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Old 06-15-2016, 01:41 AM
 
8 posts, read 8,894 times
Reputation: 25

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Hello!

I've been scouring forums looking for up to date info on Westwood. My husband and I found a home we like on Montana near Cheviot Ave but are unsure of the area. It seems to be a really busy road, but that doesn't bother us too much. I have family that's lived in Cheviot for over 20 years, and they've never had any issues (raised kids there, sent them to the schools). We're hearing a lot of conflicting things about Westwood, but of course understand that, hello, ALL neighborhoods have pockets of crime; walk 5 blocks this way and you find a great little neighborhood, walk 5 blocks the other way and you're in sketchville. Our worries are, how likely are we to be a victim of crime (home--not apartment--break ins, etc)? We're not the type of folk that walk the streets, we're pretty much homebodies who keep to ourselves and will drive to OTR occasionally for some good food. We also lived in an apartment in East Walnut Hills for a year and never had one issue, just for a little more background. Would you move your family to the particular area of Westwood we're looking at? Would you feel relatively safe?

My husbands job is taking us to NKY, but that area doesn't have the kind of houses I love (old, lots of character) and we don't have a huge budget (~120k). If you wouldn't recommend that area of Westwood, any ideas on which areas to look at where we'll feel relatively safe, be able to find an older home with character, and keep it within budget?

Open to any and all suggestions and thoughts. Thank you!!
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Old 06-15-2016, 12:06 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,949,834 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane766 View Post
Hello!

I've been scouring forums looking for up to date info on Westwood. My husband and I found a home we like on Montana near Cheviot Ave but are unsure of the area. It seems to be a really busy road, but that doesn't bother us too much. I have family that's lived in Cheviot for over 20 years, and they've never had any issues (raised kids there, sent them to the schools). We're hearing a lot of conflicting things about Westwood, but of course understand that, hello, ALL neighborhoods have pockets of crime; walk 5 blocks this way and you find a great little neighborhood, walk 5 blocks the other way and you're in sketchville. Our worries are, how likely are we to be a victim of crime (home--not apartment--break ins, etc)? We're not the type of folk that walk the streets, we're pretty much homebodies who keep to ourselves and will drive to OTR occasionally for some good food. We also lived in an apartment in East Walnut Hills for a year and never had one issue, just for a little more background. Would you move your family to the particular area of Westwood we're looking at? Would you feel relatively safe?

My husbands job is taking us to NKY, but that area doesn't have the kind of houses I love (old, lots of character) and we don't have a huge budget (~120k). If you wouldn't recommend that area of Westwood, any ideas on which areas to look at where we'll feel relatively safe, be able to find an older home with character, and keep it within budget?

Open to any and all suggestions and thoughts. Thank you!!

I wouldn't choose that area to buy in for several reasons, some of which deal with resale. You may not be bothered by the traffic on that extremely busy street, but many of the people you might eventually want to sell your home to WILL be. The area is fairly sketchy, with what I suspect are a lot of rentals and transients, which again, may not bother you but is going to be an issue to a lot of people. Without knowing the exact property you're asking about, I'd say that it might be near Cheviot but is probably a far cry in terms of desirability from some of the stable, quiet residential streets there.


Without knowing much at all about your circumstances, my advice from the perspective of a 66-year-old who's owned several homes during my lifetime is this: settle for something less than you ideally want for your $120K. Focus on location, location, location, even if it's at the expense of size and architectural character. Actually, a lot of those older homes can be money pits where you should have a substantial pot of money set aside to deal with unexpected, expensive maintenance issues. I don't read into your post that you've prepared for that either.


Anyway, to get to the point, buy something on a nice street that you can expect to have good resale possibilities. Then when you can, trade up to something closer to your ideal. Even though it might take a few moves before you finally make it into your dream home.
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Old 06-15-2016, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Landen
17 posts, read 12,086 times
Reputation: 17
Ramona, Werk, Epworth near Mercy High School is where you should look if you want to live in Westwood. It may take a while to find one on the market, however.
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:36 PM
 
Location: East Walnut Hills
189 posts, read 600,745 times
Reputation: 154
Westwood is just like many other neighborhoods in Cincinnati. Just like you mentioned, there are pockets of good and bad. The area around Montana and Cheviot Avenues is one of the better pockets. I have many friends that live in Westwood (I live in East Walnut Hills), most in the bad pockets, but have great houses. They have fabulous homes that should be worth more, except for the neighborhood. With security systems, and neighborhood watches, they have had no break-ins, living there for over 15 years. There are annoyances, like people sitting on walls, selling drugs, littering, etc. Most are taken care of with calls to police.

My grandchildren went to daycare at a church near Montana and Cheviot Avenues. There is a YMCA there. I have been to that area of Westwood quite often, and found that part of the Westwood safe and charming.

