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To understand Ohio’s significance as a commerce and transportation hub, consider the fact that 50% of North America’s entire population and 70% of its manufacturing capacities are within a one-day drive or trip along a waterway from somewhere within the Buckeye State. Ohio Land for Sale is a step through the gateway to the Midwest.
Over three hundred miles of Lake Erie coastline, dotted with sand dunes and shipping ports, define Ohio’s boundaries to the north. The southern border is the Ohio River (very little of which actually can be claimed by the state to which it loaned its name.) The state is crisscrossed with other waterways including the Cuyahoga, the Great Miami, the Maumee, the Muskingum, and Scioto rivers.
Ohio is farm country. A drive along one of its numerous country roads takes you past horizon-to-horizon fields of corn, soybeans and hay. The fertile, low-lying plains just south of Lake Erie gradually rise until finally they become the rolling hills and valleys of the Allegheny Plateau in the southeastern part of the state. The southwestern part of the state contains bluegrass pastures like those of Kentucky on the other side of the Ohio River.
Most of Ohio’s 11.5 million residents live in one of eight metropolitan areas, scattered almost equidistantly about the state. Columbus in the center of the state is the capital and largest city, with a robust and diverse economy that has protected it to a great extent from the effects of the recent recession that ravaged population centers elsewhere in the state. Ohio’s second-largest city Cleveland on the banks of Lake Erie, heavily rooted in the manufacturing sector, has not been as lucky and it has been estimated that ten percent of the city’s homes stand vacant due to foreclosure filings. Cincinnati along the southern border with Kentucky is considered by many historians to be the first uniquely American city and hosts the headquarters of many Fortune 500 companies including Procter & Gamble, Macy’s, and the American Financial Group. Toledo, close to the Michigan border, has traditionally been an automobile town although the healthcare industry now employs more people; Toledo’s nickname, “Glass City,” pays homage to its long involvement in all aspects of the glass-manufacturing industry. Akron is the world headquarters for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
Like all Midwestern states, Ohio’s winters can be brutal, especially along Lake Erie’s Snowbelt, but that only makes the rainy springtime weather that much more welcome when it finally arrives. Summer is hot and humid, one languorous day melting into the next, rhythm only interrupted by the occasional thunderstorm. Ohio weather really comes into its own though in the fall when days are cool, crisp and perfect for football.
Manufacturing has long been Ohio’s most important economic activity. It should come as no surprise then that the Buckeye State was particularly hard hit by the recent recession. Unemployment throughout the state had already been higher than the national average for going on thirteen years. In January 2010, Ohio’s unemployment rate stood at 10.8%; the Governor’s economic advisors predict that it will reach 11% before the year is through. Not unexpectedly, Toledo’s close ties to the auto industry and its supply chain meant that city took the hardest hit although Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Youngstown also experienced significant declines.
Job losses lead to exoduses. Ohio has the nation’s second highest rate of delinquent home mortgages as well as one of the highest rates of home foreclosure. These numbers have nothing to do with a speculative bubble and everything to do with a battered manufacturing base, stagnant population growth and a much lower demand for both commercial real estate and homes. The good news for a prospective buyer? Ohio Land for Sale is an amazing value in a state whose strategic geographic position means economic rebound is inevitable.