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Old 11-23-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,389,317 times
Reputation: 1920

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Neighborhoods with both great schools, walkability, and older homes/architecture are at a premium in Cincinnati. With 4 kids over your age range I would want at least a 4 bedroom house, which should be very accomplishable in your indicated price range and today's market.

I would recommend you look within the Sycamore school district (Montgomery, Blue Ash, and most of Symmes Township). In addition to very excellent academics, Sycamore has a very strong swimming exposure. The Blue Ash YMCA also offers a strong swimming program. Montgomery and Blue Ash are a little bit older suburbs with quite a variety of housing options. Portions of Symmes Township are newer and definitely more upscale.

Glendale likely has the home architecture you prefer, but you must resolve whether the school district (Princeton) is up to you expectations.

As you go further north, Lakota Schools (West Chester and Liberty townships in Butler Co. is huge). Excellent ratings, but it takes two high schools to bear the load. Mason, in Warren Co. is similar, though a single large HS. Both of these areas are definitely suburban sprawl, exploding in development over the last two decades. The schools are among the highest rated in the state, the population is definitely young family, and other amenities are available. The Lakota YMCA has excellent facilities, including aquatic, where the Lakota School teams practice. The Mason Community Center, immediately adjacent to the HS also has excellent aqautic facilities.

I suggest start in the Sycamore district and see whether you find what you are looking for. If not, begin working you way north and west. The schools and other desires are there, the question is the degree of urban sprawl.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:47 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,556 times
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Thanks all for your great replies. Jen, I really appreciate your insight on Lebanon, commutes, money issues/levies with schools,etc. It seems like everyone from this area that comes to Cincy moves to Mason. I looked into it and got pretty excited until I saw the sheer volume of kiddos. 27 of each class!!! While I hear they do it well, it just seems ... well, BIG. I won't rule it out, but will still consider alternatives. Got a hold of our old neighbor tonight ... they are recent relocators and they live in Loveland and the kids go to Kings. Any input? Also ..how is the community feel in Wyoming? Mariemont? I have read some posts that seem to infer those towns are "snobby." I'd love some first hand information from folks who reside there if possible. Kjbrill...thanks for swim insight. I doubt I am raising any Micheal Phelps ...but they do enjoy it and it's a great way to wear them out!
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,389,317 times
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Kings is a good school district and not as large as Mason.

You may be concerned about the size of Mason schools, but so far they seem to be doing things right and at a high achievement level. The parks, youth athletic leagues, biking and jogging trails, the community center and aquatic facilities, they all have been super productive. I think the main reason is the attitude of the families which have located here. It is definitely a soccer mom atmosphere. If you visit and interact with other parents who have chosen the vibrant atmosphere, you may very well be sold. It is family, family, family.

Wyoming will consistently be mentioned as one of the desirable places to live in the Cincy area. As a separate entity it is closer in to the City proper, inside the Ronald Reagan (formerly Cross County and still called that by the locals) Highway. As many will comment, it is surrounded by other neighborhoods not as desirable, kind of like an island. Very convenient to downtown jobs while avoiding the CPS district. Historically a very high achieving school district. But it is not that large an area and at any given time housing on the market may be limited.

Mariemont is an older community, on the east side, and one of the original planned communities in the country. It has very close proximity to downtown Cincinnati jobs, but is a separate city with a long recognition of good schools shared with its next door neighbor Terrace Park. I grew up in an adjacent city Madeira, which also has good schools. But their main attraction is a short commute to jobs in downtown Cincinnati while being in much better school districts. Overall I would say property is on the expensive side for what you get. If working downtown they are very reasonable considerations due to the short commute and overall quality of life. But otherwise I believe you can find better values further out.

Loveland is rather spread out and in more than one county. Loveland is a city and has its own school district.