If you want to get a feel for the neighborhood, after viewing the home, pick different times of the day and night to visit to get a real idea of the neighborhood activity. I think with what you already know, you will be fine.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:02 PM
 
8 posts, read 8,894 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by soozycue520 View Post
Westwood is just like many other neighborhoods in Cincinnati. Just like you mentioned, there are pockets of good and bad. The area around Montana and Cheviot Avenues is one of the better pockets. I have many friends that live in Westwood (I live in East Walnut Hills), most in the bad pockets, but have great houses. They have fabulous homes that should be worth more, except for the neighborhood. With security systems, and neighborhood watches, they have had no break-ins, living there for over 15 years. There are annoyances, like people sitting on walls, selling drugs, littering, etc. Most are taken care of with calls to police.

My grandchildren went to daycare at a church near Montana and Cheviot Avenues. There is a YMCA there. I have been to that area of Westwood quite often, and found that part of the Westwood safe and charming.

If you want to get a feel for the neighborhood, after viewing the home, pick different times of the day and night to visit to get a real idea of the neighborhood activity. I think with what you already know, you will be fine.
Thank you so much for your input! This has eased my mind greatly, because the home is actually located right near where you're talking about. My mom raised my sisters and brother in the area in the 80s, and frequented the Y. I took a drive around the area today and didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable, though we will be taking a drive at night to scope things out at that time. I'm glad to hear your friends, even in the bad pockets, haven't experienced break-ins in the 15+ years they lived there. That was my main concern. We lived at the corner of Park and E. McMillan in East Walnut Hills, parked our car in a barely-gated lot across the street from our complex, and never had any issues whatsoever. Sure, the loud drunks on the street at 3am were annoying, but I never felt unsafe there, despite our families despising the area, convinced we were going to get shot at any moment.

For us, we feel like a lot of it has to do with just being smart (I'm sure some will disagree, and chime in that being smart doesn't do you any good if you're in a bad area, etc.). We don't walk streets at night. Heck, we never take walks, period. Haha. Our doors and windows are locked at all times, even when we're home. Our security system is always on, even when we have to run an errand 2 minutes away and are back within 10. Blinds are almost always closed. Front and back porch lights are bright and are on the minute it gets dark. Lights and TV on inside in the evenings. These are all things we'd do no matter what neighborhood we move to (you could never convince me to leave my door unlocked or alarm system unactivated). Again, NOT saying these things are the end-all-be-all to staying safe, but they sure as heck don't hurt.

Anyway, thank you again for your comments. I take them all the more seriously knowing that you know people who live in the area and that your grandchildren went to a daycare nearby!
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:16 PM
 
8 posts, read 8,894 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Perry View Post
I wouldn't choose that area to buy in for several reasons, some of which deal with resale. You may not be bothered by the traffic on that extremely busy street, but many of the people you might eventually want to sell your home to WILL be. The area is fairly sketchy, with what I suspect are a lot of rentals and transients, which again, may not bother you but is going to be an issue to a lot of people. Without knowing the exact property you're asking about, I'd say that it might be near Cheviot but is probably a far cry in terms of desirability from some of the stable, quiet residential streets there.


Without knowing much at all about your circumstances, my advice from the perspective of a 66-year-old who's owned several homes during my lifetime is this: settle for something less than you ideally want for your $120K. Focus on location, location, location, even if it's at the expense of size and architectural character. Actually, a lot of those older homes can be money pits where you should have a substantial pot of money set aside to deal with unexpected, expensive maintenance issues. I don't read into your post that you've prepared for that either.


Anyway, to get to the point, buy something on a nice street that you can expect to have good resale possibilities. Then when you can, trade up to something closer to your ideal. Even though it might take a few moves before you finally make it into your dream home.
Thank you for your thoughts! I definitely understand the resale aspect, and that's something we're thinking of during our home search. This being our 3rd home in 2 years (relocating lots for work), we're now at the point where we're able to find a home that we can stay in for 5-7+ years. The homes we've owned have been lovely, but not our dream home per se (I should add that my dream home isn't some $500k sprawling abode, but closer to the modest ones in the $100k range that have great bones and history but need some work), and again, being that this is our 3rd move since 2014, I'm hoping to find a home that we can love on, work on, and make a life there for quite a while, as the homes we've owned have never quite felt like home. I'm sure you understand it's a bit difficult to settle for something smaller and less than ideal/more cookie-cutter type home when we've moved so much and are desperate for the place to look and feel like ours. Hopefully that makes sense, and I'm certainly not arguing with your points. We do have a good bit of money set aside for maintenance issues that inevitably pop up with older homes, so that's not a concern, as we're keeping that in mind since we're looking for older homes.

