In Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble Counties
A low cost of living and abundant natural amenities in Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties contribute to a high quality of life not often found in large metropolitan areas. Population density in Clark County was 348 people per square mile, 391 people per square mile in Greene County, 252 people per square mile in Miami County, 1,160 people per square mile in Montgomery County and 100 people per square mile in Preble County in 2010, the U.S. Census found.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, in Greene and Montgomery counties, has more than 27,000 military members and civilian and government contractor employees, so many personnel live off base in the surrounding communities. The counties’ communities give newcomers plenty of choices when selecting a home. Enlist the help of a reputable real estate agent to help you sort through the area’s home options. The Ohio Association of Realtors is a central source of local real estate information and services. Those interested in purchasing a new home can find the expertise and professional services they need at http://ohiorealtors.org.
Clark County has a population of nearly 135,000. It is predominately rural, with less than 1 percent of the county’s 400 square miles consisting of urban areas.
Elevation across the county ranges from 843 feet at Park Layne to 1,305 feet at Pleasant Township. Miami and Montgomery counties lie to the west, Greene County to the south, Madison County to the east and Champaign County to the north. For more information, visit www.clarkcountyohio.gov.
Cities in Clark County near Wright-Patterson AFB include Springfield and New Carlisle.
76 E. High St.
Springfield, OH 45502 937-324-7700
Springfield is centrally located between Dayton and Columbus and sits 20 miles northeast of Wright-Patterson AFB. The city’s 25.29 square miles are home to approximately 59,000 residents.
Springfield was founded by James Demint, a former teamster from Kentucky, in 1801. When Clark County was created from parts of Champaign, Madison and Greene counties, Springfield was named for Springfield, Massachusetts— which, at the time, was important for hosting the U.S. Federal Springfield Armory, enduring the Attack on Springfield during King Philip’s War in 1675 and Shays’ Rebellion in 1787.
Several factors contributed to the rapid growth of Springfield and Clark County. The Old National Road was completed through Springfield in 1839, and the railroads of the 1840s provided profitable business to the area. Agriculture, then industry, flourished. By the beginning of the Civil War, the two had joined to help Springfield become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of agricultural equipment.
Springfield is still known for agriculture, but there is more to the city than that. The city also offers countless miles of biking and hiking trails, historic sites, shopping and an abundance of outdoor activities.
Median rent in Springfield is $675, and selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $871. Mean travel time to work for Springfield residents is 19.5 minutes.
331 S. Church St.
New Carlisle, OH 45344 937-845-9492
The small city of New Carlisle is about 15 miles north of Wright-Patterson AFB. Approximately 5,650 residents live in the city’s 2.74 square miles.
Established in 1810, New Carlisle is a progressive, forward-looking community. Recent annexations have nearly doubled the city’s size. That growth has led to new housing developments, bringing citizens new choices in housing, from modest two-bedroom condominiums to $300,000 family homes and beyond.
New Carlisle has numerous recreational facilities, including an amphitheater, baseball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts, picnic shelters, playgrounds, a skate park and an outdoor, heated swimming pool.
Median rent in New Carlisle is $792, and selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $895. Mean travel time to work is about 24 minutes.
Greene County in southwest Ohio covers more than 413 square miles and has a population of nearly 165,000. South of Clark County, Greene is bordered on the west by Montgomery County, Warren and Clinton counties to the south and Fayette County to the east. Elevation across the county ranges from 756 feet in Spring Valley to more than 1,100 feet in Ross. For more information, visit www.co.greene.oh.us.
Communities in Greene County near Wright-Patterson AFB include Beavercreek, Fairborn, Xenia and Yellow Springs.
1368 Research Park Drive
Beavercreek, OH 45432 937-426-5100
The Beavercreek area was first settled in the early 1800s, but the city itself was incorporated Jan. 11, 1980. Now, the city has more than 46,000 residents and encompasses 26.4 square miles.
