Posted about 2 years ago

The Ultimate Guide to Grading Cleveland Neighborhoods.

CLEVELAND NEIGHBORHOOD GRADES.

Normal 1423596268 Cleveland Pushpin Map

Many long distance investors look to Cleveland, Ohio as a long distance rental portfolio location. This is because the city has a high rental demand & low priced homes.

From afar it is not so easy to pin point exactly what you are buying. This is why many investors use a scale to grade neighborhoods so they can get a feel for what they are buying. So naturally as someone who runs a $50+ million portfolio I am seen as the go to guy for Cleveland, Ohio investing and am asked quite often "what grade neighborhood is this house in? What about this house?"

So here it is. My grades for the neighborhoods in & around the city of Cleveland.

West Side of Town

Normal 1490459619 Ultimate Guide To Grading Cleveland Neighborhoods West In Progress

East Side of Town

Normal 1491654115 Ultimate Guide To Grading Cleveland Neighborhoods East In Progress

KEY

DARK GREEN: A Neighborhood.

LIGHT GREEN: B Neighborhood.

YELLOW: C Neighborhood.

RED: D & F Neighborhoods.

GOLD STAR: The Holton-Wise Property Group's office.

TAX EXAMPLE: If a home is valued by the county auditor at $100,000 & the Residential Property Tax Rate is 2.79% the annual taxes will be $2,790.

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Normal 1423596760 Grades On A Paper A

A Neighborhood--Single family homes are almost entirely owner occupied. Single family homes are $150k & up. Single family homes here are too expensive to make any sense for a rental. Multifamily apartment buildings are the only rental properties that would make any sense as a rental property. These will trade with very low cap rates but are great passive investments with little to no issues with the tenants.

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Hunting Valley (44040)

Median Income $250k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.30%

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Bentleyville (44022)

Median income $156k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.77%

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Pepper Pike (44124)

Median Income $132k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.33%

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Gates Mills (44040)

Median Income $123k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.63%

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Hudson (44236)

Median Income $123k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.15%

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Waite Hill (44094)

Median Income $119k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.48%

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Orange (44022)

Median Income $100k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.26%

___

Solon (44139)

Median Income $95k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.19%

___

Bratenahl (44108)

Median Income $89k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.82%

___

Beachwood (44122)

Median Income $83k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.16%

___

Avon Lake (44012)

Median Income $82k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.04%

___

Kirtland (44094)

Median Income $82k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.06%

___

Macedonia (44236)

Median Income $81k

Residential Property Tax Rate 1.79%

___

Bay Village (44140)

Median Income $80k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.72%

___

Avon (44011)

Median Income $79k

Residential Property Tax Rate 1.91%

___

Strongsville (44149 & 44136)

Median income $78k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.15%

___

Westlake (44145)

Median Income $76k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.03%

___

Broadview Heights (44147)

Median Income $75k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.36%

___

Shaker Heights (44122 & 44120)

Median Income $75k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.97%

___

North Royalton (44133)

Median Income $69k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.30%

___

University Heights (44118)

Median income $68k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.82%

___

North Olmsted (44070)

Median Income $60k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.87%

___

Middleburg Heights (44130)

Median Income $59k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.31%

___

Chagrin Falls (44022 & 44023)

Median Income $58k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.78%

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Normal 1423597011 Grades On A Paper B

B Neighborhood--Mix of owner occupied single family homes & single family rentals. Owner occupied homes being more common. Single family homes are 60k-120k. You can get some single family homes that need some minor work and get yourself a pretty good rental. Rents are going to be $800-$1,000. Your tenant base is very solid. Some blue collar & some college educated.

___

South Euclid (44121)

Median Income $59k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.16%

___

Cleveland Heights (44118)

Median Income $53k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.80%

___

Parma (44129, 44130 & 44134)

Median Income $49k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.51%

___

Brook Park (44142)

Median Income $49k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.31%

___

Berea (44017)

Median Income $49k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.55%

___

Lakewood (44107)

Median Income $42k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.93%

___

Garfield Heights (44137 & 44125)*

Median income $41k

Residential Property Tax Rate 4.13%

___

Brooklyn (44144)

Median Income $39k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.44%

___

Euclid (44117, 44123 & 44132)

Median Income $35k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.11%

___

Cleveland (44113)**

Median income $24k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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* This neighborhood is a B-/C+ neighborhood.*

