Top-charting safety stats and a sky-high median home sale price propelled this tiny, affluent suburb up 16 spots to No. 1 on our list. But while it boasts great accessibility to Chagrin Falls and sends its children to two great school districts outside of its city limits, there is plenty to love inside Moreland Hills, including incredible access to nature and some hearty hometown haunts.
2. Bay Village
Tucked along the Lake Erie shoreline, this walkable bedroom community of more than 15,000 is the hometown people return to to raise their families. Dreamers of white picket fences find an affordable housing stock beaming with character, with more than a third of the homes built before 1950.
With a hot real estate market and affordable taxes, this glossy West Side suburb — a favorite among Cleveland's top-earners — offers much more than just Crocker Park, its multi-million-square-foot mixed-use development.
4. Rocky River
Last year's No. 1 suburb didn't fall far in this year's list thanks to a reliable school system, affordable yet booming housing market and chart-topping community services. Easy access to Lake Erie, Cleveland Metroparks and great dining and nightlife offers something for everyone.
Another year, another No. 1 ranking for Solon City School District, which has topped our education standings for the past decade. But this suburb of 23,068 is also one of the most diverse on this list and boasts a median home price of $328,000.
Ranking second in education behind Solon, this East Side suburb is home to Beachwood Place mall, which sits just down the street from Lyndhurst's Legacy Village. It also ranks No. 13 in median home sale price ($308,500) and No. 8 in 10-year median home sale price increase (28.5%).
7. Pepper Pike
The East Side city with second-highest median home sale price ($450,000) on our list, which sends its children to Orange City School District, offers an easy commute and is home to Ursuline College.
8. Orange Village
Cracking our list this year, Orange Village, another funnel to Orange City School District, boasts a $327,000 median home sale price and is now home to Pinecrest, a 58-acre mixed-use development.
9. Chagrin Falls
The city with the fourth highest median home sale price ($367,500) features an adorable downtown that surrounds a waterfall, a top-five school district and a top 10 safety rankings.
In Hudson, which sold the second most homes on this list, $385,000 gets you the median home and a top-three school system in a city with a historic, charming downtown.
11. Broadview Heights
With 13 square miles south of downtown, our fourth safest suburb offers a top 15 school district. A newly renovated recreation center includes a indoor splash pad, pool, gym and more.
12. Highland Heights
Falling from No. 3 last year, this town of little more than 8,000 boasts a top 10 safety ranking and one of the lowest poverty rates.
13. Richfield Village
Residents of this suburb, which has topped this list many times, pay the lowest property taxes in the Top 20. The suburb has a rural appeal with a short drive from Cleveland and Akron, and amenities such as the Richfield Village Green, which hosts a summer concert series, make it feel like home.
Somehow, one of the 10 lowest paying cities in property taxes also benefits from a top 15 school system and more community services than any other on this list. It also ranks top 15 in most home sales and median home sale price.
15. Avon Lake
More homes sold in Avon Lake last year than any other city on this list. Most likely thanks to being our second safest city, affordable housing, a top 15 school district and a lakefront lifestyle.
16. Shaker Heights
This affordable East Side community may pay the second highest property tax of any suburb in Cleveland, but residents say the community-focused lifestyle is well worth it.
A top-15 rated school district, which it shares with Broadview Heights, and easy access to Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Cleveland Metroparks make this a great place to raise a family.
18. Mayfield Village
One of Northeast Ohio's safest suburbs, this East Side town includes a large chunk of the Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation and great accessibility to Interstate 271 and Route 91.
More than just a town you zoom by on I-77 or I-480, the suburb of 7,000 residents provides plenty of small businesses along Rockside Road and the amenities of cities twice its size.
20. Mayfield Heights
The East Side suburb of nearly 20,000 cracked the top 20 this year thanks to a quick commute, affordable housing and a quick drive to amenities such as Legacy Village.
Editor's Column: What Makes A Great Suburb — The No. 1 suburb is made of more than just freeway access and taxes.
How It Works — Wondering how we calculate our annual Rating the Suburbs list? Here's a sneak peek behind the algorithm.
Where I Live:
We've all got a little hometown pride in us. From cheering on the high school football team on Friday nights to hanging out at the local coffee shop on weekends, where we live influences how we live. Our annual guide to the best places to live will help you make the most out of the community you decide to call home.
Colleen Fritz's Moreland Hills — The marketing professional and her family settled in this year's No. 1 suburb for its serene atmosphere filled with nature and plenty of parks.
Jen Rome's Willoughby — Living in this East Side suburb comes with a lot of perks, such as a historic downtown, easy highway access and low taxes.
Tina Byers' Berea — She still lives on the street where she grew up and cherishes this West Side town's welcoming spirit and familial atmosphere.
Keith Langford's Shaker Heights — The longtime resident found the East Side community was a place where he could grow and evolve with his family.
Larry Berthold's Twinsburg — He spends time hiking, golfing and volunteering in the Summit County suburb.
Katie Bradesca's Avon Lake — She grew up in this lakefront community and is building a life here with her husband, Dan, and three kids.
What's Going On
Who says downtown is the only place with the action? Here's the news that's happening in the suburbs.
Innovative Educational Programs — Streetsboro High School, North Ridgeville High School and T.C. Gurney Elementary School are going above and beyond the normal curriculum.
Nearly Completed Construction Projects — We drill down on projects in Aurora, Lakewood and Mentor.
Defining Gazebos — These eye-catching gazebos redefine beauty in their local communities.
Awesome Playgrounds — Playtime is the best time. Make the most of it with these playgrounds in Stow, Amherst and Beachwood.
Library Love — With many cities upping their literary games, you'll want to check out these local libraries.
Editor's Note: Click the titles to read more. The "Where I Live" and "What's Going On" stories will go live periodically throughout this week.
rating the suburbs
12:00 AM EST
May 29, 2019