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Old 09-20-2017, 09:31 PM
41 posts, read 23,878 times
Reputation: 28


Dear all,

First of all, thank you (beforehand) for all your help. These communities help beyond belief! Without boring you too much with details, my job may be relocating me to Highland Heights (KY). My wife and I live in the NY tri-state area, and are excited by many prospects, yet are fairly blind as it pertains to areas... Anyways, here are the answers to the questions listed and which should help.

- I have searched the forum for answers, but obviously everyone's situation is different, so I cannot say I found anything that helped my specific situation.

- As mentioned, we come from a very urban area, but do not mind the change (open to everything, I think it may be a best type of situation type of deal). We could do Cincy, or Suburbia. But we would love to be able to have some life nearby (closeness to shopping, malls, etc. is always a plus to help with the uprooting).

. I think I am ok commuting around 30 minutes -- give or take--. That said, my wife may be looking at U. Cincinnati or Xavier, so (ONLY IF POSSIBLE) it would be good if we were somewhat close (30/45 mins) to them too. I am really unsure whether we need this last part, but it is an additional consideration. Please note this is not a deal breaker.

. We would want a House. Best case scenario Buy. I have seen new homes that are great for around 250/300 in the Union and Florence areas, but again, that was just a blind search. I think we are flexible here, but we need to justify why we would have to pay a lot more... We can probably extend into the 400s for the right locations.
If we were to rent, probably 2k per month.
. 2500sq.ft+, 4bd, 2bth. Hopefully newer rather than older. A community (with HOA would be OK if pool, golf course, or something like that were part of it)

. Our Neighborhood environment has latitude. We have a young daughter and one on the way, so we are leaning more soccer mom-ish these days (I.E. suburban). Still, we come from a very densely populated area and may not want to be overly shocked... perhaps a nice balance would be ok (that is why perhaps a community may be ok?)
- Like most parents, I think that our kids mean everything to us, so one of two things, either we want to be in good school districts (my eldest daughter is 2 though, so at this point it would be forward looking), or we want to be in an area which may give us the best bang for our back, to the point that private school makes financial sense...
. Modern home, 20 yrs old or less, move-in ready is the way we want to go.
- Diversity would be nice, but it is what it is definitely not a deal breaker.
. We would want a yard since we have three dogs But we do not need a ton! 0.25acres should be plenty.
- Safety. Definitely
. We can do a HOA In fact, having an HOA (with a pool --let's say) would allow us not to look for a house with a pool or worry about gym etc.

. Community amenities?
. Walking distance while nice it is something we do not have now, so it is not a need. Driving 15 minutes to get to places is ok. Driving 30 to get anywhere... not as much.

I think we are looking for where our money would travel farthest. If we needn't overspend, then I do not think we would, but also, due to the nature of work, we would want to buy somewhere where if we needed to sell relatively soon (e.g, 3 years) we would not take a bath, or would be able to sell.

As mentioned, we would want school systems that are highly rated, but if this could not be accomplished, we could always the money, move to a different district and put our children in private school... asides from this, we are open to suggestions, comments, concerns etc. We do not mind NKY or OH; we could do Cincinnati or just Highland Heights.

Lastly taxes and Cost of living should be a consideration; is there a benefit to one option over another? Any thoughts on these are always appreciated too!

As I said before, thank you beforehand. Your comments, thoughts and ideas are appreciated.

Last edited by OhWell...; 09-20-2017 at 09:33 PM.. Reason: added a line
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:26 AM
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
3,530 posts, read 4,249,906 times
Reputation: 1879
You can be confident that your query will elicit numerous helpful responses, many of which will focus in on your family's specific housing requirements. However, I'd like to open the discussion by commenting on the area in general and the Ohio River bridges.

