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Old 03-01-2014, 03:55 PM
72 posts, read 89,948 times
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So we are looking at moving to the Dayton area this summer. We have 2 boys they will be 3.5 and 1 this summer. Looking for suggestions for areas to live and explanations of high tax and lower tax areas.

-Where you are working?

Wright Patt
-How much are you willing to spend on housing?
$350-$400 would like a house with a larger .5 acre plus lot

-How long of a commute you're willing to tolerate
20-30 minutes. We are coming from the DC area and are looking forward to escaping the long commutes and traffic

-If you have kids: Private school or public school?
Public or private but want to live in an area with good public schools

-What type of neighborhood environment you are looking for: small town feeling? small city excitement? suburbia delight?
I would think small town or suburbia. Very family and kid friendly. Don't want to be the only new people in town but don't want to live with all the military who come and go all the time.

-Community amenities important to you?

Would love it to be walkable, community pools

-Pie or cake?
Pie, always pie
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:34 PM
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
1,996 posts, read 4,340,617 times
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Hi meggoo! Welcome to the Dayton area / Miami Valley / Southwest Ohio!

I'll try to keep this short and somewhat readable.

The house/neighborhood/schools:
First, what age range of the house would you be looking at? Most homes in the 350K-400K range here on .5+ acre lots are new or recent builds. I'd recommend a plat due to your kids and better socializing opportunities with other families. I also recommend new or near-new because of this. With one or two exceptions (mainly Oakwood and western half of Kettering), most older neighborhoods with 1950's-1980's homes will have older families. Of course, as the older homes are sold, renovated, and flipped, many young families that cannot afford 350+ are choosing the older neighborhood ranches and tri-levels. Also of course, you could save a bundle or pay cash to buy an already renovated 2000-2200 sqft ranch in some of the older suburban subdivisions. If you really got gutsy, you could buy and tear down a fixer upper and build new on its large, spacious and often wooden lot. But tear downs aren't happening here as much as the DMV, but renovations-to-flipping is happening.

So where are these new, near-new and older flips? I'd concentrate on the I-675 corridor and a couple northern suburbs/districts. By the way, public schools here are by local districts (usually municipality and/or township based) as opposed to a whole county with different zoned areas for certain high schools. Except Dayton Public Schools, all districts in the immediate region are served by the district's single high school.

Now to taxes and location. All municipalities, with the exceptions of Beavercreek and Bellbrook in Greene County, have a local income tax. Some localities allow you to not pay the difference between where you work and live. Some places (where you live) don't give a credit and you end up paying both your home's local income tax and your workplace's local income tax. Check with the corresponding county auditors' office(s) for more info. Since you are on the base, you shouldn't have a local income tax for work. Riverside is trying to be greedy and grab civilian workers money from a slice of the base it claims is in its jurisdiction. Not smart, because I believe they are being sued to stop that (When was the last time federal land came under local jurisdiction???). Not sure if it's sorted out yet, but I wouldn't let it bother you.

Long story short, look to live in an unincorporated township area or Beavercreek or Bellbrook. This way, you pay no local income taxes, both for your workplace or your home location.

What township/city to live in? For 350K-400K, you could, as I mention do a number of things. I'll give specific neighborhoods if you give me an age range of your desire home. Otherwise this will be longer than it already is. Concentrate on (IMO and personal order):

Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Township (Sugarcreek Local Schools) because of its limited housing stock which helps with resale in this high demand area. Lots of homes with land in the township. You could find a near-new or 10-20 yo home in your range, usually with .5+ acres, some with 1+ acres. Not sure of any local pools here (most commutities have private pool clubs not part of a neighborhood or HOA, but some HOA's do have pools). Lot's of families due to the good schools and not as transient as some other areas. Again, no local income tax in either city or township here. From Bellbrook HS commute avg. Area B = 15-20 mins. Area A = 20-30 mins.

A new Costco is set to open next year at the Wilmington Pike exit and Feedwire Roads, if that's your thing.

Beavercreek/Beavercreek Township (Beavercreek Local Schools) because of its large number of neighborhoods with families, range of homes in different price points (many in yours that would be 800K-1+million in DMV), good schools, range of shopping options. The current popular mall, The Greene Town Center is here, [think Fairfax Corner but bigger and with more shopping, much in the upper-mid to upper end. Also has a Rave theater]. Schools can be crowded because of growth but a new elementary and middle school just opened this year out in the township. More military and high-pay civilian and contractors than Bellbrook, so more people moving in and out. Still, it is a rather stable (but much larger) community

Out in the township, Stonehill Village will have homes in your range, both custom and soon to come high-end M/I homes, with an already established community center and pool. Nice neighborhood with walking trails and such. Not as many transient base families it seems as I don't see as many homes on the market there, in part because it is a great place to live.