Beavercreek is characterized by a spacious, rolling, wooded environment, providing an attractive setting for residential neighborhoods. Beavercreek is considered to be among the most desirable locations in the Dayton area with an outstanding quality of life. Consequently, it is one of the fastest-growing suburbs with housing ranging from exclusive, custom-built homes to charming older neighborhoods. Beavercreek still contains a considerable amount of open, undeveloped property with neighboring unincorporated areas subject to future annexation. Many Beavercreek residents are current or former Air Force and civilian employees of nearby Wright-Patterson AFB and its defense industry contractors. For more information about Beavercreek’s neighborhoods and housing choices, visit the city’s website.
Median rent in Beavercreek is $1,135, and selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,604. Mean travel time to work is 19.4 minutes.
44 W. Hebble Ave.
Fairborn, OH 45324 937-754-3030
Centrally located from downtown Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, Fairborn is the home of Wright-Patterson AFB. The city is 13.16 square miles with a population of 33,780.
It is the only city in the world with the name of Fairborn, a portmanteau word created from the names Fairfield and Osborn; the two villages that merged after the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 forced Osborn to move out of a flood plain and alongside Fairfield. Fairfield was originally founded in 1816 and Osborn in 1850. Fairborn was officially incorporated more than 100 years later, in 1950.
From the historical to the latest in new home designs, Fairborn offers numerous neighborhoods with a wide variety of housing choices. Additionally, the city’s parks and recreation division maintains more than 750 acres of park land consisting of 22 parks, including a nature reserve, a historical home and the Wright Brothers Huffman Prairie Bikeway.
Selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,098, and median rent is $762. Mean travel time to work is 19.8 minutes.
107 E. Main St.
Xenia, OH 45385 937-376-7232
Xenia (pronounced Zeen-yuh) derives its name from the Greek word for hospitality. The “City of Hospitality” lives up to its name with its central location and easy access to the cultural amenities of three metropolitan areas while retaining the traditions and atmosphere of a Midwestern town. The city is 13.28 square miles with a population of approximately 26,000.
Greene’s county seat was founded in 1803 when Ohio was admitted into the Union. However, it wasn’t incorporated until 1817 and became a city in 1834. But it was the arrival of the Little Miami Railroad (now the site of the Little Miami Scenic Trail) in 1843 that gave the city its first big industrial impetus.
In Xenia, the selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $996, and median rent is $665. Mean travel time to work is about 22 minutes.
101 Dayton St.
Yellow Springs, OH 45387 937-767-7202
Yellow Springs is an eclectic village of approximately 3,800, known for its recreational attractions, unique shops and restaurants, lively arts and healthful living. The community is culturally diverse, values self-expression and prides itself on being open, friendly and creative. Green space and farmland create a lovely rural ambience, but Yellow Springs is only 12 miles from Wright-Patterson AFB and less than an hour from Cincinnati and Columbus.
Founded in the early 1800s, the town quickly became a popular health resort, famous for the curative waters of the yellow spring. Today, this vibrant community of artists features a variety of visual and performing arts. Find art all around town, in restaurants and shops, murals on the sides of buildings, a bronze sculpture trail and much more.
Yellow Springs has a varied employment base, from a large, international company to small startups and a brewery. Many residents find work locally, but Yellow Springs is an easy commute to jobs elsewhere in the region and less than 30 minutes from Wright-Patterson AFB.
The selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage in Yellow Springs are $1,456, and median rent is $778.
Miami County covers 406.58 square miles with a population of nearly 105,000. North of Montgomery County, Miami is bordered on the west by Darke County. Shelby County lies to the north and Champaign and Clark counties to the east. Elevation across the county ranges from 827 feet in the middle of the county near Troy and Tipp City to more than 1,170 feet in Brown Township. For more information, visit www.co.miami.oh.us.
Communities in Miami County near Wright-Patterson AFB include Huber Heights.
6131 Taylorsville Road
Huber Heights, OH 45424 937-233-1423
Huber Heights developed northeast of Dayton on land between the Great Miami River and the Mad River. The city’s 22.27 square miles is home to approximately 38,000 people.
The city is named for Charles Huber, the developer who constructed a number of the houses that would later comprise the city. Suburban development began in the area in 1956. The former Wayne Township, now defunct, incorporated as the city of Huber Heights on Jan. 23, 1981. Huber Heights continued to grow by annexing parcels in Greene and Miami counties.
