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Old 07-07-2016, 12:41 PM
 
104 posts, read 74,857 times
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Hi Everyone! Please see below for template answers.
I am an older single mom with young twins who is looking for a more affordable place to live that still offers great schools, a safe environment, family-friendly things to do, and a good quality of life. I have researched a few states and have settled on Cincinnati. I am not a huge sports fan but part of my decision is because for the price tag to buy a home in Cincy, it appears one can have all of the above and MLB – GO REDS!

I have read much of the posts on here and I see a recurring theme that some neighborhoods in Cincy may not be as stranger friendly as others. My realtor actually suggested that Mason, West Chester, and Liberty Twp. May be friendlier to outsiders because they all get more outsiders moving to the area. Mason even has a “get to know the new people” coffee meet once a week, a community garden, and maybe other community-oriented things, so Mason looks good to me, but real estate inventory is extremely low there and I’m trying not to settle on an area, and would rather settle on a house since I will be buying sight unseen. Other places I am looking are Loveland, Milford, Anderson Twp., Wyoming, Fairfax, Newtown, and I think that wraps the list. Is there any reason I should consider looking on the KY side? I’m thinking long term here…to college and beyond for my kids.

The occasional bargain house (less expensive) pops up in Newtown (Looks really quiet and sleepy there, but close to things. Would love your thoughts on Newtown.), and Fairfax. (I heard Mariemont folks are snooty but I would be living in Fairfax and reaping the benefits of Mariemont schools so not sure this would matter. Your thoughts on Fairfax?) Wyoming looks beautiful but likely out of my league. Loveland looks sweet also, but appears somewhat isolated on google maps and not sure I want to feel this way as a single mom. Thoughts? Anderson Twp. appears to have all necessary amenities but I’ve heard mixed reviews about the schools there as some have open classrooms (definitely no good for a child with hearing loss). Anderson Twp. has the most real estate inventory so probably easiest to find a good home there.

Are there any micro-climates I should know about among the places I've listed? Would one area over another be worse for a spring (grass specifically) allergy sufferer? Is any one area more windy, rainy, or have more mosquitoes/bugs than another?

I would love to hear anyone’s recommendations based on personal experience of growing up or moving to any of these areas and what you liked or didn’t like about it. Thanks so much for reading and everyone out there have a super day!

. Where is your current location and environment? Portland, OR Metro
. Are you looking for similar in Cincinnati or a change? Change

. Where will your work location be? N/A, telecommute, but want to be based near/in a metro for job security.
. Maximum commute time desired? N/A
. What is you budget for housing? Max. $165,000

. Rent or buy? Buy
. Type (Apt., Condo, Single Family) SFR
. Size (Approx. Sq. Ft., # Bedrooms & Baths) Min. 1200 sq ft, 3 BR/2 BA preferred but would take 1 BA if a premium location
. Other specifics? Prefer 1 level but know this narrows options tremendously.

. Neighborhood environment?
. Mid-urban, close in neighborhood or suburb, stable investment YES
. Suburban, low maintenance, quiet streets, soccer mom atmosphere YES
. Family oriented YES
. Lots of same age kids, activities YES
. Great schools YES, YES, YES
. Older, distinctive architecture, individual character - OK
. Modern, 15 yrs old or less, move-in ready - OK
. Diversity of income, race, housing? OK
. Yard - none, small, large (1/2 acre or more) – Small-Med, prefer less than 1/3 acre
. Very safe, low crime area? YES, YES, YES

. Can tolerate some degree of crime potential? How Much? Crime is everywhere, but that doesn’t mean I tolerate it. Where I live now within 6 months of moving in a guy’s car was broken into in his driveway, my own home was broken into while I was here alone, guy ran out the back door when he heard me. And, a guy was shot and killed in a domestic dispute in an apartment complex carport ˝ a block from here, and this is supposed to be a good neighborhood in Tigard, OR. I’M OUTTA HERE!

. Private neighborhood association, swimming & fitness facilities – Maybe if HOA’s are not too expensive, but this is not necessary, a community pool is fine.

. Schools?
. High Ranked Public schools – YES, YES, YES
. Small or large district? Prefer smaller
. Diverse student body? I would prefer some diversity if possible.
. Strong athletics? My kids are too young yet to know. I think if the school does not have a strong athletic program they can still play community soccer, baseball, swimming, etc., so not necessary.
. Consider Private schools? No, not enough moulla!
. Special considerations? My daughter wears a hearing aid so smaller classroom sizes would be awesome if possible.

