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Old 09-20-2012, 10:16 AM
 
3 posts, read 2,296 times
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1. Are there areas that might be similar to my current situation that afford the conveniences we like and a decent school for my daughter?
2. If we go to a more suburban life what does that mean in terms of commute and where do we find a community not just sub-divisions? (no offense intended just ignorance on my part as to how the various towns look/feel)

We are currently living in Chicago about 5 blocks from Wrigley field we enjoy a walkable lifestyle close to restaurants, shopping, school, parks, nightlife, etc. - no idea if areas like this are available in Cincinnati with decent school options. In Chicago there is a "school finder" that tells you what neighborhood school any given address is in - that helped us to find our current place. No idea how this works in Cincinnati. We'd like to stay in a similar living situation, but if we go suburban due to schools or other factor we'd like some "town" feel and amenities as opposed to a ton of sub-divisions with little character.

I'd also like to understand realistic drive time so I can determine how far out/in I need to look in order to preserve sanity. I don't mind driving but bumper to bumper Chicago traffic has me paranoid about living too far out. Here when someone says "how far is..." the answer is given in hours & minutes rush hour and non as the distance is irrelevant i.e. Naperville is 0:40 with no traffic and 1:30 in traffic.

I would want to be in the office (DT near Paul Brown Stadium) by 8am and plan to leave work daily around 5-5:30 to return home. No idea of traffic patterns and I'd love to hear from real experience as opposed to Google or Mapquest.

Regarding schools and location recommendations I have read a lot of past posts and have some ideas, but thought providing my info might generate new thoughts on more urban/walkable options that I still do not understand very well, here is my information:

Married
Age: 39
Child: 8 years old

School is a major concern - we would prefer public with decent diversity but need an environment with smaller class sizes and some ability to differentiate teaching as our daughter has some challenges (not to the point of disability) that would benefit from more attention than she gets in a 28-30 student classroom today

We are open to buying a house or townhome/condo ideally 4br. We don't need a huge place in terms of SF or acreage and are willing to sacrifice some amenities for location. If we get farther out into the suburbs we'd be looking for some community amenities parks, pools, etc. We have some flexiblity on cost but ideally $500K-$750K

Thanks in advance
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,011,892 times
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Hi obiwandog--

CPS is hit and miss at best (although I'm sure it won't be long before the CPS boosters come in here and beg to differ) so I would avoid living within Cincinnati's city limits unless you're prepared to shell out the cash to send the child to private school. If you want the absolute best in terms of walkability, I would narrow your search to an area centered on downtown and perhaps Covington on the Kentucky side of the river.

As far as suburban areas with good schools, a "town" feel, and drive distance, you can't beat Ft. Thomas, also on the Kentucky side of the river. From anywhere in Ft. Thomas you can be in downtown Cincinnati in about ten minutes, and housing is a fraction of your range - I expect you could find something for $300k. Also, Highlands is one of the best public schools in the area.

A downer, though, is that outside of parts of Covington and Erlanger (black and Hispanic minorities respectively), you won't get much of any diversity in NKY. It's 90+% white everywhere.

As far as traffic goes, I drove on I-471 just last week and they're finally finished with the construction along that route so your commute should be free of any traffic woes.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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Hensleya, given the OP's price range they are easily going to be able to afford a very nice house in Cincinnati proper that will be coded to either Kilgour or the new Hyde Park School...i don't think the CPS schools should be a concern. I agree CPS can be hit or miss but not when you have a price range that allows you to afford a home in the most high end part of the city.

Obiwandog, i would concentrate your search on Hyde Park/Mt Lookout. These are going to get you the most urban feel while still keeping you in the good schools of CPS. You commute to downtown will only be 10-15 minutes and, depending on where you locate within these neighborhoods, you will be within 10-15 walk of many shops,restaurants, and parks.

