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Old 03-10-2013, 09:41 PM
 
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My husband has a possible relocation to the Cincinnati area and I'd love some feedback. He would be working in N KY near the airport. I would likely seek a job in OH for professional reasons, so we are more focused on OH suburbs but wouldn't rule out a N Ky location, either. We have been to the city several times as a tourist but don't really know much about most of the areas. We currently live in Mississippi.

Some people have suggested we consider the Anderson and Mt Washington areas for commuting convenience to N KY. I've browsed the forums here and found some dated threads that suggested that these areas might be declining. Any recent feedback?

We are open to other suggestions, too. We have two young children and generally look for all of the utopian amenities that most families seem to be searching for - very low crime, sense of community, good parks and libraries, nice shopping and restaurant options, walkable areas, stable economy and value. We'd love easy access to amenities like a community or recreation center, YMCA, bike trails, etc.

We prefer to keep our kids in a Montessori program and I was delighted to see that there are some public options in Cincinnati, such as Sands. However, google informs me that they are in high demand and difficult to to get into. For this reason, I'm uncertain if it is better to focus on an area with a good public school district or take a chance on the lottery for Cincinnati Public. We are prepared to consider private schools either way due to our preference for Montessori, although public school options would certainly be preferred for our budget.

We initially would rent and would ideally like to find a 3-4 bedroom house with a yard for $1000-1300 a month or less. However, we would also like to be renting in an area that we would consider for a home purchase in 1-2 years, so that we could start putting down roots. Our eventual house budget is around $200,000. We are not overly picky about the style of housing as long as our other needs are met, although we do tend to prefer older, established neighborhoods.

Thanks!

Last edited by nlschr0; 03-10-2013 at 09:41 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:12 PM
 
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You might look at Fort Thomas in KY. It's an older suburb than Anderson and has a nice walkable business district. Can't say I know much about the schools, though.

Mt. Washington, from what I have heard, is in decline. It is a city neighborhood, though, so it opens up the public Montessori schools.

If you are willing to compromise on the walkability and go for a newer car-oriented suburb (e.g. Fort Mitchell, Erlanger, Florence), you can get closer to your husband's workplace, which is west of downtown (all of the places discussed thus far are to the east). You could also pick a city neighborhood which lies further west, but that gives you a more congested route across the river. If your husband has standard work hours, this might not be so nice. Going into KY in the morning is probably a lot better than going from KY across into downtown, though, so it might not be a bad option.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:40 AM
 
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In Kentucky, I second the suggestion about Ft. Thomas, and believe the schools there are highly rated. You might also investigate Ft. Mitchell with its small and very well-regarded Beechwood school district. I realize neither of these are Montessori options and mention them only because you are unfamiliar with the area and in the event you decide to make some trade-offs in terms of schools and living near work.

Some people report that it's extremely difficult to enroll a child in one of the CPS magnet or specialized schools. Others claim there's nothing to it. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:33 PM
 
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Re: CPS magnets, I've heard that making a move from outside the district or outside the area makes it easier to get into a school of your choice. I don't know the details on that, or if it's true at all. But it's worth investigating.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:41 PM
 
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Thanks! I'll add Ft Thomas to our search and keep an eye on some of the other towns mentioned, too.

I don't mind being in a car-based suburb, but prefer there to be some sense of community. We're usually drawn to suburbs that have some of their own unique identity and presence in the midst of the larger city. Parades, festivals, that sort of thing. Since we won't know anybody I'd like to find a place where it will be easy to get out and interact with people and get involved in local events. From my limited experiences there, it seems like some of the suburbs like Florence might be missing this more than some of the older, more central areas. But like I've mentioned, my knowledge is pretty limited so I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:34 PM
 
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If Fort Thomas's schools are as good as Sarah Perry says, and you aren't dedicated to Montessori, I think it may well be the best fit, based on what you say you like. If you really want a Montessori school, a neighborhood in Cincinnati is probably the best fit. With several good Montessori options in the city, you probably wouldn't have trouble finding one you like and getting your children in.

It might be a matter of prioritizing Montessori education vs. a longer commute for your husband.
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlschr0 View Post
Thanks! I'll add Ft Thomas to our search and keep an eye on some of the other towns mentioned, too.

I don't mind being in a car-based suburb, but prefer there to be some sense of community. We're usually drawn to suburbs that have some of their own unique identity and presence in the midst of the larger city. Parades, festivals, that sort of thing. Since we won't know anybody I'd like to find a place where it will be easy to get out and interact with people and get involved in local events. From my limited experiences there, it seems like some of the suburbs like Florence might be missing this more than some of the older, more central areas. But like I've mentioned, my knowledge is pretty limited so I'm open to suggestions.
Both areas that have been mentioned in Kentucky so far--Ft. Thomas and Ft. Mitchell--not only have a real sense of that identity you're talking about, they actually are individual municipalities with their own city governments. And the housing stock is unique, attractive and older, with much dating from the general period of the 1940s, I would estimate. Florence is a city also, but is farther out, more spread out, and contains quite a bit of commercial sprawl. Very different in character from the first two.
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Old 03-12-2013, 04:25 PM
 
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Thanks!

I will actually try to find employment in Ohio myself (I have several years vested in the state retirement after working in Cleveland) so being right next to my husband's employer isn't a big priority. I would actually prefer to live closer to my work since I am the one that usually coordinates the school drop-offs and pick-ups.

We are also open to considering private schools, and I've found several private Montessori schools in both OH and KY although I haven't heard any personal experiences with any of them.

Would a place like Anderson have that community-sense compared to some of the others? Any other OH suburbs that we might consider? I know our budget limits us from some of the areas on the east side. Are there any west side (or even north side) suburbs that are worth considering that might not have a horrid commute into KY?
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Old 03-12-2013, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlschr0 View Post
Thanks!

I will actually try to find employment in Ohio myself (I have several years vested in the state retirement after working in Cleveland) so being right next to my husband's employer isn't a big priority. I would actually prefer to live closer to my work since I am the one that usually coordinates the school drop-offs and pick-ups.

We are also open to considering private schools, and I've found several private Montessori schools in both OH and KY although I haven't heard any personal experiences with any of them.

Would a place like Anderson have that community-sense compared to some of the others? Any other OH suburbs that we might consider? I know our budget limits us from some of the areas on the east side. Are there any west side (or even north side) suburbs that are worth considering that might not have a horrid commute into KY?
Also investigate the Delhi area on the west side of town; I believe it can be a pretty quick commute to the area of the airport. It's pure established suburbia, but I know people with grandkids in the Oak Hills school district and they are happy with the quality of the schools. No Montessori schools that I know of out there, though.
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