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Old 11-20-2012, 07:09 AM
 
6 posts, read 4,950 times
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Hi all,

My finace and I have been in Cincinnati for about 8 months now. We are currently renting a condo in the east end and are looking to own our own place. Any ideas on good locations?

. Have you searched this forum for answers to your questions before posting a new inquiry?
Yes
. What specific topic have you not found answers to?
Looking at Mariemont, thoughts on schools, safety, neighborhood feel, price worth it, taxes?
. Where is you current location and environment?
Renting a Condo in the East End
. Are you looking for similar in Cincinnati or a change?
We are looking to own a single family home.
. Where will your work location be?
She works in St. Bernard and I work in Eastgate
Maximum commute time desired?
40 minutes each.
. What is you budget for housing?

$250,000
Rent or buy?
Buy
Type (Apt., Condo, Single Family)
Single Family
Size (Approx. Sq. Ft., # Bedrooms & Baths)
3 Beds, 1-2.5 Baths, 1300+ sq ft. We understand that in the areas we are looking, we are paying to be there, and not for the house, but we don't need a ton of space.
. Other specifics?

Neighborhood environment?
We want something that feels like a neighborhood. Quiet, family oriented, stable. We are young DINK's, but we are looking to start a family while in this house. We also really love a unique house with lots of charm(old is ok with us). The Tudor style around here really appeals to us. We are not tolerant of crime, we want some place where if we forgot to lock the door, we wouldn't be rushing home to protect our stuff.

Schools?
We want to be in a good school district for both resale value, and if we end up staying in this house, our kids will end up going there.

Community amenities?
We want a community that lets us walk to shops, or at least be close to something. We like being near one of the squares around the city. We both have cars, so public transport isn't a huge issue.

Specific wants/desires?
We are looking in Mariemont, Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, some of Oakley, Columbia-Tusculum, etc. Looking for other options!

Last edited by aero528; 11-20-2012 at 07:24 AM.. Reason: Format issue
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,732,394 times
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Mariemont is a good choice! It seems to be a great fit locationally relative to your work places. I remember looking at a decent 2BR 80-100 year old townhouse there that was around $200k. The taxes are somewhat higher compared with Cincinnati. You also might check out Newtown, Madisonville, and Pleasant Ridge in addition to the places you're looking already.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:12 AM
 
6 posts, read 4,950 times
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Thanks for the response!

There is a house in Pleasant ridge we are looking at, as well as a house in Mariemont and some in Hyde Park. Any hard numbers on taxes, or a place that I can find that? We don't mind paying more taxes as long as we are getting more services from it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,374,610 times
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Of the places you identified, I would recommend Mariemont. It certainly has the best schools and would give you good resale on that alone. The trick may be finding a property you like in your price range. There is a reason property in Mariemont is high, the schools are good and the ambiance is nice. You may want to take a quick look at the village of Fairfax. It is adjacent to Mariemont and in the Mariemont School District. Also, do not ignore Terrace Park, also adjacent to Mariemont and same schools. But Terrace Park is not as compact as Mariemont and property typically priced even higher.

I also suggest you check out Madeira which historically has had good schools. Property there was developed over a span of years so there is some variety available. There are several routes available to Eastgate, including up through Indian Hill over to Milford and route 28 out to I-275. Another route is Loveland-Madeira Rd to I-275 and around to the south. There is good access to I-71 and west to the Norwood Lateral (OH 562) and across to St Bernard. It is very convenient to Kenwood Towne Center which is the major shopping destination.

You have to inspect property in Mariemont and surrounds along with Madeira very closely. The majority is not new, and must be evaluated on condition, upgrading, etc. Madeira is not really walkable at all in total, but does have a nice little downtown business district which will satisfy most of your needs.

It is my personal opinion property values in Mariemont and Madeira are what they are strictly due to the solidarity of the schools and the fact they are reasonably positioned commute wise for jobs in downtown Cincinnati. That combination has proven to be very attractive for welll over 50 years.

As long as the business climate in Cincinnati remains strong, I do not see that changing. Not everyone wants to live in a concrete jungle.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,732,394 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aero528 View Post
Thanks for the response!

There is a house in Pleasant ridge we are looking at, as well as a house in Mariemont and some in Hyde Park. Any hard numbers on taxes, or a place that I can find that? We don't mind paying more taxes as long as we are getting more services from it.
My rule of thumb with taxes in the city is take the value of the house, double it, and take off two zeros. So if the property costs $250,000, taxes will be about $5,000 per year. Or a $180,000 property would be $3,600 a year. This is pretty darn accurate. I think for Mariemont you'd add about another 10% but I'm not sure about that.

If you have specific questions about Pleasant Ridge (specific streets etc), feel free to PM me. My family has been living there for a couple years now.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:02 AM
 
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Great, great info! Thanks!

