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Old 05-31-2013, 08:12 AM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,832,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CincyIU29 View Post
While the district has not been the absolute best custodian of the money and I believe the elementary schools should be consolidated to a Turpin one where Wilson is and an Anderson one where Ayer is. However, you truly get what you pay for. Indian Hill and Mariemont both have very high taxes in support of their schools (I don't know about Wyoming) and their schools are Top 5 in the city, which is where FHSD should be striving to go.
If academic spending was a true measure of academic performance, the Washington DC schools would be the finest in the nation.

It is funny that you are comparing two communities that have the highest per capita income in the area to a community that has a much more broad and diverse population.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
If academic spending was a true measure of academic performance, the Washington DC schools would be the finest in the nation.

It is funny that you are comparing two communities that have the highest per capita income in the area to a community that has a much more broad and diverse population.
Difference between Mariemont and Forest Hills is definitely not as big as you think. Mariemont also includes areas such as Fairfax whose average income (41k) is nearly $30k less than the average income of Forest Hills. While Indian Hill certainly is the wealthiest area of Cincinnati, the district includes less wealthy areas (parts of Kenwood, Symmes Twp, Madiera, Camp Dennison) outside of it that still manage to afford these "burdensome" taxes. And academic spending is not a true measure of academic performance. We should laud Forest Hills because there per pupil student is tremendously lower than any other comparably ranked school. I really can't see how cutting funding does not hurt the students and the districts academic standing. An attitude has sprung up in parts of the township that being simply good is good enough, rather than striving to compete with the best. This attitude has absolutely no relation to income either.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,363,536 times
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I would hate to think the Forest Hills District and Anderson in particular are slipping into severe decline. I can certainly understand the reluctance of voters to approve new school levies, it is happening everywhere. Ever since the financial collapse, the loss of jobs, people losing their homes because they cannot pay the mortgage, the value of homes decreasing, what do you expect?

Where I live, Mason, we had a 20 year phenomenal housing boom, went from under 5,000 to over 30,000 population, and all the kids which go with that. The schools were just grow, grow, grow. I believe I am right in we now have the largest HS in the state. But times were good, people desired new homes in nice suburbs, and they voted repeatedly for tax levies to build/support schools. Mason has great schools, facilities, and programs. But then the big financial crash.

The adjacent Lakota District in Westchester and Liberty townships in Butler Co. is huge. They decided to go the two HS route. East and West. Considering the amount of territory it covers this was a wise move.

Mason is a much more compact territory. They made the decision to go to the large centralized concept. The majority of the schools are bunched along Mason Montgomery Rd. The Intermediate elementary school is huge. Across the street is the Middle School which was the original HS. A little further north is the Mason HS virtually adjacent. One of the unique things they did when building the HS was to build the Mason Community Center connected to it. They have shared facilities such as the olympic competition swimming pool, an indoor track and gymnasium facility, weight training and workout rooms. The school put the original construction costs on their budget and the City provides the operating costs. Touted as kind of unique among city/school relationships.

But back to the subject. Lakota felt the first punch when their electorate turned down a tax levy. What? Unheard Of. I am also reasonably sure that the per capita family income level there is not low. But people came to be concerned about their own wellfare. The automatic verification of levies for the kids stopped. Doesn't mean they love their kids any less, just they want to see a more balanced approach from the schools, and a recognition a lot of people are in trouble. We have to live within our budget, you live within yours.

Mason saw what happened in Lakota and wised up fast. They have not attempted to put a new levy out there in over two years, as I believe they know it will go down in flames. In fact, they miraculously decided our expansion has topped out, the student body was not expanding, and our oldest elementary school was expendable which was done this year. They are leasing it to another organization.

Those of us who follow such things recognize the financial problems of districts like Little Miami in southern Warren Co. which is still trying to climb out of Fiscal Emergency status where the State of Ohio takes over the financial decisions. Clermont Northeastern has been brushing up against the same possibility. Both are due to rapid residential expansion, resulting school expansion, and the economic downturn.

There is a situation where just being good is very good. Always striving to be the best is not necessarily good, since there is always an argument as to what the best is anyways.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:00 PM
 
108 posts, read 148,098 times
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The fact that this thread is still going just makes me laugh! Anderson and Turpin are not in decline. I don't know how to say it any differently. Mt. Washington has some issues, but I think it is actually slowly becoming better. There may be a situation here or there near the border of Mt. Washington or an issolated spot inside near some of the apartments that has an issue, but that's it.

