So you’re thinking about moving to Ohio. Maybe you want a simpler lifestyle. Maybe you’re looking for a lower cost of living. No matter what it is, I know there are a lot of you out there thinking about moving to Ohio. Here are my tips on moving to Ohio, either at the end of 2021 or 2022.
This is Eric Sztanyo. I’m a local realtor here in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky with Keller Williams Realty and teamsztanyo.com, where we are helping you find your home and strengthen your family. And today I want to talk to all of you out there who are thinking about moving to Ohio. There’s a lot of people who are thinking about moving back to the Midwest, and I’ve made several videos on this channel about new residents moving into the Cincinnati area of Ohio, all kinds of videos on buyers and what you need to know. And so today, in this episode, I want to condense some of the topics that I get asked about the most all into one.
What You Must Know When Moving To Ohio?
Let’s look at the what, why, where, when and how of moving to Ohio. So, first of all, what does it mean to move to Ohio? As the birthplace of aviation, eight US presidents, several amazing cities and a growing economy. Ohio is an underrated gem of estate. It offers a cheap cost of living, four beautiful seasons and Midwestern charm. These attractive attributes draw folks of all ages and backgrounds to live in Ohio. If you’re looking for a great place to build your career, raise a family, or retire, the heart of it all is a prime central location.
So why should you be moving to Ohio? Well, there’s a lot of reasons you might want to move here and everyone’s going to have their own motivation, but maybe you want a simpler lifestyle. Maybe you want a little bit of land. Maybe you’re being transferred here for work, or you have family in the area. Maybe you’re working from home right now because your business and office dynamics changed during the global pandemic and you can live anywhere. So maybe you’re looking at Ohio because you’ve read that the cost of living is very affordable. You can live anywhere you want. And so you might be considering, “Hey, why are we living in this smaller space when we can move to Ohio, get a bigger home, have a home office and even pocket some of that extra money to do other things we like to do, like travel or go to fancy restaurants” or whatever it is you want to do with your money?
Ohio offers fantastic affordability and is one of the three top states for cheap housing. We have professional sports teams like the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals and FC Cincinnati. We have fun amusement parks like Kings Island. We have great golf courses, an excellent park system, a great restaurant and craft beer scene. And if you go right across the river to Kentucky, you can hop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, which is really nice. We have awesome hiking and outdoor activities, and we have beautiful skylines downtown. Be sure if you haven’t already to check out my pros and cons video on what it’s like to live in Cincinnati.
Another thing that you need to know when moving to Ohio is that it isn’t perfect. Just like anywhere you live, there are pros and there are cons. While you do get to experience all four seasons, be prepared that if you’re coming from a warmer climate, the winters here can tend to drag on a little bit. They can be cold, they can be gray. I always recommend for people who are used to living in sunny, warm places, be sure to get a trip booked in February because that’s about the time that you’re going to be like I’ve had it with this place. So we get some snow in the winter. And on the other hand, the summers can be hot and can be sticky. It’s probably not as bad as some of the states further south like Georgia, South Carolina, something like that. But we do get some pretty high humidity in mid to late July into August.
Another thing you may or may not like, Ohio’s a pretty big sports culture area. And so that may be good for you, that may be bad for you. Even if you do like sports, it’s tough to be a fan of the Cincinnati Reds and the Cincinnati Bengals and FC Cincinnati for that matter. We’ve got a, like 30 year long playoff drought. And so I always like to tell people if you’re going to be a sports fan of the teams here, it’s really good for building character. But if you are used to having a team that wins playoff games and wins championships, it’s going to be a little bit of a shock to the system.
Also, what you need to consider when moving to Ohio is that Ohio is a swing state politically. And so during election time, you’re going to get just an avalanche of political ads and politicians visiting here causing traffic jams. And the attention of the nation can be a little bit relentless. And so just know that kind of going in, whichever side of the political spectrum you’re on, Ohio’s kind of a battleground state and gets a lot of attention during political times.
