I moved into an apartment in Fairfield, OH last year after living in an attic (that I found on craigslist) for three months. Since I'd only lived in Ohio for a few months, I didn't know very much about the various neighborhoods and suburbs, so I had to rely on crime statistics to help me make my decision. Fairfield had a fairly low crime rate and it seemed like a nice quiet area when I was here briefly on behalf of Working America.
I was wrong.
Fairfield, itself isn't so bad overall (if you call a Waspy conservative suburb "not so bad"), but apparently I picked the one undesirable apartment complex in Fairfield. How undesirable? Well over the course of a year we've had flooding of the master bedroom's closet, a gas leak, our air conditioner broke in May and wasn't repaired until August, our heater requires a weekly goat sacrifice in order for it to work, and (this one's the best)some people decided to have a little gun battle on the grounds of our apt complex (this is in a suburb that had a total of two murders from 1999 until 2004). Yes, so you can surely imagine why I've been looking forward to moving out of Fairfield when my lease is up at the end of the month.
Over the past year I've had time to learn a lot more about the various parts of Cincinnati and I'd been narrowing down the list of neighborhoods and suburbs that I'm considering. It's been a bit more difficult than I'd thought. I mean, if I were alone then I'd be happy with a little loft apartment downtown, but, alas, I am not alone, so downtown and it's lofts never made their way onto my list of considerations. Ok, well, my plan had initially been to enroll Maynard and Christian into one of Cincinnati's good magnet school programs, and if that had happened then I would've been able to live anywhere in Hamilton county. I was really happy with this plan because I would've been able to live in Clifton (a funky little neighborhood in the center of town that has it's own neat little independent theatre, among other things.)
It wasn't to be.
Cincinnati magnet schools are first-come-first-serve when it comes to kindergarten and first grade and you have to live in Hamilton county to apply (my current apartment is literally like 2 miles outside of Hamilton county). This didn't seem like a problem at first, as for the past few years the magnet school enrollment date had been in February; but this year they decided to move it up to November (yes, this was Cincinnati public schools just trying to be the bane of my relocation plans). So, this little development obviously made my plans much more complicated. I could either limit my search to one of the 5ish public school districts in town that are good or I could look into enrolling them in one of two good private schools (I would've had to get financial aid for the private schools, as the yearly tuition for two children would come to somewhere around $32,000 per year, and let's just say that I don't have an extra 32 grand lying around anywhere. Maybe I should run for Governor).
So, I've been checking craigslist and the local paper daily for townhouse and house listings (as I've tired of having people hold what sounds like wrestling matches on my ceiling). After having little luck finding places that I was really happy with I finally signed a lease this morning for a little house in the neighborhood of Wyoming! Ok, I know that Wyoming means little to anyone reading this (well there's Cheney's home state of Wyoming, but that's obviously a different Wyoming.) This Wyoming has a school district that was rated as the best in the entire state, so I'm obviously ridiculously happy to have found a house there. Heh, it's mostly a neighborhood of larger Victorian houses, but there's also one hidden-away culdesac of smaller houses that were less obscenely priced. Also, I'm so excited that I'll finally have my own house. It's going to feel so very different living living in an apartment complex. It even has a large back yard with a swing set, slide, and a tree house that was built by the owner! So, yes, this has been entirely too long, but I'm really excited and wanted to share. I think a celebration is in order tonight!