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Old 07-21-2013, 11:20 PM
 
33 posts, read 97,867 times
Reputation: 22

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Hi everyone! I grew up in Anderson, and we will be relocating back to Cincy in the near future (husband was just offered a job at P&G that he plans to accept) in order to be closer to family (located mainly in the east side suburbs or downtown) and enjoy a lower cost of living with our 4 kiddos



. 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? Just looking for more targeted recommendations

. Where is you current location and environment? Chicago's NW 'burbs
. Are you looking for similar in Cincinnati or a change? Similar in amenities would be great (good variety of shopping, etc-- does not need to be quite in our backyard like it is now-- we are 5 min from Woodfield Mall here), but want much lower cost of living, better commute for husband and more land (.25acre and up, but 1/2-1acre ideal)

. Where will your work location be? P&G downtown
. Maximum commute time desired? 30 min

. What is you budget for housing? $350k-- may be a little wiggle room for the right house
. Rent or buy? Buy
. Type (Apt., Condo, Single Family) SF
. Size (Approx. Sq. Ft., # Bedrooms & Baths) prefer 5bd, 4 will work if a basement bed or convertible "den" is available -- prefer +2700sqft
. Other specifics? Finished basement at the top of our budget is a must-- willing to finish down the road is possible at a lower price point . Also need a formal living/dining room, or other space I could take over for my photo studio. A neighborhood where I am permitted to run my home based photography business is a must also (low volume)

Prefer to stick to the east side (east of 71 or along 71/east portion of 275), but could also be open to going across the river in the right school district.

. Neighborhood environment? Prefer sidewalks and other families-- if no sidewalks, a low traffic neighborhood with a cul-de-sac at the end of the street is second best.
. Urban, young professional, nightlife: not important
. Mid-urban, close in neighborhood or suburb, stable investment: prefer not to be in the city, but a close suburb is fine
. Suburban, low maintenance, quiet streets, soccer mom atmosphere. Yup-- soccer moms and bike riding kids chading down the ice cream truck is great
. Family oriented. Yes
. Lots of same age kids, activities. Yes. Our kids are 3, 5, 7 and 9
. Great schools. A must have. Fine with going back into forest hills if that's where we find a home, slight preference for the Turpin side since my alma mater (Anderson) has been slipping a bit from what I understand
. Older, distinctive architecture, individual character. Not important
. Modern, 15 yrs old or less, move-in ready. Prefer a more modern open kitchen/family room layout, definitely fine with cosmetic improvements but not looking for major renovations.
. Diversity of income, race, housing? Not top priority-- would love cultural diversity, but not a top criteria
. Yard - none, small, large (1/2 acre or more) medium to large yard
. Very safe, low crime area? Yes
. Can tolerate some degree of crime potential? How Much? Prefer the worst crimes to be property vandalism by bored teenagers
. Private neighborhood association, swimming & fitness facilities. Not important. Not against a neighborhood with perks, as long as the HOA isn't crazy

. Schools?
. Not applicable
. High Ranked Public schools. Yes
. Small or large district? Doesn't matter as long as they can handle being the size they are currently (financially, class size, etc)
. Diverse student body? Prefer some diversity-- don't want the kids to be in a bubble of homogeny
. Strong athletics? Meh. We have no plans to push our kids to be college athletes-- athletics existing at the school is important but we don't mind if they're always the underdogs in competition
. Consider Private schools? Public schools all the way
. Special considerations? We have one child with an IEP for speech (entering kindy)-- if there's a school that does full day kindy I'm all ears, but I think (correct me if I'm wrong) 1/2 day is still the norm there?

. Community amenities? Sidewalks-- anything else is just gravy
. Daily needs within walking distance, shopping, restaurants, parks, etc. would love to be able to walk to a park or ice cream shop, but who wouldn't? Walkability for shops, restaurants, etc would be great, but not required
. Town/city community center for adults & kids. Not crucial
. Swimming, fitness center, running track, adult activities. A gym nearby would be great, but I think there's a gym everywhere any more
. Nearby fitness centers & clubs. Daughter is in gymnastics here-- would love a nearby club with competitive teams and a reputation for caring and supportive coaching staff
. Close promity to public transportation? Not important
. Lots of parks & youth athletic leagues. Would love lots of kid-centric physical activities
. Jogging & biking trails. Another perk we would love but not require
. Other?

. Specific wants/desires? I think I covered it all!
. Please identify any specific wants/desires not mentioned above.





Thanks for any input you can offer!
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Old 07-22-2013, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Lebanon
204 posts, read 275,037 times
Reputation: 391
Hi copelscope, and welcome back to Cincinnati! I am ex-P&G and my wife is an Anderson native as well. I think that is still a pretty nice area, but you will find a lot of choices in the eastside suburbs/neighborhoods in your price range.
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:54 AM
 
33 posts, read 97,867 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott SW Ohio View Post
Hi copelscope, and welcome back to Cincinnati! I am ex-P&G and my wife is an Anderson native as well. I think that is still a pretty nice area, but you will find a lot of choices in the eastside suburbs/neighborhoods in your price range.
Thank you, Scott . Any chance the the negative things I hear about Milford schools are unfounded (my family talks about how financially unstable the district is-- my niece is in the elementary system)? Or any smaller school districts that are often overlooked but have outstanding performance?

