The median housing cost is nearly 250% less than in New York City and 66% less than Chicago. Groceries, utilities, and transportation also all cost less than other big, trendy cities — and did we mention that the housing market is the perfect place for a first-time homebuyer to find some dreamy new digs? Get the space that you want with the access to all the buzz of the city without having to scrimp on the other good parts of life.
There are definitely four distinct seasons in Ohio, and Cleveland residents know how to stay active in all of them. With bike lanes throughout the city and an indoor mountain bike park, rock climbing gyms, access to Lake Erie and its beaches, yearly marathons and races, and miles of trails that can be walked in the summer and cross-country skied in the winter, you can stay active all year round. And if you do wind up needing some medical attention from an indoor biking crash? Cleveland Clinic provides patient-first care and was rated one of the top four hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. They’ll put you back together.
At this point, you have learned a little bit about Cleveland and have either chosen a real estate agent or are in the process of doing so. Now comes Step 2, choosing where to live in Cleveland.
The first thing you need to decide is if you are going to live on the East Side or West side. You see, Cleveland is a city somewhat divided into two sides of town. It is a unique phenomenon. I'm not saying it is like the Hatfields and McCoys, it is more of a friendly rivalry. The point is that people typically live and work on the same side of town, rarely venturing to the other side.
Additionally, Clevelanders simply don't like to drive more than 15-20 minutes to get anywhere. So, you need to keep this in mind if you have friends or family on one side of town and choose to live on the other as you may not see them very often. That is why deciding where to live is a very important decision.
I lived in Cleveland from high school until I was 28. The Cleveland I lived in was a little different than the renaissance the city seems to be experiencing now. However, there are some things that are still the same.
First, like any city, there are some bad characters and some bad areas. Don’t walk alone at night, be mindful of your surroundings, park in well-lit areas if you’re going downtown. I would not say that Cleveland is more or less safe than any other urban area.
Second, the food is amazing and you’ll probably never eat so well on less money. Go to West Side Market, one of the several farmers markets around the city, or eat at one of the many farm to table restaurants. Alcohol is cheaper than in most cities. Enjoy the variety of food you’ll be able to get.
Third, join some networking groups and make some friends. People are so friendly - especially the young professionals crowd. I live in Dallas now, and miss the friendly young professional friends I had in Cleveland. There’s less competitiveness and more camaraderie. Go to sporting events. You’ll make friends really fast.
If I could do it again, I would live on the west side in Lakewood instead of the east side Cleveland Heights. There is a difference in lifestyle depending on what side you live on, and people rarely cross to hang out on their opposite side unless it’s for work.
Other things I loved when I was there:
Ceder Lee Theater - Cleveland Heights
Parnell’s Pub - Cleveland Heights
Lola’s - Michael Symon’s Restaurant - East 4th Street
Legacy Village - Lyndhurst
MELT Bar and Grilled - there are several locations around the city
Winking Lizard - also several locations - good beer and wings
West Side Market - Ohio City
Art Museum and Natural History Museum
It’s a really great city that sometimes gets a really bad rep. Enjoy your time there!
Dont move unless you are rich enough to live in the suburbs located in the westside of cleveland (technically other cities near cleveland)
Cleveland represents what is wrong with America, de facto segregation and institutional racism. I cannot fathom how can someone grow up in East Cleveland and end up in school or a decent job . I am from Egypt, now a third world country, and when i go by accident to East Cleveland i feel like i am in the slums of Egypt, but way less safer.
The west side, well you will find mansions and huge houses that have private lakes.
Cleveland has cheap rentals, its growing, but still not a good place to live in for now.
Most of my wife’s family is not far to the west, in Toledo Ohio. If they were elsewhere, I am sure we wouldn’t have looked so closely at Cleveland and I might be more resistant to the prospect of northern Ohio winters. We have been in Colorado quite a while, and we’ve already gotten through the most exhausting diaper and preschool years with our kids. However, we’re pretty excited to have easier access to grandparents, family reunions, and just the general enjoyment of having our kids grow up knowing their cousins. All the doting from aunts, uncles, and others is certainly nice, too. We’ve been raising these kids solo for six years and we’re looking forward to some village support. Besides, we already spend Christmas and part of the summer here.
I actually know quite a few RN’s and a couple LPN’s and BSN’s as well. Most of them work at the Cleveland clinic and make pretty good money, I’ve never asked them their salary but they live quite comfortably. I worked at a nursing home in Parma and those nurses I know for a fact started at $21/hr which is okay but not great. As for where they live, they’re scattered everywhere. Some live in rocky river but drive to the east side every day, some live right down the street from the nursing home. For the most part, if you’re both making “nurse money” you can live almost anywhere.
