Here's a tale of two cities. Until Thanksgiving week last year, I lived in my hometown of Denver, Colorado. Just to clear up a few misperceptions, Denver is on the plains (not in the mountains), gets roasting hot in the summer, the traffic is as bad as anything I've driven in in Los Angeles, the price of housing has skyrocketed, and so a lot of ugly houses are being built, in addition to all the ugly architecture that was already all over Denver. They can't tear down nice brick houses fast enough to put up steel and glass boxes or more traditional houses that show more money than taste. Someone has even started a campaign against all the ugly building called Denver Fugly. Good luck to him. Seeing that I could sell my two-bedroom crackerbox for a ridiculous amount of money, and being tired of spending two hours a day in traffic to go to a job seven miles away, I moved to Indianapolis. I had some connections here and loved the city. The people are friendly, traffic is light, and historic preservation of the beautiful houses and buildings here (along with architectural requirements for new buildings) is enforced. There are some funky modern houses among the rehabbed ones on the near-east side, but they match the size, shape and roof pitch of the older houses, so it looks more evolutionary than jarring. There are a couple of state parks that are an easy drive from most locations. It's also an inexpensive place to live. Practically everything is less expensive than it was in Denver--especially if you want to buy antiques. Vintagey foods are more available here--lard from pasture-raised hogs, jowl bacon from the same pasture, chicken livers, beef tongue and fatty hamburger. The low-fat fad doesn't seem to have caught on here. A few other fads (expensive ones) like look-at-me kitchens and huge SUVs haven't caught on here, either. I see a lot of sedans and mini-vans; not many SUVs. A Zillow search of houses here shows a lot of basic kitchens. Think laminate countertops and white appliances--in craftsman, Victorian and Tudor revival houses. The biggest bargain is housing. You can get a decent house here for under $100,000. If you're willing to put in some major sweat equity, you can homestead an abandoned house for under $10,000. From the neighborhood to the state level, people are working to revitalize areas close to downtown. A lot of what was happening in Denver 20 years ago to drive growth is happening here now. There could be a good upside for people buying a house here if they're willing to live in it and stay put for a long time. Some downsides: some up-and-coming areas are still pretty seedy and there's quite a bit of crime. Some parts of Indianapolis (north and northwest of downtown) were until a few years ago among the most dangerous in the United States. I live on the east side and I would say, if you live here, have an alarm system, lock your car doors, and keep your valuables locked up (preferably in the house, not the garage). Stay out of rough areas at night. The state allows you to obtain a permit to carry a gun; you can have one in your home without a permission slip. (ETA: I'm not saying you need a gun, just that they are allowed.) On the whole, I'm happy I moved here and think Indianapolis might appeal to people who appreciate vintage architecture, thrift, and a general lack of snarky pretense. Oddly, people think I am nuts for leaving Denver to come here. I tell them I'm sure I had the car pointed in the right direction on I-70.