**The Ohio City and Tremont neighborhoods are also in this zip code. Those are A class neighborhoods that have been gentrified and see a lot of high end redevelopment by young urban tenants with incredibly high disposable income. Neighborhood quality will very on a street by street basis, sometimes house by house basis. It is not uncommon to have a boarded up home on the same street as a $250k+ townhouse. If there wasn't so much blight around these newer homes one could argue that it they are A neighborhoods as some of the properties are A class and will receive an A class tenant. Extreme diligence and local neighborhood expertise is needed in these areas.**

Normal 1423597324 Grades On A Paper C

C Neighborhood--Mix of owner occupied single family homes & rentals. Rentals being more common. Single family homes are 25k-50k. Rents are going to be $600-$800. Blue collar workers, low income workers, retail, service industry workers, factory workers, SSI & CMHA.

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Cleveland (44111)

Median Income $40k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

___

Cleveland (44144)

Median Income $39k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

___

Bedford (44146)

Median Income $39k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.67%

___

Cleveland (44135)

Median Income $38k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

___

Bedford Heights (44128)

Median Income $37k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.68%

___

Maple Heights (44137)

Median Income $36k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.70%

___

Warrensville Heights (44128)

Median Income $35k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.04%

___

Cleveland (44109)***

Median Income $30k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

___

Newburgh Heights (44105)

Median Income $28k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.37%

___

***The north half of 44109 is a D area. The median income level north of the highway (71) is under $30k. The half south of the highway (71) is the good part of this zip code. Median income on the south side is closer to $40k***

Normal 1423597183 Grades On A Paper D

D Neighborhood--Mostly rentals. Owner occupied single family homes are scarce. Lots of SSI & CMHA. Single family homes are 20k-40k. Rents are going to be $450-$700. Crime is a lot more common.

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Cleveland (44109)***

Median Income $30k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

___

Cleveland (44113)**

Median Income $24k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

___

Cleveland (44102)

Median Income $23k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

___

***The north half of 44109 is a D area. The median income level north of the highway (71) is under $30k. The half south of the highway (71) is the good part of this zip code. Median income on the south side is closer to $40k***

**The Ohio City and Tremont neighborhoods have been gentrified and see a lot of high end redevelopment by young urban tenants with incredibly high disposable income. Neighborhood quality will very on a street by street basis, sometimes house by house basis. It is not uncommon to have a boarded up home on the same street as a $250k+ townhouse. If there wasn't so much blight around these newer homes one could argue that it they are A neighborhoods as some of the properties are A class and will receive an A class tenant. Extreme diligence and local neighborhood expertise is needed in these areas.**

Normal 1423597226 Grades On A Paper F

F Neighborhood--Warzone. Wild West. Empty Houses get stripped of all valuables & sell for almost nothing. Lots of boarded up homes & blocks were many homes were torn down. Total loss is very common. Agent commissions & closing costs will often be higher then the value of the home. Homes in decent condition sell for $15k-$40k. Very dangerous areas.

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East Cleveland (44112)

Median Income $24k

Residential Property Tax Rate 3.24%

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Cleveland (44120)

Median Income $34k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44106)

Median Income $22k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44110)

Median Income $21k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44108)

Median Income $20k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44114)

Median Income $20k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44127)

Median Income $19k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44103)

Median Income $17k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44104)

Median Income $14k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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Cleveland (44115)

Median Income $12k

Residential Property Tax Rate 2.79%

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About the author:

James Wise is the Broker and Owner of The Holton Wise Property Group, a real estate brokerage and property management company operating one of the largest scattered site rental property portfolios in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. He has been a guest speaker on several real estate internet radio shows and podcasts. He regularly writes blogs and articles for multiple real estate related websites. He is an active member of the National Association of Realtors® and the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors®.



Comments (101)

  1. Love that you added the property tax rate!  Helps us run numbers much easier.   Thanks James!


  2. @James Wise, excellent article especially for outside investors it would make things so much easier if the had these for other states as well.


  3. @James Wise - I have a question about your Grading Cleveland Neighborhoods guide.  Since you have already split some neighborhoods... wouldn't it make sense to split 44111 as well.  Not sure where you would draw the line... but there is clearly a huge difference between 44111 the further you go west.  

