Why We Moved to Hilliard: Great Schools and Affordability Make this Suburb Great for Young Families

Peter Tonguette
Sonia Mikheeva and Eric DeLozier

Like many young couples, Sonia Mikheeva and Eric DeLozier first considered moving to the suburbs after they started thinking about having a family.

Married for a little over three years, Mikheeva and DeLozier lived in Columbus’ Forest Park neighborhood until earlier this year. Looking ahead to a time when their future children would enter school, the couple wanted high-quality public education and didn’t want to have to pay for a private school. They house-hunted across the Northwest Columbus region, but Hilliard beckoned.

“We’ve had a few friends our age [who] have little kids or [are] starting to have families that have moved out to Hilliard over the past few years,” says Mikheeva, 28, a native of Russia who moved to the United States as a child. She works at JPMorgan Chase. “They seem to really like it out here.”

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Affordability also entered into the equation. If they had their druthers, they might have settled in Clintonville, but housing in the sought-after Columbus neighborhood was cost-prohibitive. “You can’t get [houses] bigger than a thousand square feet with one bathroom for the same price as what we paid out here,” Mikheeva says.

Yet, in their home off Cemetery Road, the couple is close enough to Hilliard’s downtown to replicate the walkable feel of Clintonville. They can take a stroll or ride a bike to Old Hilliard, where they plan to check out live entertainment and take advantage of the designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA). “Since we moved in, our neighbors have been great [in] giving us suggestions on places: ‘If you like BBQ, go here,’” says DeLozier, 36, an Ohio native who is employed at Safe Electric. “It’s been very nice, actually—what you would expect out of your typical suburb.”

The new Hilliardians plan to settle in for the long haul. After all, they came for the schools for their future children. “We wanted to be here, at the very least, for a little while—10, 15 years, at the least,” DeLozier says.

10-year population growth: 31 percent

Average home price: $310,643

1-year property value increase: 17 percent

5-year property value increase: 48 percent

Sources: Zillow, U.S. Census Bureau

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This story is from the December 2021 issue of Columbus Monthly.