Commute would actually most likely be on surface streets, maybe I-675 depending on your location. From Dayton-Xenia and North Fairfield (de facto center of town) Area B = 5-15 mins and Area A = 10-20 mins. Again, it seems longer because it depends on where in Beavercreek's 50ish sqmi you are and its usually on surface streets.

Washington Township/Northern reaches of Clearcreek Township (Centerville City Schools and Springboro Local Schools respectively) because it is where there is a lot of stock, much in the higher end for this area. Some may still be out of your range though, especially the big custom homes. There is again, lot's of shopping, a wide range of home styles, ages and price points. Clearcreek Township is much newer in development terms and tends to have more land with the house than more built out Washington Township. I personally like Centerville schools better though. Both are great districts none the less. But also, with Clearcreek Township, you'll sacrifice commute time for the land and newer homes.

The Dayton Mall and the OH-725 corridor (Miamisburg-Centerville Rd) and Austin Landing will be the closest shopping locals. Lot's of restaurants and a new local Whole Foods, if that's your thing) is going to open next year in Washington Township. Commutes would probably be up surface roads to I-675 in Washington Township. Parts of the area may also be quicker to jaunt over to the I-75/Austin Blvd interchange. Either way, because of the denser development and retail, it will take longer. Washington Township Rec Center (w/ pool) to Area B = 20-30 minute commute. Area A = 25-35 min commute. Add an extra 5-10 mins depending on where in Clearcreek Township you are.

Honorable Mentions!
Bethel Local Schools: The southern edge of Miami County along the northern Montgomery County line, north/northwest of the base has a lot of new development. Carriage Trails offers many different homes and price points, many in ranges that could save you some money. Most of the development skimps on the land though. Schools are good, but growing fast, so there may be growing pains. You are annexed into Huber Heights (but not its schools). Thus, you'll pay a local income tax to Huber. Commute would be 15-25 minutes depending on traffic on OH-4 or I-70. Surface streets are options too.

Tipp City and Tippecanoe Local Schools: Great place on the northern side of town, which is altogether seeing more development. A little small and a little more remote than Sugarcreek Township. Nearest shopping would be Troy or Huber. Airport is close, maybe to close for some. Not sure about Tipp's income tax status. State or Miami County auditor would be your best source. A little longer than Bethel on the commute. Probably hitting close to 30 mins, especially with I-75 to I-70 being your best option towards the base's gates.

Western Kettering/Oakwood, Kettering Local and Oakwood Local Schools: Many older but stately homes. Much more so in your price point in Kettering. Oakwood won't have the land but has great schools (some of best in the state), community, and its inevitable high taxes, part of which clears your sidewalk of snow. Oakwood homes tend to be 1900's-1940's. Big range, but usually runs easily over 300K, and over 500K west of Far Hills Ave. More land on that side though. Both have high income taxes for the area, especially Oakwood, which may be ridding itself of some of its tax credits for other cities. Commute would be anywhere from 15-25 minutes, mostly because of surface street lights.

The commute:
Unless you are driving from inside the Cincinnati beltway or Columbus metro, you'll notice the drastic improvement on commute times here vs. the DMV. Having parents who did it, plus my short summer stint there, plus family still there (Mt. Airy to Arlington, ugh!), I can testify under oath the commute is a huge QoL improvement. You can easily get across the immediate Dayton metro into WPAFB in 30ish minutes. Gate traffic will be the slowest part, unless you take I-75 through downtown, which I can't see why that would happen.

I-675 is the most traversed highway into the base, as it roughly wraps around the south and eastern edges of the fence. Two interstate exits have expressways right onto Areas A and B respectively. Being as large as it is, you're commute can vary based on where you work on base (Area A = AFMCHQ, NASIC, hospital, commissary, etc)(Area B = much of the AFRL and its affiliated labs). I-675 can become busy at rush hour, but moves. Sometimes it can slow to a crawl, usually around US-35, a major east-west commuter expressway into downtown Dayton. Unless there is an accident closing lanes or the highway, or weather is trecherous, it is a breeze compared to the beltway or I-95/395. Keep in mind I-675 does tend to have a higher amount of accidents in bad weather, so keep that buffer into your commute time, but I wouldn't make it a deciding factor. Just leave earlier on those bad snow days.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:39 PM
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
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If you don't mind my asking, but where in the DMV will you be moving from?

