Moving to Cleveland, OH: Is Cleveland a Good Place to Live?

Moving to Cleveland, OH Living Guide

Thinking about living in Cleveland? Consider this your primer on everyday life in this storied Midwestern city. With a reputation for affordability and a vibrant cultural scene, Cleveland is more than just another dot on the map. Our succinct guide cuts through the noise to give you an authentic snapshot of the local lifestyle, from housing costs to leisure activities and what truly defines the experience of living in Ohio.

Short Summary

  • Cleveland is a city with plenty of character, housing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, vibrant arts spaces like University Circle, and historic neighborhoods such as Ohio City.
  • The cost of living in Cleveland is affordable with a competitive housing market and an array of budget-friendly activities, offering financial relief compared to larger cities.
  • Nature enthusiasts and sports fans can enjoy Cleveland’s outdoor activities on Lake Erie and in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, along with passionate support for local sports teams like the Browns, Cavaliers, and Guardians.

Embracing Cleveland's Rich Culture

Fountain of Eternal Life Statue in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland is adorned with a rich cultural tapestry, featuring prominent museums, dynamic arts, and historic neighborhoods.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most iconic things to do in Ohio. From exhibits and interactive displays to live performances, this iconic museum beautifully narrates the influential history of rock music. It's a fitting monument in a city that was home to America's first official rock concert.

University Circle

University Circle, a bustling epicenter of education and culture in Cleveland, is home to renowned institutions like the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra, and Case Western Reserve University. These establishments significantly enrich the city’s intellectual and cultural milieu.

Ohio City Neighborhood

Step into the Ohio City Neighborhood, and you’ll find yourself amid historic charm, local shops, and a tantalizing array of restaurants and breweries. This lively neighborhood enriches Cleveland’s social scene and offers a taste of local life.

Affordable Living in Cleveland

Residing in Cleveland is not heavy on the pocket, thanks in part to its median household income and lower living expenses in Ohio. The city boasts a competitive housing market, a lower cost of living compared to many major cities, and an array of budget-friendly attractions and activities, making it one of the most affordable cities in Ohio.

Housing Market

Cleveland Neighborhood with Cleveland Skyline in the Background

The affordability of its housing market sets the standard for the low cost of living in Cleveland. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy a home, the city provides choices that are more pocket-friendly than the national average, including a lower average rent.

Homes for sale in Cleveland generally have a median home price in the low-to-mid-$100s. When the median home price nationwide is around $380,000, Cleveland real estate is highly affordable. There's also a wide price range available—luxury homes and high-rise penthouses can sometimes surpass $1 million. Truly, there's a home for every budget.

A home in Cleveland is also a good investment. Throughout Cleveland's metro area, home values have risen each year for a solid decade. Single-family homes in Cleveland's suburbs typically have a median home price around $200,000.

Cost of Living Comparison

Cleveland outshines other major cities with its comparatively lower cost of living. From housing and health care to transportation, Cleveland offers a more affordable lifestyle.

On The Council for Community and Economic Research's cost of living index, where 100 is considered the national average, the city of Cleveland scores 89.8, making it just over 10% cheaper to live in Cleveland than the typical American city.

The bulk of this low cost of living comes from the affordability of housing in Cleveland, which is a whopping 23.7% below the national average. Health care and transportation are both about 5% more affordable as well. Groceries are on par with the average, while utilities are about 4% more expensive. While Ohio taxes do include both state and Federal income, Cleveland remains more affordable than numerous cities without a state income tax. 

Here's the overall cost of living for several other cities to help showcase how affordable Cleveland is:

  • Columbus, Ohio: 92.4
  • Tampa, Florida: 95.2
  • Detroit, Michigan: 102.4
  • Dever, Colorado: 108.8
  • San Fransisco, California: 169.5
  • Manhattan, New York: 227.8

Budget-Friendly Attractions and Activities

In Cleveland, entertainment doesn’t necessarily imply a hefty expense. The city offers numerous budget-friendly attractions and activities, ranging from free museum admissions to outdoor events.

If you're looking for free things to do in Cleveland, these are just the start:

  • The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art (moCa)
  • The International Women’s Air & Space Museum
  • The Rockefeller Park Greenhouse and botanical garden
  • NASA Glenn Research Center tours
  • The Butterfly House at the Miller Nature Preserve

And, if you're a Cleveland resident with proof of residency, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo also offer free admission! Check their websites to see which days.

Outdoor Adventures and Natural Beauty

Overflowing with scenic beauty, Cleveland presents endless opportunities for outdoor escapades. From the shores of Lake Erie to the vast Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the extensive MetroParks System, there’s a slice of nature for everyone.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie, teeming with various recreational activities, serves as a nucleus for outdoor enjoyment. Here, you can indulge in boating, fishing, swimming, or simply unwind by one of Ohio's most scenic beaches.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga National Park in Cleveland, Ohio

Cuyahoga Valley National Park acts as a sanctuary for nature aficionados. With its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and extensive hiking trails, the park offers a perfect escape into nature.

MetroParks System

Nicknamed the "Emerald Necklace," the Cleveland MetroParks System spans more than 24,000 acres of parkland. This includes lakefront parks, beaches, playgrounds, nature reserves, and over 100 trails for various outdoor activities.

Sports in The Forest City

The city’s sports culture is vibrant and alive, fueled by the relentless support from its sports fans for their three professional sports teams: the Browns, Cavaliers, and Guardians.

The Cleveland Browns (NFL) have experienced their share of struggles, but their dedicated fan base remains loyal and hopeful for future success. The Cleveland Browns stadium also hosts events such as concerts and college football.

Despite the departure of star player LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA) remain optimistic, focusing on developing a young core of talent for a competitive future in the NBA. The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse is their home stadium.