The majority of the Kings school district is actually Landen, just a census designated portion of Deerfield Township, unincorporated. Kings Mills is also just a census designated portion of Deerfield Township along the Little Miami River and next to Kings Island Amusement Park which is now actually part of Mason. The Kings school district also extends north to portions of South Lebanon, a village along the Little Miami River. A small portion of the city of Mason, on the east side, is also in the Kings school district.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,389,317 times
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Looking back at your original posting, I have some additional comments. Glendale seems to be a perfect fit, both from the standpoint of house size, cost, quiet neighborhood, attractive architecture, and some degree of walkability to daily needs stores. But the main question then becomes schools. Princeton schools I believe are improving, and the Sharonville area which is part of the district, and which has some very nice housing, I would have to believe is pressuring for improvement. The question though is this enough? Princeton was created through consolidation of multiple districts several years ago. These were not all equal districts at the time, and some may say never will be.

If it were me, coming to town with 4 kids in elementary and middle school ages, I would not risk the school portion. We have too many excellent rated school districts in the Cincinnati area to select from. Take your time, study the information you receive, calculate the costs, but also recognize those 4 kiddies are only going to be young once.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,738,252 times
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Isn't Princeton rated higher than Lakota, at least at the high school level?
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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I have not looked into that area.... but I will. Kjbrill ....your comment hit home. We moved to this area for hubby's job and moved to the "it" school. While we love that we can walk to school, pool, etc....it has come to our attention that the quality of education is just not what we experienced iin the midwest. I am not crumming it ... nor are we education snobs ... but if we can do better for them ... I am all for it.

Here is the question cincy area ....if you were me...where would you send your (rising) 6th grader, fourth grader, second grader and preschooler? Within a 30 minute commute to Evandale...
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,738,252 times
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haha, if it were me i'd live in Pleasant Ridge (that is where I decided to bring my family). But I don't think this neighborhood is what you're looking for exactly. Everybody has different priorities, and there is not such thing as a neighborhood that has it all. On paper, the closest neighborhood to "having it all" I would say is Wyoming. Central location, great schools, diversity, concentrated business district, etc
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Old 11-24-2011, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
171 posts, read 295,528 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama24kiddos View Post
Also ..how is the community feel in Wyoming? Mariemont? I have read some posts that seem to infer those towns are "snobby." I'd love some first hand information from folks who reside there if possible. Kjbrill...thanks for swim insight. I doubt I am raising any Micheal Phelps ...but they do enjoy it and it's a great way to wear them out!
I live in Wyoming. Community is great. Not at all snobby from what I have encountered (we have been here just over a year). We live down in the village area and are able to walk to the little downtown. Also, my kids walk to school every day. On the way to school, we run into other kids walking (no busing here unless you are 2 miles away from the school or don't have sidewalks) and it makes it such a fun and unique experience. I love watching my Kindergartener run ahead with his friends while I push the stroller and talk with the other moms. This area is a huge proponent of walking (which is something I wanted for my kids). We are also able to walk to the bakery, library, Half Day Cafe (brunch/lunch) and Gabbys (for dinner or drinks) and the few other shops in town. A new coffee shop is opening and we will be making many a walk to it as well. We have found the neighbors to be very friendly. We actually went with our neighbors to a Bengals game a couple weeks ago and we often stand out and chat with neighbors as we rake our many leaves, etc. My hubby and and I were talking last night how we feel we just fit in better in Wyoming than we did in Lebanon. Everyone we meet is passionate about schools (we are huge proponets of education) which resonates with us. The kids we meet all have so many unique experiences. An example of that is we went to Lollipops 2 weeks ago (Lollipops is the Cincinnati Pops show for kids) and we ran into 5 familes just from our sons K class.

There's a very strong newcomers group here to get you acclimated to the town that we are yet to join (plan to soon), but I hear wonderful things about it as well. I feel that people are very nice and not snobby. I'm sure there's some around here, just like in any area, that are, but I am yet to encounter any.

Feel free to shoot me any questions. I would imagine Mariemont has a similar tight knit community feel like Wyoming.
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Old 11-24-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,389,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
Isn't Princeton rated higher than Lakota, at least at the high school level?
City-Data rates Lakota as an 83 out of 100, while Princeton as a 69. I know Lakota's Ohio State rating is excellent, which is the highest. They may have lost the additional with distinction designation.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:43 PM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,707 posts, read 6,583,679 times
Reputation: 7332
The ODE ratings have Princeton district rated Effective and Lakota district rated Excellent with Distinction. Individual buildings may possibly vary. These are the ratings for the district as a whole.
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