A lot of houses in the area were built in the 50's and may need some upkeep, that the older generation is not doing, but that is changing. The neighborhoods are filling with young families again, and the house are being maintained.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:10 PM
 
5,313 posts, read 6,612,461 times
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Originally Posted by bertwrench View Post
The fact that this thread is still going just makes me laugh! Anderson and Turpin are not in decline.

Did you drive thru Summit Estates in Anderson like I suggested earlier? That area definitely is in decline.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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Thank you for everyone who has responded, even those responses that are making me nervous!

I just don't know what to think. My neighborhood is quiet and filled with a lot of young families and families with teenagers, plus a few empty-nesters. People take care of their yards and homes, and as best as I can tell, we're one of the only renters in the neighborhood (not that there's anything wrong with renting, but I think it's generally a good sign to have a primarily owner-occupied neighborhood).

The background here is that we're former homeowners (in Memphis) who took a bath on the sale of our last home -- there were a lot of factors as to why, and the neighborhood declining wasn't one of them, but once bitten, twice shy. We paid what we owed on the house, it wasn't a short sale, but I'm somewhat terrified of having it happen again. It is a great house at a reasonable price -- maybe not necessarily our forever home, but I could see us here for the next several years. I just don't want to buy this house then have the area go bad and be unable to sell this house in 5, 7, 10 years.

I know I sound excessively worried, and I'll admit, it does seem silly -- but having had such a terrible experience with our last house, then reading opinions that Mt Washington is done-for and Anderson is in a decline makes me extremely nervous -- because it doesn't necessarily match my own observations, but I'm probably missing something. I know no-one has a crystal ball (and if you do, hand it over!), but since you're all considerably more familiar with Cincinnati's positives and negatives, I really do appreciate your input.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,363,536 times
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^^ I think everyone appreciates your position. Having been burnt at least once on the value of a house you will be cautious. But realize that several million people have been burnt on house values in the last 5 years. This will not go on forever. If you like the house you have been renting, have experience now with living in the neighborhood, have seen first hand how the neighbors behave and treat their property, I say go ahead buy the place and be one of the stalwarts who keep it stable.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:51 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,832,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
Did you drive thru Summit Estates in Anderson like I suggested earlier? That area definitely is in decline.

Actually I did last month. I was unable to see any evidence of its decline. There might be a couple of houses that needed to be a paint job, but what do you expect from an area where the houses are nearly 50 years old.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:02 PM
 
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We looked at a couple of houses in Summit Estates -- I do agree that there are some in need of a cosmetic facelift on the exterior. On the other hand, we drove through there during the day and in the early evening, and people were out and about, running, walking dogs, chatting with neighbors. It seemed like a friendly area.

We still haven't bought the house -- we're pretty convinced that we're going to do it, but probably not until the spring. Houses seem to be selling at a quick clip -- a house in my neighborhood recently sold in less than a week, and another one sold in about two weeks, which is really promising. So I feel good about that, but still nervous about the intangibles.
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,727,944 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatswanlady View Post
I know I sound excessively worried, and I'll admit, it does seem silly -- but having had such a terrible experience with our last house, then reading opinions that Mt Washington is done-for and Anderson is in a decline makes me extremely nervous -- because it doesn't necessarily match my own observations, but I'm probably missing something. I know no-one has a crystal ball (and if you do, hand it over!), but since you're all considerably more familiar with Cincinnati's positives and negatives, I really do appreciate your input.
I really think the value of the home as an investment is overstated, vastly so even. Who knows when or if that will change. I don't think what you are saying sounds silly at all. Even if you show a couple percent appreciation, think about the fortune you spend on upkeep.

At a minimum, the old 5 year standard (will you be in this house for ten years?) should be at least 10 years. I think in a sprawling metro area it is even harder to say because supply is not very constrained. As a thought exercise, imagine that all homes outside of 275 had to be on 5 acre lots. Suddenly, real estate within 275 becomes a whole lot more valuable. And then we have a completely different set of problems.

To me this raises a 2nd important question. In addition to, "will I be here for ten years?" ask yourself, "is this location -- this spot of land where my sticks sit -- special or is it easily replicated?"
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