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Old 09-22-2018, 03:45 PM
4 posts, read 3,556 times
Reputation: 15


. Where is you current location and environment?
-Huntington, WV, high crime, high taxes, lots of drugs, swirling economy/loss of jobs, recently created healthcare monopoly, overtaken by an inferior organization (healthcare wise) that had enough money to buy the second organization in town. I suspect that gross mismanagement and subsequent tanking of the purchased organization is in order.

. Are you looking for similar in Cincinnati or a change?
-A change, particularly better career and educational opportunities for myself, wife, daughter, and also the high tax situation present in West Virginia, especially in lieu of the government here recently being caught using quite a bit of tax money for personal use. My wife is originally from Ohio, so we know the tax environment is significantly less costly. We aren't looking into living in Cincinnati proper, but are investigating the suburbs.

. Where will your work location be?
-We have options, as both of us are nurses with Bachelors degree. I am interested in using my experience in the medical device/supply industry, with companies such as Stryker, Philips, etc. For nursing specific opportunities, St. Elizabeth is a strong consideration.

. Maximum commute time desired?
-Preferably 45 minutes or less, of course closer is always better.

. What is you budget for housing?

. Rent or buy?

. Type (Apt., Condo, Single Family)
-House for long term

. Size (Approx. Sq. Ft., # Bedrooms & Baths)
->1,500 sq.feet, preferably 3-4 bedrooms and 2-3 baths

. Other specifics?
-Reasonably sized back yard for daughter to play, have toys, etc. Also for boxer dog to have a place to stretch legs and run a bit. Preferably fenced, but we can do that if it's not. I also want a good sized garage, or a basement for our home gym

. Neighborhood environment?
-Safe is the primary objective here with solid schools nearby. Private and charter schools are also a consideration. Daughter is currently 18 months, and we plan on more children, so family oriented and quiet would be nice. Of course other families with children may be nice for the kids to play together when they're old enough.

. Schools?
Either good public or private/charter schools with ample extracurricular activities.

. Community amenities?
A park with some trails for sure that's within 10-15 minutes driving at least (I am a trail runner and plan on maintaining my ties with the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners Association by racing their sanctioned events several times per year, but will train locally of course, and also race in Ohio, Michigan, and Kentucky). My wife is currently a manager at Orange Theory Fitness (her nursing is on a casual basis), so she would like an Orange Theory reasonably close to continue working out there and possibly resume employment if/when the opportunity arises.

My wife isn't too fond of the idea of living in the Kentucky area, as she has heard the tax situation is similar to that of WV (just too high). I mean, they tax nearly everything, even your dog (seriously). I will list the areas that I have researched as potential locations to look into more seriously below. Advice, opinions, new ideas, etc, are welcome.

Blue Ash
Deer Park
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Old 09-23-2018, 05:43 AM
Location: Cincinnati (Norwood)
3,511 posts, read 3,960,503 times
Reputation: 1853
May I be one of the first in support of your family's focus on Cincinnati, but also add the caveat that, because of the number of variables, there's no quick easy answers to your questions. In short, this area is brimming with options that possibly meet your criteria, but to sort through them will require a great deal of time and discernment.

As for myself at the moment, I'd just like to encourage you to continue looking at St. Elizabeth; it's an impressive hospital system that is expanding throughout the region. There's not a month that goes by that some business article doesn't hone in on its success.
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Old 09-23-2018, 12:42 PM
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,875 posts, read 4,044,838 times
Reputation: 908
I used to live in Ohio (grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, lived in Columbus suburb of Gahanna) and now live in Northern Kentucky. I actually was surprised you feel Ohio is less tax wise. I personally find it about the same, if not better. Here is why.

1) Local municipalities can charge income taxes in Ohio... both for where you live and where you work. Some of these income taxes can reach near 3% depending on the community. Most are between 1% and 2%. This is in addition to Ohio's state income tax and federal income tax. Certain municipalities will grant credits based on agreements between cities, but some places don't, so plan accordingly. Assume always that you will be responsible for both your residence's and work place's local income tax. Of course, if you live/work outside a municipality, in a township, you will not have an income tax for that residency/work place location(s). Keep in mind some schools also have an additional school district income tax, though that is not as common. Kentucky has a single income tax at the state level. However, as you know, they do have a personal property tax, including on pets. The biggest expense for that (outside a home or residence of course) is vehicles. Cars, trailers, boats, campers/RVs, trailers. That can add up admittedly. However, between the state AND local income taxes, I think I pay on par or about $5-10 less out of my paycheck for taxes. However, that small savings is negated by property taxes built into my vehicle lease.

