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Old 12-30-2018, 01:33 PM
 
5 posts, read 687 times
Reputation: 20

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Firstly, I'd like to thank all who have contributed to the "Dayton" forum. Being a research nerd, I have already found so many helpful threads in this forum.

I am a CA transplant, having been raised in LA and then living in SF for 7 years. I moved to Cincinnati three years ago to be closer to my mom and stepdad. To make a long story short, I married/ moved in with a woman who lives in Eaton (Preble County). We are now expecting our first baby and are looking to move somewhere in the next 2-4 years. We are both ~30 and tilt towards the liberal side of the spectrum... and don't especially want to raise our child in the Preble County school system. Now, onto the questionnaire:

-Work location doesn't matter for either of us since we are both flexible with where we can work.
-Looking to spend between $130k and $200k.
-Public school, but not for another 5+ years.
-We would like our immediate neighborhood to be comprised of like-minded people; think open-minded young families. If this were 5 years ago, the Oregon District/ South Park area would have greatly appealed to both of us; now that we have a kid on the way, though, school district takes priority. So the conundrum in a nutshell- where, in the greater Dayton area, can we find an area with an, at least modest, liberal presence, AND a non-terrible school district? From what I have read so far, Kettering sounds like our best bet, but we are open-minded... and we have time.
-Pie > Cake all the way.

Thank you in advance!
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:10 PM
 
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,831 posts, read 3,937,130 times
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Kettering is your best bet. I would concentrate near Far Hills Avenue, especially the areas immediately west. It's not SF, but it is Midwestern family friendly that isn't down your throat conservatism you may find in surrounding Dayton area suburban counties (i.e. Greene, Butler, Miami or Warren). If you go too far west, I would begin to be a little weary. The Dixie Hwy corridor isn't as nice as Far Hills, so housing values probably won't be as stable.

Other places in Kettering may be the areas bordering Washington Township and Centerville on the southern side. Mostly older ranches from the 1950's to 1970's across the district. They will be bigger in the areas mentioned here. The yards will also be larger. The northern and eastern portions of Kettering are more blue collar with small, mass produced homes from the 1950's and 1960's, versus the more "custom" homes on the larger lots south and west. Some older (1920's-1950's) homes may be found between Far Hills and the Southern Blvd corridors.

Beavercreek may also be an option, as despite the base, there are still some blue blooded people here, but not the same as Montgomery County. Areas that may appeal are near Kettering's and Riverside's border inside I-675. The neighborhood around Parkwood Elementary comes to mind. You would likely be near the top of your budget based on what I have seen of the city's housing market. Also, prepare to have other bids to compete against, especially in the price range you are looking. This becomes hardest to figure for during the summer across the more popular suburbs as the base families transfer between school calendar years.

Centerville may also have some older places, but you are starting to limit your housing dollars. Areas in Centerville proper may offer the best bets due to older and smaller housing stock. Your best bet for a big school district is here, followed by Beavercreek then Springboro. Kettering would be a half-a-tier down, likely. Springboro would typically be switched with Beavercreek in order but Warren County is very conservative in nature. So Springboro might not be as comfortable. Keep in mind, they were the district with board members wanting to have their ways with the school district's curriculum.

Oakwood would be another option, as many UD and medical professionals and teachers live here, but I don't think you will find much in your price range depending on how much space you need. Oakwood can also be a bit snobby. Think of the affordable housing (Section 8) debate with some of the multi-unit complexes along Shroyer, just inside Kettering. However, I think that fight over housing and surrounding owners' home values would translate to any other upper-middle class suburb around Dayton (or elsewhere in the USA). So the snob factor can be translated elsewhere. Even SF has that problem, especially since housing is nearly 10 times the cost it is here. It's a NIMBY problem through-and-through.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:34 PM
 
9,494 posts, read 16,190,489 times
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There are quite a few liberals and democrats in Montgomery County; it is far from a conservative bastion. Kettering, Centerville and Beavercreek are all good options. Oakwood is within your price range for a modest home, but property taxes are high.
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:34 AM
 
5 posts, read 687 times
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Thank you so much for your quick and informative responses, WrightFlyer, and Joe! The fact that you both mentioned Kettering first speaks volumes, affirming what I had thought.

Of course, I will have to drive around myself to see what works for us, but I would greatly appreciate it if you could give some rough parameters to the area you spoke of... somewhere between Far Hills, Southern, Dorothy, and Stroop? I have seen a few cool looking, reasonably priced homes in the Berkeley Heights area of Kettering, but what you mentioned about going too far west is a bit disconcerting; perhaps I had misconstrued it as a sort of "little Berkeley, CA" type area.