Quality homes and friendly neighborhoods make Huber Heights a great place to live. The city is home to a YMCA, community parks and a vast array of sports fields.
Median rent in Huber Heights is $887, and median selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,138. Mean travel time to work is 22.2 minutes.
The population of Montgomery County is more than 531,000, making it the fifth-most populous county in Ohio. The county sits on 461.55 square miles.
Elevation across the county ranges from 699 feet near the Great Miami River to 1,090 in Kettering. Preble County lies to the west, Miami County to the north, Green County to the east, and Butler and Warren counties to the south. For more information, visit www.mcohio.org.
Communities in Montgomery County near Wright-Patterson AFB include Centerville, Dayton, Kettering and Riverside.
100 W. Spring Valley Road
Centerville, OH 45458 937-433-7151
Centerville is primarily in Montgomery County, with a small portion in Greene County. The city’s 10.78 square miles are home to nearly 24,000 residents.
Benjamin Robbins named the community “Centreville” after his hometown, Centreville, New Jersey, and because it was located between two rivers and central to other communities like Dayton and Lebanon. Centreville was founded in 1796. By 1900, the U.S. Post Office changed the spelling to Centerville. It became a city in December 1968.
The architecture in the city reflects its long history. Many of the homes were built before World War I and reflect different styles of the era. The city has the largest collection of early stone houses in Ohio; they are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Median rent in Centerville is $853, and median selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,522. Mean travel time to work for those living in Centerville is 20.5 minutes.
101 W. Third St.
Dayton, OH 45402 937-333-3333
Dayton is the sixth-largest city in Ohio and is Montgomery County’s county seat. It is 12 miles southwest of Wright-Patterson AFB. This residential community is 55.65 square miles with an estimated population of 140,489.
Dayton was founded April 1, 1796, by a group of 12 settlers known as “The Thompson Party.” In 1797, Daniel C. Cooper laid out Mad River Road, the first overland connection between Cincinnati and Dayton, opening the Mad River Country to settlement. Ohio was admitted into the Union in 1803, and the city of Dayton was incorporated in 1805. The city was named after Jonathan Dayton, a captain in the American Revolutionary War who signed the U.S. Constitution and owned a significant amount of land in the area.
Today, the birthplace of aviation is a bustling urban center surrounded by close-knit neighborhoods. The city is driven by aerospace technology, advanced manufacturing, abundant natural resources and a rich cultural heritage. It is home to fine arts of every persuasion and well-maintained parks and rivers.
Mean travel time to work for those who reside in Dayton is 20.8 minutes. Median rent in the city is $636, and median selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $955.
3600 Shroyer Road
Kettering, OH 45429 937-296-2400
The earliest settler in what is now Kettering was John Patterson, a farmer who built the area’s first log cabin in 1798. In 1841, an expanding population forced the creation of Van Buren Township, a name that would remain for over 100 years. In November 1952, voters of Van Buren Township approved the incorporation of the Village of Kettering, named for its most outstanding citizen, the famous philanthropist and inventor of the automobile self-starter, Charles. F. Kettering. A special census in 1955 recorded the village’s population at 38,118, qualifying it for city status. Kettering’s population now sits at approximately 55,000 and encompasses 18.68 square miles. A small portion of Kettering is in Greene County.
The selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,190, and median rent is $758. Mean travel time to work is about 20 minutes.
5200 Springfield St., Suite 100
Riverside, OH 45431 937-233-1801
Riverside is about 7 miles from Wright-Patterson AFB, with almost 25,000 residents in the city’s 9.72 square miles. The city is home to numerous technology, industrial, research and development, logistics and service-based businesses.
The city’s business-friendly atmosphere and growing housing inventory offers many opportunities for new residents. There are paved scenic trails, water access and four major parks in the city with opportunities for organized sports such as baseball, softball, soccer or football.
Mean travel time to work for residents of Riverside is 18.5 minutes. Median rent is $798, and median selected monthly owner costs of housing units with a mortgage are $1,039.
