Buying in Hudson or Shaker: concerns (Cleveland, Cincinnati: to rent, how much, affordable houses)
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I hear a lot of great things about Shaker and Hudson on these boards. We recently moved to the Cleveland area from the Northern Ky/Cincinnati area. Right now, we are renting a small house on the East side of Shaker Heights on Fairmount Blvd. It is an older, smaller house, but nice. We have the option to buy it for around $120,000. The drawbacks are that there isn't a lot of space (just 0.2 acres, and the upstairs rooms (3 bedrooms and bathroom) all have the sloped ceilings due to it being a cape cod. Also the garage is detached. It is a nice neighborhood though and we've lived there since November (the worst season, I know). We have been looking for houses with decent lot sizes, and ended up finding a nice one in Hudson that we made an offer on, and have received a counteroffer. The house in Hudson is about $100,000 more, but much bigger inside and out. At this point, we are torn between the two. These are my questions:
With Shaker: What will our resale value be in a few years if we want to sell? Would it be possible to rent the house where we are (very close to John Carroll) and make a profit?
With Hudson: Will the drive be terrible into downtown Cleveland for work? (it takes about 30 minutes now from east Shaker at rush hour. The house in Hudson is on the North side--close to I90); Will we be bored in Hudson? (we are a 30 year old couple with no children); How will the resale value of our home be in a few years if we need to move?
I'm pretty familiar with the area you're in now. Towering trees, classic houses, walkable streets, lots of charm
I'm not so familiar with Hudson—except that I know a couple people who grew up there.
What jumped out immediately to me is that you're a 30 y/o couple w/o kids. That definitely sounds like a better fit for the east Shaker/University Heights area! Amenities are much closer (and there are more of them)...there's just alot more going on near you. In the immediate vicinity of JCU there are places to eat, drink & hang out...plus all the restaurants, retail etc. along Warrensville, up at Cedar Center, etc. And you can always hop on the Green line to Shaker Square or Downtown.
North of Fairmount on both sides of Warrensville, relatively affordable houses can be found. They're mostly older (pre-1960) and so the construction is better, although as you already noticed the lots are going to be smaller.
Hudson seems awfully far out of the way for a younger couple—especially if you have to commute Downtown!
We have gone out on the weekends since we moved here (Little Italy, Coventry Village, that shopping center up on Chagrin where Tazza's and Trader Joe's is), but during the winter at least, we have stayed home for the most part through the week. We're wondering how much there would be to do around Shaker once the spring and summer roll around. Does it liven up quite a bit? We still don't know many people, so we're exploring on our own for now. Any ideas on ways to get involved in the community and meet more people?
Also, any more replies to my original message would be great from other posters (drive time, house values, renting market). thanks.
Wow, I forgot about all those things down along Chagrin Blvd. Good point. Have y'all been to Geraci's Pizza on Warrensville yet? Many folks call it the best pizza in Cleveland, although Mama Santa's fans would beg to differ. I'd go with Geraci's. Great stuff
I once lived for a brief time in Little Italy, where I worked at Guarino's on Mayfield, just up from Murray Hill & across from Corbo's bakery—home of Cleveland's best cannoli!
Before that, I lived in Cleveland Hts. a little ways from Coventry. Of course, I found that area way to hippie-ish for my taste, but still no shortage of things to do for young professionals. Another cool area is around Cedar-Fairmount; there was a really hot restaurant there called the Mad Greek (wonder if that's still there?)
All these places, of course, are imminently walkable. You could save lots of $$ on gas living anywhere in the Heights' vicinity. As you may already know, "The Heights" as a general area includes Cleve-Hts, Shaker Hts, Univ-Hts, South Euclid and (according to some) Beachwood.
Cleveland winters aren't much fun to be outdoors in, except for sledding & snowball fights So yeah, once spring blooms, I would say things liven up quite a bit socially...
Welcome - we relocated to "the heights" 3 1/2 years ago from Cincinnati and are quite happy. I sent you a direct message and would love to chat.
