Rating the Suburbs 2011

The welcome mat is out again.

Sure, it may be a little mud-stained and tattered by the economic crisis that trampled the real estate market in the past few years. But people are slowly stepping back into the housing game.

So this year's Rating the Suburbs issue is here to help. We've explored what's selling now and what's important to Clevelanders when they're searching for a new place to live.

"There are 27 percent fewer houses on the market than there were this time last year," says Howard W. "Hoby" Hanna IV, president of Howard Hanna Ohio. That figure and the influx of homes purchased last year with the government's first-time buyer tax credit may be reasons why Ohio's year-to-year overall sales are down 5.2 percent.

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