Preble County was formed in 1808 from portions of Butler and Montgomery counties. The county covers approximately 424 square miles with an estimated population of 41,247. Preble is on the western border of Ohio, surrounded by Darke County to the north, Montgomery County to the east and Butler County to the south. Elevation across the county ranges from 837 feet in Camden Township to 1,240 feet in Jefferson Township. For more information, go to www.prebco.org.
Planning Your Move
Relocating to a new home can be one of the most stressful situations in life. Whether moving across town or the nation, preparation and organization make all the difference.
For military moves, visit www.move.mil for information about moving resources and to learn about the allowances and responsibilities of a military-sponsored move.
Decide whether or not to make your move a do-it-yourself operation.
For a DIY move, consider distance, labor help and the costs to rent the moving van, gas, lodging during the move and insurance. A transportable storage unit can bridge a professional and DIY move. When the unit is delivered to your residence, you load and secure it for transport and then unload it at your new residence.
Whatever the method, be sure to obtain as many quotes as possible from professional movers, as well as cost estimates for a DIY move. Next, compare the costs for each type of move, factoring in the stress and physical exertion involved. Ask any company you are interested in for references and use them to inquire about reliability and customer service.
Regardless of which method you choose, the first step should be to inventory your personal belongings. The list, with photographs of any valuables, will be important for both insurance purposes and to help keep you organized during transit.
Plan for one full day to pack each room — though the kitchen and garage may take longer. Make a rough estimate of your packing schedule and then add 50 percent more time. It always takes longer than predicted to pack. Toss or donate unused items to lighten your load. Visit www.goodwill.org, www.salvationarmyusa.org or www.clothingdonations.org for locations near you or to arrange a pickup.
Pack for success:
- Consider what you are packing and control box weight. Books should go in small boxes while bedding can easily fill a larger box.
- Wrap fragile items with cardboard dividers, tissue paper or air bubble wrapping.
- Use bright colors when wrapping small items so they don’t get thrown out accidentally.
- Use crumpled paper or newspaper to line the top and bottom of boxes.
- Tape a copy of your inventory list to boxes to identify what’s inside and where it
Buying Versus Renting
The decision to buy or rent is the most important step in your relocation process. Purchasing a home entails a long-term financial and emotional commitment with various pluses and minuses. Advantages include the possibility of building equity and the freedom to design and decorate your property or landscape. And don’t forget the tax benefits. Disadvantages include upkeep, property taxes and fluctuating property values.
Renting, on the other hand, makes moving easier and someone else maintains the property. Amenities such as laundry rooms, exercise rooms, swimming pools and tennis courts vary from one rental complex to another. The main disadvantage is a loss of control over the residence. Some complexes, for example, restrict or prohibit pets and personal touches such as painting. And the landlord or property managers can also raise the rent with proper notice.
To determine your best choice, account for all of your needs, review your financial situation and research your options thoroughly.
Finding an Apartment
Be prepared when you meet with the leasing agent, property manager or owner. Bring a list of what you are looking for in a rental; it is important to be clear about your needs and to get all of your questions answered. You will also need to provide information and verification about your job, your income and your past rental history. Dress to make a good impression and treat the meeting like a job interview — be polite and arrive on time.
Before you sign a lease, inspect the apartment with the landlord. Look for the following problems:
- Cracks, holes or damage in the floor, walls or ceiling.
- Signs of leaking water, leaky fixtures or water damage.
- Any signs of mold or pests.
- Lack of hot water.
- Inadequate heating or air conditioning.
Use a written checklist with the landlord to document the condition of the rental before you move in, and keep a copy of the completed checklist to use when you move out.
Tenant and landlord rights and obligations can be viewed at the Ohio State Bar Association’s website at www.ohiobar.org/forpublic/resources/lawfactspamphlets/pages/lawfactspamphlet-11.aspx.
Buying a Home
Buying a home is a complex process and, as the recent housing crisis demonstrated, requires a thorough education on the part of the buyer. First, fully understand your financial position — credit score, available savings, monthly income and expenditures. Subtracting your expenditures from your income, for instance, will yield the amount you can afford for housing.