Perhaps you already know this, but NKY is very much a large, integral and thriving portion of the Cincinnati MSA. Unfortunately, it's connected to the whole only by bridges, some of which can be real trouble. Bookending the downtown core are two expressway bridges - the Brent Spence I-75/I-71 bridge and the Daniel Beard ("Big Mac") I-471 bridge. If possible, you need to avoid routine travel on the notorious Brent Spence Bridge. It would be to your family's advantage to consider the Big Mac as your alternative at the core. However, this does not preclude other lesser bridges sandwiched between these two major bridges and it certainly doesn't preclude what may prove to be the most useful bridge of all, the Combs-Hehl I-275 bridge east of the city, which connects Highland Heights with Anderson Township and Mt. Washington across the river.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:27 AM
41 posts, read 23,878 times
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Thank you for commenting on something that (I believe) is often overlooked. I was not aware of this, and it does make a difference in many ways; however, please keep in mind I would not be commuting to Cincy on a regular basis, instead remaining in NKY. With that in mind, I am unsure how much this changes the approach. I must say that coming from the tri-state area, I had not considered traffic as much (mainly because I am so used to it), but I have read that in some cases it can make for a murderous commute. That said, in other postings it usually refers to the commute between NKY and Cincy, is that not the case?

Thank you for kicking this off. As I said, I look forward to hearing yours and others' thoughts as they pertain to possibilities.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:20 AM
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
3,530 posts, read 4,249,906 times
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Assuming that you will live and work in NKY, my consideration of bridge traffic was intended for your wife commuting to either of the universities mentioned earlier. A "reasonable commute" is subjective and means different things to different people; therefore, expect a wide variety of opinions on the matter.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:37 AM
Location: Cincinnati (Pleasant Ridge)
602 posts, read 562,939 times
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I don't think anyone can call Florence, Union or any part of Boone County urban. It's the literal definition of suburbia. You're also not going to find much diversity in NKY. Typically myself and others will recommend living in Fort Thomas or Fort Mitchell when wanting to live in NKY. These are IMO the best places to live in NKY for families. Fort Mitchell is very small, both are older, walkable and have the best schools in NKY. That said nearly all of the suburban NKY schools are fine. Ft Mitchell (Beechmont Schools) and Fort Thomas Schools are just a step above the rest. Finding a new home in Fort Thomas/Mitchell built within 20 years would be very challenging. Fort Thomas has had a few newer developments like Villagrande, also the tear-down-1960s-ranch-to-build-my-dream-house is very popular right now in Fort Thomas.

Highland Heights, Cold Spring and Wilder are nice parts of Campbell County. All 3 are a mix of 1960-70s homes and newer ones. They're pretty much classic suburbia within Campbell Co School District but I'd much rather commute to Cincinnati via 471 than 71/75. There's a massive new housing development in Alexandria which is further south in Campbell Co. It wouldn't be a bad commute to NKU but I personally wouldn't want to drive from there to Cincy everyday -> https://www.fischerhomes.com/find-ne...s/222/arcadia/

Other nice NKY areas that meet your criteria: Villa Hills, Crestview Hills, Lakeside Park, Park Hills, Hebron, Florence, Union, Fort Wright, Edgewood and Independence.

NKY is basically a ton of small towns and I would recommend getting a good relator who specializes in NKY to help you.

Last edited by cincydave8; 09-21-2017 at 06:48 AM..
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:02 AM
41 posts, read 23,878 times
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That is a very valid observation (as it pertains to subjectivity). My apologies for misunderstanding. As I stated though, this will not be a decision driver at this point though, since it is still under development. Thus, connection to Cincy for now would mainly be in regards to going in to restaurants, events, things with kids, etc.

My first look at the forum showed Ft. Thomas and Ft. Mitchell as well as Park hills and Villa Hills; however, all of these seemed to have properties that were out of my ranged (for what we are looking to get); moreover, having already owned an "older home" I am unsure that we want to do this again... Therefore, I think that the right mix is key here (and that is why I ask for your combined wisdom Just as I mentioned to motorman a moment ago, the Cincy commute will not be our consideration at this point, but it will be in the back of our minds. We would be remiss to pass on an outstanding opportunity just because a potential commute (which may never happen) could be bad.

