TikTok account attracts people to Central Illinois city

Midwest

PEORIA, Ill. (NewsNation Now) — Just over 113,000 people call the Central Illinois city of Peoria home. In an era when many people are leaving the land of Lincoln, Peoria can thank a TikTok account for at least a few dozen transplants moving in.

Angie Ostaszewski’s Tik Tok account, called Angie’sListings, shows off affordable homes, neighborhoods, and experiences in Peoria.

“People don’t think we have a skyline,” Ostaszewski said. “Let alone a very large and diverse population.”

The median household income in Peoria is $51,000, according to census data. Even as home prices have ticked up this year, the average home price is $98,090, according to Zillow. Ostaszewski said that proved affordable soon after she moved there.

“I wasn’t making as much money as I hoped to one day, I was still able to with my now husband afford a home here and become a homeowner before I turn 30,” she said.

Angie isn’t a realtor or a member of the local chamber of commerce. She just really wants people to change the way they think about making a home. She says it doesn’t have to be in a big city or on one of the coasts.

“As someone who is very progressive, a woman of color, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I’ve heard from a lot of people that they related to my personal experience, and that it made them more interested in a town where they normally wouldn’t imagine someone like me in Central Illinois, which makes me feel really good,” Ostaszewski said.

The videos seem to work. Mariela Munguia left the Seattle area and moved to Peoria after watching Angie’s TikToks.

“One of the first videos that I saw of Angie was a house that was listed for like $58,000,” Munguia said. “I just was like, ‘what, that’s not possible.’”

Munguia is one of 37 people Ostaszewski has recruited to Peoria. She advises anyone thinking about relocating to consider your values.

“There’s never going to be a perfect place,” Munguia said. “But there’s definitely going to be opportunities for us to create a better place for our community members.”

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