Moving August 19, 2022

Hello, Cincinnati! The Pursuing of Happiness

Hello, Cincinnati! I am Monica Nash (née Lee) a real estate agent in Cincinnati, OH, at Sibcy Cline Realtors®. Formerly, I was a teacher in San Francisco, California, my hometown. I also lived in Austin, TX, for 7 years as a teacher and Realtor®. This article is a snippet of the story of why I moved to Cincinnati from San Francisco. As part of the mass exodus of Californians, I left my hometown in hopes to find a better life, experiencing a different culture, and re-entering the real estate profession. For the full article, visit

The Great Escape

Teaching during the pandemic was overwhelming, to say the least, and the restrictions in San Francisco were pretty stringent. On weekends and evenings, my escape was YouTube. My husband Ben and I started looking for places to escape to. Yes. I would call it to escape because it was like looking for a vacation. When I wasn’t preparing a lesson, grading papers, writing recommendations, doing report cards, emailing a parent, eating, or sleeping; we would escape to YouTube to watch realtors talk about their hometowns, and why we should Buy! Buy! Buy! We were hooked.

At first, we were looking to relocate to Southern California, Raleigh, Charlotte, Tampa, and even Boise, and Chattanooga, TN. Then, there was Cincinnati, OH. On our part, we fell in love with the city, and quite by accident. Ben was looking for a location in rural Ohio that he recognized from another video unrelated to real estate. Then the funniest thing happened because of the YouTube algorithm. YouTube was on auto-play–and seemingly serendipitous– presented to us a video about Cincinnati, OH. So technically speaking, so to speak, YouTube found our next hometown.

Hello, Cincinnati!

Though hazy with time, my first introduction to Cincinnati was on the 70’s reruns of “WKRP in Cinncinati” with Loni Anderson. Later, about 10 years ago, we had driven through Cincinnati on the way to Greenville, OH, to visit my mother-in-law for Thanksgiving. We were so enchanted by the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, the city’s architecture, and the liveliness of its people, that it was imprinted in our minds.

Hello, Cincinnati! on Facebook. Sibcy Cline Realtors® is my brokerage. Pictured above is the famous John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge. Roebling also designed and built the Brooklyn Bridge.

Fast forward, we searched more about Cincinnati, Cincy, the Queen City, Ohio, why to move to Ohio, not to move to OHIO, and then there was real estate. We became obsessed with a YouTube channel by local Cincinnati realtor influencer, Eric Stzanyo. We watched hours upon hours of videos about Cincinnati. Ben applied for a job at a forward-moving web development company in Cincinnati, and the rest is history. He got the job, and we moved.

Since moving to Cincinnati, with an extraordinary 2-month pit stop with my inlaws’ in Greenville, I have quite possibly never been happier. There is a welcomed spark in life unknown to me for a while.

My mother-in-law, Rebecca Penkwitz; Ben, and me at MadTree Brewing in Cincinnati, OH.

One might ask, what makes Cincinnati so special? There is a vibrant soul to Cincinnati that many American cities lack, especially the younger ones. There is diversity, not just by race, but also by culture and socioeconomics. There is a chance for upward mobility, not just for the technology-inclined bourgeoisie. Even with limited inventory, there is comparatively affordable real estate. You can still buy a home for your family for under $300,000 in a decent neighborhood, and enjoy the life of a bonafide mid-sized city.

Also, Cincinnati is in the Mid-West. There is something about Ohio that I have known from decades ago when I met my first Ohioans in my Study Abroad program. People from Ohio are stereotypically honest, genuine, kind, giving, sorted, and down-to-earth. Those are some good stereotypes. In my experience, some folks might enjoy a penchant for gossip, but hey, who doesn’t like a good scoop?

In closing, in the pursuit of my happiness, I found Cincinnati. It has been a journey, but I like it. However, I know Cincinnati is not for everyone. It has its faults, of course. So here’s the pitch. There is a big world out there. Explore it while you are young, middle-aged, and retired. It’s never too late.

My advice is: don’t feel like you have to be stuck in the same place forever. There is somewhere else that may be calling you. You just may not know it. Don’t forget the cliche, because it is true, “the world is your oyster.” Cincinnati just happens to be mine.