Used to live in Woodbridge/Dale City a long time ago. Now the development line of I-95 stretches well past Quantico.

Was also in Foggy Bottom not too long ago for a summer.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:04 PM
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$350k - $400k gets you a lot in these parts. And most suburbs have good-excellent schools.

So I'm just going to go ahead and post a couple examples of what you can get in a 30-min commute. I will go by district. I will leave it to others to determine district quality better, but overall I think if I were in your shoes and moving here I would consider these districts to be acceptable. But with any school district, it is very important that you personally call the school, visit, etc. to get a general vibe of the culture and climate present, in addition to its benefits.

Also, I am wondering what specifically you mean by walkable. I'm wondering because traditional suburban walkable (cul-de-sac with sidewalks in the development to the pool) is a lot different than the type of walkable I and others here on City-Data throw around (as in, able to complete most daily tasks by foot). For now, I'm going to assume typical suburban walkable, because the other type of walkable would be near impossible to find with a 1/2 acre lot. The lot size itself would inherently prohibit any type of community like that from ever happening.

The Districts
Fairborn (at the gates)
1576 Meadowlands Dr, Fairborn, OH 45324 is For Sale - Zillow (No pool, but close to a park)
Overall an older community, probably not the best fit unless you want a really short commute. There are some new developments on the eastern outskirts you may want to consider though.

Beavercreek (5-15 min to gates)
1286 Windsor Dr, Beavercreek, OH 45434 is For Sale - Zillow (in Hunter's Ridge subdivision, lots of choices there. No pool but close to a park)
2747 Majestic Oaks Ct, Beavercreek, OH 45431 is For Sale - Zillow (no pool or park)
2671 Wyndham Dr, Beavercreek, OH 45431 is For Sale - Zillow (no pool, on golf course)
362 Buckingham Pl, Xenia, OH 45385 is For Sale - Zillow (pool, at Country Club of the North)
Probably it or Centerville has the most options overall. But Beavercreek definitely has the shorter commute. wrightflyer can speak a lot more about it than me.

Mad River (5 min to gates)
Nothing right now, but probably more will come online. A common relocation spot for people at WPAFB.

Huber Heights (5-15 min to gates)
The first target area would be the one overlapping Mad River Schools. The whole area is called Forest Ridge/Pheasant Ridge.
The second target area would be west of OH 202. Some nice Drees Homes, etc. are over there. None on the market now though. Lots of WPAFB people here.

Yellow Springs (10-15 min to gates)
385 Spring Glen Dr, Yellow Springs, OH 45387 is For Sale - Zillow (probably the best fit)
120 W Limestone St, Yellow Springs, OH 45387 is For Sale - Zillow
* Disclaimer - Yellow Springs is our "hippie town", home to Antioch College. Benefit of that is excellent natural parks, good community atmosphere, and great schools.

Tecumseh/Xenia (15 min to gates)
Nothing. Probably not good spots for you to choose.

Bellbrook (15-20 min to gates)
1320 Pewter Ct, Bellbrook, OH 45305 is For Sale - Zillow (close to town)
1913 Bellbrook Woods Ct, Bellbrook, OH 45305 is For Sale - Zillow (by high school)
Fast growing community.

Bethel (15 min to gate)
Only option would be Carriage Trails subdivision. It is walkable to the new Huber Heights Aquatic Center, a new YMCA, and Carriage Hill metropark (although for the metropark you do have to cross a busy road... but I think a fix is in the works.) But not a ton there for $400k - M/I Homes is currently building for that price range. Downside is no 1/2 acre+ lots
More info: The Estates - Homes for Sale in Tipp City, OH - M/I Homes Dayton

Centerville (20-25 min to gates)
826 Deer Run Rd, Dayton, OH 45459 is For Sale - Zillow (backs up to park w/pool)
6391 Shadow Lake Trl, Dayton, OH 45459 is For Sale - Zillow (community w/pool)
Tons to choose from here, but I only included two of the best fits.

