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Old 05-02-2010, 07:40 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,023,433 times
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My fiancee and I are thinking about leaving the east side and moving west. I know this is unheard of in Cincinnati, but it's true.

We currently live in Oakley and love it. We love it for the fact that it's safe, walkable, tons of bars and restaurants, convenient to everyplace we want to go, and more. We have a small but cozy house on a gaslit street.

What we don't like is that it has become horribly expensive to live there. Taxes are through the roof, and have gone up faster than our incomes can compensate for. This has us strongly considering moving.

What we've realized is that Westwood has beautiful homes, and we could sell our little Oakley tudor style home, and literally buy a 14 room mansion in Westwood with money left over. Owning a historically significant house is a strong desire of ours, but we simply can't afford Hyde Park, East Walnut Hills or Clifton. We like that Westwood has had some people really active in historic preservation, and want to be part of something like that.

Our problem with Westwood is that we can't get comfortable over there. We've walked the neighborhood in the day and night, and are just left feeling uneasy about things. Oakley definitely has its sketchy areas, but nothing like what we see in Westwood. In walking around one of the houses we have been looking at in a "would be" historic district, we were alarmed by the fact that the next door neighbors had their yard completely lit up with riot lights, and just a few doors down was a house apparently abandoned, and just a ton of run down looking apartments.

We asked a local about places to hang out and eat and the SERIOUS response that we got was "hey, we got a new Chipotle!" That's the last thing we want, and other than Henke Winery, there doesn't seem to be any place to go in the area. We're used to places like Habits, Allyn's, Oakley Pub and Grill, Arthur's, Dewey's, The Echo, RP McMurphy's, and on and on. We drove around on a Saturday night to see what was happening around the neighborhood and except for a few roving bands of unscrupulous looking youths, it was dead! Not what we're used to.

We spoke to a couple of other locals and got mixed reviews. One loved it, the other, an Elder grad, said he and his wife couldn't wait to get the hell out of Dodge.

Our impression so far is that we love the houses, but are scared of the neighborhood. Please convince us as to why we should move there. Is now the time to get in early and cheap? Or is Westwood in an eventual death spiral? Right now, it seems like a risky proposition.
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:39 PM
 
13,710 posts, read 22,832,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t45209 View Post
Our impression so far is that we love the houses, but are scared of the neighborhood. Please convince us as to why we should move there. Is now the time to get in early and cheap? Or is Westwood in an eventual death spiral? Right now, it seems like a risky proposition.
If you have spent all that time in Westwood and you don't feel comfortable, moving over there will be a real mistake.

I talked myself into buying a house in St. Louis even though the neighborhood was sketchy (day and night), and I regreted it for the next ten years and sold out for a loss.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:40 AM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,951,520 times
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I agree 100 percent with the comment above, although I bet it came from a man because it's succinct and uses no more words than necessary.

As Cincinnati's largest neighborhood, Westwood has areas where no sane person would choose to live (think McHenry), and it also has some nice residential pockets that I believe are quiet and safe from a personal and investment standpoint. (A good list of desirable streets was recently on another thread.) And in those areas you should expect to get somewhat more house for your Oakley dollars. But not as drastic a difference as you describe value-wise in your post, leading me to believe you haven't found the "right" place in Westwood, if indeed a "right" place exists for you at all.

Hubby and I in 2001 bought a home in a unique pocket neighborhood on the West Side which I think more resembles some parts of Kenwood or Montgomery than anyplace else in the area I can think of. The neighborhood has a single entrance/exit and although we get the occasional tourist it's extremely secluded, quiet and safe. I suspect our home was about 20 percent cheaper than it would be in Kenwood or Montgomery due to its location within the metro area. Although we enjoy some West Side amenities (think Price Hill Chili!), we do end up driving all over town to restaurants, etc. We're retired, so we have the time to do that. But it might not work for everyone.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Westwood
213 posts, read 538,900 times
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Westwood has some awful areas (As mentioned earlier the McHenry area on down towards town is really bad), but it also has some really beautiful areas that are pretty safe. The area around Our Lady of Lourdes is quite nice as is most of the area around Mercy High School, especially the side streets. I love the area around Mercy, huge trees, very wooded. Best part of Westwood in my opinion.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Covedale
3 posts, read 7,630 times
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Try Covedale. Very comfortable. Lots of good people there. Great for jogging, walking the dog etc.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
94 posts, read 205,404 times
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I have had the same mental fight with myself. I love a house on the west side of town (price hill). It's on a beautiful street, but otherwise, the area has nothing to offer. I once moved to an area that didn't have much and I was incredibly unhappy there. So, I have kept myself in Madison Place where I am still in the action.

How about I suggest some streets that you may want to look at:
Arnsby (in Madisonville)
Erie (in Madisonville)
Blaney Ave (between Bramble and Murry in Columbia township)
Those three are all pretty close to Mariemont and you'll find a value in home prices, but you still have the east side (ahem) culture.

Then more central:
Red Bud Ave, Avon Fields, Betula St. - all are these are pretty close to each other. It's a wonderful little pocket that is in N. Avondale.

Nobody ever believes me that these are nice areas until they go there and then they are in disbelief of another kind.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:47 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati
94 posts, read 205,404 times
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Thought of a couple more.
In pleasant ridge, there is wonderful little area with streets named Beaver, Gloss, Bellewood and Lester.

Just google street view the areas I've listed, or look up some the houses by street names on the MLS.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:23 PM
 
2,886 posts, read 3,951,520 times
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Hubby wanted to buy a house on Norway in N. Avondale when we moved back here. I felt the same way as t45 said about the Westwood house, like I would never feel safe there. The fact that it was secluded and the house was huge only made me more nervous, being in easy walking distance of some pretty bad areas. I'd be interested in an honest assessment of the crime situation in North Avondale, which I think has some of the most over the top elegant residential architecture in the area. I've never regretted not buying that house, although it made me sad the day I had to tell my loving husband "VETO."
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Old 05-03-2010, 03:14 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,414,398 times
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To me, charm is what is really important. Charm can be found without the need for mansion like proportions. I would choose a neighborhood first then find a house I can afford.

I think its nice to be able to walk to a park that you can actually use without a stun gun in your hand. I also like to see a cluster of stores that I am actually willing to shop in weekly instead of going to another neighborhood to buy stuff. For me that rules out Indian Hill and Avondale, equally.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:31 PM
 
1,130 posts, read 2,023,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montrell View Post
Westwood has some awful areas (As mentioned earlier the McHenry area on down towards town is really bad), but it also has some really beautiful areas that are pretty safe. The area around Our Lady of Lourdes is quite nice as is most of the area around Mercy High School, especially the side streets. I love the area around Mercy, huge trees, very wooded. Best part of Westwood in my opinion.
Everything we witnessed occurred in the area bordered by Harrison, Boudinot, and Werk.
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