Move to NE Ohio?

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Topic Author
EverHopeful
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Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:05 am

We currently live in Chicago suburbs, dh job in tradeshows eliminated and is 60, finding work is difficult. Unless BH advice gives us pause, we're selling the home and renting an apartment, living off the proceeds and let his retirement grow. Apartments here are very expensive, add in 2 dogs and it's ridiculous; we don't have any family here, son has grown and flown to Columbus for a 2year analytics program with a large bank. DH is Canadian and still plays "old man hockey", family in Toronto and in Maine, so why NE Ohio? Surprising amount of ice arenas, we want to be around people - not rural, it puts us within 1 day's reasonable driving distance to family & it seems to be far more affordable than where we live, even though Ohio taxes retirement and IL does not. IL sales tax is 10% and property taxes are high and ACA Health insurance is very high and limited. We are planning a reconnaissance trip to NE Ohio in mid-August and thought I'd reach out to Bogleheads, who have helped me so much before, for any tips, guidance, advice on areas in NE Ohio, leaning towards East of Cleveland, I *think* I would like Cleveland Heights up to Mentor, but I'd love to hear a first-hand perspective of - Yes Cleveland Heights!, No, not Mentor! etc. The 2BR dog friendly apartments don't seem hard to find, we like meeting people while dogwalking. We like day hiking and biking and NE Ohio looks like a really special area. Condo/TH/SFH seem reasonable, but we definitely want to rent for now, we think we can sell and have about 125k-175k, (paid off mtg thanks to BH advice). We will look for work once we're settled.
Thanks in advance,
EverHopeful

cowbman
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by cowbman » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:08 am

What about Erie or Pittsburgh? They are about 100-130 miles from Cleveland and Pennsylvania doesn't tax retirement withdrawals.

gubernaculum
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by gubernaculum » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:11 am

Pittsburgh and vicinity are great with world class healthcare and Pennsylvania is stunningly beautiful.

Topic Author
EverHopeful
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:21 am

Thanks for the suggestions, DH doesn't want Pennsylvania, we've had discussions. I just checked with him again and it's a definite "No". I'm actually shocked he's agreed to move so I'm jumping on his concession to seeing the wisdom of selling and moving, there's nothing really tying us here. We don't have a huge retirement, AA 60/40 and 900k. We are figuring out our new empty nest budget but it'll be between $36-45k, probably less? NE Ohio is the compromise so I'll make the best of it.

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Cosmo
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by Cosmo » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:21 am

EverHopeful wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:05 am
We currently live in Chicago suburbs, dh job in tradeshows eliminated and is 60, finding work is difficult. Unless BH advice gives us pause, we're selling the home and renting an apartment, living off the proceeds and let his retirement grow. Apartments here are very expensive, add in 2 dogs and it's ridiculous; we don't have any family here, son has grown and flown to Columbus for a 2year analytics program with a large bank. DH is Canadian and still plays "old man hockey", family in Toronto and in Maine, so why NE Ohio? Surprising amount of ice arenas, we want to be around people - not rural, it puts us within 1 day's reasonable driving distance to family & it seems to be far more affordable than where we live, even though Ohio taxes retirement and IL does not. IL sales tax is 10% and property taxes are high and ACA Health insurance is very high and limited. We are planning a reconnaissance trip to NE Ohio in mid-August and thought I'd reach out to Bogleheads, who have helped me so much before, for any tips, guidance, advice on areas in NE Ohio, leaning towards East of Cleveland, I *think* I would like Cleveland Heights up to Mentor, but I'd love to hear a first-hand perspective of - Yes Cleveland Heights!, No, not Mentor! etc. The 2BR dog friendly apartments don't seem hard to find, we like meeting people while dogwalking. We like day hiking and biking and NE Ohio looks like a really special area. Condo/TH/SFH seem reasonable, but we definitely want to rent for now, we think we can sell and have about 125k-175k, (paid off mtg thanks to BH advice). We will look for work once we're settled.
Thanks in advance,
EverHopeful
I grew up in Sagamore Hills/Macedonia to the SE of Cleveland so I am partial to the area. One thing to keep in mind. The east side of Cleveland receives more than twice the amount of snow vs. the west side of Cleveland (and probably twice as much as Chicago) annually due to their proximity downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. If you are not a fan of snow, I would suggest living west or south of the city—outside of the snow belt. Similar to that sibling constantly tapping your shoulder non-stop, it may not initially really bother you but eventually, the snow will really get old after a while!

oldfort
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by oldfort » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:25 am

The Cleveland Clinic is one of the most famous medical centers in the world, especially in the area of cardiology. Having a major academic medical center nearby may be beneficial as you get older.

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EverHopeful
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:39 am

Cosmo wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:21 am
I grew up in Sagamore Hills/Macedonia to the SE of Cleveland so I am partial to the area. One thing to keep in mind. The east side of Cleveland receives more than twice the amount of snow vs. the west side of Cleveland (and probably twice as much as Chicago) annually due to their proximity downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. If you are not a fan of snow, I would suggest living west or south of the city—outside of the snow belt. Similar to that sibling constantly tapping your shoulder non-stop, it may not initially really bother you but eventually, the snow will really get old after a while!
Thanks for the tip! I will definitely expand my search area to south and west. Even though we both grew up in snowy places (Toronto and Maine), as we age snow can wear you down. However it looks like NE Ohio doesn't get as bone chilling cold as it does here in Chicagoland, so many freezing winters here without snow as an insulator.

