By Jeff McKinney
The Cincinnati Enquirer
701 home sales: Region's most New, big and family-friendly.
Those are words real estate agents use to describe housing in Mason - which led all Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods in number of homes sold last year: 701.
Once a sleepy little town, Mason has been transformed over the past three decades by development that started with Paramount's Kings Island along Interstate 71. Now, Mason is one of the most desirable areas for newcomers wanting the most house for their dollar.
Homes are typically brand new to 10 years old. They have gourmet kitchens with granite countertops, whirlpool baths and big, open rooms for family gatherings. Many are built on cul-de-sacs or are in communities with swimming pools or golf courses. There's a yard for the kids and space for gardening.
The housing is so appealing that many residents accept a harsh trade-off: A congested commute along Interstates 71 and 275.
"Many people are buying there because it has homes that fit a lot of lifestyles," says Joan Wood, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker West Shell.
Consumers also love that Mason City Schools consistently rank among the state's top schools. That ranking includes achieving 22 out of 22 standards on the 2003 state report card.
A quality school system was one factor that persuaded Roderick and Vikki Robinson to invest $434,000 in a five-bedroom house in Mason last September.
"We wanted to make sure we were in an area with one of the best school districts and a growing area where homes would appreciate," says Roderick, 35, head of corporate purchasing at Cincinnati Bell. The family relocated from Sarasota, Fla.Mason
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
OTHER LOCAL BUSINESS NEWS
Former outlet shifts focus to the home
Beware extended warranty hard sell
Business Meetings This Week
Commercial Real Estate Projects & Transfers
Coach helps businesses stay focused
Tristate Business Notebook
Take time to tidy up finances
NATIONAL BUSINESS NEWS
Many wary of pilots with guns
Starbucks taking its lumps as a U.S. icon
SATURDAY'S BUSINESS HEADLINES
Fare war makes Indy, Dayton hot spots
AK Steel bid now second-best
DHL sees benefits in Airborne buy
DHL deal faces regulation maze
Stores need strong Easter
Patent applicants wait in long line
American Airlines dumps executive bonuses