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Old 12-01-2012, 02:34 PM
 
405 posts, read 661,858 times
Reputation: 462

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I know nothing about Westwood but this house looked cute, and then I saw the series of recent sales that are not inspiring. Selling for less and less since 2005, like some sort of recipe for losing money. I can't link the house but it is lovely and the neighborhood seems decent, it is on Ocosta street. What is happening here? Is there alot of crime? Or is this just a bottom of the market adjustment?

11/29/2012 Listed for sale $70,000
03/18/2010 Sold$79,000
07/07/2005 Sold$132,800
09/12/2000 Sold$114,500
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:09 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 4,017,298 times
Reputation: 1500
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFresh99 View Post
I know nothing about Westwood but this house looked cute, and then I saw the series of recent sales that are not inspiring. Selling for less and less since 2005, like some sort of recipe for losing money. I can't link the house but it is lovely and the neighborhood seems decent, it is on Ocosta street. What is happening here? Is there alot of crime? Or is this just a bottom of the market adjustment?

11/29/2012 Listed for sale $70,000
03/18/2010 Sold$79,000
07/07/2005 Sold$132,800
09/12/2000 Sold$114,500
I don't know the street itself, but the area is one I would consider less than desirable. Nearby McHenry Ave. is pretty much a drug dealing and crime hotbed.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:34 PM
 
77 posts, read 170,771 times
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I have a coworker who lives on the street and have been there several times. It a fairly nice tidy street. With that being said there was a homicide there last year. http://news.cincinnati.com/article/A...estwood-street
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:16 AM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,734 posts, read 11,106,265 times
Reputation: 6465
This clip provides an excellent illustration of what's been facing Westwood for the past decade or so:


Cincinnatis Flee Heavy In The Westside To pt.1 - YouTube

Notice that one side of the street is tree-lined, with attractive and well-kept homes. Meanwhile, the other side is taken up by a "stretch brick box" apartment building that appears to have vacancies (and likely is a place where Section 8 is accepted.) The poster of that video unintentionally states in its title that Cincinnatians are fleeing heavily from the west side - lol - in saying that he (perhaps "flea" misspelled) is "heavy" (well-established) in that part of town. Although the block filmed may be in Price Hill, the homes' architecture is more suggestive of Westwood.
Lest anyone have the race card ready to play, there are also quite a few White people on the west side who are in "the life" of existing off government assistance and idling away their days picking fights and pulling petty crimes. They get themselves into the news from time to time as well.
What once made Westwood - as well as other areas - appealing to folks at many economic levels is its Achilles' heel today. Streets such as Boudinot, Werk Rd, and LaFeuille (to name but three) were where someone starting out their adult life could find an affordable rental and then only had to look up the street or around a corner to buy up into a nice house. Now the brick box buildings and 1950's-to-70's complexes are shunned by young working persons and have been relegated to slumlorded S8 properties. For every individual who has a real need for public assistance and is striving to get ahead there are those like Flee/Flea who contribute nothing positive to themselves or their surroundings.
Ocosta Ave (thank you, Google Maps) is a short three blocks from Bracken Woods Lane, one of the worst streets for crime thereabouts, which in turn is just past McHenry. Although the nearby St Catherine of Siena church and its school are still well attended they felt the need to relocate their yearly festival because of all the problems that cropped up when things shut down at night. The local supermarket had declined into a "ghetto Kroger" and was closed a couple of years ago.
On the flip side - eastern Westwood, like many other urban communities, is a patchwork of "armpits" and idyllic blocks in close coexistence. There's a large group of local residents who keep pressure on the city to address quality-of-life issues, through various organizations including Westwood Concern. They've succeeded in getting drug houses put out of business, some nuisance buildings/complexes bulldozed, etc. Although it appears to have gone inactive of late, for a time there was also an informal outfit called Good Guy Loitering which for some years was - apologies to Flee/Flea - heavy on the west side. These folks brought lawn chairs to intersections, along with identifying signs, and socialized into the night with the effect of routing the criminal element at least for that evening. One of the corners they visited was Ravogli and Harrison, just down the way from Ocosta Ave, in addition to the intersection by St Catherine and many others throughout the neighborhood. Community meetings, organized clean-ups, etc abound. So it's not due to apathy that Westwood is having its difficulties.
What it all boils down to for the OP is whether they have the "urban pioneer spirit" to purchase the property which "speaks to them" and man the battle stations. Personally, I bought into a transitioning neighborhood twenty years ago and have never regretted the decision. But many people - understandably - would just as soon not have to have the security, and resale value, of their investment be foremost in their minds.
My perpetual recommendation is to pay a visit to the block on a mild Saturday night and again on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. Are groups of people hanging around on corners looking sketchy? Are residents out walking their dogs, washing cars, raking leaves, etc, and are they interacting with each other? Is loud music emanating from any window? What's the nature of glances directed your way when you walk or drive past? Should you have free time some afternoon around the time schools are dismissed, it might be worthwhile to appear over there around then too. And make several return visits to see whether first impressions are bolstered.