I also just did a quick online calculator for Ohio Retirement tax on 50k from IRA, and it's $460. We just paid $300 to annually register our 2 auto license tags, so I think the affordability will balance out the retirement.

Katietsu
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by Katietsu » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:12 pm

EverHopeful wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:39 am
Cosmo wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:21 am
I grew up in Sagamore Hills/Macedonia to the SE of Cleveland so I am partial to the area. One thing to keep in mind. The east side of Cleveland receives more than twice the amount of snow vs. the west side of Cleveland (and probably twice as much as Chicago) annually due to their proximity downwind of Lake Erie and Lake Huron. If you are not a fan of snow, I would suggest living west or south of the city—outside of the snow belt. Similar to that sibling constantly tapping your shoulder non-stop, it may not initially really bother you but eventually, the snow will really get old after a while!
Thanks for the tip! I will definitely expand my search area to south and west. Even though we both grew up in snowy places (Toronto and Maine), as we age snow can wear you down. However it looks like NE Ohio doesn't get as bone chilling cold as it does here in Chicagoland, so many freezing winters here without snow as an insulator.

I also just did a quick online calculator for Ohio Retirement tax on 50k from IRA, and it's $460. We just paid $300 to annually register our 2 auto license tags, so I think the affordability will balance out the retirement.
Ohio does not blanket exempt retirement income from tax. But, I think they do exempt social security and give a retirement income tax credit for moderate incomes such as yours.

The amount of snow is pretty geographically specific and just a couple of miles can make a big difference. I think NE Ohio is a gem. There is such a variety that anyone who does not mind a little winter should be able to find a community that suits them.

tonyclifton
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by tonyclifton » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:18 pm

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable NE Ohio is compared to Chicago. If you want some of the diversity, options and walkable neighborhoods that living in a big city like Chicago offers...Lakewood Ohio is the most densely populated city between Chicago and New York. There are plenty of lakefront condos, apartments and duplexes (both new, old and very old construction) - Zillow shows 77 properties for rent. Lake Ave has houses that have a digit removed from their sale price because they are not in Oak Park. Airport is only 20 minutes away and Southwest usually has flights for $99 round-trip between Cleveland and Chicago (pre-covid). It is a 15 minute faster drive to Columbus from Lakewood compared to Cleveland Heights which doesn't have great access to freeways. Plus, Tom Hanks and Stephen Colbert just gave Lakewood a nice shout out.

Mentor's slogan is "It's better in Mentor." The city is nice enough - similar to a lot of other outer-ring suburbs like Beachwood, North Royalton, Strongsville or Brecksville. Plan to drive to go everywhere except to pickup the mail at the end of your driveway. Not a lot of options for "renting". Zillow only has 6 for rent listings. Also, it isn't really in the snowbelt - maybe on the edge at best. Need to be a little further east and south.

sport
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by sport » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:08 pm

I live in one of the eastern suburbs of Cleveland. As you seem to know, Cleveland is surrounded with a variety of suburbs at all economic levels. Some are beautiful, others not so much. There are blue-collar neighborhoods, and there are very expensive areas (by local standards), and everything in between. There are also ethnic areas of various types. The Cleveland area is divided into West Side and East Side. Many (perhaps most) residents greatly prefer one side over the other, mainly based history and habit, but also for personal reasons. Accordingly, I am much more knowledgeable about the eastern suburbs than I am about the western ones.

Of course, Cleveland has world class health facilities, great museums, a superb symphony orchestra, and big league sports in baseball, basketball and football. There are also a number of good colleges and universities if you are looking for continuing education.

I agree that NE Ohio is a great place to live if you do not mind some cold weather. If you have questions, please feel free to PM me and I will try to provide helpful responses.

Topic Author
EverHopeful
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:44 pm

Thank you for the input! It's a strange time to be looking because no place is "normal" with the threat of Covid. I just booked an AirBnb in Cleveland Heights, it seems like a good central place from which to explore. It probably sounds silly but the only reason I am looking "East Side" is because it makes the drive to Toronto and Maine shorter. :happy

I think finding a dog friendly apartment will be tricky - we don't have proof of income as we are 'early retired' without a job for income. I did find other threads about this difficulty for retirees looking to rent.

I will understand the geography, demographics, etc. better once we have put feet on the ground, I'm excited and anticipate the same Ohioan warmth, calm and friendliness I've experienced in Cedarville, Springfield and Columbus Ohio.