    From W. 140th to Rocky River Dr., there is notable change for the positive.  If you draw the line at w. 150th, the positive change is even more noticeable with rents often $1000 to $1200.  

    Menlo Park Academy located in 44111 is rated among the top schools in Ohio.

    The 44111 area benefits from the time when so many cops, firemen, and civil servants were required to live in Cleveland, and so many of them chose either West Park (44111) or South Hills (44109)

    I would be interested to read your response.

    Bob


    1. I would agree with that Bob. Maybe taking the Kamm's Corners neighborhood which has properties in both 44135 & 44111 & making it it's own neighborhood in the guide could be a possible solution / improvement along the lines of what you're saying......Thoughts?


  4. This Grading Guide is full of shit!!!! PLEASE don't let one person's published report on a site like biggerpockets be your guide. Keep in mind, people have historically undervalued neighborhoods for their benefit. GENTRIFICATION!!! For example, the guy said 44106 zip code is a warzone/F. Wade Park, Little Italy, Ambler Heights, Case Western, and University One are all located in 44106 and they have homes damn near $1 million, condos for $500K. Does this look like a warzone? https://www.realtor.com/.../2005-Chestnut-Hills-Dr...

    THIS looks like a warzone to you? It's in 44106 https://oneuniversitycircle.com/


    1. I wouldn't go that far....I'm looking at 44106 right now. Yes the East of the zip does have high value properties but the West side of the zip does indeed look like a war zone.

      The same can be said for a city like Shaker 44120 where you have war zones in one part of the city(West) and $400K+ homes on the other(North North-East).

      Though this guide may not be perfect in general I think he has done a good job grading most of the neighborhoods in the Cleveland Area. 


    2. @Dee Monty

      I would agree that you or I could identify a property or a small pocket of properties that do not fit the grade, but it is unfair to describe the guide as BS. 

      Consider the intended audience and the mindset of an out of town investor, who has spent little or no time driving through neighborhoods of Cuyahoga County. For the out of Towner, this guide is an outstanding tool... potentially saving an investor hundreds of hours in developing a purchase strategy.

      For a life long Clevelander like myself, I could certainly point to a few areas to debate the grade, but overall the author has done a great job. 

      Most locals are either west siders or east siders, depending upon where they grew up. My property management business takes east and west, so I am always gaining neighborhood expertise. Out of state investors can use this guide as a base and then hire an agent such as yourself to help them refine their target purchase.

      Good article James.

      Bob Collett


      1. As a California investor that's been all through Cuyahoga County ( Cleveveland Area) for the past 4 years, this guide has some good insight, but nothing was compared to me and my investor partners driving the neighborhoods and seeing how the city is laid out. Investing by the numbers is one component, 10%+ cap rates far exceeds what I was getting in California by 3 fold. Investing by deliberately understanding the nuances of a map by being your own boots on the ground for your portfolio has been my personal success. Third party agents and property managers can give you their insights, but nothing beats you going native in a city, multiple times a year, and really getting a feel for what is going on.


  5. James, fantastic article that gives a non-Clevelander (like me) a lot to chew on and consider. Appreciate your thorough contribution!


  6. Thank you for this informative guide. It is very helpful.


  7. Thank you for such a detailed and informative article.  This is super helpful, especially for new investors looking into Cleveland area!


  8. anything like this for other areas? memphis? indiana?


  9. Thank you for writing this!!


  10. Super helpful. Many thanks


  11. Does this analysis still relevant or were there shifts in prices, incomes or area types ?


  12. Great map.  Has anyone seen a similar map/guide for north nj?


  13. Great Map! Came here from one of your emails, James :D. Still about the same?


  14. https://goo.gl/kKREKg


  15. I put all these areas on a google map. Correct me if you see any inaccuracies 

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=16rHYUUyF3td3kKAV-tmRey1i4vCLYb1M&usp=sharing


  16. I don't see 44125...I'm about to put an offer in and was wondering


  17. I am seeing nice houses around 950 Rushleigh Rd. On the map here we are in a war zone, red. Coudl anyone confirm? The contrast with the houses is impressing.

    Thanks.


    1. @Maurice Amaraggi, that address 952 Rushleigh(tere is no 950 on this street)  is in Cleveland Hts area, jus not the best part of it.

      It's not a war zone ;) but not the most comfortable area generally. In these neighborhoods even couple blocks make the difference.