Also, would Loveland create a miserable commute for my husband? We like the housing stock, and hear good things about the Loveland schools, but also understand the commute could be a bit long (although nothing like he has now-- takes an hour to travel 11mi each way without weather or accident delays).


If something doesn't make sense, I blame autocorrect.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,335 posts, read 5,733,381 times
Reputation: 2058
i think it is pure insanity to commute from loveland to downtown. a lot of people do it and loveland is very nice, but geez.

i understand that in other cities people commute these kinds of distances and more on a regular basis. part of the reason i live here is to get away from that. one of the great things about cincinnati is that you don't need to saddle yourself with that kind of commute. the extra bedroom or newer bathroom or better countertops or whatever just isn't worth it in my opinion.

have you considered Blue Ash? That seems about the farthest workable distance from downtown while maintaining sanity.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
4,007 posts, read 4,832,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
i think it is pure insanity to commute from loveland to downtown. a lot of people do it, but geez.
I find myself doing the reverse commute quite often. It's not so much the distance that makes the commute bad, it's the insane amount of traffic that backs on a daily basis. Blue Ash, Sliverton, Madeira, and surrounding worth a look.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Lebanon
204 posts, read 275,037 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by copelscope View Post
Thank you, Scott . Any chance the the negative things I hear about Milford schools are unfounded (my family talks about how financially unstable the district is-- my niece is in the elementary system)? Or any smaller school districts that are often overlooked but have outstanding performance?

Also, would Loveland create a miserable commute for my husband? We like the housing stock, and hear good things about the Loveland schools, but also understand the commute could be a bit long (although nothing like he has now-- takes an hour to travel 11mi each way without weather or accident delays).
I have lived in both Milford and Loveland. My daughter attended Milford schools through the second grade, but we left there 15 years ago. Even back then the district was struggling to pass millages. I can't speak to the current state of the school system and will defer to others. It suited our needs just fine when we were there. Now we are in Lebanon (too far out for you) where my daughter graduated, and IMO it is a terrific school system with good financial support from the community. I would take Lebanon over Milford, but I'm not sure that is useful information for you. Milford is a very nice historic town and there is a pleasant drive to downtown via Columbia Parkway from there, or you can ride the bus (which I did). We lived in Milford for six years and really enjoyed it.

As far as commuting goes, I have had a few experiences driving in Chicago and IMO traffic problems here will seem small-townish to you. My commute to Lebanon (30 miles straight up I-71 from downtown) is about the same as your husband's current one-hour commute - shorter in the morning since I beat the rush by arriving at work around 6:30 a.m. For a Loveland commute he could head north on I-275 to I-71 and then follow the same path I take now. I used to take I-275 south to I-471 and in to downtown because at the time I lived in Loveland (late '80s) this was a less congested route than I-71, but maybe someone else can say how these routes compare now. However, I did just read somewhere that the I-471 bridge to downtown is set for major renovations and that will gum up this approach for a while.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,377,243 times
Reputation: 1920
OP... 14 years, that is nothing, particularly in Cincinnati.

You will likely find what you left in Anderson Twp. or close by.

For my two cents, Milford Schools are not unstable. Living in a area with extreme population explosion (Mason), I can attest this puts extreme pressure on the schools.

Just sit back, take a look, and evaulate who has been voting for school tax levies time after time. These are the people you want to be part of.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:27 AM
 
13,727 posts, read 22,861,903 times
Reputation: 18549
Why not Anderson? There are some pretty good deals out there at this time. Make sure that you UNDERSTAND the implication of LOCAL income taxes before committing to an area. In Anderson, there are no local income taxes.
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,223 posts, read 57,377,537 times
Reputation: 52084
The Milford district certainly has had its problems over the years, but things seem to have simmered down and progressed decently. A very close friend has a sophomore and an eighth grader at Milford, and they seem to be getting a decent education from what I can see, and from what parents tell me. Lots of parental and community involvement in the schools. I wouldn't hesitate to send my kids there ... if I had any.

Loveland, Anderson and Sycamore districts are other good options.
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:41 PM
 
33 posts, read 97,867 times
Reputation: 22
Thank you for all the input . Looking at drive times, Blue Ash was about the farthest north on my list but hubby keeps bringing up homes in Loveland-- I figure if he wants to drive it, that's up to him but I hope to steer him a bit closer since it would be fabulous for his commute to be shorter for family time . There are more options for my daughter's gymnastics if we are more north vs east, but there is a newish gym in Newtown that shows promise for a good program as well should we wind up in Anderson.

Does anyone know of less traveled alternate routes from the 71 corridor into downtown to avoid some of the congestion?

Anderson has always at the tip of my list, mainly because the commute is easy downtown (and having alternate routes available is a big plus-- the tax implications don't hurt my argument either) and both of my parents live in the area (my dad in the Maddux district part time split with Florida, and my mom and stepdad are leaving Ivy Hills to downsize in Legendary Run this fall), but Sycamore was definitely also on my radar. Mariemont and Terrace Park would also be great, but our budget doesn't go as far in those areas. Glad to hear Milford isn't as bad off as my family makes it out to be-- my dad attended Indian Hill and Sycamore and my mom Anderson High, so I think they may be a bit biased as well . My husband would like a bit more distance from my family, but he hasn't quite accepted that they are polar opposite of his-- mine actually calls and makes plans in advance instead of dropping in (which my in-laws are known to do now despite living 3 hours away).
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