Thank you tonyclifton for your insight on Mentor, I think we want a more urban environment. Thank you sport for your PM offer, I may take you up on that.

sport
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by sport » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:11 pm

There are a lot of apartments, in a variety of types, in the area near the intersection of Rte 322 and State Rte 91. These would be mostly in Mayfield Heights and Mayfield Village in addition to a large high-rise in Gates Mills.

tonyclifton
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by tonyclifton » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:28 pm

EverHopeful wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:44 pm
It probably sounds silly but the only reason I am looking "East Side" is because it makes the drive to Toronto and Maine shorter.
It is actually a little faster to drive to Toronto from Lakewood :) Cleveland Heights is further east but doesn't have direct access to freeways. As the crow flies you are right. When you are in town, check out the Shaker Square, Coventry, Cedar Lee, Van Aken District, Cedar Fairmount as well as Little Italy neighborhoods.

redmaw
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by redmaw » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:48 pm

I'm from about 30 minutes east of mentor (east of mentor gets pretty rural pretty quick until you get to Erie). My advice...don't go east of Cleveland. Lake Erie starts bending back north east of Cleveland so winds out of the west have blown across the lake and dump snow in there. It's the same phenomenon that causes buffalo to get hit so hard. Clevelanders think they get snow, but a bit further east it's much worse. Also hockey isn't big in Cleveland because there is no nhl team, there are ice rinks around, but its not something most people care about.

My sister-in-law moved to Westlake, and it seemed pretty nice when I visited, but that was just for a day.

I think Pittsburgh was mentioned already, and it is a hockey town, winter are mild (in comparison) and there are plenty of parks and Hocking opportunities (look up ohiopyle). Ohio is flat though, so the roads are straight and make sense, Pittsburgh roads are a labrynth.

sport
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by sport » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:19 pm

There have been some comments about the snow on the east side of Cleveland. This is what we have found:
There are a few days each year when there is a big snow fall. In the developed suburbs, the road crews get the roads open within a few hours. So, the only time it is really bad is if you have to be at work on time and your commute coincides with a snow storm. Being retired, you are free to stay in until the road crews can do their work. It is true that there tends to be more snow on the east side than the west side. However, we have found that not being on a fixed schedule, we are able to get by just fine with all-season tires on front wheel drive cars.

redmaw
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by redmaw » Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:47 pm

sport wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:19 pm
There have been some comments about the snow on the east side of Cleveland. This is what we have found:
There are a few days each year when there is a big snow fall. In the developed suburbs, the road crews get the roads open within a few hours. So, the only time it is really bad is if you have to be at work on time and your commute coincides with a snow storm. Being retired, you are free to stay in until the road crews can do their work. It is true that there tends to be more snow on the east side than the west side. However, we have found that not being on a fixed schedule, we are able to get by just fine with all-season tires on front wheel drive cars.
It's true the road crews are pretty good about getting it all cleaned up, even in the more rural areas. And the flatness helps with getting around as well, even if the roads aren't cleaned up. It's still inconvenient, and for the elderly a potential falling hazard. The other point I'll make is that once the snow hits, it sticks around...until at least April. A but further south (Pittsburgh) and the snow melts off between storms which makes a huge difference. Not sure if that also applies to the west side of Cleveland or not.

sport
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by sport » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:05 pm

redmaw wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 4:47 pm
It's true the road crews are pretty good about getting it all cleaned up, even in the more rural areas. And the flatness helps with getting around as well, even if the roads aren't cleaned up. It's still inconvenient, and for the elderly a potential falling hazard. The other point I'll make is that once the snow hits, it sticks around...until at least April. A but further south (Pittsburgh) and the snow melts off between storms which makes a huge difference. Not sure if that also applies to the west side of Cleveland or not.
That used to be true. However, with the warmer winters we have been having, there are many days with no snow on the ground.

awval999
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by awval999 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:13 pm

I live in NE Ohio.
I would recommend to rent first, and you already stated you will be, so I agree with your plan.
Understand that the western, eastern and southern Cleveland suburbs are very different; culturally, socioeconomically and politically.
I live in one of the western suburbs and have no intention of moving.

sean.mcgrath
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by sean.mcgrath » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:16 pm

EverHopeful wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:39 am
However it looks like NE Ohio doesn't get as bone chilling cold as it does here in Chicagoland, so many freezing winters here without snow as an insulator.
That's correct, you can have cold or snow and they do offset. From Michigan here (we also play hockey, and vastly superior to Ohio, but that's another topic), and we get more snow but are much warmer than those directly west of us. You need to pick your poison.

sport
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by sport » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:19 pm

awval999 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:13 pm
I live in one of the western suburbs and have no intention of moving.
sport wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:08 pm
I live in one of the eastern suburbs of Cleveland.
sport wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:08 pm
Many (perhaps most) residents greatly prefer one side over the other,

redmaw
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by redmaw » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:19 pm

I'll admit I haven't lived in the area since early 2000s and my formative years wee in the mid 90s, which were notoriously bad. So my perception may be scewed. It still seems like whenever something important is going on, like my grandmas funeral I'm driving into a blizzard to get there, but Cleveland proper isn't bad.

Don't go to Michigan, Ohio is vastly Superior. No one from Michigan can drive. (No rivalry there at all.)

awval999
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by awval999 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:26 pm

Sport you are correct, no doubt about it.

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imbogled
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by imbogled » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:04 pm

https://www.apartments.com/parkside-cle ... h/jq7ssn5/

West Sider weighing in. This listing above is an ideal location. A 2 minute walk to Lakewood Park which sits on Lake Erie. Every Sunday during "normal times" in the summer there are band concerts and the like. Winterhurst Ice Arena is 10 minutes away. ( https://www.serpentiniarena.com/hockey )

I've been a West Sider for over 50 years. Definitely give Lakewood a peek when you come into the area. Especially the areas north of Detroit Avenue.

imbogled
Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. | Warren Buffett

adamthesmythe
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:05 pm

One attractive thing about Cleveland: the art museum is very good (although not quite the Met) and free.