      Besides, it's quite generalized map, at least for East suburbs. The border of some B-C and D-F is quite foggy. I was surprised that I'm investing in C while living in F...ooops

      However, like a general guide it's an amazing tool. I don't know much about West side and always warn my clients that they have to estimate themselves. Well, I am much less comfortable driving in Lakewood than in Euclid - and Euclid is very different - street by street from west to east increasing the quality and some spots in the middle not on my list of the desirable investments.

      I admire the author of such great map - it's a lot of work to put together. For out of town investors it's really the guide.


  18. Fabulous article, James! Thanks so much!


  19. Are you estimating the income levels based on the property values or are you pulling the income data from a particular source? Thanks.


  20. You're a saint, thank you for posting James!


  21. @James Wise

    Curious now that this guide is 2+ years old, if anything has changed.  Has any area moved up or down the scale?  Are any of the areas trending one way or another?  Anything else changed?


    1. This is a living document. It has seen several changes throughout the last two years. The suburbs all run pretty steady. The biggest changes in the Cleveland area would be how high pricing has gotten in the Tremont, Gordon Square and Ohio City neighborhoods.


  22. @James Wise

    Very good article. This was the first one I read that was really good at describing the different types of neighborhoods as I am a new investor. The part that really helped was growing up in Westlake and now living in Lakewood.

    Thanks for the great article!

    Keep it up!


  23. Thanks James  This is really helpful!


  24. Hi James

    This is an awesome post and love the fact that you color coded all the areas so that out of state investors, like my self, can see what areas should not be considered.

    I do have a question for you with regards to the University Circle area. I'm looking at a multi family building in the 44106 area, but is 1.6 miles from the University Circle. If possible, would you mind giving a quick feedback on what you think? The seller's agent is indicating that University Circle is a big plus to the building since it's only 1.6 miles or so away.

    Thank you.

    David


  25. How would you grade areas like North Collinwood (Waterloo District)? I've been looking at MF's in the area. Costs seem to be 1/2 to 1/3 the price of the West side (Lakewood), would rents be about equivalent?


    1. Collinwood (Waterloo District) is D class. Not familiar with the west side, so I'm not sure about the rents over there. 


  26. Great work on this post James! 


  27. That is an interesting question Eric. Please leave a reply with your hypotheses as I would love to hear them. Holton-Wise has an incredibly large presence in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood. It is part of our strategy to get such a large market share of this neighborhood that we would have the ability to move that needle. I don't know if 5 years is the timeline for a company to get such a share that they could move that need but 10-15 years I think it's very doable. I'd like to see Old Brooklyn turn into something similar to what we are seeing in the West Park neighborhood.   


  28. Great info!

    It looks like it's been about a year since the post. Have you noticed any transition in some of the D and F neighborhoods more recently?


    1. Thanks for reading Jarett. I would say the map as you see it today is pretty much in the same shape as when I originally wrote the blog. I have made a few minor adjustments throughout the year but in general every neighborhood is about the same. The entire market has seen a steady rise in pricing but no specific neighborhoods in my opinion have leap frogged over others and changed their "grade"


      1. Being from Cleveland, I have noticed some trends over the last 5 years in the city. I was wondering if you have seen any trends over your time there that would allow you to make predictions regarding the next 5 years. ie. will there be any current B neighborhoods that move to A or C? I have a few hypotheses of my own, but would love to here someone's take who works in the area daily.


  29. @JamesWise Would you say that Parma and Brooklyn Heights are areas that multifamily units would fetch decent rental rates and tenants, or would SFR make more sense?


    1. Yes, Parma & Brooklyn Heights are both very good areas to buy multi family rentals. Price is cheap enough to make it a good buy and the tenants are of good quality. 


  30. @James Wise,  who would you recommend to insure your rentals when they are vacant?


    1. We use Foremost to insure our 1-4 family rentals. They have vacant coverage available. We never opt to get it but it is available.

  31. Thanks to everyone for their input on this subject. The classifications and map are invaluable to an out of state investor like me.


    1. Glad you enjoyed it John. Thanks for reading.


  32. I'm glad you saw fit to take this old post off the shelf and dust it off! Great pointers James Wise! Thank you!


    1. Thanks for reading Matt. Glad you enjoyed it. I consider this to be somewhat of a living blog. For better or worse neighborhoods in the Cleveland area can change. 


