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Old 04-13-2010, 01:38 PM
 
35 posts, read 37,916 times
Reputation: 15

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Hello,
My family of myself, my husband and 3 boys ages 11, 8, and 5 with a fourth boy due this summer are relocating to the Cincinnati area. My husband works near Springdale so we are trying to keep his drive time short. Additionally, I have 2 horses and would love to have our own acreage to keep the horses in my backyard. We've looked at houses on the west side and east side albeit outside of the I-275 loop so not sure if that is still designated east/west.

Our favorites thus far are a house on Morrow Rossburg Road with a great set up for horses but a small house which would require an addition eventually. I thought the area was beautiful but could anyone tell me more about it? Are there movie theaters? Restaurants? Shopping of any kind? Is it considered way out? Would I be driving long distances to get the weekly essentials like groceries? Could anyone tell me about the schools? I've looked online and looked at the report cards but what about real info about programs or technology or anything innovative being done?

Our other favorite house is near Milford and located super close to I-275 and "civilization". This particular house has almost 5 acres and if we wanted to have horses on it we would have to acquire the additional .4 acre to get approval although I have no idea how hard it is to get approval for keeping horses in this area? The house does have houses surrounding it with the one side and rear of the property flanked by less expensive houses with small yards. Seems this could be extremely problematic with horses and controlling odors so as not to offend neighbors, etc. However, the house itself is perfect - huge, bedrooms for everyone, nice setting. I feel a little claustrophobic at the houses nearby but I do love the proximity of the interstate, restaurants, and stores. I am considering boarding my horses but with two that can be costly and I've been looking forward to not boarding and taking care of them myself so I can enjoy them more. I think our children would be going to Smith Elementary. Information about the Milford schools would be appreciated (beyond the district being excellent with distinction). Are there many horse properties in the Milford area? At some point in the future we might upgrade to a larger home/more acreage and would want to stay in the same school district.

Also, for each area, what about activities such as competitive swim teams or gymnastic classes? Most of my days will be occupied with taking children to school and to activities which seems likely to be done easily in either location. I would love to belong to a pool with a competitive swim team for the summer. In either location it seems I will be giving up trail riding unless I board or trailer my horses. Any horse owners have thoughts on that (only being able to ride on the 5 acres owned) or about possible bridle trails nearby? My husband and oldest son also love to go biking (mountain bikes on trails) and I'm not sure if anyone has info about trails near these places. I know there is a bike trail near the Morrow house but it is paved which does not really interest myself or my husband. We like good rugged trails with hills. Currently we are keeping our search under $400k which definitely makes it harder to get everything we want. Any firsthand knowledge of the areas would be much appreciated! Also, anyone have input about how living in either area has been more beneficial or more of a hardship?

Thank you!
Bobbie
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,223 posts, read 57,377,537 times
Reputation: 52084
Morrow-Rossburg Road is, indeed, "way out", but the tranquility might make up for it. It's beautiful out there. I got lost out that way last summer and had a blast doing so.

The closest basic necessities -- groceries, gas, dry cleaner, etc. -- would probably be in Goshen or Morrow, depending on which end of the road you live. Neither are really that far away. There may also be scattered stores in Pleasant Plain or Butlerville -- I haven't been to either village in awhile. Restaurants, movies, etc. would be found down the road further around Milford, although there are some good home-cooking type restaurants in Goshen.

I don't know which school district has jurisdiction on Morrow-Rossburg Road. If it's Little Miami, unfortunately they're having serious, ongoing financial issues. If it's Goshen, that's a pretty solid district.

The Milford schools are solid as well -- that district also has had some ongoing political wranglings, and occasional financial issues, but nothing major. I'd agree that you may come up against some neighbor opposition with horses. Some people want to live out in the country, but don't want any actual livestock or agriculture around them, you know? How easy would it be for you to acquire that final half acre?

Good luck to you. If you have any more questions, holler. I don't live in the area any longer, but I do have a bunch of friends out thataway who I can call on for advice/answers, etc.

As for horse trails, check out the nearby state parks: Caesar Creek in Harveysburg, East Fork in Bethel, and maybe even Stonelick, which is a stone's throw from either Milford or Pleasant Plain.