The Cleveland Guardians (MLB), formerly known as the Indians, underwent an impactful rebranding in 2021. The new name is deeply rooted in the city’s history, symbolizing a fresh start for the team. Progressive Field is their home turf.

On game days, find your people and cheer on your new home team at one of Cleveland's best sports bars.

Typical Weather in Cleveland

Winter in Cleveland, Ohio

The weather in Cleveland can be a real rollercoaster, marked by chilly temperatures and substantial snowfall in the winters and high temperatures up to the low 80s in July. The lowest low temperatures occur in January, with lows of 22 degrees and highs of 34 degrees.

Cleveland’s winter is typified by prolonged, frosty months and recurrent snowstorms. The city’s proximity to Lake Erie often results in lake-effect snow, leading to even more intense snowfall. In a typical winter, Cleveland sees 50–60 inches of snow, about twice the national average.

Economy and Job Market in Cleveland

The economy of Cleveland flourishes due to its assortment of industries like healthcare, advanced manufacturing, finance, and technology. These industries play a significant role in sustaining the city’s job market.

Dozens of major employers call Cleveland home. A few include:

  • The Cleveland Clinic
  • MRI Software
  • Accenture
  • Hyland
  • TransDigm
  • Westfield Insurance

Northeast Ohio is also home to multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Cleveland-Cliffs, Sherwin-Williams, and KeyCorp in Cleveland itself. Parker-Hannifin is in the Mayfield Heights suburb, Progressive Corporation is in Mayfield Village, and TravelCenters of America is in Westlake. A bit further out in Akron are Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and FirstEnergy. The J.M Smucker Company is a little south of that in Orrville.

Getting Around Cleveland

RTA Bus in Cleveland, Ohio

The efficient services of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), operating buses, rapid transit, and trolleys citywide, simplify commuting in Cleveland. From a variety of rail lines and trolleys to extensive bus routes with hundreds of stops around the city and surrounding areas, the RTA ensures you can get where you need to go.

Apart from the RTA, Cleveland presents alternative commuting options such as ride-sharing services and conventional taxis. These options provide additional convenience and flexibility for residents and visitors alike.

In terms of traffic, Cleveland seems to get off lightly when it comes to big-city traffic congestion. The average commute is below the national average, at just over 24 minutes. There are several traffic chokepoints to be aware of, however:

  • Congestion is usually heaviest where southbound I-71 meets I-480, around the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood
  • I-480 between Broadway Avenue and Camden Road, the north edge of the Maple Heights neighborhood, is typically congested during morning rush hour
  • When there's a game on, expect I-77 and I-90 to be heavily trafficked

Education and Healthcare in Cleveland

Cleveland takes pride in its globally acclaimed education and healthcare sectors. The city is home to prestigious universities and globally recognized healthcare facilities.

Top Schools and Universities

The city’s educational landscape is enhanced by its premier schools and universities. They offer a range of academic programs and boast strong college readiness indicators, setting students up for future success.

The majority of Cleveland is served by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, formerly called the Cleveland Municipal School District. In addition to traditional public schools, CMSD includes several academies, early college high schools, and remote learning options, along with other specialized options like dual language. Schools in CMSD are generally divided into PK–8 or K–8 schools and high schools rather than elementary, middle, and high school categories, though some PK–9 schools are also available. CMSD also has a high school choice program that allows students to choose between the district's 30 high schools.

Cleveland State University is the city's major higher education institution, with around 10,000 students enrolled. Other universities and colleges in the area include Case Western Reserve University, Oberlin College and Conservatory, John Carroll University, and Baldwin Wallace University.

Cleveland Clinic and Other Healthcare Facilities

The Cleveland Clinic holds a leading position in the city’s healthcare industry. Known for its top-tier medical care and research facilities, it offers a comprehensive range of specialized healthcare services, including:

  • Cardiology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s Health

The Cleveland Clinic system includes 23 hospitals and 275 outpatient facilities worldwide. Its medical achievements include the discovery of serotonin, the first successful larynx transplant, and the development of a vaccine against triple-negative breast cancer, among many other lauded accomplishments. As an employer, it has more than 58,600 people on its payroll and is indirectly responsible for over 61,000 other jobs. Every three years, the clinic system conducts health needs assessments for the neighborhoods surrounding each of its hospitals in order to adapt and improve its services.

Ready to Discover Your New Home in Cleveland?

Cleveland is a vibrant city that has something for everyone. From its rich cultural heritage to its affordable living, outdoor beauty, passionate sports culture, and world-class healthcare facilities, it’s a city worth exploring. Will it be your next home?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cleveland a good place to live in?

Cleveland is a great place to live with diverse outdoor activities, a renowned healthcare system, and a world-class theater district. Homes are quite affordable and the cost of living is low compared to the national averages.

Why are people moving to Cleveland?

People are moving to Cleveland because of its low cost of living, affordable housing, growing job market, and new development, making it an attractive city to live and work in. Consider the possibilities of living in Cleveland with its thriving industries and promising future.

Is it expensive to live in Cleveland?

Cleveland is among the cheapest metropolitan areas to live in, with housing costs roughly 24% lower than the national average. Overall, it's about 10% lower than the national average.

What are some of the cultural attractions in Cleveland?

Cleveland offers cultural attractions such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and vibrant neighborhoods like Ohio City, providing a diverse and enriching experience for visitors.

What outdoor adventures does Cleveland offer?

Cleveland offers a variety of outdoor adventures, including activities around Lake Erie, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the MetroParks System. Whether you enjoy hiking, water sports, or simply being in nature, there's something for everyone to explore in the area.

Ready to start looking for your new home in Cleveland? Call The Young Team at (216) 402-4774 today to get in touch with a local real estate expert who can help you start your homebuying journey.

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