The short north is kind of a unique feature because Columbus basically consolidated 85% of its development to a couple miles of one single street. It makes it both incredibly convenient and somehow exciting AND boring at the same time to go out in Cbus. Cleveland is a more traditional city with lots of neighborhoods and pockets with things to do. Tremont, Ohio City, Gordon Square, Larchmere, Downtown, Waterloo, university circle, little italy, coventry and Asia Town are all great spots to live and hang out in that all told probably offer MORE than the short north but spread out. This makes it overall less convenient to "go out" in Cleveland but to me it makes it a lot more fun because you actually get to "go somehwere" as opposed to walking a few blocks north or a few blocks south with the occasional uber ride out to grandview or up to Clintonville.... which would still the be same fucking street as the short north haha.
You're looking at a 20 minute drive from pretty much all of those places to Independence if there isn't traffic so figure 30 - 40 minutes most mornings.
I consider Cleveland to be, in a lot of ways, a smaller, cheaper Chicago. Similar weather, similar "feel," similar people and interests. Cleveland, however, is up and coming while Chicago is already established and one of the greatest cities in the world. Chicago is "easier" in a lot of ways because so many subcultural interests are already fully fledged out, available, and accessible. I'm going to use dance clubs/parties as an example because they're not my thing but my girlfriend loves them - Cleveland hardly has any and those that exist take work to find and become a part of. If you contrast that with the Chicago club scene the difference becomes obvious.
That's a small example but it represents Cleveland and the dynamic as a whole. The GOOD news about that is that Cleveland is a GREAT place to START something. Trying to get a dance night off the ground in Chicago - again, just as an example - would be nigh on impossible because the market is saturated and there's very little demand that isn't satisfied. Cleveland on the other hand is just waiting for the right person with the right idea to get something to take off.
I grew up in a Cleveland suburb, lived in the DC area for 7 years (2 in Arlington, 4.5 kind of between the Hill and H Street (near Union Station), 0.5 as somewhat of a vagabond, bouncing around various places in Adams Morgan/U Street/Logan Circle), and am currently back in Cleveland. I live in Tremont and love it! I also hang out in Lakewood a lot, as a lot of my friends live there. I spend less time in Ohio City and Detroit Shoreway, but love both of those neighborhoods, as well.
To me, the biggest (negative) change upon moving back was the car culture in Cleveland. I loved taking public transportation everywhere in DC (X2 bus for the win) and miss the ease of taking buses everywhere (and, occasionally, the Metro, though I know that's been plagued with issues since I moved). Here, I obviously use Uber and Lyft occasionally, but I find myself driving a lot more than I was used to.
I noticed that you asked about the dating scene - that's been such a mixed bag for me! When I was in DC, I felt like most people I know weren't looking to find "the one" and settle down until their late 20s or early-to-mid-30s. I moved back here three years ago at 31 and found that everyone had already settled, so it's a bit harder to date. However, a higher percentage of the men I've dated have been the type of person I'd like to date long term.
I noticed that a few people mentioned crime - as others have said, it's very block-by-block, but, if you live in DC proper, you're accustomed to that already.
Overall, moving back has been a mixed bag, but, for me, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. I miss DC from time to time, but, ultimately, I'm glad to have moved back!
Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions about neighborhoods, etc.
As a former Clevelander who spent lots of time in DC but currently resides in South Florida, it will be an easy move for your. Crime is your biggest concern. Block by block as previously stated. Good luck!!
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest gives you an exciting and awe-inspiring opportunity to travel the world right in your own backyard. The Cleveland Zoo is one of the city’s most popular year-round attractions with animals, programs, events, and learning opportunities galore.
Reuben Treatman, lives in Cleveland
Take advantage of the low cost of living, the culture and the restaurant scene. Cleveland is well known as having a very economical real estate market. You can find reasonable rent especially in Tremont & OH City; more hit and miss downtown. The Restaurant scene is prime. Plenty of culture with 3 major sports teams, world class museum of art and orchestra. And best of all its for the whole family.
Cleveland is an easy drive or flight from pretty much everywhere (Cleveland Hopkins Airport is 15 minutes from downtown). Compared to other major cities, Hopkins is blessed with short security lines and cheap, close parking.
I could keep going, but when you come here with an open mind, you’ll see how great this city is. I went from a naysayer to an advocate and I cannot say enough good things about this place. Friends that visit say the same thing “Wow! I never expected this, moving to Cleveland is really cool.”
Moving anywhere is stressful, but moving to Cleveland doesn’t have to be riddled with anxiety. Here are some important moving tips to remember:
Ohio laws protect landlords more than they do tenants. If you must rent, make sure you know your rights.
Crime is an inevitable part of any city’s makeup. Become familiar with areas that have high crime rates and plan your activities and living situation accordingly.
If you need a place to put your belongings while you’re in limbo, consider renting a storage unit in Cleveland while you continue your house hunt.
Continually explore ways that you can save money while moving. Take the money you’ve saved and plan a weekend trip to de-stress after the move.
Always prioritize where you want to live based on your lifestyle and needs. Cleveland is affordable enough to give families the flexibility to take risks in their career that can lead to fulfillment. But taking risks doesn’t mean you should compromise on the things that matter to you.