All of this is accurate, good advice.
Only want to add that these locations, while nice/mostly affordable, will have at least an hour commute to Marion, where you said you would be working.
Check out Lewis Center as well (towards/around Westerville), particularly around Polaris Mall. There's VERY nice apartments, condos, and houses; there is 71, 270, and 315 (interstates/outerbelt) right nearby that could take you up north and your wife downtown. From here you would be under an hour from Marion (most mornings).
If not there, check in the Short North or German Village areas. This would be over an hour commute for you, but downtown Columbus is your back yard!
I live in the Short North and it's great for various reasons. You really won't have a backyard here, but your compensation really is the sheer location. Good luck!