By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Low property taxes and good schools helped make Florence the No. 1 community for most home sales in Northern Kentucky. Quick commutes to jobs on either side of the river and proximity to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport drew homeowners, too - 689 in 2002.
Boone County Schools are rated among Kentucky's best. This year, the district's 18 schools received $1 million in cash for scores on the state's accountability tests in 2000-2002. It was the third-highest amount of money earned by any district.
Property taxes in Northern Kentucky typically are lower than in Southwest Ohio, boosting housing affordability. For instance, taxes on a $100,000 home in the city of Florence are about $1,110 a year. Taxes on the same home in the city of Cincinnati would be about $1,736, the Hamilton County auditor's office says.
Most Florence houses are not that old, either, attracting buyers who want newer homes and bigger yards than they can find in Cincinnati and Hamilton County. About 80 percent of housing in Florence is less than 20 years old. Some subdivisions have been developed in just the past five years.
Convenience helped persuade Tina and Ron Ulanowski to buy a four-bedroom house in Florence in June. They bought a $169,000 home in Farm View off U.S. 42, across from a new Kroger and the Boone County Library.
Tina says she likes the location because it's close to her children's activities. Their 12-year-old daughter enjoys figure skating while their 10-year-old son plays hockey, both at the Northern Kentucky Ice Center in nearby Crescent Springs.
"For the money, we don't think that we could have found a better house," she says.Florence
OHIO-KY. HOUSING MARKET
Average home prices rose in most neighborhoods
See how home prices in your neighborhood fared:
Top 10 lists of real estate transactions
A close look at what's driving sales in popular areas:
Blue Ash: 8.4% price drop a numbers game
Florence: Most sales in N.Ky.
Harrison: New homes, old appeal
Madeira: Biggest price increase
Mason: Region's most home sales
Oakley: Area's fastest home sales
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