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Old 01-06-2010, 08:39 PM
13 posts, read 36,377 times
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DH was recently transferred to Cincinnati. I'm staying back, sadly with 2 feet of snow until our house sells. In the meantime, I am doing some research online and Shaker Run looks very nice. Homes in a variety of prices, walking trails and golf. Is this area nice?

I'm trying to focus on the areas of Lebanon, South Lebanon, Mason and West Chester. I like the idea of a newer 1 story home somewhere in the area of 250,000 - 275,000. Some of the townships appeal to me, but can't even begin to guess which one is better.

Any areas that you can direct me to that has the walking trails, newer homes and nice safe and quiet suburbs, maybe even golf. Also...this may not be our forever home, so re-sale is very important, just in case.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:59 AM
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,367,556 times
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Shaker Run is surrounded by what is still a quite rural area. It may have a Lebanon mailing address, but I do not believe the city limits extend that far, though I could be wrong. Shaker Run Golf Course is rated one of the best, if not the best, public golf courses in Ohio. It was originally built by Armco Steel (now AK Steel) in Middletown as their vision of a competitor to the highly rated NCR courses in Dayton, the corporate prestige factor. I believe what you are seeing are the subdivisions which have grown up around or close to the golf course after the ownership changed hands. I play golf there reasonably frequently and would say the immediate area is nice, certainly safe, but a little remote. Expect a little drive for shopping, etc. As a location to raise a family, I would rate it very good. In this current down real estate market, there are bargains to be had.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:32 AM
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Shaker Run has to be outside the actual city limits of Lebanon, but may have Lebanon schools (which have been rated excellent, but this year just missed that cut). I think its probably a little closer to Franklin/Springboro in terms of actual location. You'd be fairly convenient to I-75 which would help with whatever commute you may have into Cincy.

We live in a similar neighborhood (Non-golfcourse) in Turtle Creek Twp., just outside of Lebanon and while we bought at a reasonable price, many of our neighbors are underwater significantly due to differences between prices at the peak (2005/2006) and today.

Simply put, no one is really looking for $300k+ houses right now. So, most of the neighborhoods that were $300+ are now $200+ --- you can certainly get some great deals.

Definitely wouldn't commit to anything without checking it out, but in some of the neighborhoods you may even be able to find rentals (there was 1 rental in our neighborhood) which would let you get used to the area and really see which neighborhood you liked before you purchased, while still living in a house.

good luck with the relo -- we just moved here from out of state in late 2007/early 2008 -so I know how stressful relos can be!
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:01 PM
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,367,556 times
Reputation: 1920
One resource I would recommend using are the various county websites containing real estate information. For any home other than quite old which has not been resold, you can see the sales history, dates and prices, tax history, evaluation and tax amounts. You can readily see the evaluation increases during the boom years, and now the bust. Very soon the first half taxes for 2010 should be posted. I find it very useful to compare other properties in the immediate area.

Since I am retired, I use the resource to evaluate what is happening close to where I live. In the newer subdivisions, it is quite obvious some properties have been foreclosed and forced to Sheriff's Auction. In Ohio, the minimum auction bid is 2/3 of the appraisal amount, in many cases identical to the last true value on the tax records. In a lot of cases the only minimum bidder is the actual mortgage holder. In many cases I see where a few months later the property is sold below the minimum auction amount. It is not a case of taking advantage of other people's woes, but the market conditions. For many years real estate gave the false impression it was invincible. Do such stupid things as interest only loans - don't worry you can sell it for more than you paid for it, thereby gaining.

I cannot see how anyone would purchase property today without taking advantage of the free information on the county websites to thoroughly investigate what is going on in that neighborhood.
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