Where in Ohio do you want to live? You know you want to live in Ohio, but where exactly in the state do you want to live? It’s a pretty big state. If you’re not being transferred to a specific city, then you have the entire state full of different cities and towns to choose from. Everywhere in Ohio is different. So you need to come and start exploring. We have everything from rural small towns to vibrant big cities. There’s Cleveland, there’s Columbus, and I’m in the Cincinnati area. And so you need to kind of ask yourself, what’s most important to you as far as your location is concerned? Do you want to be close to a big city? Do you want to have some acreage and be out in the country? Do you need to have an airport nearby? If you’re going to be looking for employment full-time, what cities have the most opportunities that fit your skillset? What’s your housing budget? And what type of housing do you want?
Once you start answering these questions, that’ll be able to help you narrow down what part of Ohio is right for you. I always strongly recommend that it’s very important that you plan out a time to come and visit the cities that interest you the most. But just remember, like anywhere you’re going to live, a vacation is very different than living there full time. So whatever city you go to travel to, to check out, you can do some of the touristy things, but I strongly recommend you talk to the locals who are living there. Don’t just fill your time with all the touristy things, because you want to get a good feel of what is it actually like to live in the city.
So when should you move to Ohio? Honestly, it’s whenever works best for you. Ohio does have four seasons of weather and the real estate calendar follows those seasons to a certain extent. The busiest home-buying time of the year is the April through June period. That’s partly because a lot of the families who might be looking to get in a different school district, that’s the best time where they can get their house ready to sell maybe, they can shop for a new house and be in before the next school year starts.
And the slowest time of the year is usually going to be that January to February, even the December Christmas holidays season. And there’s the reason for that. It’s cold outside, the days are short so it’s darker outside. A lot of people don’t want to be looking for homes in that time period. But I would say there are advantages to any time of the year when you want to buy. If you’re going to buy in that busy season of late spring into summer, the nice thing is that there are usually going to be more houses on the market for you to choose from. The downside to shopping at that time is there are also more buyers out there that you’ve got to be competitive with. Especially these last few years, it’s been extremely competitive as a buyer and you’ve had to do multiple offers or houses have gone on multiple offers. Maybe you have to bid at over asking price. Maybe you have to wave inspections. It’s nice that you have more houses to choose from. It’s not great that it’s more competitive from a buyer’s standpoint.
And on the flip end, if you choose to buy in the winter, there’s usually a little bit less inventory on the market, but the pro for you, if you’re going to buy a home then is there’s less buyers out there too. So when it is cold, when it is dark, there’s less people going from house to house. That could be a good time for you if you’re moving in from out of town to find some inventory that’s been on the market a little bit longer. If a house has been on the market a little bit longer, that might be an opportunity for you to potentially even put in a lower offer on a house. And of course there’s always the option to buy new construction, but you need to plan that out and currently, where construction periods used to be maybe 4 to 6 months because of supply chain demands, builders are usually saying 8 to 12 months. So if you’re moving to Ohio and you want new construction, you might want to plan your calendar accordingly.
3 Scenarios That Can Help You Plan When Moving To Ohio
When moving to Ohio, it will all depend on you and your situation, but that brings us to number five, how do you move to Ohio? Everyone’s circumstances are different, but I want to give a couple scenarios that I run across often.
All right, scenario, number one, maybe you’re a family thinking of moving to Ohio for the start of the next school year. So keep in mind that a lot of counties in the state of Ohio, they’re going to start their school year pretty early in August, maybe early to mid August. So if you want to get settled in by the school year, you’re going to be looking for homes around that May, June, possibly even into July time period.
So let’s say you already have the neighborhood picked out. Let’s talk about the steps you need to take in order to move. So do you have a home to sell in your current location? If you need to sell that house and use that money to buy the next house, then you need to focus your time and energy on getting that house ready to sell. As you’re preparing that home to get ready to sell, you’re going to want to contact a local professional who can help you, give you an idea of where you’re going to be at pricing wise, give you some tips for getting the home ready to sell so that you can get the most for it. And if you don’t know somebody, or if you don’t have an agent locally, give me a call. I’d be happy to refer you to a local professional who’s top rated in your area.