Thank you again!
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:34 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,949,834 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane766 View Post
Thank you for your thoughts! I definitely understand the resale aspect, and that's something we're thinking of during our home search. This being our 3rd home in 2 years (relocating lots for work), we're now at the point where we're able to find a home that we can stay in for 5-7+ years. The homes we've owned have been lovely, but not our dream home per se (I should add that my dream home isn't some $500k sprawling abode, but closer to the modest ones in the $100k range that have great bones and history but need some work), and again, being that this is our 3rd move since 2014, I'm hoping to find a home that we can love on, work on, and make a life there for quite a while, as the homes we've owned have never quite felt like home. I'm sure you understand it's a bit difficult to settle for something smaller and less than ideal/more cookie-cutter type home when we've moved so much and are desperate for the place to look and feel like ours. Hopefully that makes sense, and I'm certainly not arguing with your points. We do have a good bit of money set aside for maintenance issues that inevitably pop up with older homes, so that's not a concern, as we're keeping that in mind since we're looking for older homes.

Thank you again!

Yes, I totally understand, thanks for sharing more background! Given what you've said, I do think I'd still warn you away from that busy street. But it's very good to know you're prepared on the maintenance issues. For some reason, Covedale popped into my mind as an area you might check out. Also have you been looking in Cheviot itself?
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Old 06-16-2016, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,164 posts, read 57,274,608 times
Reputation: 52030
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane766 View Post
Would you move your family to the particular area of Westwood we're looking at? Would you feel relatively safe?
Yes, and yes. I'm not sure I'd want to be living on Montana Avenue, but that end of it isn't nearly so busy so traffic to me might be a non-issue. It's a lovely area of Westwood, and as safe as any other neighborhood in Cincinnati. Several close friends live within a couple of blocks (Urweiler and Dartmouth), and they've had no problems with safety issues beyond using common sense. We've even taken walks after dark, if you can imagine such a thing ...
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:05 PM
 
8 posts, read 8,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Yes, and yes. I'm not sure I'd want to be living on Montana Avenue, but that end of it isn't nearly so busy so traffic to me might be a non-issue. It's a lovely area of Westwood, and as safe as any other neighborhood in Cincinnati. Several close friends live within a couple of blocks (Urweiler and Dartmouth), and they've had no problems with safety issues beyond using common sense. We've even taken walks after dark, if you can imagine such a thing ...
Oh, that's so great to hear! The only reasons we're semi-okay with living on a busy street is 1) we don't have kids, so that area of safety isn't a concern, and 2) we'd rather live on a busy road rather than be secluded or tucked in between sketchy apartment buildings And from my Zillow, Sibcy Cline, and Remax searches, it seems those are the only options with our budget and the style of house we'd like.

Your comment about walking after dark made me laugh! Good to know! Haha
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:07 PM
 
Location: East Walnut Hills
189 posts, read 600,745 times
Reputation: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane766 View Post
Thank you so much for your input! This has eased my mind greatly, because the home is actually located right near where you're talking about. My mom raised my sisters and brother in the area in the 80s, and frequented the Y. I took a drive around the area today and didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable, though we will be taking a drive at night to scope things out at that time. I'm glad to hear your friends, even in the bad pockets, haven't experienced break-ins in the 15+ years they lived there. That was my main concern. We lived at the corner of Park and E. McMillan in East Walnut Hills, parked our car in a barely-gated lot across the street from our complex, and never had any issues whatsoever. Sure, the loud drunks on the street at 3am were annoying, but I never felt unsafe there, despite our families despising the area, convinced we were going to get shot at any moment.

For us, we feel like a lot of it has to do with just being smart (I'm sure some will disagree, and chime in that being smart doesn't do you any good if you're in a bad area, etc.). We don't walk streets at night. Heck, we never take walks, period. Haha. Our doors and windows are locked at all times, even when we're home. Our security system is always on, even when we have to run an errand 2 minutes away and are back within 10. Blinds are almost always closed. Front and back porch lights are bright and are on the minute it gets dark. Lights and TV on inside in the evenings. These are all things we'd do no matter what neighborhood we move to (you could never convince me to leave my door unlocked or alarm system unactivated). Again, NOT saying these things are the end-all-be-all to staying safe, but they sure as heck don't hurt.

Anyway, thank you again for your comments. I take them all the more seriously knowing that you know people who live in the area and that your grandchildren went to a daycare nearby!

I am so glad you are getting positive feedback. I quit posting here for a while because many posters on this forum are "City = bad; suburbs = good", and I found it quite frustrating and closed-minded. I am a "city mouse". I love the city!! Before moving in October, I lived on Park Avenue for @ 8 years. Loved it there, and I love where I live now. I don't drive, by choice, and everything is conveniently located.

One of my best friends lives on a shady stretch of Harrison Avenue. I have made friends with all her neighbors, and attend their get-togethers. They all have wonderful homes, with big rooms, stained glass windows, nicely landscaped yards. Her home was on the Westwood Home Tour this year. Of course, all the neighbors watch out for each other.

Good luck with your home search!!
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