Vandalia-Butler (20-25 min to gates)
872 Palomino Ave, Vandalia, OH 45377 is For Sale - Zillow (across the street from Taylorsville Metropark)
7316 Meeker Creek Dr, Dayton, OH 45414 is For Sale - Zillow (Lots in Meeker Creek area)

Kettering (25 min to gate from houses selected)
4423 Toulouse Cir, Dayton, OH 45429 is For Sale - Zillow
517 Lockerbie Ln, Kettering, OH 45429 is For Sale - Zillow
Quite a few options on western edge of Kettering. In general there is a little more privacy, downside is lack of walkability. Also, Kettering has great city parks and a very nice rec center, but in general this stuff is on the east side of town.

Oakwood (25 min to gate)
29 W Hadley Rd, Oakwood, OH 45419 is For Sale - Zillow
47 Grandon Rd, Dayton, OH 45419 is For Sale - Zillow
1501 Shafor Blvd, Dayton, OH 45419 is For Sale - Zillow
This city is where our old money lies, to put it in therms of the Great Gatsby. Beautiful houses, great parks, even walkable to the town square and the commercial strip where Dorothy Lane Market (basically our local version of Whole Foods) resides. Downside is smaller lots, in general, unless you find something under $400k with a large lot west of Far Hills (which 2 of the three above are).

Tipp City (25-30 min to gates)
654 Beechwood Dr, Tipp City, OH 45371 is For Sale - Zillow
400 Burr Oak Dr, Tipp City, OH 45371 is For Sale - Zillow
603 Burnside Dr, Tipp City, OH 45371 is For Sale - Zillow
Lots of options here. Downtown Tipp City is a postcard-perfect small town. There is a very nice pool (or aquatic center). Quite a few good parks, and smaller than a lot of the options posted (similar in size to Oakwood). Downside is walkability from the specific neighborhoods within your price range... but if you find something you like closer in to town, I'd jump on it!

Englewood/Northmont (30 min)
132 Deeter Dr, Englewood, OH 45322 is For Sale - Zillow
Not a ton now, but stuff does pop up. Nice parks and a brand-new YMCA with a lap pool (which is almost exactly identical to the one in Huber Heights)

Springboro (30 min)
230 Thomas Dr, Springboro, OH 45066 is For Sale - Zillow
40 Great Oak Dr, Springboro, OH 45066 is For Sale - Zillow
7943 Woodbridge Ct, Springboro, OH 45066 is For Sale - Zillow
Best bet here would be Settler's Walk, which basically meets all of your criteria if I understand you correctly. Second best would probably be Stone Ridge somewhere. Either way, there are a lot of options in Springboro.

Miamisburg (30 min)
1110 Belvo Estates Ct, Miamisburg, OH 45342 is For Sale - Zillow
1884 Russell Ct, Miamisburg, OH 45342 is For Sale - Zillow
2400 Gatesland Ct, Dayton, OH 45459 is For Sale - Zillow
Some stuff here. Miamisburg has a very nice downtown, but unfortunately none of these options will put you close to it. Contains the new Austin Blvd. interchange, and has some very nice bike trails and parks. No pool.

Troy (30+ min)
95 Countryside Dr N, Troy, OH 45373 is For Sale - Zillow
1760 Swailes Rd, Troy, OH 45373 is For Sale - Zillow
645 Sherwood Dr, Troy, OH 45373 is For Sale - Zillow
It's a stretch, but I included Troy because you get more house for your money in the northern suburbs, and Troy is probably the most beautiful suburb overall in the Dayton area (with the possible exception of Oakwood, but I hardly classify Oakwood as a suburb myself). Nice new pool, great parks, great community amenities, wonderful stretch of bike trail, it's really got a lot going for it. I'd take a look.

Anyways, I threw a ton at you because I don't have anything better to do with my Saturday night this week haha. Plus I thought it would be a good general reference for the future. Normally I would have asked if you could narrow it down a bit more.

Either way, if you could please let me know a few communities you are going to focus in on for my own sanity that would be great. Thanks in advance and good luck on the search!
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:07 PM
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Sorry, I did not see wrightflyer's earlier posts. So you have two long, informative posts to look at haha.

Anyways, look to his for a lot better write-up on each community. I can speak more to the northern suburbs (Vandalia, Englewood, Huber Heights, Tipp City, Bethel, Troy, etc.). Others can cover the southern and eastern suburbs a lot better though. So if you are interested in going north, please let me know!
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:20 PM
Location: NKY's Campbell Co.
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OHKID is right with regards to the different sides of town. I'm much better with the south and eastern suburbs. Beavercreek in particular. Great capture of info and some listings too.

