Houses, like this one in the Pendleton neighborhood of Cincinnati, provide the comforts of home close to the action and convenience of the city.
Houses, like this one in the Pendleton neighborhood of Cincinnati, provide the comforts of home close to the action and convenience of the city.

This home in Mt. Adams features a modern, bright interior in an urban setting.

This home in Mt. Adams features a modern, bright interior in an urban setting.

This home in Mt. Adams features a modern, bright interior in an urban setting.

This home in Mt. Adams features a modern, bright interior in an urban setting.





Take a hike. Or at least a walk if you’re interested in urban living.

That’s because the ability to walk to restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores and parks is one of the most important considerations for those who have bought or are thinking about buying a home or condominium in an urban area, say real estate experts.

“I think what [urban homebuyers] want is accessibility to the things that you don’t find out in the suburbs—like being able to walk to a coffee shop or restaurant or park—things of that sort,” says John Prazynski, a real estate agent with Star One Realtors.

Michelle Billings, the president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, agrees. “[Urban homebuyers] don’t want to necessarily spend their whole life in a car, so they want to be in places where it’s walkable or there’s public transportation,” she says.

Because Greater Cincinnati does not have as robust a public transportation system as many major metropolitan areas people who work in urban areas like downtown Cincinnati want to live near where they work, says Billings. “Most [urban homebuyers] typically want to live close to their jobs,” she says.

Prazynski agrees. “Everybody wants to be as close to work as possible,” he says.

Another important consideration for those who have bought or are thinking about buying a home or condominium in an urban area is the social interaction that’s available. “People who live in urban areas are very social,” says Billings. “I think the social interaction, the social consciousness of being able to interact with people and being in those areas where you can do the things that you love without jumping in the car all the time, is important [to urban homebuyers].”

So who are those urban homebuyers who like to walk to work and enjoy interacting socially? Mostly young professionals and baby boomers, says Billings. Both the young professionals and baby boomers like the social scene and concentrated hub of activity in the urban areas, she says.

Plus, baby boomers no longer want to spend as much time maintaining their large home and yard in the suburbs, says Prazynski. “A lot of people want a manageable space for their yards—something that they’re not spending hours on every week just to get it cut,” he says.

So what urban areas are hot in the real estate market? Billings says anywhere in the downtown Cincinnati core is popular, as is Hyde Park and Oakley. She says urban areas that are becoming more popular are Madisonville, Pleasant Ridge and Norwood.

What’s interesting is that developers have learned what people like about urban homes and are starting to incorporate those characteristics and aesthetics into their suburban developments, says Billings.

Developers are including more entertainment, shopping and restaurant spaces in their new suburban developments so that residents don’t have to hop in a car, she says. “Now you don’t have to leave, everything is right there,” says Billings. “It’s very interesting to see.”