. Community amenities? Kroger, a natural foods market if possible, a Target, Kohls, Macy’s, nothing fancy needed.
. Daily needs within walking distance, shopping, restaurants, parks, etc. A park within walking distance would be awesome, sidewalks and/or walking trails needed.
. Town/city community center for adults & kids – Great but not necessary, this can be driven to.
. Swimming, fitness center, running track, adult activities – Single mothers have no time for this! This would be a luxury so not necessary.
. Close proxmity to public transportation? Not nec.
. Lots of parks & youth athletic leagues - Yes
. Jogging & biking trails - Yes

. Specific wants/desires?
. Please identify any specific wants/desires not mentioned above.
Access to good medical care, especially for my daughter who gets routine audiology check-ups. I see that Cincinnati Children's has satellite clinics all over (including KY) that provide audio services, but does anyone know how medical stuff gets referred to OH from KY if one lives in KY? Is this an issue with insurance?

Last edited by sunnyspring; 07-07-2016 at 01:03 PM.. Reason: added comments/questions
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
1,715 posts, read 2,605,028 times
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8226 Bridgetown Rd Miami Twp OH 45002 (MLS# 1497962) - Hoeting Realtors

That one is well below budget, but is just under 1200sqft. It was just renovated, so it might be of interest to you anyway. The school your kid would be attending is about 5 minutes away. Three Rivers school district isn't as good as say Mason schools, but it continues to get very high marks from the state. Crime in the area is very low.
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:23 AM
 
624 posts, read 444,054 times
Reputation: 1146
I am not sure how old your kids are but I would suggest renting to get a feel, or at the very least not moving sight unseen. Cincinnati is truly awesome but it is very different from what most people are used to when it comes to poverty, crime and race. With the heroin epidemic, the "activity" that is driving you from Oregon is happening everywhere. Cincinnati already had alot of property crime, now it is worse.

I live in Mariemont and bikes and outdoor stuff is stolen regularly, cars are stolen rarely but broken into all the time, houses are broken into rarely but it happens. People shoot each other within a mile of my house. This will be true in all of the "inner" suburbs.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:11 AM
 
110 posts, read 164,934 times
Reputation: 75
I would check out Madeira. Such a great family environment. Very safe and you should be fine in your price range. Houses do go very fast though! We love it!
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:35 AM
 
104 posts, read 74,857 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by SalamanderSmile View Post
I live in Mariemont and bikes and outdoor stuff is stolen regularly, cars are stolen rarely but broken into all the time, houses are broken into rarely but it happens. People shoot each other within a mile of my house. This will be true in all of the "inner" suburbs.
Hi Salamander, Do you think there is less crime the further out you go, say Mason, West Chester? I am pretty surprised to hear there is so much crime in Mariemont. Although I never figured I could afford Mariemont, Fairfax was on my mind. It's not actually the crime driving me from here, I think these were uncommon incidents that all happened in a short time period, but they were icing that topped the expensive cake. The COL here is outrageous, try at least $200/sq ft for a basic house in a very average school district and $800/month in daycare for a mere 2 days/week for my tots. I think I can do better for my kids elsewhere, COL and amenities wise. I know it's a gamble picking a place sight unseen, but it really comes down to dollars and sense for me. What are your thoughts on any of the other places I mentioned? Thanks for your help.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:37 AM
 
104 posts, read 74,857 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by veetzvino View Post
I would check out Madeira. Such a great family environment. Very safe and you should be fine in your price range. Houses do go very fast though! We love it!
Thank you!
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Old 07-09-2016, 07:18 AM
 
624 posts, read 444,054 times
Reputation: 1146
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyspring View Post
Hi Salamander, Do you think there is less crime the further out you go, say Mason, West Chester? I am pretty surprised to hear there is so much crime in Mariemont. Although I never figured I could afford Mariemont, Fairfax was on my mind. It's not actually the crime driving me from here, I think these were uncommon incidents that all happened in a short time period, but they were icing that topped the expensive cake. The COL here is outrageous, try at least $200/sq ft for a basic house in a very average school district and $800/month in daycare for a mere 2 days/week for my tots. I think I can do better for my kids elsewhere, COL and amenities wise. I know it's a gamble picking a place sight unseen, but it really comes down to dollars and sense for me. What are your thoughts on any of the other places I mentioned? Thanks for your help.
Yes I think the further you are from the city the less routine the property crime, however once you are too far out it becomes an issue again as you border more rural poverty/drug use. Here daycare is very hard to find, there are far fewer options than we were expecting, but the care is is dirt cheap compared to Boston- $50/day for two kids at the couple of places my sister used.

Madeira is a great between close and far but the houses are getting snapped up by developers so you won't find anything with 3br close to your price point. But you should totally try. They get snapped up quick and getting a local agent who knows Madeira would be good. Taxes are high. I think you could safely do Madeira sight unseen as long as you acknowledge some streets are busy, the town center is where Miami and Dawson cross, and there will be lots of construction going on. It will be a fixer though.

I don't love Fairfax only because it is truly unlovely. Not a tree in sight and chain link fences around every little house. But I think it is a bargain for schools. Taxes are high though. Less crime than Mariemont because it reads as less affluent so why steal from there when you can steal from Mariemont. Also the density might be a deterrent to crime. Fewer kids because many houses are 2/1 little grandma houses still grandma occupied.

