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Old 06-10-2011, 10:37 AM
74 posts, read 166,749 times
Reputation: 28


I got a direct message from Joe, currently in the Middle East, who is looking to relocate to Cincy. He saw my postin a thread and asked for info on how I did my research. He is apparently unable to receive direct messages so I am posting here hoping he sees it.

Here is his message:

Originally Posted by Pocketplayer
Caught your post in this thread;
Moving to the country .... need help finding nice areasI am interested in how you did your research. Currently I am living in the middle east and yes, it is HOT! Today was 128...but it isn't as bad as it sounds.

I lived in IN and TN, as well as So Calif and will be finished with my contract over here in July.

Simply put, I am trying to semi-retire and want to get the best bang for my buck. I am single now with a fairly simply lifestyle...just want to get a few dogs and let them roam freely if possible.

Living over here was a cost in many ways, especially socially...kinda like a min security prison...not a lot to do and the desert keeps you secluded from any type of life.

I really miss seasons, green, rain, snow...everything but the bugs!

My biggest concern is how to narrow my focus regarding homes when I look at realtor dot com. I know I need to visit the area(s) of interest and it sounds like you did the same mentioning it was costly and handled things yourself instead of relying on a realtor.

Just wanted to touch base here...

Thanks for any help,

Hi Joe, and [almost] welcome back to the States!

It was costly for us because driving the 11 hours from NY to Cinci cost us in gas, tolls, food and hotel. It was about $500.00 for a two-three night stay. So we planned our days carefully viewing only my hand picked listings!

We had a rather unusual list of things for our house so I felt that I could not totally rely on a realtor. We did not have a preference for a particular style home, so we were open to almost anything. We wanted a large property, between 2 and 5 acres. We also wanted a wooded and private area. Many of the larger properties in Clermont county are like landing strips! 5 acre long strips with the house right up on the street. We wanted the house to be set back with a cleared area and walkable woods.

Because property was such an important factor to us I could only use realtor websites that offered acreage as a criteria selection option. The best one I found for the area is Comey & Shepherd. they are not national, but well regarded in the region.

Their site offers serveral key things. One, the acerage that I mentioned. Two, their listings are very thorough. They give all the rooms and their dimensions. And, they have a great map system!! (lately the photos from the house listing are not showing up and the map does not link back to the listing) But, and here's the rub, you can view property boundaries! This was most helpful to me.

Once I found a listing I liked I would paste the address into Bing because they have a unique map too and allows you to see the house and property at a bit of an angle. Google's images are in the summer with leaves on the trees and Bing's are in the winter with the trees bare. Nice to be able to see the two differences.

I also used Trulia to cross reference my favorite listings. On their listings there is not much info about the house but they often show last sale date and price and offer comparables in the area. Also how long on the market. I used both sites favorite listings and enjoyed getting updates on properties via email for my saved searches.

On Comey's site's search page use the 'old' search at the bottom of the page. Don't go crazy with criteria. I just put price, beds/baths and acreage. We also wanted a garage and fireplace but I noticed if I added them it reduced my listings, because I guess not all listing are entered thoroughly in the database. So it is best to look through and then check each listing for a garage and fireplace, etc. Most houses in the area do have garages, a fireplace, and central heat and air.

I also crossed referenced with SibcyCline. Paste in the MLS# of a listing you like and their listings offer neighborhood info as well.

Comey & Shepherd: Homes for Sale - Comey & Shepherd Realtors
Click the SEARCH tab.
Then on the bottom is says, 'Click here to use the old Detailed Search.'
Use that.
Then on the next page choose, tailed Search Forms for Greater Cincinnati MLS (Click the desired property type):
'Residential - Single Family, Condominium, Farms'
Now you can choose your criteria.
You can click on the counties map, just search one county at a time though.
Again, stick with the basic choices, price, rooms and acreage. You can search 1-5 or 5+ but not at the same time, so create two saved searches, one for each acreage choice.
Sign up for the new listings to be emailed to you daily.

Once in a listing on Comey, choose 'Click Here for Detailed Property Information '
This opens up all the listing details. I love how it shows what rooms it has and what it doesn't and the dimensions, etc.

The go up to the Map, under the main photo. 'Show location on interactive map'.
This opens in a new window. On the right, choose the purple 'Areas' and choose 'Property Boundaries' they on the left choose 'Map Options' and 'Satelite' and zoom in to see the lines!

You can also use the map to search for listings. Click on the blue 'Homes' and add your criteria.
Unfortunately the photos from the house listing are not showing up recently and the map does not link back to the listing.

Trulia: Trulia - Real Estate, Homes for Sale, Sold Properties, Apartments for Rent

Sibcy Cline: Cincinnati Real Estate Sibcy Cline Realtors®

If you are uncertain that you want to be out in the suburbs or country areas, there are lots of neat areas inside the loop (275) and a few outside the loop. Here is a good site to use: Cincy Neighborhoods
Neighborhoods - cincy.com

Well good luck and keep us posted!

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