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Old 10-21-2014, 07:15 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,317 times
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Hi, Everyone.

I have an opportunity to accept a position in Columbus, Ohio. It's a lateral move with a VERY good company. My husband and I have been considering moving to Columbus for a few years now, because we would like to live somewhere where the cost of living is more reasonable. Currently, we live in Maryland (bad schools, high taxes, high cost of living). We have just been waiting to see if the right opportunity came along, which it has. Now I need to make a quick decision.

My dad and step mom live in a beautiful home in Bexley, which we love that area, but the homes are older. I prefer a more modern home.

I have a first grader and a pre-schooler. So, I need an area with good schools, first and foremost. My first grader is in a private christian school now. My 4 yr old is in a very good home daycare.

What areas have good public schools and daycares/preschool? What about good private schools? Christian private schools?

I've been looking on zillow in New Albany, Dublin, Gahanna. I like New Albany because it's not too far from my parents in Bexley should we need help with the kids.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:42 AM
 
372 posts, read 588,876 times
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New Albany is a very nice suburb. The houses are primarily Georgian in style with many brick homes. There are plenty of walking/biking trails that connect the various neighborhoods as well as the small downtown area and the school campus. With so many large companies headquartered in or near New Albany (Abercrombie & Fitch, Bob Evans, The Limited) there are numerous out-of-state transplants. Be forewarned that the taxes are quite high. However, you get what you pay for, with great city services, frshly painted white fences, lots of green space, and well-maintained parks. Location-wise, it's going to be much more convenient to Bexley than Dublin, though not quite as close as Gahanna would be to Bexley.

As for schools, the New Albany-Plain Local school district receives high marks. All of the schools (K-1, 2-5, Middle School and High School) are located on one central campus. The grounds are beautiful and the facilities top notch. Unlike Dublin, there are not multiple elementaries, middle schools and high schools - just one school for each level. I'm not sure the educational rankings for the two districts are disimilar. Gahanna would probably be a notch lower. As for private schools, Columbus Academy is located in Gahanna and it is the most prestigious school in the metro, though the price tag for an education there is steep (a little above or below 20K depending upon the grade level). Columbus School for Girls is Academy's former sister school (Academy used to be all boys) and it carries a similar price tag, but is located in Bexley. As for christian schools, St Matthew is the K-8 catholic school serving Gahanna/New Albany area and it is well-regarded. There is Gahanna Christian, but I really don't know much about it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:17 PM
 
Location: OH
688 posts, read 863,563 times
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Hi StaciO. CBus76 gives a good overview and not a whole lot to disagree with. A couple things to consider, New Albany is very new. The median age (year) of homes in NA is 2000. Dublin and Gahanna are a bit older and more established/built out - Gahanna more built out than Dublin. I think the median build year in Gahanna is around the late 70s so you have 50 year old homes and homes built within the last decade but a large portion of your standard 4 bd 2.5 bth built in the 80s. Dublin is not much different and perhaps has an even broader housing age spread due to some development still going on but yet also being established earlier.

Though NA homes are newer, keep in mind when NA "grew up." It is the quintessential boom town during the real estate boom and subsequent bust. There are many a horror story of owners simply wanting to change out the hard wood only to discover severe structural issues with their NA homes. After all, when real estate was booming anyone that could swing a hammer could claim to be a builder/sub-contractor and the anecdotal reports I hear regularly point to inferior build quality (gilded).

Central Ohio scored in the top ten nationally with respect to high property taxes so no community is necessarily going to be considered inexpensive to live from a tax perspective. However, NA tops the charts in the metro area for property taxes. Here is one resident expressing their displeasure over another levy. In addition to the standard layer of property taxes that all Franklin County residents bear, NA also has a parks district adding yet another layer.

Also, NA (pop. ~8,000) is much smaller than Gahanna (pop. ~35,000) or Dublin (pop. ~40,000). So while NA currently has one school for each group of grade levels, ask yourself how much longer that will last. Furthermore, NA is growing rapidly. I have several friends that are at the age where they are seeking larger homes for expanding families. More than one has considered NA and been turned away by the housing stock that is going up. NA has/had an uppity aura to it. Within the last few years there has been a boom in apartments in the City limits bringing with it the potential that if you're looking for upper-middle class exclusivity then NA might not be what it once was prior to the growth in apartment housing stocks within the school district.

As for schools, NA has a higher income demographic and with it less of the issues that plague less affluent districts. On the other hand, both Gahanna and Dublin schools will offer more from a programming perspective (i.e. Chinese as a foreign language, robotics as an elective). Gahanna and Dublin are also more built out. Consider how you may feel about driving through construction zones and road widenings as NA undergoes further expansion.

Other areas to consider may be Upper Arlington. The schools are good and the demographic is upper-middle class. Many residents love the proximity to downtown as it is an established inner ring suburb. Westerville may be another suburb to consider that fits in with that whole north Columbus suburban corridor.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:24 AM
 
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Thanks Cbus and Zen_Master. This is really helpful information, especially the info about the expansion and apartments in NA.