I can't comment on West Chester or Mason.

There are other close-in options- Kenwood west of the Kenwood Mall. There is a little neighborhood bounded by Orchard Lane, Styrax and Duneden that is affordable, has a couple more trees and less chain link than Fairfax, and goes to Indian Hill schools (The most affluent and best scoring schools in the state and like tenth or twentieth in the nation per US News. ) There are four other Kenwood zones that go to IH schools and this neighborhood is the most rundown of the three.

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/C...e-Twp-OH-45236

Another better treed Kenwood option for cheap Indian Hill schools is a neighborhood off of Kugler Mill west of Kenwood Rd. Consisting of Myrtlewood, and Deerway Rds. Fewer houses but less pass through traffic than the neighborhood by the mall.

Indian Hill schools are very small, affluent and your kids will receive tons of opportunities and services but it will be in a context of other kids who live in 15million$ houses (other than kids from these four Kenwood zones that are bussed in. )

Another option that is suburban (but close in) and more crime free is Blue Ash. Blue Ash is vast and you may be able to find properties at your price point. Much more economic variation in the schools (Sycamore school district) but the school system is HUGE. Although I think smaller than Mason.

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/C...249#MapTabLink

https://www.sibcycline.com/Listing/C...242#MapTabLink
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:11 AM
 
104 posts, read 74,857 times
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Thanks for info on the neighborhoods and school district sizes. I entered the two townships and Blue Ash into my search. Per the one listing you sent in Blue Ash the property taxes look extremely low there. If this is true across the board I could go with a more expensive house which might open the door to that area.

I do know what you mean about Fairfax and most of the listings that have come up there look lackluster, but recently a very inexpensive house popped up there with nice trees all around! I liked the house, but not the 10 or so front steps which kills the double stroller access.

I'm actually not worried about being close in, I would just prefer to not be rural/isolated. I suspect by my price point I will end up in Loveland, Mason, or Anderson Twp. I think I would prefer the first two simply because they are smaller communities. I am also not sure how I feel about my kids being the ones who are bussed in. I attended a high school with kids who came from extremely affluent families and it was very hard to make friends not coming from the same stock. It was as if we spoke different languages. I'd really rather my kids didn't go through that.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:18 AM
 
124 posts, read 97,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnyspring View Post
Thanks for info on the neighborhoods and school district sizes. I entered the two townships and Blue Ash into my search. Per the one listing you sent in Blue Ash the property taxes look extremely low there. If this is true across the board I could go with a more expensive house which might open the door to that area.

I do know what you mean about Fairfax and most of the listings that have come up there look lackluster, but recently a very inexpensive house popped up there with nice trees all around! I liked the house, but not the 10 or so front steps which kills the double stroller access.

I'm actually not worried about being close in, I would just prefer to not be rural/isolated. I suspect by my price point I will end up in Loveland, Mason, or Anderson Twp. I think I would prefer the first two simply because they are smaller communities. I am also not sure how I feel about my kids being the ones who are bussed in. I attended a high school with kids who came from extremely affluent families and it was very hard to make friends not coming from the same stock. It was as if we spoke different languages. I'd really rather my kids didn't go through that.

Thanks again.
I'd agree with Loveland being a smaller community but Mason certainly is not. The place is getting bigger everyday and their schools, although excellent, are massive. The high school is one of the largest in southern Ohio. If you want that smaller school feel but still like the Mason area, look at Kings Local Schools just to the east. They are excellent and small. Anderson Twp is nice, but you will get less house for your money and I hear it has less transplants and can seem less open to new comers. Knowing that, I'd probably look into Loveland/Milford, specifically Miami Township. You will get more for your money in Miami township, which is basically the area south of the Little Miami River, where I live. A good section of that is Loveland Schools. In fact, just 1 block from my house is Loveland school district. Anything north of the river is more convenient and has easy access to 71 and 275. With that said, it's the more expensive section of Loveland.

Like you I moved to Cincinnati for the cost of living and the opportunity the city will offer my children (Rated #1 in the country BTW). I grew up in Eugene, OR as a Reds fan so that had something to do with it as well. I also was attracted to the character and history of the city and am a beer lover. I'm really into the brewing heritage and OTR. My main gripe is I wish I was closer to it because I visit it often. If my wife didn't insist on suburban life with our four children I'd move to Oakley.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:47 AM
 
63 posts, read 46,258 times
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Just looked in MLS in your price range for curiosity. 165K will be tough in Madeira and Mariemont schools, 0 on market with 3/2 in that range. Found a couple in Loveland and surprisingly Wyoming schools. Definitely Lakota and a couple Mason.

One home in Fairfax (Mariemont schools) if you drop down to one bath.

I bought my first home in Fairfax and did like the area, still in walking distance to Mariemont and at the time I taught in the district so it was very convenient for me. PM me if you have questions!
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