One note that may have been lost in my post. Most cities have either public rec centers (like Kettering or Washington Township) which anyone can go to. Of course, being a resident of that township/city would make for cheaper membership. Beavercreek's one downside is it lacks a community center. The old YMCA (from the late 80's, early 90's) recently was bought by the local Dayton competitive swim team. It is now a private club run by them I believe. While there are four or five other private swim clubs tucked into older neighborhoods in the creek, the Raiders building is the only indoor pool in town. Kettering Rec, across from The Greene has an indoor pool and a nice little water park (I like it better than Huber's new aquatic center personally but both are nice). Great for kids.

I would inquire with these private clubs if buying in Beavercreek.

Dayton Raiders Aquatic Center: Dayton Raiders Swim Club :
560 Grange Hall Road, Beavercreek, OH 45430 *Former YMCA, indoor pool, children's swim classes

Woodhaven Swim and Tennis Club: Woodhaven Swim and Tennis Club
3519 Seajay Drive, Beavercreek, OH 45430 *Personal Favorite

Idol Hour Swim Club: Swim Club Home - Swim Club
3590 Kemp Road, Beavercreek, OH 45431 *Personal Favorite

Green Valley Swim and Recreation Club: Greene Valley Recreation Club - Home
2673 La Cresta Drive, Beavercreek, OH 45431

Cardinal Hill Swim Club: Their website domain isn't working, but I know they still operate.
1990 Wilene Drive, Beavercreek, OH 45431

With a 3.5 and 1 yo, I would stick with Kettering Rec or Huber Aquatic because they have zero entry pools and pools for little kids. Kings Island in Mason (a northern suburb of Cincinnati) of I-71 has a huge water theme park that would be great when your kids get a little older.

Also, if you have the money, there is the Five Seasons Club off Wilmington Pike exit of I-675. It is convenient to the southern half of Beavercreek and most of Bellbrook/Sugarcreek Township.
4242 Clyo Rd. Dayton, OH 45440 *Formerly 4425 Possum Run Road
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:33 AM
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Wow! Thanks for the great information. I'll go over it today with my husband and most likely be back with a few thousand more questions.

To answer your questions:

We are coming from the Annapolis area. We would love a larger lot but are not stuck on .5 acres we just don't want to be able to hear our neighbors alarm clock like we could at one of our last homes. We aren't too picky about age of the home but would want to avoid major renovations . We did lots of work on our current house before kids and I can't imagine doing it with two little ones. As for walking we would love to be able to walk to parks, pools and schools. Ideally we would like to walk to shops and restaurants but I know that can be a tall order.

I'm going to go back and read responses in more detail now. Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:39 AM
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meggoo, check your mesages.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by wrightflyer View Post
OHKID is right with regards to the different sides of town. I'm much better with the south and eastern suburbs. Beavercreek in particular. Great capture of info and some listings too.
Thanks wrightflyer!

meggoo, I'm happy to help. These decisions are hard, and going in to it without knowing a lot about the area makes it that much harder.

I should mention a little more about the school districts, to save you some time and frustration.

Right now, I would only rely on the State of Ohio School District Report Cards from 2011-2012 or prior for an accurate look at the overall quality of each school. I would not trust the current report cards. Basically, the State of Ohio rolled out a tremendously confusing new School Report Card system last year. It caught many districts off guard, and in turn they were measured on a bunch of metrics they never knew they had to worry about in the past. Plus, certain student population quotas have to be met on-site, and for smaller districts like Yellow Springs and Bethel, they often send children with special needs to a county school designed specifically for these children. In turn, they were penalized for "not doing enough" to meet these needs of these children because they did not have in-house programs.
Does the New Ohio School Report Card System Penalize Schools for Diversity? | StateImpact Ohio

Also, I would be hesitant to trust greatschools.com because anyone can write a review. So that includes the 7th grader that's having a bad day and doesn't like his teacher because she gave him a detention for shooting a spitwad across class. Or educators, teachers, realtors, etc. that may inflate the grade a school should get as well (or deflate competing districts).

The best compiled format of these scores was done by Dayton Sux a couple of months ago. If he doesn't come by to post, I will copy it over here and credit him for the work. Very good summary of the academic performance of all of the schools in the Dayton area.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:54 AM
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Thanks! Schools are most important to us. Given the lower cost of housing in the area we may be willing to send the kids to private school but we want the option of public. Does anyone have experience with private schools in the area?
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