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Old 03-22-2013, 12:43 PM
2 posts, read 14,332 times
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My family and I (hudband + two little girls, 1 and 3) will be relocating to Cincinnati from Eastern NC in May. He will be working downtown. A few questions I have:

- what areas have the best schools?
- Hyde Parks - seem to be reading a lot about that. Are schools decent in that area?
- Best suburbs?
- Worth it (tax advantages, perhaps?) to live in KY?
- also read about Blue Ash, Madeira, and Wyoming. Thoughts?

If you can't tell, I have never been to Cincinnati before! Just online I'm seeing a lot of low-ceilinged, rancher homes with carpets...not my style. Looking for an area that doesn't have identical houses, but has wooden floors, isn't stuck in the '50s, etc. Need a yard for my dog, too.

Our budget is up to $650k.

Thank you!
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:52 PM
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,725,886 times
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wow, same budget as the family moving from atlanta. hyde park and wyoming would be excellent choices. hyde park (or mt lookout / columbia tusculum) is cincinnati public and has a great local k-8(8? i think) school and if your children test into walnut hills high school, they would be attending one of the top three high schools in the state. if they don't, there is one or two other well-respected CPS high schools. frankly, many high income families choose to go with private schools if walnut hills isn't an option.

wyoming is an older, very stable suburb with wonderful schools.

madeira is a nice, older suburb. it is full of unremarkable homes on unremarkable cul-de-sacs, but it has a decent downtown area and is close to everything and has great schools.

blue ash is also very nice, but far more suburban.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:50 PM
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,358,349 times
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To me the biggest influence is the husband will be commuting to downtown Cincy daily. This is a major influence.

By far, my best recommendation is Wyoming. They are an independent city, run their own well respected schools, and old enough you should be able to locate a home with the pre-1950s atmosphere.

Hyde Park is a great place, but still a neighborhood of Cincinnati. You must fight through the Cincinnati Public School sytem for those daughters of yours, or resolve yourself to private schools.

Wyoming is simple, buy a home in Wyoming and send your kids to school there. Remain active in the local schools and city, it is a small place. You can ignore the rest of Cincinnati and just live an insular life there. If you happen to buy a home with a lot of carpeting due to when it was built, fine, rip it out and have hardwood floors replace it. You will easily get it back on resale.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:04 PM
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The typical responses are places like Hyde Park, Mariemont, Montgomery, Wyoming, Glendale & Maderia. So let me offer a few suggestions you may not think of off the bat.

Fort Thomas, KY.
Right across the river from downtown, great schools, and your price point puts you among the best houses at the northern edge of the city. You might even be able to get a house with a beautiful river view! Only about 10-15 minutes to get in to the city. Here is one good example that is slightly above the $650 threshold:
1718 N Fort Thomas Ave, Fort Thomas, KY 41075 - Zillow

Indian Hills
Most would probably think that $650k doesn't get you much in Indian Hill. I did a quick search, and it appears that $650k gets you quite a bit. There are a fair number of choices for that price. Here is a good example:
7050 Drake Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45243 - Zillow

Villa Hills, KY
Right along the river and across from Cincy's west side. Nice little pocket - lots to choose from in your price range. Also about 10-15 minutes to get in to downtown. Here is an example:
1920 Winesap Way, Villa Hills, KY 41017 - Zillow

Nothing currently for sale in your range according to Zillow, but there are a lot of newer houses there at that price point. Probably the most traditional "suburban" of what I listed. Low taxes because of GE Aviation's HQ facility in town, along with many other industrial companies.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:13 PM
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Consider Clifton, another Cincinnati neighborhood. You can have a nice home, with a decent sized yard, and your husband will have a simple commute without having to set foot (wheel) onto a congested highway or major thoroughfare. The only catch is you will have to do some homework to get your kids into a good public school -- but there are plenty of options.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Hyde Park is a great place, but still a neighborhood of Cincinnati. You must fight through the Cincinnati Public School sytem for those daughters of yours, or resolve yourself to private schools.

This is an uninformed statement. If you live in Hyde Park, you have the luxury of sending your kids to Kilgour Elementary, a very respectable school that would measure up against any suburban district. Additionally, the old Hyde Park Elementary will reopen by the time the OP's kids are school age as the new Gifted Academy, which will not be exclusive to children that are considered gifted.

Yes, you have to test into Walnut Hills High School, but what of it? I say that makes the school a better environment for kids who really want learn.
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Old 03-23-2013, 05:49 AM
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I would add this about Hyde Park and schools...those families in that neighborhood who send their kids to private schools do so because they can, not because they have to.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:05 AM
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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The Hyde Park School is already open thanks to the persistence of many Hyde Park Residents who believe in having a public elementary strengthens their already wonderful neighborhood.