Beyond that- I lived in west PA and moved when I retired.

Ace1
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by Ace1 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:50 pm

I agree with everything mentioned by sport.
I also am an east /south sider my entire life.... 20+ years in Cleveland Hts, 40+ years in Twinsburg, home of the annual Twins Days festival.
We get more snow than the west side, true although recent winters have been quite mild.
The snow belt capital is south of Mentor in Chardon.

I respectfully disagree with the poster that said it is a faster drive from Lakewood to Maine and Toronto... in both cases
routes to Maine and Toronto from Cleveland Hts are 5-10 minutes shorter than Lakewood.
Mayfield Rd (Rt 322) Cleve Hts to 271 to 90 is shorter than 90 through downtown Cleveland from Lakewood.

One of the greatest assets of the area not yet mentioned is the Emerald Necklace, the metro park system that rings the city.
Yes there are several ice rinks in the area, but even more great public golf courses in NEO.
Generally speaking, this is a low cost of living region.

All the areas have their attractions... renting and discovering what is out there is a great way to decide
where you want to settle.
Ace

fusspot
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by fusspot » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:29 am

If you and your family want to be safe, I do not recommend Cleveland Heights. Trust me.

If you want to live east of the city, move to Geauga County. If you want in in nice western suburbs, look at Avon, Bay, etc.

strafe
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by strafe » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:50 am

Hasn’t been much mention of topography and scenery.
East side tends to be hillier whereas west side is more flat midwestern plains. Coming from Chicago that may be ok.

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MrBobcat
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by MrBobcat » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:59 am

tonyclifton wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:18 pm
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how affordable NE Ohio is compared to Chicago. If you want some of the diversity, options and walkable neighborhoods that living in a big city like Chicago offers...Lakewood Ohio is the most densely populated city between Chicago and New York. There are plenty of lakefront condos, apartments and duplexes (both new, old and very old construction) - Zillow shows 77 properties for rent. Lake Ave has houses that have a digit removed from their sale price because they are not in Oak Park. Airport is only 20 minutes away and Southwest usually has flights for $99 round-trip between Cleveland and Chicago (pre-covid). It is a 15 minute faster drive to Columbus from Lakewood compared to Cleveland Heights which doesn't have great access to freeways. Plus, Tom Hanks and Stephen Colbert just gave Lakewood a nice shout out.

Mentor's slogan is "It's better in Mentor." The city is nice enough - similar to a lot of other outer-ring suburbs like Beachwood, North Royalton, Strongsville or Brecksville. Plan to drive to go everywhere except to pickup the mail at the end of your driveway. Not a lot of options for "renting". Zillow only has 6 for rent listings. Also, it isn't really in the snowbelt - maybe on the edge at best. Need to be a little further east and south.
My youngest son lives in Lakewood, loves it, very affordable. He bought a 3 bedroom, 1 full bath, 2 half baths with a 3 car garage walking distance to plenty of bars/restaurants for $135K a little over 2 years ago. Easy drive to downtown Cleveland when you want to city things. Really a nice area we are impressed when we visit.

When he was shopping he also looked at Cleveland Heights and chose Lakewood just because of the access to freeways. It was a bit farther from his work but actually less time driving.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by KlingKlang » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:06 am

I am currently living in a suburb of Cleveland in southwest Cuyahoga County.

I would strongly recommend against living in the city of Cleveland. Crime, high taxes, and a basically dysfunctional government and school system.

I would also recommend against living in Cuyahoga County. It has higher property taxes than the surrounding counties, the highest sales tax in the state, and sin taxes that increase the price of tobacco and alcohol.

If you want a semi-urban lifestyle there are many locations available just outside of Cuyahoga County. There are many nice suburban areas in Lake County (Eastlake), Lorain County (Avon), Medina County (Brunswick, Hinckley) and Summit County (Fairlawn). Agree with previous post that the Emerald Necklace is one of the area's best features, and the surrounding counties have very good park systems as well.

skp
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by skp » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:46 am

I grew up in Pittsburgh and have lived in Cleveland (Geauga county) for 40 years. I would recommend Mentor over Cleveland Heights. Both have ice rinks nearby. (So does Lakewood.) Cleveland Heights is more "city" and more interesting. If you are looking for "walkable" that is a better choice. But it's housing has extremes- mansions and houses that are falling apart. The area is decaying. They also have extremely high taxes. Mentor is more "bland" and suburban. It's much less walkable, nearer to the lake and right on the freeway, IMO it is safer, more homogeneous (white middle class), housing stock is newer and kept up. If you want suburbia pick Mentor. If you want city - I'd pick Lakewood.
I love Geauga County but I don't think it meets your needs. It's rural. It's in the middle of the snow belt has lots of snow, long drives to the city, and the mall and hockey

GoldenFinch
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by GoldenFinch » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:54 am

I know NE Ohio well! Cleveland Heights around the Fairmount / South Taylor area is great if you are a city person who wants to live in the suburbs. It is almost a smaller version of Evanston IL, but probably a bit safer. You can walk to Cedar Lee restaurants and movie theater and there is a cute bread/coffee shop called “On the Rise” on Fairmount. If you like something a little more trendy, but still old world, try Shaker Heights. Great bike path, new shops and restaurants in their little Van Aken district. The Heights has a great and very welcoming library system so that is a plus. If you move out further to Geauga county you will find more rural options and lots of McMansion type developments (sprawl). It’s nice out there if you want a slower pace and don’t mind driving. Chagrin Falls is pretty cute.