2) Real Estate, including property taxes, tend to be cheaper to much cheaper in Kentucky vs. Ohio. Property taxes in large part pay for local education systems in the State of Ohio. Despite for decades being declared unconstitutional by the state's supreme court, districts still fund their coffers via property taxes. However, residents do get a say in how much they pay by voting on funding levies, both new dollar levies and renewable levies. If a district runs short on cash, cuts are bound to be made effecting quality of education and in general, the value of the homes and QOL in that district's communities. So, if a levy fails, cuts are likely and desirability for a location can drop. Kentucky doesn't fund schools that way and schools tend to be based on an independent city setup (Fort Thomas and Fort Mitchell have state-leading schools this way, but Covington is probably the worst district in the state and is setup in a similar fashion) or county-wide governed schools. Many of the districts rival that of their Ohio peers in part because the Kentucky side is just that, suburbs just the same. I think that air of slightly more stability helps the Kentucky side not be reliant on ever increasing property taxes to fulfill local schools in addition to all other local services (police, fire/EMS, general government, parks, roads, county health services, etc). Tied with Kentucky's cheaper real estate costs, I think it is a better deal for homeowners, unless you can buy and afford one of the elite Ohio side suburbs, such as Mariemont, Indian Hill, Wyoming, Montgomery. You will rarely find a move-in ready home that isn't snatched off the market in 1-2 days in those towns.

3) If you really want St. Elizabeth, be prepared to drive into Kentucky. While I could be wrong on this, my understanding is St. Elizabeth is the primary medical and hospital services on the Kentucky side of the river. I don't believe they are north of the Ohio. On the Ohio side, you have Cincinnati Children's, UC Health, Mercy Health and Tri-Health. All are well regarded, with Children's and UC Health being the top tier of providers. I've heard mixed messages about St. Elizabeth personally, from a patient standpoint, but have never used them personally. Those anecdotes may be in part due to the growth St. Elizabeth's has experienced.

For considering St. Elizabeth's and your commute requirements, you would need to stay inside Hamilton County if you want the Ohio side of the river. Sales tax in Hamilton is 7%. Kentucky is a flat 6% state wide, but again, you have property taxes and some items like certain groceries are exempt from sales tax in Ohio. Take out food is also exempt from Ohio sales tax.

These are doable going down the order on the list you provided. I've made bold the primary recommendations...

Lebanon: Not feasible - Distance
Mason: Not feasible - Price & Distance
Trenton: Not feasible - Distance
Loveland - Possible, but need to be in Hamilton County and the closer to I-275, the better. Commute would be down the east side of the beltway, but prepare to hit traffic when approaching the bridge into Kentucky. Same for traffic at rush hour when going home.
Montgomery: Likely not feasible due to price
Madeira: Likely not feasible due to price
Amberley: Doable, but the school's are Cincinnati Public. If you don't mind the lottery system for best schools, or using good (but sometimes pricey) private or Catholic schools, this could be a good, quiet community.
Wyoming: Likely not feasible due to price
Greenhills: Wouldn't recommend due to distance to highways, and main commute route would be I-75; Winton Woods schools are also not the greatest
Mariemont: Likely not feasible due to price and small homes/lots at that price point
Cleves: Possible and cheaper due to being on west side. Schools OK, and commute to KY would be a little roundabout via I-275's western bridge at the Tri-state line. Or going through downtown. Other option is the popular but little known Anderson Ferry. Cheap, quick way across from the west side to CVG and surrounding parts of NKY. Far to a lot of bigger shopping. Approach lanes to CVG can also be a concern with noise, but you may be far enough west. More of a concern if in Oak Hills Schools closer to Cincinnati proper.
Blue Ash: Possible but not likely due to price
Deer Park: Doable but the homes are older and smaller. Close to a lot, but also lots of traffic on local roads as a result
Amelia: About 20-40 minutes to KY side depending on how far west into KY you have to go. Pretty area, but has grown quite fast over the last 10-20 years. Schools are suffering as a result and aren't the best. Also, traffic on Beechmont Ave, OH-125 can be heavy at rush hour. I would stay in Amelia HS versus Glen-Estes HS for one-to-one quality. Anderson Township and Forest Hills School District might be better. I'd also choose Batavia over Amelia as well. See below.
Owensville: Similar to Amelia but more rural. Further and less direct route to I-275. I would personally choose Amelia over Ownesville.

