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Old 10-27-2010, 04:14 PM
 
4 posts, read 12,866 times
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My husband is considering a job in Florence, KY and I am doing some research on the area. We are looking to purchase a 4 bed/2.5 bath home under $300k. We like the look of homes built in the 1980's/1990's - new looking, but with mature trees in the neighborhood. Of highest importance is the school district, as we have 2 kids. Low crime is also key. We would like to keep the commute under 30 mins, but would be willing to go up to 40 mins if the area is that much better.

So far, I've come to like the "internet impression" of the following areas. I've never been to the area, so I would love to know if my impressions are off or if you have any additional remarks:

Anderson Township - This is our current front-runner and what I know the most about. Forest Hills schools are excellent. Housing is affordable, and in the style we like. Shopping seems to be concentrated along Beechmont, which I would assume has difficult traffic. Any other downsides to Anderson Township? Less desirable areas? All the elementary schools seem to be equally strong.

Mariemont - Walkable community with excellent schools. Housing will be more difficult to find in our price range, and will look more dated. I do like the smaller schools, though I think Forest Hills might have more to offer since the population served is larger.

Sycamore - Commute will be 40 mins. Housing a bit more expensive than Anderson, but we should be able to find what we like in our price range. Schools seem to be the best choice in the area, better than Forest Hills & Mariemont...but are they good enough to merit the distance and more expensive housing?

We aren't considering Indian Hill since it seems out of our price range, and don't want to feel the pressure to "keep up" with surrounding super wealthy families.

Ft. Thomas, KY - The schools here look good on paper, but we are unsure about sending our kids to school in Kentucky...home of the Creation Museum Housing is about the same price as Anderson, but will be in older styles. Commute is obviously the best benefit of this choice.

Please let me know if you advise any other areas I may have missed, and I thank you in advance for your time!
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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You have, I'm afraid, falled prey to stereotypes about Kentucky, a very diverse state. The entire Northern Kentucky area adjacent to metropolitan Cincinnati, of which Florence, Ft. Thomas and the Creation Museum are all a part, is virtually indistinguishable from the areas of Ohio north of the river that comprise greater Cincinnati. Believe me, there are religious fundamentalists aplenty north of the river, too.

Just so you'll know, parts of central Kentucky about 60 to 80 miles to the south are much more educated, sophisticated and affluent than the greater Cincinnati area. This statement will undoubtedly result in a bunch of flames, but I lived most of my adult life in Lexington and I know exactly what I'm talking about.

Ft. Thomas, Lakeside Park and Crestview Hills in Kentucky are a few areas I think you might find appealing and which would be convenient to your husband's work. Property taxes are considerably lower in Kentucky than in Ohio.

I'm no expert on school districts, but I believe Ft. Thomas is highly regarded. But any district at all in Kentucky is going to be light-years better than Cincinnati Public (with the exception of a few magnet schools.)
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:40 PM
 
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Add Ft. Mitchell Ky to your search.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Sunny Florida
7,136 posts, read 11,207,444 times
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If your husband is going to be working in Florence, Kentucky, I'd suggest looking for a home in Kentucky. There are many excellent neighborhoods and schools to choose from. An interstate commute gets old in a hurry and the cut in the hill, I-75, is notorious for being problematic.
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Old 10-27-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Thanks for your responses.

@Sarah Perry - I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek about Kentucky, sorry to offend! Ft. Thomas does seem nice, but looking at the housing I'm just not impressed compared with Anderson Township. Cape cods, bungalows & bi-levels just aren't what I'm looking for. Looking at comps, though, I'm wondering if the asking prices I see are just optimistic. Is it reasonable to expect a 4/2 for <$300k in this area?

@wilson1010 - I did look at Ft. Mitchell, but I'm a bit wary of such a small district. Are they open to newcomers? Seems like it could be a bit insular. Also, expensive and not impressed with the housing in our price range.

@Sunnydee - Hmm...we were wondering if it's difficult to commute from OH to KY, but apparently lots of people in the company do it. Google traffic seems to show decent flow to Anderson Twp & Mariemont, though up through to Sycamore could be problematic. Might have to cross that one off our list.
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
2,927 posts, read 7,672,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbuxplz View Post
Ft. Thomas, KY - The schools here look good on paper, but we are unsure about sending our kids to school in Kentucky...home of the Creation Museum Housing is about the same price as Anderson, but will be in older styles. Commute is obviously the best benefit of this choice.
I'm sorry but what does the Creation Museum have to do with Kentucky schools?
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:22 PM
 
14,461 posts, read 24,623,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbuxplz View Post
Anderson Township - This is our current front-runner and what I know the most about. Forest Hills schools are excellent. Housing is affordable, and in the style we like. Shopping seems to be concentrated along Beechmont, which I would assume has difficult traffic. Any other downsides to Anderson Township? Less desirable areas? All the elementary schools seem to be equally strong.
First, while there are a lot of businesses along Beechmont, the traffic is generally not all that bad. In fact, the major retail area has moved farther east to Eastgate in Clermont County.

Are there less desirable areas in Anderson, sure. However, you have to look for them and if you are buying in your price range, you will not find them.

With I-275, the trip to Florence is doable.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:20 AM
 
10,139 posts, read 23,774,998 times
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In Anderson, your children will be in Cincinnati Public Sschools or they will be in Forest Hills schools. Catholic schools aside.

Beechwood School district in Ft. Mitchell Ky. will look like an exclusive private school in Connecticut compared to either of those districts. There is not much housing that fits your specs.

You will not find any 80's or 90's houses in Mariemont.

300K won't get you much in Blue Ash. There is not much else in 80-90's housing in Sycamore. Kenwood attends Indian Hill Schools and there is a lot of nice 60's and 70's housing, but you have already dissed that. And, I think you'd be nuts to commute from the I71 north corridor to Florence.
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Old 10-28-2010, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Cincinnati
3,341 posts, read 6,031,865 times
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Sycamore doesn't make sense. If you want to live in Ohio and work in Kentucky, make sure you are commuting over the 471 or 275 bridge. Commuting over the 75/71 bridge would be pure hell. Anderson township is a good choice. Also look at Ft Mitchell, Ft Wright, and maybe Alexandria. The Kentucky side is different from the Ohio side, but not in the bad stereotypical way you are afraid of. I don't know what age your kids are, but you could also consider the Mt Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati and see if they can test into Walnut Hills, the best high school in the region and arguably the state. Sands Montessori in Mt Washington is also well regarded, but you'd have to want to do the Montessori thing. I think if I was working in Florence, I'd live in Ft Thomas.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
2,927 posts, read 7,672,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
I think if I was working in Florence, I'd live in Ft Thomas.
That's almost crazy. There's plenty of nice areas in Boone County, which by the way is the fastest growing county in the Cincinnati Metro area.
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