Wyoming is frequently named as one of the top places to live in Ohio. Lists such as Niche.com and US News & World Report rank Wyoming highly for its schools, safety, and services. Wyoming is also a destination for its unique neighborhoods, history, and wide variety of housing choices — from historic mansions to charming starter homes.

Several new home buyers in the community agreed to talk about their decision to purchase in Wyoming and what drew them to settle here. They represent the spectrum of Wyoming’s real estate market and provide a snapshot of the socioeconomic diversity of the community. Not surprisingly, however, many of their reasons for choosing a home in Wyoming are very similar.

Coming Home to Buy a Home

Sarah and Nicolas Jarrell bought their house on Oak Avenue in May 2022 after looking for several months. For Sarah, who graduated from Wyoming High School in 2013, a house in Wyoming meant more than just a first home purchase — it was also a homecoming.

“I had such a good experience growing up here that I knew it would be a great place to live,” said Sarah. “It has always felt like such a safe and loving community.”

Nicolas, who grew up in Toledo, said he was drawn to the walkability, the beauty of the neighborhoods, and the green spaces. As an avid runner, he regularly takes to Wyoming’s Hike/Bike Trail and its tree-lined streets for long runs. In college, he competed for The Ohio State University’s cross-country team. Sarah and Nicolas met at OSU and married in 2020.

The couple also said they were looking for an older home, even if it meant taking on a few extra improvement projects. As prospective future parents, the schools were also a big draw. In addition, the chance to be near family (Sarah’s parents, Jon and Amy Smith, still live here) and the proximity to big city attractions in downtown Cincinnati, while enjoying the casual pace of life in a leafy suburb, meant that Wyoming checked all the boxes.

“We love it here. We walk to the village and we have been to many of the neighborhood events,” said Sarah. “It really is a great place to live.”

A Chance to Own a Piece of History

For more than 100 years, the Stearns House, also known as the Stearns Mansion, has looked out over a hillside on Oliver Road, and has been one of the most widely recognizable landmarks in Wyoming. At over 14,000 square feet with an exterior of solid limestone, it is an imposing presence nestled into the suburban landscape of single-family homes on Oliver. It’s a reminder of Wyoming’s history as a growing hamlet with regional importance at the turn of the 20th century.

When Jerry Gonzalez saw the Stearns House, however, he knew he had found the family home he was searching for. Coming from Miami Beach, Florida, in the fall of 2021 to see the house, Gonzalez said he couldn’t believe that something this large and historically significant could be for sale for just over $1 million. In Florida, such a home would cost much more.

“I fell in love with the house,” said Gonzalez. “I always wanted to own a great home,” he said, referring to the house’s historic status. “This one happened to be for sale for a price I could afford.”

He said he also looked in other areas of Cincinnati, such as Indian Hill, Madeira, and Blue Ash, having decided to relocate his wife, Lissette, and 6-year-old daughter, Gabriela, to Cincinnati to escape the “zoo” atmosphere in Miami Beach. As a retired pharmaceutical executive, Gonzalez had traveled to Cincinnati for business during his career, and grew to appreciate its traditional character.

Wyoming’s welcoming charm also won him over. “Everyone was so friendly, so inviting,” he said. “The people here are so kind and generous. They brought over cookies and pies. It’s a nice change from the crazy life in the city,” he added. “I wanted to live in a place with traditional values and a sense of community. Wyoming seems like that kind of place.”

He especially likes the little daily routines that make his family feel connected to the community, like taking his daughter to school each day and walking into town for coffee or a bite to eat.
“Wyoming really offers all the things we’re looking for,” he said. “I think we will enjoy living here.”

Staying After the Kids Are Gone

Rob and Linda Shimp first moved to Wyoming in 1985 after Rob completed graduate school in North Carolina and took a job with Procter & Gamble. They chose Wyoming for many of the reasons young families do: great schools and park-like neighborhoods. Their two sons are now grown and live elsewhere, but the Shimps said Wyoming’s appeal did not change for them.

“We love to walk, and Wyoming is such a great place for that,” said Linda. “We also still wanted to have a yard, and our new house has a nice yard.”

Rob added, “We have some friends that have moved into over-55 communities, and those are nice. But we like the diversity here, especially the diversity of the housing and the people, and the quality schools.”

In fact, the Shimps bought the house right next to Hilltop School, their third home purchase on Oliver Road since they first moved to Wyoming. The ranch house became available when they were looking to move for retirement and wanted a single-level floor plan. The house they sold is less than a quarter mile down the street on Oliver. They have extensively renovated their new home and feel it will meet their needs as they age in place. They said Wyoming’s housing diversity made it possible to remain in the community they love into their later years.

“Basically, we like where we are,” said Rob. “We couldn’t think of anywhere better we wanted to go. Wyoming is so comfortable. It’s home.”