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SIS: Cincinnati Neighborhoods

Given that it's a slow time in between winter deals and pitchers and catchers, I thought I would crowd-source my house-hunting question. The general questions:

  1. What areas of Cincinnati are on the rise? What areas are on the decline?
  2. Where are good opportunities for bargains (i.e. homes with character, relatively safe neighborhoods, etc.)?
  3. Where in Cincinnati have you lived? How has it changed since first moving there?
  4. What areas do you recommend to friends moving to Cincinnati?
  5. Are the stereotypes of East Side/West Side true? Will they continue to be true 10, 20 years from now?
  6. Any thoughts/advice on house-hunting for my wife and I? More details after the jump...

We're looking for entry-level houses for two young professionals with a moderate amount of consumer/student debt. She grew up in the East Side and is pretty much looking at safe East Side choices (Anderson, Madeira, Milford, Fairfax, etc.). I'm not 100% opposed to this, but I'm not sure how much growth opportunity is there and I think a lot of the homes lack any character.

I grew up as a Navy brat and then went to high school in the Northern 'burbs here and really don't have any allegiance anywhere. I do not want to live in the outer suburbs, because: the houses are boring; the area is boring; and long-term, I think they will be stagnant or go downhill as tastes (Gen Y) change. If I were single, I think I would be buying in Price Hill, Walnut Hills, OTR, but I think I would have trouble convincing my wife (and my in-laws) that she would be safe there. Any thoughts on a good compromise here?

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