I know what you mean about the Little Miami Bike Trail. It's too danged crowded!
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,377,243 times
Reputation: 1920
Take a look at Liberty Township (Butler Co.). There are homes there on the original township roads with acreage which would be perfect if you can find one for sale. Same would be true of southern Warren Co. If you are lucky enough to find one, you can have the best of both worlds, land for the horses and close to civilization for shopping plus reasonably decent schools.
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Old 04-15-2010, 06:49 AM
 
35 posts, read 37,916 times
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Thanks Ohiogirl81 and kjbrill! I have heard a lot about the problems of passing the levy in the Little Miami School district. I know it has failed a lot of time (like 7 or 8?) which is troublesome but not being from Ohio, I am not sure what happens if it never gets passed? I guess cuts will be made at the schools with the non-core programs going first (music? art? gifted??). We will be making another trip up soon and will try to find something in Liberty township or southern Warren County but available properties may just not be there. At this point I am really leaning toward the Milford area since there do not seem to be any swim teams near Morrow and I'm guessing any additional activities like that will not be available in Morrow.
Thanks for your help!
Bobbie
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,223 posts, read 57,377,537 times
Reputation: 52084
equestrianmom, Morrow-Rossburg Road is in southern Warren County (or northern Clermont County, again depending on which end of the road you're looking at), so you're hunting in the right area. Hamilton and Harlan townships will have what you're looking for.

Try poking around Goshen Township in Warren County. It's close to the community activities you want, with a pretty decent school district, and without people who will turn up their noses at a little horse poo. Parts of Miami Township, too, which surrounds Milford and Loveland, are still reasonably rural.

Here's a short primer on Ohio school district funding: The district must get voter approval for most tax increases. When those tax increases are not approved, usually the first things to be cut are transportation (inconveniences the parents) and extracurricular activities (angers the parents). A little school board blackmail. And usually it works.

But levies and income tax measures etc. have been turned down so many times at Little Miami that the district is under a fiscal watch by the state, and may be taken over by the state if voters don't approve new funding. Here's the link to the school district's web site: Little Miami Schools: WELCOME
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,377,243 times
Reputation: 1920
Your search for acreage sufficient for horses is not an easy one. Until the recent market collapse, subdivisions were sprouting up like popcorn in all of the outer ring areas of Cincy (Butler, Warren & Clermont Counties) driving up the land values. Developers were purchasing smaller 5 to 10 acre parcels with a decent house on them, bulldozing the house, running a small cul-del-sac street in, cramming large homes on 1/2 acre lots, and making a killing.

I would think the housing market crash has tempered this quite a bit. But I am afraid those with acreage may still have an inflated value in mind, based on what they observed neighbors selling for a short time ago.

I have a friend who has a very nice, large, ranch house in Liberty Township, built prior to the development boom. The front lot facing the street is about 3 acres. Out the back is 20 acres of pasture, on which he runs his horses. He is now totally surrounded and hemmed in by new subdivisions. I know his attitude, I will wait out the downturn until someone comes along and makes an offer on the 20 acres, and bulldozes my house to gain access.

You say your husband will be working in Springdale. Have you considered looking Northwest, out beyond Hamilton and towards Oxford? I am not aware, but certainly cannot be specific, of many amenities in that area, competitive swim and gymnastics teams, etc. But the terrain is nice and so far underveloped. Might find just the property you are looking for, though there will be compromises.

A Milford to Sprindale commute on I-275, not something I would bargain for. Same for East-Jesus Morrow. Look West young man, look West.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
350 posts, read 718,248 times
Reputation: 95
^^ Indeed, look west out to Harrison, Ross, Shandon, Okeana, Bright, IN. Plenty of acreage and not out of control expensive (yet)
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,377,243 times
Reputation: 1920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cincy Rider View Post
^^ Indeed, look west out to Harrison, Ross, Shandon, Okeana, Bright, IN. Plenty of acreage and not out of control expensive (yet)
My thoughts exactly. Go look where the suburban costs have not yet caught up. You might not get everything you want, but what you get may be very satisfying.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:58 PM
 
35 posts, read 37,916 times
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Thanks again for all the wonderful advice on where to look and for the info on how the tax levies work. We looked at 5 houses in the Hamilton/Oxford area and saw one we kind of liked. Another one would've been great but I think the owner is one of those people kjbrill is talking about - $400k for what could've been a nice house on 5 acres that was basically trashed (filthy, not cared for and smelled so strongly of cigarette smoke I'm not sure of the success of getting completely rid of it even if carpets are ripped up and all the walls painted!) and he wanted $100k for an additional 2 1/2 acre lot adjacent to it. When we drove through Hamilton/Oxford areas though it just seemed so far out and had a different feel then when we looked further east. Although we did like the Oxford area it seemed REALLY far away! The roads my husband would drive on were 2 lanes or 4 lanes with traffic lights so much slower traveling versus the interstate. I have no idea of the busy times on the I-275 but I imagine my husband will go to work early (before 7?) so maybe he will avoid some of the traffic? Right now he is driving 90 miles one way to the office where he works so he can probably tolerate some traffic gridlock.

I might just have to give up on the acreage for now and move again in 3 years when we'll have more bills paid and hopefully the economy has improved so my husband's income returns to normal. Or I'll be working by then since my youngest will be 3 years old . . . So many options to consider! Thanks for the feedback!
Bobbie
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Blue Ash, Ohio (Cincinnati)
2,786 posts, read 5,507,574 times
Reputation: 705
Where are you moving in from if you don't mind me asking?
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