  33. I noticed this article pertains more to the buy and hold aspect of investing. What about flipping? Could I apply this same grade approach to looking for fix and flip opportunities?


    1. Charles,

      Essentially yes. The higher the neighborhood grade the higher the demand for an owner occupied buyer. If you are looking to do flips I would stick with A neighborhoods.


      1. Thank you James. Always appreciate your help and posts.


  34. Hey this was great James.  I lived on the eastside my whole life and only went to the west side when I was bused in High School.  I agree there are a lot of abandoned houses on the eastside. A lot more then the west side. Shaker has it's areas but they closer to the Cleveland border and really just carry the Shaker zip. I've worked in University Hts for almost 20 yrs and it has a lot more rental then I originally knew about but that may have to do with JCU being there.  Also Cleveland Hts. has more because of Case. There are deals now more then ever so if you can deal with college kids whose parents have money...hint..I would grab some there.  This map is handy for me not knowing the west side. I drive for UPS but mostly on the east side so I see the c-f areas a lot but occasionally hit the downtown and lower west side area where they are building a lot. Thanks again.


  35. @James Wise  I think this is an excellent summary of Cleveland's west side.  Born and raised in Parma and have my first flip in Parma on the market now.  Great place to invest.


  36. Found this very useful James. Thank you.


    1. Thanks Charles and Jie.

      Glad you liked it.


  37. @James Wise, Your post is really helpful for an out state investor like me. I hope every seller has this info for out state investor to make our work easier. Thanks! Jie

  38. @James Wise, Your post is really helpful for an out state investor like me. I hope every seller has this info for out state investor to make our work easier. Thanks! Jie

  39. @James Wise, Your post is really helpful for an out state investor like me. I hope every seller has this info for out state investor to make our work easier. Thanks! Jie

    1. Glad I could help @Jie Li


  40. Great article, thanks for sharing!   You said B-C neighborhoods are good for rentals, would you say A-B neighborhoods are good for rehabs?  I'm moving from San Diego to the Aurora-Hudson area and I'm bringing my business with me.  I mainly do rehabs and private money lending and I am also looking to increase my rental portfolio.  So I'm looking for the right areas to invest in, and I have to say that you are a great source of information!


    1. If you can get the homes cheap enough you should do very well in Hudson.

      Hudson is a very wealthy area were homes go for a lot of money. Picking up a distressed property at a discount in Hudson can net you a BIG profit.


  41. Thanks for the information, James.  I'm still looking to pull the trigger on a decent buy/hold in the west side of Cleveland. 

    Just wanted to thank you for your help in clarifying some things with your postings.


    1. Glad I could help Michael.


  42. Great resource James! Thanks so much. My associate & I invest in multifamily buildings, 4-plex up to 100+ units for long-term cash flow.  What area in the Cleveland area would you recommend for these types of investments?  Of course we want to avoid the high risk/crime areas, but wish to maintain high occupancy.

    Thanks.

    [email protected]


    1. We prefer any of the above areas I have listed in the B & C neighborhoods. They are all on the westside. Parma and Old Brooklyn being my favorite places to invest.


  43. @Jarrett Rentz

    I would agree about those areas. B to A neighborhoods.


  44. Thanks for the great tool.  I was looking for something like this to assist in researching areas to purchase property.  I originally had my eyes set around Parma for my first purchase.


    1. You can't go wrong with Parma. IMO it's a great place to live & invest. Both myself & @John Holton live in Parma.


      1. The wife is from Parma so we come to visit often.  I was looking into Olmstead Falls / North Olmstead also.   From my recollection these should be a B to A area.  Any experience in these areas?


  45. Thanks great report that I would agree with about the westside of Cleveland. I recruited Lorain, Lakewood, Parma, and Berea area's.

  46. Where would rank Lorain, Elyria, Vermillion, and Amherst areas. I lived in Lorain for three years while in the Navy and have thought about venturing there because I know the turf.

    1. @George Calbert Those areas are out of my range of expertise.

    2. @George Calbert

      Here's how I would rank those 4 cities:

      1. Lorain = C for the majority with pockets of A & B.  A small portion of Lorain is in the Amherst school district.  You also have small pocket of D area.  Lorain has a lot of potential if they can figure out what to do with the waterfront along the Black River.  We own on rental here in Amherst schools and are purchasing another this month.