I would love to give Oakwood some consideration, though I don't think I would ever be ok paying that much in property taxes. It's hard enough going from <$1,000 in Preble Co. to ~$3,000 in most of Montgomery Co. I'm no idealist, so I know that you get what you pay for, but $4-5k for a sub $200k house just seems crazy. No judgement to those who do; I just don't have the disposable income for it.

Living in CA, I've had the liberal feel, but no real "howdy neighbor" feel. Living in Preble Co., there is definitely a "howdy neighbor" feel, but unfortunately I don't agree with any of my neighbor's core values (slightly problematic). In a funny way, it's sort of like a Twilight Zone episode, but hopefully my episode will actually have a happy resolution.

Thanks again everyone. I look forward to hearing anything else you share, and to contributing myself in the future.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:28 AM
 
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,831 posts, read 3,937,130 times
Reputation: 871
I have a doctor up there off Dorothy near Dixie. The only thing with Dixie is the seedy motels that sit along that strip. Most are south of Dorothy along Dixie going towards West Carrollton and Moraine. I think you will be fine in the Berekley Heights part of Kettering. The nicer areas (IMO) are north of Dorothy and east of Dixie. There are also some really pretty homes south of Dorothy up in the hills, which would be my go to on that side of Dorothy. There are some condos and multi-family residences along Southdale that have always been well kept. But I wouldn't go down Southdale past Tait Road. The closer you are to Southern the better.

Now, this is in no way saying the areas mentioned as "bad" are really that bad. They just aren't as nice in upkeep and property value. Most of that is hurt by the old strips on the Dixie corridor outside the giant Walmart Super Center plaza. That Walmart also is by default the closest major grocery to much of Dayton's west side, so it gets a reputation (deserved or, more likely not) of being a bit down trodden and undesirable. I've never had problems there, but it seems to have a larger share of issues than other area Walmart stores.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:38 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,029 posts, read 9,964,922 times
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I'm a liberal Californian ex-pat marooned in Springfield, but if I lived in the Dayton area I'd probably choose between St Anne's Hill in the city (schools are a consideration) and Kettering in the 'burbs. Kettering has a Trader Joe's and other quality shopping, good restaurants like Mama DiSalvo's and Ajanta (Indian) and it's right in between the city (drivable to Brown Street, SP, downtown etc) and the southern suburbs (more spread-out, but other shopping like Costco, Whole Foods, Health Foods Unlimited etc). You may already be familiar with St Anne's Hill, but it's full of remodeled Victorians and has a great neighborhood association, along with the neighborhood co-op brewpub (Fifth Street).
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Old 01-06-2019, 11:44 AM
 
5 posts, read 687 times
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Thanks again Wrightflyer. I’ll have to drive around the specific areas that you mentioned.

Thank you for your great suggestions too Natural; it’s good to know there are others Believe me, I would love to live in a cool old house in as walkable an area as St. Anne’s Hill or South Park. Up until now, it most likely wouldn’t have been a dilemma. However, having a kid on the way, and not wanting to bank on moving again for school in the near future, the school district is a top priority; we also don’t want to pay tens of thousands of dollars for private school. Maybe I’m not giving the Dayton public school system enough credit, but I’ve heard pretty horrible things from pretty much everyone who has something to say about them. I do know that a “good” school district is relative. For reference, I attended schools within the Los Angeles Unified School District from k-8 (horrible ratings) and liked the experience much more than when I attended Calabasas High (9 and 10 ratings). Most kids in Calabasas were spoiled, so disillusioned about the real world, and intolerant of lesser classes. I know this is a discussion in itself, and Calabasas is an extreme (think Indian Hill in Cincinnati), but I thought I’d throw the topic in the fire in case anyone had something relevant to contribute.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:34 PM
 
9,494 posts, read 16,190,489 times
Reputation: 17612
Dayton has one of the worst school systems in the state of Ohio. While Dayton has some cool neighborhoods, I would not live in them with school aged children.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,029 posts, read 9,964,922 times
Reputation: 11010
Yeah, you'd probably have to go the private/magnet school route if you lived in the city. Stivers School for the Arts is in the neighborhood for older children, but that is a specialized school. I've found Springfield City schools to be better than their reputation, but that may not be the case for Dayton. One thing you have to consider is not only your child, their aptitude and the teachers of a school, but the aptitude and parental involvement of their peers. Your child may be an excellent student with a teacher who brings out the best in them, but if their peers are acting out all day long and not being guided in an educational fashion by their guardians, it will eventually affect them as well.
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:32 PM
 
2 posts, read 139 times
Reputation: 13
Thumbs down Don't do it

Montgomery County, Ohio is one of the most corrupt counties of Ohio, politically-speaking. If I had to choose a city inside that county, I would choose Centerville, but only if you paid me.
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