So as you’re preparing your house to get ready to sell, be sure you’re also planning to schedule some time to go to the new city you’re planning on moving to. That way, you can meet the realtor you’re going to work with there. You can start to look at the neighborhoods you want to look at. So when you are ready to buy and put in offers on a house, you can hit the ground running.
Now, this sounds like a lot of work and preparation. I get it. The way I like to tell my clients to think about this is if you’re planning on moving, you’ve got to do all this work anyway. So don’t look at it as extra work. Just look at it like you’re starting your move early. And so the goal would be, you can get your house under contract. You’re probably going to want an extended closing period, maybe 45 or 60 days. And in that window, once you go under contract, then you can go shopping for your new home and your new city.
My number one piece of advice here is don’t waste a lot of time on the internet, looking for houses in your new city, until you’ve got your house ready for sale. The reason why is by the time you get your house ready on the market, you go active, you get it under contract, all those houses you’re looking at, that you love, they’re going to be gone. Everything here in Cincinnati is going under contract in less than seven days right now, because the inventory is so low and the supply is so high. If you want to get a feel for the prices and the different neighborhoods, that’s one thing, but don’t fall in love with any one property and don’t waste your time looking at a bunch of houses until you’ve got your house ready to sell.
I know it’s fun to look on Zillow. I know it’s fun to look at the photos and the design and fall in love with something. But I promise you, please don’t do this. You’re going to waste so much time. Please just focus on getting your home ready so that when the time’s right, then you can actually put your heart into something that you know you can actually buy, because you’ve got your home under contract and are ready to go. All right. That’s scenario number one.
Scenario number two is let’s say you’re not concerned about neighborhoods. You’re not considering school districts. You just want to come to the city, maybe rent for a little while before you decide, do I even like it here? Do I want to buy a house here? You’re just kind of testing out the city. I get asked a lot by people if you need to have employment before moving to Ohio or the Cincinnati area and find a good rental? The truth is maybe, maybe not, but if you don’t have a job yet, if you’re moving here, you’re going to get a job and then rent, you’re going to need to find a landlord who’s willing to accept a lease agreement when you don’t have a job yet. So that can be a little bit challenging to do, but it’s possible.
But knowing that the rental market is highly competitive, just like buying the housing market. Either way, if you’re going to move here to rent, I would recommend that you have several months of expenses saved up before you come to the city. Remember that if you don’t have employment before you come to the city, you’re going to be seen as a riskier renter to the landlord. And so just like the home buying process is competitive, it’s competitive as a renter too. And so it may be a little bit simpler to get that job first. So if you already have a job here in Ohio and you want to rent, then you need to do your research on where is the best place to rent and decide which type of housing you want. Do you want an apartment? Do you want a condo? A townhouse? Or a single family home?
All right. Scenario number three is new construction. We’ve done a lot of videos on this channel about new construction so be sure to check those out. But let’s say you’re an individual or a family moving to Ohio and you want to buy a new home. Now’s a good time because builders are trying to catch up with demand so there is quite a bit of new construction happening around the Cincinnati area.
There are multiple advantages to buying a new home, such as choosing the floor plan and design selections of your choice. However, the timing of buying new construction is much different than buying a resale home. In a normal market, builders will usually give a timeframe of four to six months. However, because demand is so strong right now and there can be supply chain delays, most builders are giving a timeframe of 8 to 10 months on the build. This may mean that you stay in your current home longer, or it may mean that you find temporary housing in the area while your new home is being built.
Your Trusted Guide In Moving To Ohio
Hey guys, moving from one state to another can be very stressful. I get it. There are a lot of moving parts. So what I’d say is just slow down, take a deep breath, don’t try to tackle it all at once. Get some professional help on your side so that they can tell you which piece to focus on next. As always, if you’re looking to move to the Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky area, I would love to help you give us a call at Team Sztanyo, (513) 813-6293. Thank you so much for watching this video. We’ll see you in the next one.