      2. Elyria = C for the majority with pockets of A & B.  Less upside here, but pockets with nice neighborhoods especially on the North & far Southeast side & Eastern Heights area.  

      3. Vermilion = B  One of our rentals is in Vermilion.  Great downtown area with restaurants & shops and beach.  Big boating community.  A lot to do in the summer, which brings in many out of towners.

      4. Amherst = A great schools, a wonderful historic downtown area with restaurants & shopping.  Great place to raise a family.  We have lived here for 15 years.  Harder to find good cash flow rentals here under $100k.


      1. @Tim Debrinsky Thank you for adding your far west insights to @James Wise's rankings. What are your thoughts on Huron, Sandusky, Milan, and Oberlin?  


  47. @James Wise 

    This is an excellent handbook for all, especially out of town folks like me.

    Thanks  and I wish someone could produce similar guide for KC MO area.

    Thank again


    1. Thanks @Ndy Onyido 

      Anything you need in regards to Cleveland be sure to give me or one of my team members a call.


  48. Money can be made in F too. Although I think the hassle is not worth it. I also think these would need to be self managed to maintain profitability.


  49. Excellent list, James.

    One of my biggest mistakes as a new investor was not understanding neighborhoods. It’s not enough to buy property because the numbers seem to “make sense,” but an investor also needs to know the good and bad he’s setting himself up for.As I soon found out, I have no patience for C and D neighborhoods, and over the long term, I think you can make more money in A and B neighborhoods. Pick the type that best fits your goals an personality, but don't go in blind and ignorant to the differences.


    1. Thanks for the comment Ed. I think money can be made in classes A-D. A person just needs to properly set their expections.


  50. @Carlos Bezares thanks. You must also know the neighborhoods very well having lived in many of the rental hotspots.

    Of all those you have lived in my personal investing favorite is Brooklyn.


    1. @James Wise Great post thank you for sharing! We have a nice rental/flip for sale in Brooklyn if you are looking for another one.

    2. @James Wise Great post thank you for sharing! We have a nice rental/flip for sale in Brooklyn if you are looking for another one.

  51. @Christian Carson @James Wise 

    As a resident of Shaker whose neighbors include Doctors, law firm partners and the president of a local public university (okay, he's a few blocks away), I can assure you Shaker as a whole is an A+ neighborhood.  That being said, there are five distinct districts that make up Shaker Heights. They include, Fernway, Boulevard, Lomond, Mercer and Onway.  Of those, only Lomond and Onway are suitable for rentals. Onway is mostly single-family homes, but has a high % of rentals that can be acuired in the mid-100s and rent for $1200+.  Lomond includes a decent amount of duplex, which is where most of the investors focus their efforts. 

    That said, Shaker has quite a few apartment buildings.  And by quite a few, I mean A LOT.  They're big and a good portion are owned by one of two guys. Given the taxes, I'm not really interested in investing in Shaker.  

    And no worries about East vs. West - most of my friends live on the West Side and keep telling me to move out there :-) 


  52. Great post from Cleveland I grew up both sides of town I feel you paint a very accurate picture with this post thank you!


    1. Thanks @Carlos Bezares 

      which areas did you grow up in?


      1. @James Wise As a child and teenager I lived in Treemont, Ohio city, Brooklyn, Garfiel Heights, Bratenahl and Newburg Heights. My adult life has been spent on the west side, aside from the time I spent in the Army. That's why I find find your list so accurate. A+ for your list


  53. No worries. Someone's got to defend the east side. :) Sometimes I think I should keep my mouth shut because some of the opportunities out here are so underground that I shouldn't let anyone find out about them.


    1. Christian, thanks for standing up for the east siders :)

  54. @Christian Carson 

    Not that I want to get into a big ol' discussion with you here about the east side of town

     (because as you know I have very little desire to take my west side butt over there)

    When I was asked about Shaker & University Heights I graded both Shaker & UH higher than Parma. Even though it pained me to do so considering that Parma is the greatest city in the history of the USA.    : )

    I am familiar with the money that is in parts of Shaker & UH. In a past life I spent many a days in 250k+ Shaker homes selling Invisible fences.


  55. Keep in mind that schools are an important factor for neighborhood rankings -- in that department anything in the City of Cleveland is probably going to be D or F. That's one reason I'd rather buy in Euclid for stability rather than Cleveland proper, although they are making improvements in the city.