If you are mostly attracted to a Cleveland Heights type environment, the other options are Lakewood, Ohio City and Tremont. Lakewood is a West Side Cleveland Heights. Ohio City and Tremont are more urban than Cle. Hts. and Lakewood. It’s true that hockey is big around Cleveland. Cost of living is much lower than many parts of the country. There are higher crime areas, but it’s possible to never have a reason to be near any of those places. Other pluses are there are great independent restaurants, Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Orchestra, great muesuems, the Metro Parks, hiking and biking clubs and lots of small festivals. There is also really good chocolate at a store called Malleys. As you can probably tell, I am a big fan of the area. :happy Good luck with your decision.

jlawrence01
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:31 pm

Several points:

1) if you are a senior of limited means, Lakewood has some of the best senior subsidized housing units in the country with great proximity to good health care.

2) if you are planning to work, you must take into account the LOCAL INCOME TAXES. if you live in Lakewood and work in Cleveland, you pay taxes in BOTH.

3) Property taxes in Lakewood and some of the Cuyahoga County suburbs are HIGHER than the taxes I was paying in McHenry Co., IL, one of the Chicagoland collar counties. My Chicago friends did not believe that until I showed them the tax bills. Your best bet is to find a place to live in an unincorporated area.

4) The one advantage of Lakewood over some of the eastern suburbs of Cleveland is that you get a LOT LESS snow. That might not be a big thing to you BUT it was for my older neighbors.

5) If schools are not an issue, there are neighborhoods on the west side of the City of Cleveland that are a fraction of the price of suburbs like Lakewood. Lakewood is really not as affordable as some people have stated, at least not in the neighborhoods that I lived in. Sure you can get a bargain but you will be dealing with 1930s era wiring, an asbestos covered boiler in the basement and any number of "gotchas" that you will find in a home constructed pre WWII.

MP173
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by MP173 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:03 pm

We live in NW Indiana, just outside of Chicago and drive to Maine about every 3 years....I have no real opinion on the NE Ohio region other than Painesville, Oh has a Waffle House. Makes our trip so much better.

Ed

Sunny36
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by Sunny36 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:07 pm

Another Cuyahoga west sider here. Love the convenience of living between I-480 and I-90. If you won’t be commuting to Cleveland or Cuyahoga County for work, residents of suburbs in counties to the south (Medina), west (Lorain) or even far east (Lake, which is where Mentor is) benefit from lower car insurance premiums. Bestplaces dot net website has statistical info for just about any town you may be considering.

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EverHopeful
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:32 pm

Wow! BH are so helpful and informative I thank you all! I have been hunting around city-data forums and discovered a "Geography Joe" Youtube on Cleveland suburbs that was enlightening and to jlawrence1's point - it's Cleveland + 58 independent cities with their own taxes, zoning, mayors, police etc. :shock: , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGH0iUFgXQI

I don't want to own but with our 2 rescue sight hound dogs at 40-45# each, finding large dog rentals is proving difficult, in addition to the fact that we don't have jobs to show proof of income/multiplier of rent, etc. It's just not wise to purchase a condo/townhome without knowing the area, besides the HOA fees and probably dog rules, not keen on sfh with maintenance, shoveling, mowing, etc. I would gladly rehome the dogs to the right family, but dh is against this.

GoldenFinch - thank you for the info and relating it to Evanston, I used to work for Rotary at the HQ. Our AirBnb is on Derbyshire btn Lee and Coventry, I did find a library to walk to, my husband and I are active library patrons. I did find a dog friendly rental in Uptown Shaker? We will check out the coffee shop.

Lakewood seems popular, we'll make that our first exploration as drive into NE Ohio. Right now the information is a little overwhelming, I will expand and check out KlingKlang's non-Cuyahoga County suggestions as well. We will be driving a lot! I want to narrow down our focus on 3-5 areas and then hone in and see them at night, early morning, etc. I wonder if independent landlords still put out "For Rent" signs? We will probably need to book another trip.

Realtor comes tomorrow to tell us what we need to do to get our home ready for market. I know we have code violations but are grandfathered in, e.g. laundry water goes into sump pit, but I'm not sure what else is required to meet current Codes in order to sell and could put moving plans on hold.

Thank you Sunny36, I will check out Bestplaces. Looking forward to exploring Lakewood down to Medina, Summit, and Lake counties, maybe even Geauga County, in addition to Cleveland Hts and other neighborhood cities. Thanks again!

sport
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by sport » Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:52 pm

In an earlier post, I suggested the Mayfield Heights area near the intersection of Rts 322 and 91. It is very close to the freeway entrance for I-271 Northbound which is a short distance to I-90 for your travels to the east. It is also close to a very good public library a couple miles to the north. It is walkable for all kinds of supermarkets, stores, restaurants, and banks. It is also only about a mile to Costco!
There are a lot of apartments at a variety of price points. Here is a list of some of them in the immediate area:
Gates Mills Villa
Gates Mills Place
Hamilton House Apts.
Blake House Apts.
The Drake (not as fancy as the name sounds)
Wynwood Apts.
Villa Serena Sr. Apts.
Gates Mills Club (for seniors)
Coppertree Apts.

