Rating the Suburbs 2014: Cool Cribs

Home, Neat Home

31810 Lake Road, Avon Lake

List price: $4.7 million Year built: 2002 Square footage: 11,477 No. of bedrooms: 7 No. of baths: 6 full, 2 half The details: The ultra-modern, three-story Colonial has a basketball court, a movie theater in the basement, custom granite double staircase in the foyer and seven custom bedrooms with lake views. The must-see: When you watch the sunset from the outdoor hot tub, you may think you're on vacation, not at home. "You have a panoramic view of Lake Erie," says Kim Crane, a real estate agent at Howard Hanna. "It truly is absolutely stunning." Neighborhood Watch: "Lake Road, along the West Side, is top notch," Crane says. "It's only a two-lane street, so it's not extremely busy."

8900 Eagle Road, Kirtland

List price: $3.5 million Year built: 1929 Square footage: 13,247 No. of bedrooms: 7 No. of baths: 5 full, 3 half The details: This masterpiece, designed by original owner and Cleveland Museum of Art architect Benjamin S. Hubbel, is full of Gothic castle and English countryside influences highlighted by a meticulous renovation. The must-see: The great room boasts a new vaulted ceiling. "It's actually inspired by the frescoes in the room of the Vatican called the Stanza della Segnatura," says Adam Kaufman, a real estate agent at Howard Hanna. Neighborhood Watch: While Eagle Road has a smattering of homes, the 12-acre estate offers privacy. "It feels like you're in the middle of nowhere," says Kaufman.

4735 Mallard Pond Drive, Bath TOWNSHIP

List price: $1.975 million Year built: 1994 Square footage: 8,000 No. of bedrooms: 4 No. of baths: 5 full, 1 half The details: The spacious, contemporary two-story mansion is surrounded by foliage and sits on a pond, while the pool and covered bar in back make it the primo party spot. The must-see: Living here, you can go to work and work out without ever leaving your bedroom. "It's the most luxurious master suite ever, with an incredible glamour bath and a staircase to the lower-level spa and exercise room, and the second floor office loft," says Kaufman. Neighborhood Watch: "It's a great little enclave," he says. "The homes are on nice pieces of land, yet it's cul-de-sac streets."

3074 Lee Road, Shaker Heights

List price:$1.785 million Year built: 1918 Square footage: 8,522 No. of bedrooms: 6 No. of baths: 8 The details: Restored in 2008, this 18-room brick Tudor has an updated kitchen, new windows, wiring and plumbing, while the original carved oak walls still drip with old Shaker class. The must-see: The 2,300-square-foot third floor has its own kitchen and overlooks Marshall Lake. "Back in the 1920s, they would bring the orchestra to the third floor and they would entertain guests," says Craig Cantrall, a real estate agent at Chestnut Hill Realty. Neighborhood Watch: The owners of this mansion and its neighbors share a lake. "It's a great place to grow up," says Cantrall. "It's a very serene setting."

9225 Province Lane, Brecksville

List Price: $2.85 million Year Built: 1998 Square footage: 9,993 No. of bedrooms: 4 No. of baths: 4 full, 2 half The details: This Colonial sits on 13 acres and offers posh upgrades such as marble and granite floors and a commercial-grade kitchen. The must-see: The lower level doubles as an upscale gastropub with a full high-end kitchen and granite top bar that easily fits six. "It has all the amenities you would ever want for entertaining," says Donna Hamblen, a real estate agent at Platinum Fine Homes and Estates. Neighborhood Watch: It's tucked away at the tip of a woodsy cul-de-sac. "A third of Brecksville is actually parkland," Hamblen says. "It's typically what draws people."

Investment Plan

27255 Schady Road, Olmsted TOWNSHIP

List price: $119,900 Year built: 1958 Square footage: 1,152 No. of bedrooms: 4 No. of bathS: 2 The deal: This plucky Cape Cod has good bones and 3 acres of land. On the to-do list? Scrapping and replacing the home's attached garage and refinishing the floors. The steal: "It's absolutely livable after you clean and paint," says Kathleen Drellishak Matejka, a real estate agent with Howard Hanna. "You can take a breath and decide what you want to do to make it sexy again, like going the granite route in the kitchen." Neighborhood watch: "It's about a mile away from the action," says Matejka, who lives nearby. "Every weekend they have something going, like wine tastings or small-town festivals."

121 E. 211 St., Euclid

List price: $79,900 Year built: 1927 Square footage: 1,374 No. of bedrooms: 3 No. of baths: 1 full, 1 half The deal: Beneath the brand-new roof of this Colonial is a wood-burning fireplace and a finished basement. The air conditioning is new, but the windows are old. New counters and floors in the kitchen should be first on the agenda. The steal: "If you spend $3,000 to $4,000 on the kitchen, you're going to get back $10,000, easy," says Lenny Vaccaro, a real estate agent at Howard Hanna. "If you have a really nice kitchen, the house is half sold." Neighborhood Watch: You'll find yourself relaxing at Edgecliff Beach Club just a walk down the road. "It's a place where you really get to meet all your neighbors," says Vaccaro.

2890 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights

List price: $325,000 Year built: 1919 Square footage: 3,704 No. of bedrooms: 4 No. of baths: 2 full, 1 half The deal: You could turn this two-story Colonial, which has a regal foyer and hardwood floors, into a $500,000 property with a year of serious renovations and about $100,000, says Adam Jurcisin, a real estate agent at Keller Williams. The dated kitchen and antique bathrooms need complete overhauls. The steal: "You're paying for the land that it's on and the location," Jurcisin explains. "It's set way back and it's behind a little ravine. That's very hard to find in Cleveland Heights." Neighborhood Watch: "It's about a five-minute walk to Coventry," Jurcisin says. "It's perfect for families, because there's a mega playground right next to the property."

1331 Beach Ave., Lakewood

List price: $74,900 Year built: 1904 Square footage: 1,528 No. of bedrooms: 4 No. of baths: 1 The deal: This Colonial with classic bay windows has a lot going for it, from its newer roof and covered front porch, to a new furnace and lusty location. Against it? No garage or air conditioning, and the kitchen and bathroom, while livable, need updating from top to bottom. The steal: "You could get a pretty decent bathroom for $3,500 and remodel the kitchen for $10,000," says Greg Norman, real estate agent at Howard Hanna. "You could sell that with very little problem for $125,000. Neighborhood Watch: "Anywhere you walk from this quiet, tree-lined street, north or south, east or west, you're by shops, restaurants, taverns and bars," Norman says.

13700 Trenton Trail, Middleburg Heights

List price: $155,000 Year built: 1972 Square footage: 2,138 No. of bedrooms: 4 No. of baths: 2 full, 1 half The deal: Hardwood floors run throughout this spacious split-level, and the basement would make a great office or playroom. The kitchen is original, as is, unfortunately, the cringeworthy gold wallpaper. The steal: Aside from a new garage door, it's all sweat equity and vinegar water here, to peel off that wallpaper. "It just takes somebody who wants to put in a little bit of elbow grease and work and make it their own," says Linda Sprague, a real estate agent at Howard Hanna. Neighborhood Watch: "Indian Creek is a desirable neighborhood," Sprague says. "It's in the Berea school district and minutes away from SouthPark Mall and I-71."

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