Be sure to account for all insurance costs associated with owning a home, possible homeowner association fees and property taxes in your monthly expenditures. Overall, loan rules changed in 2015, but according to www.ginniemae.gov (Government National Mortgage Association) and www.homebuyinginstitute.com (the Home Buying Institute) loan programs continue to vary on the percentage of your income that can be used for housing-related expenses. Lenders balance debt against income to decide if an applicant will be able to repay a loan. Most conventional loans require borrowers to have no more than 43 percent total monthly debt versus their total monthly income, though there are exceptions, such as for those with significant savings. The Federal Housing Administration has a two-tier qualifying system: FHA sets its top thresholds at 31 percent front-end debt (housing expenses as a percentage of income) and 43 percent back-end debt (all debt as a percentage of income) for a 31/43 qualifying ratio. Like commercial lenders, Veterans Affairs combines front-end and back-end debt for a 41 percent limit against income.
Next, research the different types of home loans to determine the right fit for your financial situation and discuss your options with a lending professional. Lenders are diverse today, and not all homebuyers obtain their mortgage loans through their banks and credit unions. For example, you may choose to work with an internet lender, a mortgage broker, a homebuilder or a real estate agency lender. To determine which lender is best for you, get recommendations from friends and family members and check credentials as well as Better Business Bureau ratings.
A preapproved loan before starting your search for a home can determine your spending limits and signal any potential issues in the way of receiving a loan. For any home loan application, the mortgage company will order a credit report, so it would be good to get a free report in advance to determine your credit status and make sure the report contains no erroneous information.
To order your free annual report from one or all of the national consumer reporting companies: Visit www.annualcreditreport.com and complete and submit the request form online.
Home Loan Application
To complete a home loan application you’ll need: photo IDs (such as a driver’s license); Social Security numbers; residence addresses for the past two years with landlord contact information if you rented; names and addresses of your employers for the past two years; your current gross monthly income; recent financial institution statements with names, addresses, account numbers and balances on all checking, savings, CDs, money market, bonds and mutual funds accounts; recent financial institution statements with names, addresses, account numbers, balances and monthly payments on all open loans (including student loans) and credit cards; addresses and loan information of all other real estate owned; estimated value of furniture and personal property; W2s for the past two years and current paycheck stubs; copies of all divorce decrees, child support documents or any other court proceedings that affect your financial status; verification of any child support payments; and evidence of any retirement or pension benefits. VA or military forms include: DD 214 (veteran), Form 22 (National Guard), DD 1747, Off-base Housing Authority (active duty) and Certificate of Eligibility (active duty).
For more information, visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/credit-and-loans.
Knowing your monthly budget and the amount of your loan is invaluable during the next phase, especially finding the answers to questions before the hunt for a home begins.
First, determine your home preferences. Does a single-family house, condo, town house or duplex best fit your needs and budget? Do you prefer a new home, an existing home or to build one? Though new homes generally cost more, existing homes may come with maintenance issues and renovation costs. How many bedrooms and bathrooms would you like? Do you want an attached garage? Will you live in the city, a suburb or the country? How close to work, school, shopping or public transportation do you want to be? Answers to these questions will greatly assist your search and the next stage — hiring a real estate agent.
The ideal agent will help find your ideal home and guide you through the purchase process. First, interview potential candidates to ensure they understand your needs, know your homebuying and neighborhood preferences, and are readily accessible.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Ohio provides housing programs and incentives to help residents with home ownership. For more information, visit www.hud.gov and select “Ohio” from the “State Info” drop-down menu.
The HomeOwnership Center provides housing programs and incentives to help residents of Montgomery County with first-time homebuying and down payment assistance. The center also helps homeowners save their current homes from foreclosure. For more information, visit www.homeownershipdayton.org or call 937-853-1600.
The Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield helps low and moderate income residents with home ownership as well. The NHP helps residents secure affordable loans so they can purchase homes or make repairs or improvements to their existing homes. NHP counselors also work with homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments. For more information, visit www.springfieldnhp.org or call 937-322-4623.