As you can see, there are a lot of choices. It is also a safe area.

jlawrence01
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:32 pm

One more advantage of lakewood is that it is one of the most walkable cities that I have encountered. I used to walk five or more miles a day at all hours of the day and night and never encountered any issues. Also, due to the proximity of the lake, the walking season ran from the beginning of March to the end of October.

If you are planning frequent trips to Toronto during the winter months, do realize that from the East Cleveland suburbs through Buffalo is serious "lake effect" snow belt. I commuted between Erie, PA and Lakewood (110 miles) and the commute could easily take 5+ hours in a snow storm. If you were heading to Toronto very frequently, The Detroit suburbs would be a much easier commute.
Last edited by jlawrence01 on Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheDDC
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by TheDDC » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:33 pm

You would do well looking at Pennsylvania as a retiree.

-TheDDC
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EverHopeful
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Location: Illinois

Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:08 pm

sport wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 5:52 pm
In an earlier post, I suggested the Mayfield Heights area near the intersection of Rts 322 and 91. It is very close to the freeway entrance for I-271 Northbound which is a short distance to I-90 for your travels to the east. It is also close to a very good public library a couple miles to the north. It is walkable for all kinds of supermarkets, stores, restaurants, and banks. It is also only about a mile to Costco!
There are a lot of apartments at a variety of price points. Here is a list of some of them in the immediate area:
Gates Mills Villa
Gates Mills Place
Hamilton House Apts.
Blake House Apts.
The Drake (not as fancy as the name sounds)
Wynwood Apts.
Villa Serena Sr. Apts.
Gates Mills Club (for seniors)
Coppertree Apts.

As you can see, there are a lot of choices. It is also a safe area.
Thank you! I just wrote down info for The Village at Mayfield Apts then checked this post and Coppertree looks interesting too. We are thankful for Costco! I like to hear that it's walkable and on the map it looks like beautiful forests to the East! The Senior apartments restrict to small dogs, for safety I'm sure. I noticed some even have furnished apartments, I'm very frugal but it's tempting to donate/sell all and move with bare necessities and find a furnished place for 6mos. So much to consider...

RocketShipTech
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by RocketShipTech » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:11 pm

Barberton or bust

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EverHopeful
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Location: Illinois

Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:15 pm

jlawrence01 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:32 pm
One more advantage of lakewood is that it is one of the most walkable cities that I have encountered. I used to walk five or more miles a day at all hours of the day and night and never encountered any issues. Also, due to the proximity of the lake, the walking season ran from the beginning of March to the end of October.

If you are planning frequent trips to Toronto during the winter months, do realize that from the East Cleveland suburbs through Buffalo is serious "lake effect" snow belt. I commuted between Erie, PA and Lakewood (110 miles) and the commute could easily take 5+ hours in a snow storm. If you were heading to Toronto very frequently, The Detroit suburbs would be a much easier commute.
Thank you, I will look at Lakewood, closer to the lake would be lovely, but unfortunately with our mutts apartments are not easy to find in that area. Thanks for the heads up, we did look at Michigan but we have more family in Maine and the retirement taxes are higher in MI, according to smartasset retirement calculator.

-EverHopeful

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EverHopeful
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by EverHopeful » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:17 pm

RocketShipTech wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:11 pm
Barberton or bust
:happy We're driving down to see our son in Columbus, not likely but maybe...life is an adventure

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22twain
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by 22twain » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:55 am

Wow, this thread makes me nostalgic! I grew up in a small city about an hour's drive from Cleveland. We watched Cleveland TV stations and made regular day-trips there. For several years I had a series of medical appointments with a specialist in Shaker Heights, so I'm best acquainted with that area and downtown.

Even though I haven't had relatives in the area for a long time, I still visit every few years for some reason or another, and always include a day-trip to Cleveland from my home town. I explore more now than my parents and I used to do, but the West Side is still mostly terra incognito for me. I visited the West Side Market in Ohio City for the first time a couple of years ago, walking across the Cuyahoga River valley via the Lorain-Carnegie bridge from the Progressive Field area, then back to downtown via the Detroit-Superior bridge. I vaguely remember the industries that once filled the valley. It was sobering to see the now mostly empty post-industrial wasteland below.
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:42 am

jlawrence01 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:32 pm
One more advantage of lakewood is that it is one of the most walkable cities that I have encountered. I used to walk five or more miles a day at all hours of the day and night and never encountered any issues. Also, due to the proximity of the lake, the walking season ran from the beginning of March to the end of October.

If you are planning frequent trips to Toronto during the winter months, do realize that from the East Cleveland suburbs through Buffalo is serious "lake effect" snow belt. I commuted between Erie, PA and Lakewood (110 miles) and the commute could easily take 5+ hours in a snow storm. If you were heading to Toronto very frequently, The Detroit suburbs would be a much easier commute.
Everyone should head to Toronto very frequently ;-).