I'm coming from Bowie, MD (prince george's county), and PG county (really all of Maryland) has very high taxes, also. So, I'm kind of used to it. The difference between NA and PG County is that in PG county, the school system is probably the worst in the state and has a pretty low ranking nationwide. So, I'm paying high taxes for poor schools. Makes no sense. Most middle class and upper middle class families send their children to private schools because the school system is so bad.

Likewise, i'm used to sprawl and crawl here in Maryland, and traffic is absolutely a nightmare. I'm sure anything related to traffic and construction ion NA or Dublin would be a cake walk compared to what I deal with here.

Good info about the poor construction of homes in NA. I will keep that in mind and be on the look out for signs of structural issues.

To be honest, I would love to live in Bexley, but as far as I know, there is no new home construction and it's very expensive to live there.

Thanks, again!!! This is very helpful.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
1,539 posts, read 1,595,667 times
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I'm in Maryland now but grew up in Ohio. New Albany is nice, reminds me a bit of the Piney Orchard area of Odenton in that its newer. Taxes are higher in Ohio but you probably won't notice it because the cost of the homes will likely be HALF of what you are paying now. Its crazy. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:01 AM
 
18 posts, read 28,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StaciO View Post
Thanks Cbus and Zen_Master. This is really helpful information, especially the info about the expansion and apartments in NA.

I'm coming from Bowie, MD (prince george's county), and PG county (really all of Maryland) has very high taxes, also. So, I'm kind of used to it. The difference between NA and PG County is that in PG county, the school system is probably the worst in the state and has a pretty low ranking nationwide. So, I'm paying high taxes for poor schools. Makes no sense. Most middle class and upper middle class families send their children to private schools because the school system is so bad.

Likewise, i'm used to sprawl and crawl here in Maryland, and traffic is absolutely a nightmare. I'm sure anything related to traffic and construction ion NA or Dublin would be a cake walk compared to what I deal with here.

Good info about the poor construction of homes in NA. I will keep that in mind and be on the look out for signs of structural issues.

To be honest, I would love to live in Bexley, but as far as I know, there is no new home construction and it's very expensive to live there.

Thanks, again!!! This is very helpful.
Honestly, If you really love the Bexley area, and are OK with private schools (which you should be, there'ye awesome!) then maybe you should look at Central Eastmoor in Columbus. It's the area between broad and Main, Bexley (gould rd) to James road. The area around St Catherine's (a catholic elementary/middle school) in particular is pretty similar to Bexley and you could end up within walking distance of your parents. Plus, there's an education choice voucher program in Ohio, which if you are eligible for it, would cover most of the cost of one of the local catholic schools. Central eastmoor tends to be made up of young people who grow up in bexley but can't yet afford the housing, so I bet you would fit in well!

A lot of the houses are older, but there is a decent mix of stuff built from the 40s to the 90s.

Honestly the housing quality issue another poster mentioned in UA is in all of the suburbs built up from the 90s to the recession. My home growing in in Canal Winchester had many of the same issues, and there have been a number of lawsuits in newer suburbs around town.
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Old 11-08-2014, 06:32 AM
 
Location: Ridgewood, New Jersey
157 posts, read 223,621 times
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We lived in New Albany for ten years (2000-2010). The other posters have done a good job of describing New Albany so I really don't have a lot of new information to add.

While I was happy with the schools when we were there, if we were moving to the Columbus area now for the first time, I'm not sure that NA would make the short list. IMO, they are slightly under performing when you compare average SAT scores and NMSF to other Columbus area high schools. My friends who are still there will argue that is because NA has a higher (8%) percentage of disadvantaged kids.

Another key thing to consider is that the school levy failed on Tuesday night. The district has detailed the cuts they plan to make. Take time to research that before you make an offer on a NA house.

Having said that, we really enjoyed our time in NA. It has a strong sense of community, great library, the NACC has very nice jogging/bike paths and the schools are beautiful. I love that it a one high school town. NA also has a Founders Celebration in May, 4th of July parade and a Christmas celebration. It is an easy place to live and I feel sure that you would make a lot of friends. Oh, and a wonderful community pool.

Surprised to hear that your schools in Maryland are not good. I am under the impression that Maryland has some of the top performing schools in the country at least in the Potomac area.

You did not mention your housing budget, but are you dead set on newer/modern? Since you grew up in Bexley and have family there, I would seriously consider it. I really like the charm of the area.

Let us know if you have other questions.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:41 PM
 
Location: OH
688 posts, read 863,563 times
Reputation: 364
^the school levy failed because NA is the highest property tax locale in Central Ohio... an area that was ranked in the top ten for property taxes in the nation. When you are the highest property tax locale in a broader high property tax area, at some point the residents are going to say "no mas."
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:13 PM
 
1,046 posts, read 1,141,939 times
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And when they say "no mas" it's Lex's calling card to foot the bill!
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Newark
1 posts, read 3,294 times
Reputation: 10
New Albany is a great area if you want to live close to Columbus to enjoy the best of both worlds. Peace and quietness from New Albany, then all the great activities and events the city of Columbus has.

If you need help with your relocation contact me.
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