Look no further than Mason. It's the former home of George Clooney (technically just a T.V. doctor), and is unquestionably a prime location in southwest Ohio. In fact, CNN named it one the Top 100 Places to Live in 2008 and 2011. Would George really have settled for less?
With only 30,000 people spread out over 22 square miles, Mason doesn’t overwhelm newcomers with traffic congestion, noise and skyrocketing rents. The city is home to over 300 acres of parkland, which includes walking trails, fishing lakes and tons of other outdoor fun. If you’re relocating from the coasts, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the availability and relatively low price of rental properties in Mason. Time to start your search!
Finding an apartment in Mason
Whether you’re renting an apartment or checking out some townhouses for rent, Mason has a surprisingly large number of options for a small town. Since it’s a suburb, your best bets for rental housing are apartment complexes. An area staple, these properties frequently come with perks like pools, gyms, clubhouses and some utilities paid.
So what will it cost?
Rejoice! Not only are the folks cheerful (you may find yourself getting into cozy chats with grocery clerks), the cost of living in America’s heartland is among the lowest in the nation. Food prices, gas prices, rents, tax rates – you name it, it’s wallet-friendly.
When to rent
You won’t need to fight or engage in elaborate subterfuge to secure a space. For Rent signs abound, and homes are waiting for you to snap them up. Great apartments and rental homes can be had at any time of the year, but summer and early fall typically are the best times to look. More homes are for rent during these peak times, and you’ll find a lot of variety.
What you need
Just because Mason is in the Midwest doesn’t mean you can rent on a handshake and a smile. You’ll need references from previous landlords, employment verification, a deposit to secure the rental property, and in most cases, income documentation. Make sure you’re upfront about pets, too. Be prepared to pay an extra deposit and/or a monthly pet fee.
Getting around Mason
Since it’s technically a suburb of Cincinnati, Mason isn’t divided into neighborhoods the way larger cities are. Prices don’t vary much based on geographic location within the city itself. What you will be paying more for are extras like pools, spare bedrooms, garage spaces and lawn space.
Although bike and walking paths abound, you’re better off getting around by car. You won’t need to worry about hassles like parking garages and parallel parking. Giant parking lots abound at stores, restaurants and homes, and if there’s no parking lot, street parking is plentiful. Street parking isn’t plagued by complicated signs and rules like in bigger towns. (Pricey tickets on street cleaning day? Probably not in Mason.)
What to do, what to do?
Never saw yourself as a suburbanite? Don’t be dismayed. Cincinnati is about 20 minutes south of Mason, and Mason’s two highways, I-75 and I-71, lead right to the heart of the ‘Nati. The Queen City, Cinci, the ‘Nati, whatever you want to call it, it’s full of world-class museums, restaurants and nightlife. Thirty minutes north, you’ll find Dayton, the birthplace of aviation and home to some pretty amazing arts and culture. Both cities are experiencing a craft beer boom, and Lebanon, just north of Mason, is home to some tasty wineries.
If you’d rather stay close to home or need something to do with out-of-town guests, Kings Island amusement park, The Beach water park, and Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark and resort are there for your thrill-seeking pleasure. Sports nut? Mason’s Linder Family Tennis Center hosts part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 series.
There’s a lot going on in “flyover country,” isn’t there? No matter what you like to do, you’ll find it in Mason. And with the money you save living in this small-but-mighty town, you’ll have plenty of cash to pursue all your heart’s desires.