Seriously. The Greater Toronto Hamilton Area sprawl has generated its own horrendous traffic issues. I can't compare it to Atlanta or S California say, but I can tell you both the 401 and the Gardiner (lakefront) and the interconnecting highways are awful in good weather from say 630 AM to 10 AM, and basically any time in the afternoon (but from 4 pm to 8 pm just forget it). And the traffic now does not seem to have a direction of flow - it can be bad away from the city centre in the mornings or towards it in the evenings. Tens of thousands of condo units have been built downtown, and so traffic seems to flow (or not flow) in all directions.

And don't get me started on how aggressive and just plain bad the driving is - tailgating, changing lanes without signalling or checking blindspot, driving in 2 lanes at once.

Add in bad weather and .... of just if the Jays or the Raptors are playing.

So getting into and out of Toronto requires careful time planning, and avoiding weekday rush hours. Fridays of course the outbound rush hour starts at noon, or earlier.

Toronto is now a very expensive city - hotels and eating out, shopping etc. You can get good deals on downtown hotels out of tourist season though (so before May and after September). We usually stay at the Cambridge Suites hotel, which is downtown, a little off the busy bits but easy walking to the Entertainment District, Eaton Centre or downtown tourist attractions (Richmond E of Yonge is still a bit sketchy, but you are only a block and a half from the subway, and if you get clever, you can actually connect to the PATH system of underground walkways, from a staircase on the other side of the entrance driveway). There's also the Sheraton which is opposite City Hall - which is kind of old (70s) but huge and has cheap rooms sometimes.

Staying in the Entertainment District is "lively" and particularly in summer, maybe too noisy for many.

I think the Bloor St area of Toronto (Yorkville and the Annex/ University of Toronto area) is actually the better tourist spot, but there's not a lot of reasonable value hotels in that area (are there any? The Intercontinental is going upmarket post renovation, I think). You might find an AirBnB. We have heard of situations where AirBnB visitors have been refused access to condo apartments by building security because the use of the apartment in that way contravenes the condo rules, so that is something to be aware of.

If you check Tripadvisor, Toronto had a lot of old and mediocre hotels (with name brands). I think in recent years there has been new construction and improvements.

Valuethinker
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:42 am

jlawrence01 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:32 pm
One more advantage of lakewood is that it is one of the most walkable cities that I have encountered. I used to walk five or more miles a day at all hours of the day and night and never encountered any issues. Also, due to the proximity of the lake, the walking season ran from the beginning of March to the end of October.

If you are planning frequent trips to Toronto during the winter months, do realize that from the East Cleveland suburbs through Buffalo is serious "lake effect" snow belt. I commuted between Erie, PA and Lakewood (110 miles) and the commute could easily take 5+ hours in a snow storm. If you were heading to Toronto very frequently, The Detroit suburbs would be a much easier commute.
Everyone should head to Toronto very frequently ;-).

Seriously. The Greater Toronto Hamilton Area sprawl has generated its own horrendous traffic issues. I can't compare it to Atlanta or S California say, but I can tell you both the 401 and the Gardiner (lakefront) and the interconnecting highways are awful in good weather from say 630 AM to 10 AM, and basically any time in the afternoon (but from 4 pm to 8 pm just forget it). And the traffic now does not seem to have a direction of flow - it can be bad away from the city centre in the mornings or towards it in the evenings. Tens of thousands of condo units have been built downtown, and so traffic seems to flow (or not flow) in all directions.

And don't get me started on how aggressive and just plain bad the driving is - tailgating, changing lanes without signalling or checking blindspot, driving in 2 lanes at once.

Add in bad weather and .... of just if the Jays or the Raptors are playing.

So getting into and out of Toronto requires careful time planning, and avoiding weekday rush hours. Fridays of course the outbound rush hour starts at noon, or earlier.

Toronto is now a very expensive city - hotels and eating out, shopping etc. You can get good deals on downtown hotels out of tourist season though (so before May and after September). We usually stay at the Cambridge Suites hotel, which is downtown, a little off the busy bits but easy walking to the Entertainment District, Eaton Centre or downtown tourist attractions (Richmond E of Yonge is still a bit sketchy, but you are only a block and a half from the subway, and if you get clever, you can actually connect to the PATH system of underground walkways, from a staircase on the other side of the entrance driveway). There's also the Sheraton which is opposite City Hall - which is kind of old (70s) but huge and has cheap rooms sometimes.

Staying in the Entertainment District is "lively" and particularly in summer, maybe too noisy for many.

I think the Bloor St area of Toronto (Yorkville and the Annex/ University of Toronto area) is actually the better tourist spot, but there's not a lot of reasonable value hotels in that area (are there any? The Intercontinental is going upmarket post renovation, I think). You might find an AirBnB. We have heard of situations where AirBnB visitors have been refused access to condo apartments by building security because the use of the apartment in that way contravenes the condo rules, so that is something to be aware of.

If you check Tripadvisor, Toronto had a lot of old and mediocre hotels (with name brands). I think in recent years there has been new construction and improvements.

Valuethinker
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:45 am

22twain wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:55 am
Wow, this thread makes me nostalgic! I grew up in a small city about an hour's drive from Cleveland. We watched Cleveland TV stations and made regular day-trips there. For several years I had a series of medical appointments with a specialist in Shaker Heights, so I'm best acquainted with that area and downtown.