Another option is Mariemont which has excellent public school and a nice small-town business district that is walkable from most of the city. Only problem there is everyone wants to live these and your $750K won't go quite as far.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
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CPS 'boosters' might come in here and point out that the highest rated high school in the state is in CPS or that many of the schools, like the school where all the curriculum is in german, are very good and incredibly sought after. People who just say 'don't live in the city because CPS' are, excuse me, a bit ignorant.

To the OP - if you want to go public, kilgour in hyde park is very nice. it is rich kids with some 'diversity' sprinkled in. it certainly is on par or better than any suburban school. a more organically diverse school choice is north avondale montessori or one of the other magnet schools. if you want to go private, the catholic system is generally very well respected.

to get kilgour, you need to live in hyde park, mt lookout, or parts of columbia tusculum. there is an address finder at http://www.cps-k12.org

i think coming from chicago public, you'll be very pleased with cincinnati. our magnet schools are fantastic and it isn't like chicago or some other big cities where you have like a 1 in 100 (literally) chance of your child getting in.

an above poster mentioned NKY. I LOVE NKY! Check it out, for sure. But don't let schools sway you away from Cinti, especially in your price range.

Last edited by progmac; 09-20-2012 at 11:34 AM..
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:39 AM
 
3 posts, read 2,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio123 View Post
Obiwandog, i would concentrate your search on Hyde Park/Mt Lookout. These are going to get you the most urban feel while still keeping you in the good schools of CPS. You commute to downtown will only be 10-15 minutes and, depending on where you locate within these neighborhoods, you will be within 10-15 walk of many shops,restaurants, and parks.
Thanks - can you provide some additional information on schools in Hyde Park and Mt. Lookout or point me in the right direction? Also it appears Kilgour only runs through 6th grade - what's next?

Thanks again - any assistance is appreciated.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
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As many will point out, Walnut Hiills HS consistently ranks as one of the top HS in not only Ohio but the country. It is convenient to Hyde Park, but is a test in school. It is a college prep school with grades 7 thru 12. If the kids don't cut the mustard to make it into Walnut Hills that is when decision time comes. There are several private schools available which are well regarded but will set the wallet back.

I believe Hyde Park will be your best choice considering where you are coming from. It is close to downtown and where you will be working. It does not have an inner city feel but it is urban and walkable. It is close to some of the best parks in the area.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hensleya1 View Post
Hi obiwandog--

CPS is hit and miss at best
And your experience with CPS?
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,827,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obiwandog View Post
If we get farther out into the suburbs we'd be looking for some community amenities parks, pools, etc. We have some flexiblity on cost but ideally $500K-$750K
I have my child enrolled in CPS and am very happy. I know a lot of other parents in my neighborhood who utilize CPS as well and are pleased with the results. Some of the neighborhood schools can be rough and that mostly coincides with rough neighborhoods where parents don't care.

Personally, given your budget I would pick someplace like Hyde Park and send my child to private school. I came close to sending my child to private school as well for personal reasons, not to avoid CPS.

You may want to consider Clifton Gaslight. Check out Annunciation for a very well run, affordable private school in the neighborhood.

That's my 2 cents anyway, best of luck.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
Reputation: 1919
Tom...

As I said, I recommend Hyde Park. From the environment they are coming from it is the best I can envision. If they get here and the schools are not up to what they expected, then go private. Do you disagree?

I will never suggest someone coming from an urban environment to jump into a suburban environment, that just does not make sense as it is a big adjustment in lifestyle. At the same time I will not recommend the opposite. To me the whole urban/suburban discussion boils down to what you are accustomed to and comfortable with. We seem to argue too much concerning what is strictly personal preference.
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Old 09-20-2012, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,827,124 times
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They are coming from Chicago. The school system there makes CPS look like a walk in the park. Gaslight is a great option for them. Very close to downtown. Very nice housing stock. Walkable. Urban. I mentioned private schools because I don't think they will find any CPS options that have the class size they are after.
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