It is actually 3 schools under one roof.
- preschool
- a neighborhood school for grades K-2 ( adding a grade yearly until k-6)
-a citywide magnet school for academically Gifted students grades 3-6

To the original poster, your budget will provide you with many options within the city of Cincinnati. You have mentioned a less cookie cutter style neighborhood. Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, East Walnut Hills, Columbia Tusculum within the city (less than 20 minute commute to Downtown) will provide you with many architectural options that are right around your price point.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:12 AM
Location: Philaburbia
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Originally Posted by mimi in cinci View Post
The Hyde Park School is already open thanks to the persistence of many Hyde Park Residents who believe in having a public elementary strengthens their already wonderful neighborhood.
LOL. Hyde Park Elementary re-opened because Hyde Park parents didn't want their precious offspring going to school with "those" kids from Madisonville at Parker Elementary.

That's not to say that re-opening Hyde Park Elementary is a bad idea; it's not. It's unfortunate that every neighborhood in Cincinnati no longer has its own neighborhood elementary school.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:49 AM
Location: Cambridge, MA
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I'm shocked, SHOCKED, to be the first to bring up Pleasant Ridge. Charming older homes - many on gaslit streets, neighborhood Montessori school, and cool places to eat and shop. Easy access to downtown (well, most of the day) via I-71, with good - relative to Cincinnati - bus service into town and out to the Kenwood mall sprawl.
A city neighborhood that I like but which "isn't for everybody" is North Avondale. It and its adjoining enclave known as Paddock Hills are chock full of awesome houses. Stone-chimneyed Tudor dwellings of 3-5 bedrooms abound in Paddock Hills, while in North Avondale there are appealing large homes in various styles as well as honest-to-goodness mansions to drool over. Therein also lies a public Montessori school as well as a private one. Somewhat rare for an urban neighborhood, North Avondale even has its own private swim club. Contradiction in terms though it may seem, a top-ranked public golf course (Avon Fields) wraps its greens around part of Paddock Hills. This community is easily the most extensively as well as most stably "integrated" (what older people like me say instead of "diverse") in the entire area. Households of White and Black professionals are nearly equal in number. Not surprisingly, a good-sized chunk of Cincy's "limousine liberals" claims a North Avondale or Paddock Hills address. Only there and in Clifton, Walnut Hills, or Hyde Park can you find an abode that includes rooms right out of a Clue game: music room, billiard room, etc. Here's the catch, though. Some of the worst sections of town for poverty and crime are right next door. There's some inevitable spillover, mostly in the form of burglaries, but every now and then a mugging or even worse occurs too. Necessity shopping and services (groceries, dry cleaning) entail hopping in the car because the commercial districts are dead. In the face of these negatives, however, there's a hyperactive neighborhood association (Paddock Hills has its very own newsletter) and a community-spirited and sociable population. And a leisurely drive along streets like Lenox Place, Rose Hill Ave, and Paddock Hills Ave will "magically transport" you from the thoroughfares lined with vacant storefronts and empty lots. Better still, you're 15 minutes at most from downtown even during peak traffic hours.
Wyoming (the 'burb of my youth) is also a logical and natural choice.
You also of course need to take the "personality" of an area into consideration in order to find a place that fits. I've written a thumbnail sketch of the Paddock Hills/North Avondale territory. Pleasant Ridge's philosophical makeup is much the same, socially tolerant if not hardcore progressive as a rule with plenty of exceptions. Mt Lookout and Hyde Park (aka Snide Park, Hype Park) are more middle-of-the-road to conservative. Bumper stickers there flaunt that the vehicle's driver has visited Hilton Head, Breckenridge, etc instead of admonishing to "coexist." Wyoming is somewhat of a blend of "blue" and "red." Greater Cincinnati taken as a whole is decidedly rightward-leaning, all the more so in the surrounding suburban counties. (Warren County, still somewhat rural but heavily "sprawled" into since the '90s, had the highest Romney vote percentage in the state. Megachurches are strung along I-75 for miles in Butler County, with a mosque of all things incongruously in their midst.)

P.S. Hartwell, the northernmost city neighborhood, is a "dark horse" area that's being rapidly discovered by urban homesteaders. It fell on hard times after WWII when much of its middle class bailed for adjacent Wyoming at the same time the Great Migration from Appalachia was occurring. Distinctive 12-room houses were unceremoniously carved into efficiency apartments for the arriving job seekers. Smaller dwellings weren't always kept in good repair. A tornado in 1969 laid waste to a good-sized swath of the area. My "bad influences" were all from Wyoming, but some of the local delinquents enjoyed getting into trouble alongside Hartwell rowdies. But time moves on. Considerable quantities of the bigger homes are being restored back to single-family occupancy. The smaller places that date back before the 40's are also getting remodeled and "flipped," if not stayed in by their enterprising buyers. In a development that "no one saw coming," the CPS' Hartwell School not only received a remarkably nice makeover, it garnered THE highest state ranking for K-8 facilities and has a much-lauded principal. What's now a noticeably "integrated" neighborhood was a rotting armpit of shall-we-say-racially-unenlightened White folks not all that long ago. But since Hartwell is still in an evolutionary phase it's "not for everybody" either.
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