Even though I haven't had relatives in the area for a long time, I still visit every few years for some reason or another, and always include a day-trip to Cleveland from my home town. I explore more now than my parents and I used to do, but the West Side is still mostly terra incognito for me. I visited the West Side Market in Ohio City for the first time a couple of years ago, walking across the Cuyahoga River valley via the Lorain-Carnegie bridge from the Progressive Field area, then back to downtown via the Detroit-Superior bridge. I vaguely remember the industries that once filled the valley. It was sobering to see the now mostly empty post-industrial wasteland below.
Shaker Heights is the emblematic "streetcar suburb" of the first suburbs of North American cities (before the automobile was universal). From an urban planning point of view it is therefore very interesting.

I don't know how the suburb has done in more recent times - whether it is still as relatively affluent as it was.

The "Rust Belt" that became really noticeable in the 1980s downturn (when the USD was almost at its all time postwar high against Europe & Japan) is just depressing. All of that capital just ... gone. And all of those jobs & working lives no longer there.

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BL
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by BL » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:28 am

Chardon (Geauga county) is a lovely town, with community theatre and Maple Festival, good schools, etc. I know someone who grew up in Cleveland, and later chose Chardon when he returned with family some years later. Yes, they get lake-effect snow, but temps are probably much better than Chicago.

treesinthewind
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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by treesinthewind » Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:34 am

We relocated here from Southern CA specifically for the family lifestyle and are in an eastern suburb. We chose it mostly for the schools and also looked at Shaker, Cleveland Heights, Beachwood etc. A couple of observations that I don't think have been mentioned:

- It is so cheap to buy here that high-quality rentals are hard to find. We know several residents at Cleveland Clinic, who know they will only be here for a few years but end up buying so they can have a nice family home and yard. It is possible to find a nice pet-friendly rental, and you've gotten some good suggestions, but in our research the rent is more than a mortgage would be for a comparable home.

- I don't think I've seen Beachwood suggested but that would hit a lot of your criteria. They have a broad tax base and therefore low property and city taxes, and a healthier municipal budget overall than SH/CH (and excellent snow plowing). They just opened a great residents-only dog park named Barkwood, and have lots of parks and trails. It is diverse economically and racially, and has a nice mix of homes and apartments. If you live toward the Shaker border, there's some nice walkable areas (eg near the new Van Aken area) and you'll be near the skating rink too. Schools are excellent. Easy access to light rail.

- Shaker Heights has an ice arena (and I believe daily "old guys" pick-up hockey at noon), as well as Mentor. Gilmour is a private school in Mayfield Heights that also has a lot of public skating activities.

- This is a good time of year to observe the yard signs in front of houses and get a sense of the predominant viewpoint in a given area. It can be very polarizing in one area to the next. 'Nuff said.

As an aside, we picked up ice skating since we moved here as a great family hobby and can't wait until the arenas reopen!! Feel free to PM if you have questions.

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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by John Z » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:08 am

I lived my first 20 years in Lakewood, then married and moved to New England but visited family and friends for another 30 years a couple of times per year. Lived about 10 blocks west of Cleveland and 4 blocks from the lake. Much has changed over the years so I cannot be very specific but can offer additional info/perspectives in addition to what others have provided. We are retired now and did consider retirement in the Cleveland area because it is so affordable.

Yes, more snow east of Cleveland. Even with warmer winters lake effect snow still falls amazingly fast and mounts up.
Lakewood is pretty urban and livable and the closer to the lake or farther west near Rocky River the nicer and more expensive the living is. Lakewood has a "Gold Coast" of high rise apartments and condos on the lake with fantastic views. Note that there is no lake access for much of the shoreline but instead has shale cliffs 75' high. There is a large string of parks that nearly surround the Cleveland area that have all types of recreation, some in cooler valleys cut out by rivers.
As noted the West Side has numerous desirable communities and the farther west and south you go the newer but well established they are.
The Greater Cleveland area has access to numerous interstate highways so traveling local or long distance is easy unless it is peak rush hour.
I worked at the airport for several years and many nice communities are within 30 minutes of the airport which is medium-sized and has seen its ups and downs. Just be aware of the runway orientation if locating near the airport to avoid the noisiest locations.
I am a rail fan and like Chicago, there is no shortage of train traffic to explore, photograph and monitor.
If you research Hinckley don't be alarmed if you hear or read about every year on March 15 the buzzards (turkey vultures) return to a field outside of Hinckley, beating the more famous Swallows of Capistrano by a couple of days.

I know there are as many or more affordable locations on the East Side but I hardly ever ventured east of I-77 in all those years so have no opinions on that area.

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Re: Move to NE Ohio?

Post by DS03 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:29 pm

NE Ohioan here, southwest side of CLE. If you're looking for older, more traditional suburban areas around Cleveland: Lakewood, Shaker Hts., Cleveland Hts, Ohio City (Cleveland). More rural (still suburban): North Royalton, Olmsted Falls, Broadview Hts. More modern/retail: Strongsville, Westlake, Beachwood. Upscale: Bay Village, Rocky River, Solon, Brecksville. Mentor area falls into that modern/retail (not really a Cleveland suburb, more east) and close to the lake. Akron also has some nice areas as well to check out but probably more ice rinks in the Cleveland area. I'm sure I missed a few but tried to get most of them.

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