, IN Apartment Rent Ranges
- < $5001%
- > $2,0001%
Indianapolis, IN Rent Trends
|Nov / 2016||Mar / 2017||Jul / 2017||Nov / 2017||Mar / 2018||Jul / 2018||Nov / 2018||Mar / 2019||Jul / 2019||Nov / 2019||Dec / 2019|
Average rent is projected to grow by 4% in 2019 compared to 2018.
Please note that projected rent growth is calculated at city level.
Living in Indianapolis
Indy is a city with a fantastic sports culture, lots of outdoor activities, and a great cost of living value. It’s often said that Indianapolis is a big city with a small town feel, although for those who are interested in a bustling arts scene, the city may prove somewhat wanting.
Things to do in Indianapolis
When it comes to things to do in Indianapolis, of course, the Indy 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the peak event of the year. But there are plenty of other sporting events in Indianapolis year round. Colts fans spend a solid part of the year cheering on their team at Lucas Oil Stadium, and Sports Illustrated has called Victory Field the “best minor league ballpark in America.” The NCAA Hall of Champions is an essential stop for any devoted basketball fan.
For music lovers, there are a number of venues that summon the world’s greatest performers. Banker’s Life Fieldhouse regularly hosts acts like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, and the open air Klipsch Music Center sees performances from bands like Dave Matthews and Rascal Flatts. If you’re into a less mainstream scene, Hi-Fi is a favorite for alternative shows. And you can’t miss the Slippery Noodle Inn, a historic blues venue and restaurant that served as a stop on the Underground Railroad.
And there are many more good bars in Indianapolis where that came from. Sun King Brewing Company is the largest brewery in Indianapolis and a staple for local beer lovers. For a romantic night out, 1933 Lounge is a cozy speakeasy overlooking one of the city’s most popular restaurants, St. Elmo’s Steakhouse. And if you’re ever hungry at the end of a night out, Kilroy’s is one of Indianapolis’s all-time favorite bars for a nightcap with some late night barbeque.
Indianapolis is also a fantastic place for kids. At a million square feet, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is actually the world’s largest children’s museum, and the Indianapolis Zoo is just next door. If it’s a rainy day, the IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum is always showing educational films, and if there’s a budding Picasso in the family, the Indianapolis Art Center has twelve acres of interactive artwork, plus classes on activities like woodworking and painting.
For couples, there are loads of romantic things to do in Indianapolis, from swing dancing on Friday nights at the Fountain Square Theatre to a gondola ride with Old World Gondoliers down the central canal. For a special night out, the Eagle’s Nest on the 20th floor of the Hyatt Regency Hotel offers panoramic city views, and was named one of the top 50 most romantic restaurants in the nation by Open Table.
When it comes to culture, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art boasts an extensive variety of Native American art, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art has an impressive modern collection. For history buffs, the Indianapolis World War Memorial Plaza and the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument are essential stops on the patriotic tourism circuit.
Indianapolis parks are some of the best in the country. The White River State Park includes the Canal Walk, a verdant promenade for walkers and bikers that winds through downtown Indianapolis. Eagle Creek Park and Marina offers 3,900 acres of land and 1,400 acres of water for water sports and fishing - and even a treetop zip line. Fort Harrison State Park is especially loved for its flowers in the springtime.
The best places to shop in Indianapolis depend on tastes and budgets, but there’s something for everyone. The Fashion Mall at Keystone is upscale, anchored by a Nordstrom’s and a Saks Fifth Avenue. The Castelton Square Mall is the biggest mall in Indiana, and more affordable with department stores like Sears, J.C. Penny’s and Macy’s. And for shoppers with more boutique preferences, Mass Ave is an eclectic cultural district where the oldest shoe store in the country can be found, Stout’s.
Employment and Economy in Indianapolis
Indianapolis’ economy was traditionally based mostly on manufacturing, but in the mid-eighties the city made a conscious decision to invest in Indianapolis as a sports tourism destination, and since that point the primary focus has shifted to retail and services. Hosting sports events and conventions is a large part of Indianapolis’s revenue, so the hospitality industry is key - although the insurance sector has maintained deep roots in Indianapolis. Big insurance companies headquartered in Indianapolis include Conesco and Anthem Inc. And due to Indianapolis’s central transportation positioning, a lot of companies such as Amazon, Target and Walmart have distribution centers there as well.
Indianapolis, IN Households
- Total Number of Households333,316
Family 186,185Non-family 147,131
Children 97,007No Children 236,309
- Average People Per Household2.51
- Median Household Income$44,709
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$879
Top Colleges in Indianapolis
In terms of education, a number of good state universities and private colleges are based in Indianapolis. Top private colleges in the city include Marian University, a Catholic liberal arts school, and Butler University, known for establishing the first English Department in the state. The biggest public school in Indianapolis is Indianapolis University—Purdue University Indianapolis, which is a research institution that is a part of both the Indianapolis University and Purdue systems.
Indianapolis, IN Education Statistics
- No High School4%
- Some High School38%
- Some College24%
- Associate Degree6%
- Bachelor Degree18%
- Graduate Degree9%
Tips for Renting in Indianapolis
The renters’ rights in Indianapolis are pretty standard. A landlord must give a tenant 30 days notice before raising her rent, and must return a security deposit within 45 days of the tenant moving out (and the tenant has ten days after rent is due before her landlord can file for eviction).
If the landlord is going to keep any of the deposit for damage repair, they have to provide the tenant with an itemized bill of damages. One notable difference for Indianapolis renters as opposed to renters in say, Chicago, is that there is no statute on how much a landlord is allowed to charge in late rent fees.
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