By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The combination of owning a new home in a town with an old-fashioned feel is fueling a growth spurt not in the usual northern suburbs - but in far western Hamilton County, just this side of the Indiana state line.
Planners have noticed the westward spread in recent years. In Harrison, some 170 building permits for new homes were issued last year - up from 119 in 2001.
Home buyers are moving to Harrison from other west-side areas such as Bridgetown, Covedale and Cheviot. They cite the new Bigg's and Home Depot stores along New Haven Road as signs of convenience coming to town. At the same time, residents like that major traffic jams are rare in their community of 7,500 people.
Much of Harrison's growth is being fueled by two new subdivisions, among the first such housing developments in 15 years.
The new Hickory Flats development has 140 lots for new homes that will sell from $170,000 to $215,000. A second subdivision, Carolina Pines, includes 60 lots for homes ranging from $220,000 to $320,000. The homes will be completed over the next few years, and will range in style from ranches to two-story traditional homes with first-floor master suites.
The natural beauty of Miami Whitewater Forest helped Tim and Jennifer Carr decide to buy a $203,000, four-bedroom home in November in Hickory Flats.
Tim is confident he will make a nice profit when he sells his home.
"We live in a community that has that small-town feel, yet there is a lot of new businesses and growth all around you," he says.
"You combine that with a good school system, and you're talking about a pretty good investment." Harrison
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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