It sounds like you think private schools are not necessary if I stay within the school districts you mention, is that a fair assumption based on what you are stating here? Also, considering where I would be coming from, do you think the thought of going into a community with HOAs is a fair idea and consideration (if we go with the more suburban plan)?
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:44 AM
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Fort Thomas.

It is 5+ minutes from Highland Heights, 15 minutes from UC if traffic is decent, 20 minutes from Xavier. Fort Thomas has Tower Park which is a beautiful greenspace with playgrounds, walking trails, and sports facilities. The area is safe, with highly regarded schools, and is near most amenities in Cincinnati.

It is very close (5 minutes) from the standard grocery stores and shopping centers in Newport. It is 10 minutes from Downtown/OTR, which has boutique shops in addition to a small Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. It's about 25 minutes from Kenwood Towne Center to the North, Eastgate Mall to the East, and Florence Mall.

I would highly recommend the area, especially in your case.
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:02 AM
41 posts, read 23,878 times
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New Dawn,

It does sound terrific, but unfortunately most likely out of my price range. I do not think (in that area) 400k will get the house my family will be looking for. We would likely have to settle for an older home without that much sq.ft, which likely means my wife will be (even) less happy with this move
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:17 PM
3,513 posts, read 4,325,988 times
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For Highland Heights, if you are willing to double down on suburbia I'd go for OH rather than KY if you are planning to send your kids to a public school. Generally speaking, OH schools are better than KY ones. I agree with motorman that the 275 east bridge is the one you'd want to use, and avoid the others because commuting across them is a nightmare.

If I were you, the first place I'd look is Anderson Twp, anything within Forest Hills School District. Here's its report card: Pages - District-Report

A lot of the housing stock there is older, but there are some options that meet your criteria of <$400k, <20 years old, HOA:

Keep on the lookout there too because more stuff will come up that's a better fit. I'd avoid immediately east of there (West Clermont Schools).

The only other OH option I'd recommend with that <30 min commute is Milford, and most days you'd be pushing it depending on traffic across the bridge. But on the flipside, you'd meet your requirements better there than anywhere else, the schools are excellent, and the community is great. Here's one house to consider, in general I'd say the development it's in is a place you'd likely want to be because the highway access is awesome:
Also downtown Milford is beautiful and highly walkable, and at the end of arguably the most scenic yet relatively flat bike trail in southwest Ohio, the Little Miami Bike Trail. It's my favorite suburban east side community. I'd highly recommend it.

Going to KY I were in your shoes I'd choose Ft. Thomas, but you won't be finding a new house there with an HOA within your budget. Given those requirements, it is easy to scratch it and Ft. Mitchell off the list.

So that leaves Union KY as the best option I see. The downside is it kills those employment options for your wife. Otherwise, for a closer commute the new suburbia scattered throughout Campbell Co. might be worth a look too.

Good luck!
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:50 PM
41 posts, read 23,878 times
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Thank you for the valuable response and your different perspective. Let me ask though: How do you think taxes (both income and real state) and overall cost of living is in OH vs NKY? If comparable, then I do not mind a 30 minute commute. I think I have a lot of flexibility which is a good thing. If we need to scrap the HOA idea, we will. If we need to move farther away, we will. etc. The only things we are more rigid on (at these point) are schools (quality), house (size and age) and price. But the main problem is our ignorance as it pertains to the area, so we are more than thankful to everyone who is taking their time to help. Honestly.

As I have said, my wife's potential job is not a determining factor right now, so the consideration is almost a tie-breaker. I have seen some beautiful homes in Hebron, Union, and Cold Springs for around 350k. As I said, Ft. Thomas is a non-starter (unfortunately) due to cost.

CincyDave mentioned Alexandria in Campbell Co. Is that a bad commute into Cincy? I am even thinking if we wanted to go out to dinner or a show.
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