CITY / FAMILY: Exploring the things that transform a house, a place, and its people into a home.
After she moved from Cleveland for love and a career, Ingrid eventually married Travis Likes and they bought a house in Columbia Tusculum. Two moves in Hyde Park, some home makeovers, and two children later, the Likes are loving their freshly-renovated old house in their neighborhood of choice. This is their story.
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What are your names?
Ingrid, Travis, Vivienne, and Charlie Likes
What do you do?
(Ingrid speaking) We are both in the real estate industry. Travis works as a commercial real estate broker with CBRE where he helps mostly Fortune 500 companies and large landlords with their real estate requirements. Travis also started a drone photography business to support his clients as well as assist with my clients.
I’ve been a residential real estate agent (currently with KW) for 10 years, and I also have interior design, property management, and property service businesses. We have found ourselves to be serial entrepreneurs with a sincere appreciation for real estate, architecture, design and the many interesting communities in Cincinnati. We find our personal and work exploits often cross paths and are lucky enough to both love what we do.
Tell us a little bit about your family.
Travis and I met in 2003, during our senior year at Miami University in 2003, and we were married five years later. We have two kids, Vivienne (two and half) and Charlie (six months). Travis grew up in Cincinnati in the northern suburbs (Liberty Twp), and I am from Cleveland.
What brought you to (or kept you in) Cincinnati?
I came to Cincinnati to both shorten a long distance relationship and pursue a job opportunity within the real estate industry.
Since moving here it has been great to see the growth of the city, especially close to the core. It is hard to believe what OTR has become, seeing what it was like only a few years back. The city and surrounding has so much to offer. The arts, museums, events, sports, parks, restaurants, and entertainment; we love having everything so close and giving our kids those same experiences.
What neighborhood do you live in and how long have you lived there?
We bought our first home in Columbia Tusculum, moved to Hyde Park in 2010, then moved to our current home on Observatory Road in late 2015.
Our house has six bedrooms, three bathrooms, and needed a lot of work. Of course, with all old homes, once you start renovating you realize there’s always more that needs to be done than you anticipated. We opted for professionals to handle the renovation, completing about 90% of the work in three months before moving in. We put the finishing touches on the home over the course of the following year.
Why did you pick your neighborhood? What do you love about living there?
Love the walkability and proximity to all the city offers. We can make it to the Cincinnati Zoo in 10 minutes, the Newport Aquarium in about 20, and Downtown in 15.
We really love the idea that this home was here during the Depression and throughout two world wars. It was here long before us, and we hope long after. It’s exciting to own a piece of history and to hopefully contribute to its continued preservation for others in the future.
What are some challenges of living where you do?
You really have to be smart with the space you have. Square footage is at a premium, both indoors and out. It can be a challenge, but it also forces you to get to know your neighbors and be part of the community. Also, old houses are amazing but do require consistent maintenance and a watchful eye.
Have you done any major renovations on your home? What makes it yours?
We changed the first floor most significantly. We tried to acknowledge the architecture and design of the home in our renovation. It was a beautiful home before, but we couldn’t be happier with the end result. We also updated the basement. It just wasn’t practical, so we had our architect Brent Niese with Dwellworks (who helped with all of the planning of our design) rework space that wasn’t previously usable to us, including a master bath.
The upstairs bedrooms and third floor needed a little more work. The windows and original bathroom were replaced; it was important to us to keep the claw-foot tub and original sink.
Do you have a favorite park or place to hang out?
Hyde Park Square and its fountain along with the Hyde Park School playground. We also walk to Busken for a Princess doughnut. Graeter's is a favorite as well.
Is there anything specific you hope your kids will learn from living where you do?
We are very social. Friends and clients are frequently stopping by. We put our kids in different environments with a lot of different people. I hope that teaches them to embrace change and challenges. The amount of resources available to them, from parks to museums to cultural events, is what we are excited about. The walkability also will allow for a sense of independence that is important to us.
What changes do you hope to see in your neighborhood in the next 10 or 20 years?
Teardowns are sometimes needed, and we understand the work it takes to completely renovate a 100-year-old home, but we hope people continue to put the time and effort into maintaining the history of the homes in the area.
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Scroll back to the top to get a peek inside the Likes' home.