P.S. Assessed property values have definitely taken a hit during this economic turmoil. Assumptions should not be made as to why the current owner is likely to be selling at a loss. My place was a "steal" (asking price was the previous purchase price & I bargained it down 15%) because it hadn't moved on the market for five months and the owners had run out of space for their growing family. Neighborhood problems had nothing to do with their anxiousness to move.

Last edited by goyguy; 12-02-2012 at 07:24 AM..
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,890,552 times
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In a nutshell. Some areas of Westwood are nice and others aren't. Just depends on where you are at.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,750 posts, read 58,336,817 times
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Westwood is a huge neighborhood, and like the rest of Cincinnati, is a neighborhood of pockets. That area is probably OK, but on the edge. The closer you get to the Westwood Town Center and Cheviot, the better the neighborhood ... although there have been some problems there that hadn't cropped up before, too. My friend on Montclair has been broken into twice in the past year; the house next door to hers was for sale, foreclosed upon, and has been vacant for two years. That, unfortunately, is not a scenario limited to neighborhoods on the edge.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:30 AM
 
2,886 posts, read 4,017,298 times
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Originally Posted by TomJones123 View Post
In a nutshell. Some areas of Westwood are nice and others aren't. Just depends on where you are at.

Could we have your perspective on which areas of Westwood are the most and least desirable?
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:01 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,054,435 times
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The problem with Westwood is that there is no "Hyde Park Near" factor to prop it up. Neighborhoods like Oakley. Madisonville, and even Norwood have benefited from being near Hyde Park, and owe their resurgence in large part to their proximity to this desirable area. On the west side, there is no Hyde Park-type area to anchor and cue off of, so Westwood has to be its own "Hyde Park." If you drive down certain streets in Westwood, you say, "why not? This is a beautiful neighborhood!" However, Westwood is sort of crushed under its own weight...it's a huge area, and they have severe blight, crime, and drug activity in certain corners, and it tends to pull down the rest of the neighborhood with it.

Plus, Westwood is isolated. It doesn't have easy or intuitive access to other parts of the city or expressways. It makes it very hard for people to "discover" Westwood, and as the older generation has fled or died off, few have followed in their footsteps. It seems inconvenient to get in and out of Westwood, and the is exacerbated by the fact that there isn't much to do in Westwood itself, other than live in a nice house on the cheap. It seems you always have to go somewhere to do anything if you live there. Since Westwood lacks a cohesive a central business district the way you have in Hyde Park, Oakley, and Mt Lookout, it's harder for the neighborhood to develop its own identity and amenities. I asked a real estate agent (who lives in Westwood) once about two years ago what kinds of unique bars and restaurants are in the area, and he, in all earnestness replied, "we just got a new Chipotle." Sorry, but that's not the kind of thing that puts Westwood on the map for being the next up and coming neighborhood.

It's really sad, because there is fabulous housing stock in Westwood. There are a few who continue to fight the good fight to restore Westwood to its former glory, but they really have their work cut out for them. Honestly, Walnut Hills and Mt Auburn have brighter futures than Westwood. Westwood might not get dramatically worse, but I don't see any reason for it to get better.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:16 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,054,435 times
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Originally Posted by Sarah Perry View Post
Could we have your perspective on which areas of Westwood are the most and least desirable?
In my opinion, Epworth is the backbone of "good" Westwood, and it serves as the axis that connects what I consider to be the two best pockets. The first is the southern end and that "island" bordered by Werk, Boudinot, and Harrison. The second is the north end of Epworth where it intersects streets like Urweiler and Montclair. The area west of Boudinot around Daytona also seems okay.


If you go east on Harrison, the neighborhood quickly deteriorates past Werk, and it goes down hill as you get near Queen City Avenue in the south and Westwood Northern in the north.

These are my personal generalizations, and has been pointed out above, Westwood can be a block by block game of good and bad.
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Old Today, 04:41 PM
 
2 posts
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Perry View Post
I don't know the street itself, but the area is one I would consider less than desirable. Nearby McHenry Ave. is pretty much a drug dealing and crime hotbed.
I live walking distance from McHenry... Yeah it's pretty crazy around here... I've not had any issues personally, never been robbed or attacked but look up news stories coming outta this area and then realize most stuff doesn't make the news
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