Toledo Suburbs and renting options (Oregon, Sylvania: middle-class, apartments, rentals)
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We are a family of two and have an offer to move to Toledo.
My workplace would be in downtown Toledo.
We are moving from a Chicago suburb and were looking for to rent in a safe Toledo suburb not too far from downtown.
After reading a lot of posts on this forum, I understand that Maumee, Perrysburg and Ottawa Hills are good options.
Would love to know your thoughts on this.
Sylvania, Perrysburg, Ottawa Hills, Oregon, Maumee, and Monclova Township are all generally safe, family friendly suburbs. Do you want a house, townhouse, or apartment? The rental rates will vary depending on which suburb you choose and which type of housing. Renting a house in any of these areas will run you at least $1,500/month, plus utilities. Ottawa Hills will be the priciest, because it is the extreme high rent district with several $1 million + homes in the area and very highly rated schools.
Oregon is a suburb that gets overlooked a lot, but it is, for the most part and especially the farther out Navarre Ave. you go, a safe, family oriented community with decent schools. It is a fairly short commute to downtown, due to I-280 and I-75, even though it is across the river. Rental rates may be somewhat more reasonable there, simply because it doesn't get all the hype that Perrysburg and Sylvania get.
One of the great things about Toledo is that no matter what suburb you choose, it is never more than about 20 minutes to downtown because of the extensive expressway system and lack of traffic as compared to larger, busier cities. If you are coming from Chicago, you will absolutely revel in the lower volume of traffic during Toledo's rush hour.
I'd sooner rent in west Toledo before Oregon. Most of the commute would be just getting to the highway as it's 35MPH for miles until you get into Oregon, despite there being not much more than an oil refinery, a landfill & some factories all spread out until you get into Oregon, and once you actually get into the suburb, it's quite a stretch to get anywhere if you want more than the basic big-box stores & other sparse offerings in Oregon. Oregon/Northwood/Walbridge area is also a train hub. Coming from Chicago, Oregon may just be a little too remote and closed in for you... it can get pretty country out there. But in all, good families, good schools and the poverty rate is very low (like most of the Toledo area - it's cheap to live there.) Also, Maumee Bay and a couple other parks are close-by if you can stand being away from the action.
I know rent in Chicago is insane, so let me emphasize that in Toledo, rent is dirt cheap, even in the suburbs. Rossford is an easy shot from downtown, but I'm not sure there are many rentals available. It's a small area, mostly homeowners in single family homes. Perrysburg is filled with new development and is the most expensive area you'll find, although I wouldn't enjoy living there. Ottawa Hills is a village of beautiful, expensive homes and it's not likely you'll find one to rent there. Sylvania is not bad and blends well with west Toledo. Mostly homes, a tad bit boring and probably the longest commute for you - which would still only be about 20 minutes. Holland is below, and is mostly large apartments/townhomes and retail businesses. Maumee is holding down the southwest corner, and is a consistent, solid option for both renters, homeowners, individuals and families alike. It's a nice safe community with good schools, but is a little more modest than Perrysburg & Sylvania. Downtown can be accessed in about 15 minutes on the Anthony Wayne Trail, and historic Waterville is a short jump below it if you'd like to see some scenery. Maumee is home to the new Fallen Timbers mall and has a good selection of restaurants. It has easy access to the different parts of the city and really is just a good mix of everything. I'd have to recommend this area for you. Great place to be new in town, especially coming in from Chicago, it won't feel too rural. Once you get out past Perrysburg (to the east), things get a little sparse (Walbridge is 'blink & miss', and Northwood's a dump...) Don't forget that west Toledo, from the northwest corner (near Sylvania, around Corey Road & Central - just on top/past Ottawa Hills) is a very nice, peaceful area with near instant access to the 475 loop. Southwest Toledo (surrounded by Maumee, w/ Holland to the left) has a lot to offer too, including exceptionally cheap rent that will get you quite a bit, simply because inventory is up. This area was a big middle-class area before filtering down into Maumee & Perrysburg and still has a lot to offer. This & Maumee is where you'll find a lot of the young professionals & new families.
You can read all you want about the Toledo city limits, but most people don't know what an actual run-down city looks like, which is ridiculous since we're 50 miles down from Detroit. Sections of Toledo are poor, some sections aren't very safe. West Toledo is a nice place to live, and while it's not Perrysburg by any means, it's modest, safe and as middle-class as can be. East Toledo (Collingwood, Detroit Ave, downtown) shouldn't be considered safe enough for children if you can avoid it. Move more towards the University, crime spikes one more time around the area due to the fact that, for some reason, criminals think students aren't as poor as them. Lot's of "Detroit Diamonds" here... it's not rare to find busted out windows right on campus. I lived just below campus, and honestly didn't have a single problem. Ottawa Hills is just above campus, and doesn't have too much crime. The crime is manageable around campus - you just have to be aware of it & avoid it. However, travel more west, the crime drops off significantly by the time you reach Reynold's Rd. Keep going, you're quite safe by Holland-Sylvania. McCord is about the end of Toledo/beginning of Sylvania, and is extremely safe with many rentals available. Toledo's rough parts are manageable and unlike Detroit, you don't just drive out of a safe area into a 'roll 'em up' situation. When you drive through them during the day commute downtown, it's not scary. Some people just get culture shock when moving from rural Ohio towns. I got over that in a couple years, and Toledo has safe and unsafe areas. There are parts of Chicago you'd avoid, just as there are here.
And just like canudigit said above, Toledo's road systems are like most in Ohio: over-invested, over-built and under capacity even during rush-hour. The surface streets are insanely efficient in a 'checkerboard' pattern, easy to navigate, liberal speed limits with connections to highways everywhere. Highways themselves support 70MPH traffic even at rush hour's peak, and accidents are typically rare. Basically, no matter where you choose to live, commuting is beautifully orchestrated here.
Avoid suburbs across the state line. Ohio tax is about half of Michigan's, and their roads are really, really bad. Avoid neighborhoods smashed up against Lake Erie (Point Place, Harbor View, Luna Pier) - Lake Erie is disgusting and I don't trust Detroit enough not to send their toxic waste down one day. And of course, if you do move to Toledo and ever are enticed to move to the Detroit area, say to take a higher paying job like I did, punch yourself in the face until you forget the idea altogether. I moved up here to take a good job offer, found a very safe suburb with the lowest possible rent I could find (double my rent in Toledo) and am returning to Ohio in a couple weeks dead broke. Detroit has a slight influence in Toledo. Resist it!
I moved to Maumee from a Los Angeles Suburb and have no complaints since living here almost 3 years. I might be leaving soon because I recently graduated from UT and want to go to a bigger city. Ottawa Hills is definitely more expensive and mostly houses. Maumee, Perrysburg, and Sylvania are not as expensive without the area being compensated too.
Post above me has the gist of pretty much the Toledo area.
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