The neighborhood offers perks—close to Downtown, affordability—for new homeowners.

Westgate, a pocket neighborhood less than 6 miles west of Downtown, is becoming a destination for first-time buyers and investors.

Real estate agents often compare Westgate to Grandview and Clintonville. But the smaller homes in the West Side community—averaging slightly more than 1,400 square feet—are more affordable. While homes in the other two neighborhoods average in the $300,000–$400,000 range, the average sale price of homes in Westgate has risen from about $98,000 in 2009 to about $172,000 this year.

Lower prices are especially attractive to young, first-time homebuyers who appreciate the simple, cottage-style houses that include two or three bedrooms.

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Zillow listings at summer’s end revealed a handful of Westgate homes in the $185,000 to $250,000 range. A decade ago, those homes spent around 115 days on the market. Today they are selling within a month, or so.

“For homebuyers who can’t afford Grandview or Clintonville, Westgate has become a destination neighborhood,” says Lisanne Ludwig, of the Faulkner Realty Group. “It’s a similar vibe and is built around a park, has a farmers market and a great community network.”

Ludwig understands firsthand the value of Westgate, which was built on land once home to the Union Army’s Camp Chase, which was also used as a Confederate prison camp during the Civil War. About three years ago, she purchased a property there, rehabbed it and flipped it. It sold the same day it went on the market. She has since updated and sold five other properties in the neighborhood.

“It is convenient to everything in Columbus,” says Ludwig, acknowledging that Westgate lacks the walkability to businesses that might attract people to Clintonville or Grandview. But she predicts that will change.

“There are some restaurants nearby, but there is no real commercial development yet,” she says. But with it being close to the Hollywood Casino Columbus and west of Franklinton, she believes Westgate’s popularity will create more investments.

Part of the attraction for homebuyers is the architecture dating from the 1920s, tree-lined streets, local schools and a 46-acre park, says John Myers, president of the Columbus Board of Realtors. The neighborhood is bounded by West Broad Street to the north, Sullivant Avenue to the south, Hague Avenue on the west and Demorest Road to the east. The neighborhood is ranked in the top 10 for diversity in Columbus.

“The houses are being maintained well with a lot of rehab going on,” Myers says. “That creates a good situation and helps create a demand because people want to live there.”

Myers reports that over 90 homes were sold in the past year in Westgate, which has about 7,700 total residents.