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Old 10-21-2008, 10:30 AM
8 posts, read 14,908 times
Reputation: 12


My wife and I are moving to Cincinnati in the winter (and looking forward to it!). Fortunately, we've had a good amount of time to look around the city and get a sense of what we like and don't like but I'm sure there are still places we haven't considered. I will need to commute up to Oxford a few times a week, so that's an important consideration. We are definitely city people, but we don't want to live anywhere that doesn't feel safe, which to us includes Over the Rhine and Northside (too bad because otherwise Northside would be our first choice). We'd really like to live within walking distance of a nice business district. We're looking to buy a house- price is of course an issue, but we don't mind buying less house to be in a neighborhood we like better. School districts are not an issue at this point.

Here's what we're thinking so far:

Clifton is our favorite by far and away- I love the neighborhood and the area around Ludlow St. The problem we've found is that there is very little available housing that would be good for us. What there is tends to be more expensive than other neighborhoods, and its mostly not within walking distance of Ludlow anyway which seems to defeat the purpose of living there.

Assuming we can't find anything in Clifton, the front runners are Oakley and Wyoming. Oakley adds a little bit of time on to the commute, but it seems like a nice place to live. We weren't originally considering Wyoming, but it's cheaper, it's a shorter commute to Oxford, and if we could walk to the business district there I think we would like it. We'll also look at Hyde Park, though it's a little pricey and doesn't seem to offer many advantages over Oakley. We'll also keep an eye on Mt. Lookout, we really liked that neighborhood too but I don't think we will live there because it adds a lot of time on to the commute to Oxford.

Is there anywhere else we should be looking? Anything we're wrong about?

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Old 10-21-2008, 11:50 AM
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,794 posts, read 2,304,589 times
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Question What's in the City of Cincinnati for you?

Having lived in Wyoming for 18 years, I can vouch that it's a quick ride to downtown Cinti & a good bet for Oxford. A native of NYC midtown (30 years), I'm wondering what you think you'll be trotting down to Cinti for. Other than volunteering in OTR, or the occasional Reds game, I never found myself going that way. In fact, Oxford itself is a vibrant community, so why not save a lot of gas on your daily commute? Just curious...
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:02 PM
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Clifton is a great choice
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Old 10-21-2008, 01:54 PM
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What degree of vibrancy are you looking for as "city people"? Just curious, because Oxford CAN be a rather active place, but it's mostly college students during the school year. In the Summer, it can be a bit quiet up there. It's a really nice area, though.

Anyhow....depending on the amount of "city life" you're seeking, you could look at West Hamilton.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:59 PM
Location: Hartwell--IN THE City of Cincinnati
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Hartwell is right next to Wyoming..some of the same housing and some smaller homes too. Hartwell is part of the City of Cincinnati.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:38 PM
Location: Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati
310 posts, read 1,061,134 times
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Default Relocating

It sounds like you have made some great selections already. You may want to add Pleasant Ridge to your search too.
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Old 10-21-2008, 09:49 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

I'm actually staying in Oxford temporarily now, it would drive me crazy to live here permanently. My wife and I like trying different restaurants, going to museums and cultural events, and just being able to walk down the street or go the the grocery store without running into half a dozen of your colleagues/acquaintances, etc. Oxford is a nice enough place, but it really is a small town that is pretty much completely oriented towards college kids. It's fine for some people, but not us! In any case, my wife will probably be working in the city, so we'd like to be closer for that reason too.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:16 PM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,954,480 times
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College Hill would bear checking out: it's within the city limits, but with a more suburban feel than its southern neighbor Northside (which IMHO has little to fear about it.) There's a diverse population with businesses reflecting that: Goodie's BBQ, and Bacall's (a popular meet n' eat type of neighborhood establishment which probably would've had a salad bar and been called a "fern bar" 25-30 years ago lol) are examples. Nothing says "pleasant urban community" quite like a B & B, of which there now is one on Hamilton Ave. And nothing says "happening area" quite like an independently operated coffee place - one of these is in College Hill too. Full disclosure: there's also a sketchy nightspot in the area which has had "incidents" such as shootings take place around closing time. Businesses like this are the scourge of many an urban enclave and tend to not have much of a shelf life once community groups start making noise.