  56. No way I'd put Parma above Shaker Heights. I know @Zoran M. will have something to say about this. Over half of Shaker's census tracts exceed the $100k income mark and about a quarter are off the charts around $250k. The wealth spills into Cleveland Heights on its way to University Circle (which is one of the best rental markets in the state).

    Incomes for east side cities:

    Shaker Heights - $105k

    Beachwood - $103k

    University Heights - $88k

    South Euclid - $72k

    Cleveland Heights - $65k

    I know this isn't much of a rental area but just for laughs:

    Hunting Valley - $373k

    And you keep thinking of 44110 as a war zone while I buy up the whole neighborhood around the Beachland Ballroom. ;)


  57. @Jeff Ranta @Roy N. @Karen Russell 

    Thank you all for your comments.


  58. Extremely helpful to someone like me James who lives on the other side of the world and wants to learn all they can about the Cleveland market - Thank you!


  59. @James Wise 

    Thank-you ... Now we have Cleveland and St-Paul / Minneapolis ... 

    Anyone volunteering for Indianapolis and Milwaukee?


    1. @Roy N.

      Where can I find neighborhood grads info for St-Paul / Minneapolis area?

      I hope someone can write one for Kansas City, Indianapolis, ans Pittsburgh. 


  60. Great post James. This will be invaluable for out of state investors that don't know the different areas. 


  61. @Prince Singh 

    I chose to classify these by zip code as the city of Cleveland covers many neighborhoods of different classes. Some neighborhoods have nicknames such as "old Brooklyn" or "West park" but this seemed to be the simplest way for someone who is unfamiliar with the area to search for properties.

    Of course there are outliers but I feel this paints a very accurate picture of the area.

    I classified these areas myself. I based my grades on the most important thing, first hand knowledge & experience. Actually being here on the ground in these areas day in and day out. There is nothing on google that can come close to what you will learn from being in the trenches daily.


  62. Hi James,

    Thanks for the great compilation. It is very interesting to look at the different Class Neighborhoods and can be very useful in looking for homes. I did some questions on the analysis you did as I have been trying to duplicate a bit simpler versions for some areas I am looking.

    1. Are zip codes the main "demension" that is usually used to classify neighborhoods as a specific class (A,B,C,D,F)?

    2. Did you classify these yourself or were you able to find this information online?

    3. The average pay/ crime rate - is that available online anywhere by zip code as I have some neighborhoods that I have been looking at that could easily be D but also show some signs of possible C or even B?

    This information is very useful especially for some of the lower end neighborhoods.

    Appreciate the help!

    Prince


  63. Thanks @Chad Urbshott 

    I focused on the West side because that is were we almost exclusively operate & have real expertise.

    I would be lying if I said I was an expert on the East side of town. 90% of our business is done on the west side of town.

    Cleveland is a pretty divided area. Rarely to west siders venture east & rarely do east siders venture west.

    That said, I would grade the cities you mentioned as follows. I believe the following grades should be pretty close to what the majority of east side investors would grade them.

    University Heights---B with some A areas

    Shaker Heights---B with some A areas

    Bedford---C

    Maple Heights---C

    Garfield Heights---C

    Cleveland Heights---C

    Euclid---C


    1. Hi @James Wise this is a fantastic if map and many thanks for putting it together. I have printed it and use it as a quick visual resource during due diligence on any property in Cleveland. I wish there was a map like this for all US cities! Well done and thanks for giving back.


  64. Nice compilation James, and a great resource for out of towners.  However, looks like you only focused on the western burbs of Cleveland.  How would you rate places like Bedford, Maple, Garfield, University, Shaker,Cleveland Heights, Euclid, etc?  


    1. Loved this article! Very informative. It's true about Cleveland being divided. I live on the east side of Cleveland and I don't travel to the west side too often. Now I'm starting to invest in properties I'm looking at the west side now. Thanks for this information.


      1. Sylvia Foster glad you liked it. 

        Now lets get to brass tacks. An eastsider investing on the westside? That is unheard of. : )

        Good luck to you, feel free to reach out if you need any assistance navigating this side of town.


      2. That's because I'm a new investor. I grew up on the east side of Cleve and I see a lot of abandoned homes. So I think that investing on the west side would probably make more sense. Thanks for the information and replying! I would love to reach out to you!