Here are some other Ohio side areas I would recommend...
Anderson Township: Part of Forest Hills Schools. You would likely be in a township area, so no local income tax. Schools are excellent, with Turpin HS being slightly better head-to-head with Anderson HS. But the homes will be cheaper (albeit older) in the Anderson Township area. An exception would be places in the hills immediately near the river. This would be my number one overall choice.
Batavia: If you want newer, bigger or further out in cheaper Clermont County (Anderson / Forest Hills Schools is Hamilton County), I would focus here. Schools are slightly better than West Clermont District. You could get more land out here as well for the price point you are buying in. Most of the area is also township, so unless you are in Batavia proper, you won't have a local income tax. *Check with Batavia's town government, as some of the smaller rural towns might not have local income taxes.
Oak Hills School District: Green Township, directly east of Cleves as well as Delhi Township, to the south of Green to the river, is another decent option. Older homes with decent lots are common here. Slightly cheaper because it is older. There are some parts that are close to areas of Cincinnati that I would steer clear of. But for the most part, Green Township is more desirable than Delhi, in part because of land availability and age of homes, apartments. You likely won't have a local municipal income tax here. And you would be closer to common amenities outside grocery stores. There is older retail corridors along Glenway Ave near the Western Hills Center (old reconfigured mall), and newer options near Harrison and I-74. Anderson Ferry would be more accessible from here, but you would have a slightly longer route to the western bridge of I-275. Closer to downtown's bridges, but that is more likely to see congestion. Airport traffic is at its worst here when approaches come from the north. Some big planes fly for the cargo airlines like Amazon and DHL, so expect night time traffic especially. Delta still has a small operation here too, so there is daytime spikes in traffic as well.

If you are willing to look at the KY side, you will likely get more yard and house for your money. Also, it will likely be newer build, with exceptions to comparisons for Cleves, Amelia and Batavia. Check into Boone County, KY, specifically Burlington and Hebron. Cooper HS and Conner HS in Boone County Schools are surprisingly good and can swing with the better of the elite Ohio suburban public schools.

Campbell County, especially Cold Spring, Highland Heights and Wilder may also offer good options for that budget. Campbell County Schools are probably slightly below Boone, but there is one main HS and the county isn't as developed or growing nearly as fast as Boone County. It's also quieter since you are further from the airport departure and approach paths.

Last edited by wrightflyer; 09-23-2018 at 12:44 PM.. Reason: Added Bold for Recs
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:19 AM
4 posts, read 3,556 times
Reputation: 15
Incredibly helpful, thanks! I am open to Northern Kentucky, but can't seem to talk her out of the lower tax in Ohio mentality. Are there any areas of Anderson Township to avoid, or is it all mostly good? We have been in that area several times to attend events at Riverbend, and like what we have seen.
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Old 09-26-2018, 05:19 PM
Location: Cincinnati, OH
409 posts, read 429,586 times
Reputation: 329
Anderson is about as safe as it comes and Forest Park schools are good. The challenge you’ll face is finding something big enough in your price range. If you don’t mind a fixer upper, you’ll be fine in Anderson.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:14 PM
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,875 posts, read 4,044,838 times
Reputation: 908
Originally Posted by mimi in cinci View Post
Anderson is about as safe as it comes and Forest Park schools are good. The challenge you’ll face is finding something big enough in your price range. If you don’t mind a fixer upper, you’ll be fine in Anderson.
Even the older ranches are going that high now??? Wow!

If the OP is looking for a 90's or 00's semi-custom or custom home, I doubt they would be able to afford those at the price point of less or equal to $250K, but I would think the size of home they are describing would still be at or somewhat under $250K.

Granted, my home buying search is focusing on northern Kentucky, so I am not as familiar with price points on the Ohio side but that would surprise me.

OP, I also forgot to mention Milford. Personally, I like Anderson a little better, but Milford is mostly Clermont County. Sits along I-275 north of the Eastgate Mall exit for Batavia but south of Loveland. Downside is it can be somewhat far out from certain things. You have to basically take I-275 either north or south around its loop to get downtown or places like Kenwood.

To answer the OP comment: Anderson Township is pretty safe overall, with the common suburban petty crime most likely of anything. So, don't leave valuables in plain site in vehicles. Don't leave detached structures unlocked. And kids occasionally messing around might happen, but beyond that... not much to worry about. Keep in mind that the Cincinnati proper neighborhood of Mount Washington stretches into Anderson Township on its western front. While a decent middle class neighborhood, it is Cincinnati Public Schools, so prices are a little lower there and likely effect home values and appraisals in immediate parts of neighboring Anderson. Some say Mount Washington is stagnant or slightly falling, but I still consider it a decent area. Juxtaposed to Anderson though, I could see where that perception might come from.

Last edited by wrightflyer; 09-29-2018 at 08:18 PM.. Reason: Comment to OP on Mt Washington/Safety
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