In Mariemont, we are looking at a house on Indianview, so we would be in a fairly good area(yes?). Thoughts on whether the house will increase in value? I know I read on the forum in another thread that someone was concerned that house values in Mariemont might go down because of the crime influence on Madisonville.

In Pleasent Ridge, We are looking at a house on Bellewood. Our concern with that is that it is very close to Ridge, and close to a not so nice area to the south, closer to 71. Thoughts on crime? We are worried that our future kids/dog would have to be watched more than Mariemont outside playing with friends, and we wouldn't feel very safe walking around at night.

Thanks again!
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,374,610 times
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Several of the places you identified, Hyde Park, Pleasant Ridge, Oakley, Columbia-Tusculum are all neighborhoods of Cincinnati. As such, they are not taxed individually but pay the same rate everywhere which is a division between the schools, city, and county. They are also in the same county, Hamilton, so the county taxes will be the same rate. The only difference therefore is the tax evaluation of the property.

When you get into separate incorporations such as Mariemont, Madeira, etc. the picture changes. They are also in Hamilton Co. so the Co. component is the same. But the city component and more specifically the school district component can be significantly different.

Your best source for factual propertry tax information is the Hamilton Co. Auditor's web site - property search. But be careful, the tax figures shown are for those payable in 2012 which are actually 2011 taxes, since we pay one year behind. New levies passed in 2011 or 2012 will not show up here, in addition to any property reevaluation required during 2012. I do not know about Hamilton Co., but I do know in Warren Co. you can call the county auditor's office and request an updated tax bill for 2013, even if you are not the owner since it is a public record.

Mariemont and Madeira have good schools because they have demanded and payed for them over a period of several decades. Cincinnati also pays for them but does not get the same results.

Pleasant Ridge has some grand old houses, that can not be denied. If you are looking at one of these grand houses at a price you cannot ignore, buy it. You are not yet married so schools are a ways off. Just recognize you are betting on the resurgence of Pleasant Ridge to continue, which it very well may.

But if you are just looking at a run-of-the-mill house in Pleasant Ridge and you can find anything close in Mariemont, select Mariemont. You will profit over the years.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:53 AM
 
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Got it. The houses we are looking at in both places are old Tudors, with some personality. That's the kind of house we like. We have never been much for the simple ranch home. It certainly doesn't make our search easier.

I'll look at the tax auditors website/call the office. Thanks for the tip.

I'm somewhat confused at the 'boundries' of Pleasant Ridge. I know generally where Mariemont stops, but not really with Pleasant ridge.

Also, do you know of the crime differences between Pleasant Ridge, Mariemont, and Madeira?

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,732,394 times
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Pleasant Ridge has, without question, more crime than Mariemont or Madeira. But it actually has, I think, the lowest crime rate of any neighborhood in the city. Which to me is remarkable considering it is also one of the most integrated neighborhoods in the city. Personally, we often leave our house unlocked without incident but this is probably not recommended behavior. Although it hasn't happened to me, I would not be surprised if a bike or something left unattended in the front yard were stolen. (My attitude is come and take my bike if you really want it (and on your conscious be it); I don't care, I can always get a new bike.) Anyhow, I think if you want a quiet suburban and perhaps somewhat upscale feel, Mariemont and Madeira are better choices. Since you mention older-houses with character, it should be mentioned that Madeira is almost entirely builder-grade 40s/50s cape cod with seven foot ceilings. Pleasant Ridge's main advantages are its proximity to everything and its relative diversity, both income and racial. I like to think that the Ridge keeps it real but even that is changing as more yuppy/farmers market types move in (I reluctantly include myself in this group). Without question, your future kids would have a different type of friends in Pleasant Ridge compared with Madeira and Mariemont, and that may or may not be something to consider. People here are very involved in the community and there is somewhat of an expectation that residents be involved and support the businesses, school, etc. I think that if your PRIMARY concern is crime, you probably want to go with Madeira or Mariemont. I think your investment is safe in any of the three neighborhoods. The Pleasant Ridge house strikes me as about 10-15% expensive for the street, but my info may be dated, so check with your realtor about the price.

Last edited by progmac; 11-20-2012 at 10:27 AM..
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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They have since lowered the house price on Bellewood, but I still think it is in the upper range for the neighborhood. The house we are looking at in Mariemont, is at the bottom of the price range for the area. We would rather be on the bottom end of the price range, though both neighborhoods will have houses more expensive than what we are looking for.

We do like the fact that Pleasant ridge has more diversity. We both grew up in areas of relative diversity, and would like that for our kids. That isn't a primary concern for us, though.

The 40s/50s houses in Madeira are actually the reason we have stayed away from there. Otherwise it looks nice. We would really rather a house with character. That is very high on our list.
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