Like most sections of cities, College Hill has numerous neighborhoods within it which each have their own "flavor." It has its own small gaslight district along North Bend Rd; a "gaslight district" in Cincinnati is the portion of a community where decorative "gaslights" illuminate the streets. Most of the gaslights still have a warm incandescent glow, but some in Clifton now give off nasty fluorescent light instead. Gaslight districts tend to be the most "well-off" sectors of the community they're in, whether that community be College Hill or Avondale or Clifton or Roselawn. Without exception, the houses are spacious and well-kept - the term "mansion" would apply in many instances, as a matter of fact. But many smaller dwellings that're relatively affordable yet have already had all the major updates taken care of are in these districts as well. Back to College Hill: the least pricy portion of the area is south of North Bend Rd and east of Hamilton Ave, where well-shaded streets named for common (Cedar) and less well-known (Salvia) flora are flanked by older brick Capes and Depression-era bungalows (one of Goyguy's favorite types o' houses.) West of Hamilton Ave, larger domiciles in various styles can be found on the streets surrounding Aiken High School and a large retirement "village." Beyond the gaslight district north of North Bend Rd is where you'll feel most like you're outside the city limits. Ranch houses and 1960's-70's Colonials on large lots line tranquil streets such as Oak Knoll Dr and numerous "...wood" streets (Thomwood, Edwood, et al.)

College Hill is one of Cincinnati's more genuinely "mixed" areas, where "White flight" wasn't as pronounced as in many other communities and White as well as Black households continue to move in as well as out. It's the kind of place where businesses that have been there "forever," such as Angert's Appliances, stay put through all the changes, as have other fixtures like the College Hill Presbyterian Church. What's more, you're not all that far from Clifton and downtown (by car or bus!) yet are also a short distance from mall sprawl districts like Northgate and Tri-County.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:31 AM
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
1,410 posts, read 3,487,991 times
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College Hill is definately a diverse neighborhood. It USED to be a nice place to live but i believe it has gone down hill. Just my opinion and is shared by a lot of people i know who still live there. Although, some peeps still like it and still live there.

Oakley gets my vote. Centrally located right off 71 and near everything. Not as $$ as Hyde Park but with the same feel.

G Man
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Old 10-23-2008, 12:11 AM
Location: Cambridge, MA
4,730 posts, read 10,954,480 times
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Originally Posted by gman5431 View Post
College Hill is definately a diverse neighborhood. It USED to be a nice place to live but i believe it has gone down hill. Just my opinion and is shared by a lot of people i know who still live there. Although, some peeps still like it and still live there.
The exact same thing was being said about College Hill thirty years ago, LOL...much more negative noise has gotten generated in recent times about neighboring North College Hill (a separate city) and Finneytown. Those areas are where the housing stock is heavy on post-WWII Capes and ranch houses that had fallen out of favor by the '70s. The deaths or relocations of most of the remaining original residents have created a vacuum which is being filled in part by Section 8 conversions. Whether this represents a survivable, even desirable, transition or the ruination of the community depends on who you talk to. NCH's demographic changeover has been especially dramatic - the public schools' student population has flipped from ~85% White to ~25-40% White within the past decade. Whitaker Elementary, in the oldest part of Finneytown, is said to now be 50/50 AA/White. "Ethnic succession" appears to be far less of an issue in Finneytown than in NCH, however, and College Hill's percentages remain stable.

The TO made a point of mentioning that schools aren't a major criterion in their neighborhood choice. Based on that I was far less hesitant in suggesting College Hill - no worries about how good the K-8 experience might be or whether a child might not make the cut for Walnut Hills and get stuck in abysmal Aiken.

As always, I need to advocate that the TO take the Saturday night/Sunday afternoon test before signing a P & S on a home in College Hill or any other community. Drive through or walk around a potential neighborhood at around 11 PM on a Saturday, then again at about 3 PM on a Sunday, when the weather's good. Note whether the streets are deserted, or if people are out and about what the vibe is: are rowdy kids clumped around intersections, are dogs being walked at a leisurely pace, are most houses dark or are they blasting party noise at night, do folks pass one another silently or are they exchanging greetings if not stopping to "conversate," is the general sense one of ease or foreboding? One's own impressions and instincts are a better guide than what anybody else might say. What can also be done is, stop by the district police station and ask for a complete list of reported crimes within the precinct for the current year and for the past two to five. If the rate's not consistently low, see whether the trend is upward or downward before leaping to conclusions. Sometimes the presence or absence of a "drug house" or shady business skews the stats and affects the entire area. If there's a community council or neighborhood association, attend a meeting and see what the agenda mainly consists of. Devoting half the evening to discussion of whether the shrubs bordering a store parking lot should be cut back is a good sign compared to a recounting of shootings and stabbings. Urban living is awesome, for me anyway, but precautions have to be taken and realities acknowledged.

I like Oakley also, but it's "just farther enough" from Oxford to make it not as potentially attractive as College Hill (or Fairfield, White Oak, Harrison, Delhi, Forest Park, Westwood, Bridgetown, etc.)
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