We are in Cleveland Heights between Coventry & Cedar Lee and chose the area because of everything going on - I promise it does get more active as the grey weather goes away. Although it is fun to see people xcountry skiing down the street after a good snowfall. We have 2 young kids & aren't able to enjoy Coventry or Cedar Lee nearly enough. Have you been to The Colony, Johnny O'Neills (usually emptyish but promise it's good bar food), Deweys Pizza (all the way from Cinncinati), Cedar Lee theater OR in Coventry, the Inn on Coventry is great for breakfast, Pacific East & Mint Cafe are great for sushi and thai food (although we can't find a restaurant to replace Ambar/Baba if you knew those in Cincinnati)
As for Heights vs. Hudson - Hudson is super cute, but I wouldn't trade this area for the commute to downtown from Hudson (very, very WASPy). You have plenty of great house options in Shaker, but might have to settle on the detached garage. I'm still trying to get used to that this time of year!
With Hudson: Will the drive be terrible into downtown Cleveland for work? (it takes about 30 minutes now from east Shaker at rush hour. The house in Hudson is on the North side--close to I90);
Personally, that drive would be hell for me. Also, are you sure you mean i90? Hudson is nowhere close to that freeway. The drive from Hudson to downtown could easily double your rush hour commute. In fact, you essentially would have to drive through Shaker Heights to get downtown from Hudson.
If I was making the rush hour commute from Shaker Heights to downtown I would definitely take the rapid (even if I had to drive to and park at one of the stations). The commute time might be the same as driving, but not having to stress about parking or traffic and just reading a book during the ride would make it more than worth it for me.
If you don't have kids, there is absolutely no reason to live in Hudson. Hudson is WAY OUT and it's pretty boring when you don't have a house full of kids to chase around and shop for. Hudson holds its value very well right now, but most of the allure of living there is the schools and you pay as much in taxes as Shaker for schools you don't use.
Shaker can be a real bargain right now because so many houses are being sold by the banks. I would buy low / buy from a bank and possibly buy a fixer upper if you want more space for the money. And then if the market improves slowly you should be fine at resale time.The people in Shaker who are screwed are the ones who bought at the top of the market and now need to sell in a hurry. But I think Shaker will bounce back when the market improves and it will always hold its value compared to other areas. You simply cannot replace what Shaker offers in today's dollars and be so close to everything worth doing in Cleveland.
The post you got so far has good points you should take into consideration. I will just add my two cents. I live in Shaker Heights and I love it! I'm close to everything from restaurants, shopping, the freeway, etc. I wouldn't trade it for Hudson. I have a friend who use to live in Hudson and she would always call me to see what is going on in Cleveland or to go to one of the restaurants on Chagrin or on Coventry. Being young with no kids, Shaker is your best bet. You will be bored out of your mind in Hudson, plus your commute from work would be horrible. Just park your car at the rapid station on Warrensville/Shaker Blvd and take the green line downtown. You will save yourself a lot of gas and headaches. I also feel you would be able to sell your house quicker in Shaker than you would be able to in Hudson.
I've never been a big fan of Hudson type cities. They are too predictable - almost and bland (in my opinion). It's a community with some nice city services - but relatively uninspiring or fun. Almost stereotypical 'gated' communities - although gated is used lightly. Hudson has groups of homes which are all very similar. It's located in a community that doesn't really offer too much. Sure it has great history and a cute "Main Street" and down town area - but it's rather typical.
It's not that I have never been a fan of Hudson because it's a great community.. I've just never been a fan of stereotypical suburban/rural sprawl/living. It's not an area that offers much in return. It's quite boring IMO.
Shaker is a great city and the commute is definitely better. The schools are good and most neighborhoods are safe and unique. I would highly recommend it over Hudson for someone who is still young and lively. You are closer to down town, more people in your general age, and have a more enjoyable community. Maybe some years down the road if you have kids - you can relocate to Hudson and settle down.
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