On Our Way to Dayton... (Columbus, Cincinnati: transplants, for sale, real estate)
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We are soon to be Dayton transplants. Husband will retire from AF in May 2010 and take a job at Wright Pat. We have begun to look in the Centerville, Beavercreek, and Washington Township areas for housing. With two children (7 & 3) we are most interested in living in a quality school district. Public schools are best for our children, so not really looking into the private school side. We would like to live in a family friendly community where you can actually get to know your neighbors. We enjoy the outdoors and love to get out when we can. We really don't want to spend over $300k for a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a minimum of 2500 sq ft. We prefer new houses, so probably not older than 1990. We are moving from Las Vegas and have a very bad taste in our mouths from the housing market here. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
For what you are after sounds like you have some good areas in mind already. There are lot's of folks from the areas you mentioned on here that can give some really good insight. Glad you are moving to the Dayton area. Welcome!
You'll find plenty in your price range. You actually could spend less, if you want, and could find a really nice house.
You could add a couple more places to the list --
Springboro -- a bit of a drive to WPAFB, but puts you closer to Cincinnati for the longer-term (a considersation if either of you wants to work in Cincinnati after retiring). Tons of new homes, lots for sale now. Resale could be a problem if you want to get out soon after moving in.
Mason -- again, a long drive today, but Mason is in Cincinnati and has perhaps the best schools in the state. Lots of newer homes. Nice area.
Oakwood/Yellow Springs -- great communities where you know your neighbors, but you won't find many homes that are new. Oakwood has the best schools in Dayton and a nice walkable downtown area. Yellow Springs has arguably the best community feel in the region, if you lean more toward the hippy/environmentalist side of things.
Kettering -- there are some great prices on homes in West Kettering and the schools are good, but the homes will be a little older than you want (1980s or older).
I'd agree that any new subdivision (Summerfield, Hunter's Ridge, Spring Meadows, Stonehill Village, just to name a few) in Beavercreek would fit your bill. As far as Cincinnati goes, I like living further from Cincinnati because it puts me that much closer to Columbus which than makes both metros about an hour away. I also go to OSU in Columbus and my parents raised me in Beavercreek (and it's public schools), so being that much closer to Columbus is a plus for when I come home. Beavercreek is a little less crowded than Centerville/Washington Twp (~10,000 people less) and sometimes a little cheaper depending on the houses age, size, neighborhood, etc.
I'd stay away from Mason and not go any further south than Springboro. The problem is the commute, while reverse to what most do (Mason is really a Cincinnati suburb, so everyone goes south/southwest for work) would get old and take time away from family time, soccer practice, extra curriculars, especially once your kids hit high school. Why waste commuting 45 minutes through construction galore when a closer community provides practically the same environment?
Oakwood probably wouldn't work unless you wanted a house built between 1910 and 1950.
Centerville also has some newer communities, but I find that a majority of them are in Washington Twp, and further to the south and west of the old town section of Centerville. The traffic down there can become a bit of a hassle as well.
I'd add Sugarcreek Township/Bellbrook to the list. It's a smaller more rural area roughly between Beavercreek and Centerville. It offers pretty much the same thing as the Beavercreek and Centerville.
But between Centerville/Washington Twp, Beavercreek, and Sugarcreek Township, they are all basically on the same level in terms of schools, housing stock, quality and style of life, and taxes. One bonus to Beavercreek, it has no income tax, and Beavercreek, due to the large number of military transfers, has somewhat better resale. So look for a house that works for you in these places and don't feel like one really outranks the other.
Test out Vandalia. Nice northern suburb. I swear no hardly ever mention's the northern suburbs unless they have to. You'd think the north was crappy or something, when, arguably, the north has a little more to offer socially. The north boasts suburbs like Vandalia-Butler, Englewood-Clayton, Tipp City, Troy, Brookville, and Sidney, all EXCELLENT or EXCELLENT WITH DISTINCTION school districts, thriving growth, and beautiful homes. Affordable, more open, and easier traffic.
Welcome to WPAFB & the Dayton area, Kraehorts! I'm retired from the USAF, we landed in Washington Twp by happy accident and LOVE it here in OH! (I only spent 1 night at WPAFB in any official capacity and I don't think we've been on base more than 10 times since we moved here in 2000. WPAFB is a nice base, but we just don't feel like we need much from them.) Perhaps I should feel guilty about not supporting the Base Commissary, but we buy all our groceries at Dorothy Lane Market and feel they are the best value for our needs (all the goodies we got addicted to living overseas...)
All of the areas you are considering are great places to live. One thing you might consider is that only cities have the authority to levy income taxes. Townships don't. But you'll find that property taxes tend to be somewhat higher in townships. So that's something you might want to consider.
Good news: Ohio eliminated income tax on military pensions last year!
One thing we are fortunate to have is a pretty stable housing market with reasonable real estate prices. We never had the hyper-inflated real estate values that other markets have had so prices have remained pretty stable around here. As others above have said, you'll get PLENTY of house for the housing budget you envision.
Although we are rather partial to our own Centerville City Schools, the area has many fine school districts.
Re-Read of your post, OP, leads me to believe that Yellow Springs (if you are okay with a bunch of crazy liberals) or Cedarville (if you're okay with bible-belt style conservatism) would work best for you.
I have to agree with nicholaseposter that the north is often overlooked. Anything interstate 70 is a quick jump to the base, including Huber Heights, Englewood, and Brookville. I have seen some nice new developments in Brookville that would match your description, and the school district is very highly rated. Brookville is more of a small town than a suburb, really, and the outskirts are downright rural. The do have a few chain restaurants and stores there (McDonalds, Wendys, DQ, Rite Aid), and you are about 15 minutes from Englewood if you need more variety. You are also about a half hour from Richmond, IN, which has a lot of nice stores and restaurants.
I'm not as familiar with Vandalia, so I can't really comment on housing there, but it would also make an easy commute.
Thank you! We are very excited about the move! We are looking forward to having four seasons again!
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