In Grandview, urbanism has its price—and its growing.
When a job with Chase Bank beckoned Richard Collins to Southern California several years ago, he knew he one day wanted to return to Columbus. In fact, he already had his eye on Grandview, the restaurant-rich model of urbanism where he'd spent much of his leisure time while living in Victorian Village.
“I never lost sight of Grandview,” Collins says.
And when he met his fiancé Amy Scheer, an Ohio State grad, in San Diego, she, too, was on board for returning.
The couple completed that transition last fall after purchasing a home on Mulford Road within easy walking distance of the Grandview Avenue entertainment corridor. “This is where we wanted to live,” Scheer says.
So do a lot of homebuyers. But it's not an easy task.
Market statistics compiled by Grandview native and Re/Max Town Center agent Anthony Panzera show roughly 70 homes per year trade in the top-notch Grandview Heights City School District of about 2,000 owner-occupied residences. (That market includes the even more upscale village of Marble Cliff.)
Just 50 homes sold in 2009 during the depths of the recession. It soared to 94 in 2012, but in 2016, it fell back again to 65, or a mere 3 percent of the market. The line to get in is significantly longer than the line exiting. “For every home sold, there are 10 to 15 capable buyers,” says Panzera.
The 1.3-square-mile school district, which had an enrollment of 1,087 students K–12 last year, remains a primary draw. “Even if people don't have children, they want to live in this community with its good schools,” says veteran Grandview Realtor Susan Allardyce of O'Malley Real Estate.
But it goes beyond the schools.
The Grandview Avenue shops and restaurants in the middle of this residential community make for an attractive weekend or evening stroll, to Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams or to Stauf's Coffee Roasters for a treat and conversation. “People love the walkability and they want to live here,” Allardyce says, citing the growing popularity of urban lifestyles in the last 20 years. Grandview “used to be a hidden secret. Now it's like everybody wants to be here.”
That demand for urban living in the landlocked community has pushed housing values sky high. The Zillow single-family home database shows median home values have risen from $241,900 in 2012 to $338,500 last year, a 40-percent rise in four years. And it shows no sign of slowing. As of March, Zillow's median value was $386,000, another 14-percent increase in less than a year.
Collins and Scheer kept tabs on the Grandview housing market via Realtor.com and arranged remote FaceTime “tours” through a Columbus agent, walking through seven or eight homes with a smart phone. “We kept a pulse on the market,” Scheer says. “If it's on the market long in Grandview, there might be a bidding war, and it's gone.”
But patience paid off. Scheer and Collins secured their three-bedroom property for $473,000 just three days after the property hit the market, without ever stepping into the house. And while forecasters predict values in Grandview will just keep rising—“We're not seeing any weakness in the market,” says Panzera—don't expect the three-bedroom property on Mulford Avenue to go back on the market anytime soon. “With its ease of access to the university and to the city's Downtown … it's a very open community and it has all of the amenities and activities I liked,” Collins says.