Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cleveland, OH -
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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cleveland, OH

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A big city with a small-town feel, Cleveland offers the culture and amenities of urban life with the friendliness of Midwestern hospitality. With a rich history, affordable housing, fine dining, exciting nightlife, thrilling professional sports events and a diverse culture, the city has something to offer to any potential resident. If you are planning or considering relocating to the blue-collar city of Cleveland, this guide will provide you with the information to make your move an easy and comfortable transition.

Cleveland Climate

Located in the Great Lakes region, Cleveland experiences a continental climate with four distinct seasons. It's proximity to Lake Erie subjects the city to a phenomena known as the "lake effect'--when cold air fronts pass over warmer lake waters and form clouds and precipitation. This contributes to the large amount of snowfall in the city from mid-November until late January or early February, when Lake Erie freezes.

Summers in Cleveland are hot and humid. Occasionally the city is struck with severe thunderstorms, hail, winds and tornadoes during the spring and early summer months.

Cleveland Neighborhoods

Cleveland is divided by the Cuyahoga River into two sides--the East Side and the West Side. There are 36 diverse neighborhoods in the city, each with something unique to offer. Downtown Cleveland is one of the nation's top ten business districts and a hub for urban nightlife and recreation. It is home to the city's cultured Theatre District; the swanky Warehouse District boasting chic clubs, street musicians and trendy eateries; and the Gateway area, home of the Cleveland Indian's stadium Jacob's Field as well as a variety of sports pubs, wing joints and music venues.

University Circle is the city's center for education and culture--home to several of the city's colleges, as well as numerous museums, an orchestra hall and beautiful architecture. Just down the street you'll find Little Italy, one of the city's most popular and beloved neighborhoods. Deliciously authentic Italian cuisine, art galleries showcasing paintings and sculpture, quaint craft shops, and religious festivals give this area its traditional Old World charm.

On the East Side, Cedar Fairmont is the city's claim to sophistication, featuring beautiful Tudor-style homes, billiard halls, classy martini bars, and swanky jazz clubs. The Bohemian paradise Coventry Village is popular among the city's college students, with its vintage boutiques, funky record shops, hip live music clubs, ethnic restaurants and pubs.

Registering Your Car

You will have 30 days upon moving to Ohio to register your vehicle in the state and transfer your out-of-state license. Failure to comply could result in a fine.

To update your registration, you will need to transfer your title and plates, have your vehicle inspected, and pay the applicable fees (ranging from $35 to $105 depending on your vehicle).

To transfer your out-of-state driver's license, you will need to pass a written exam as well as a vision test. When you arrive at the DMV, be sure to have proof of identification, proof of Social Security, and proof of residency. A comprehensive list of acceptable documents for identification purposes can be found at Ohio's DMV website.

Cleveland Schools

Public education in the city is operated by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the largest in the state of Ohio. It serves about 56,000 students in 127 facilities. It is also the only district in the state that is under direct control of the mayor, who appoints the school board himself.

The city is home to a number of notable colleges and universities, especially in its University Circle neighborhood. These include Case Western Reserve University, a world-recognized private research and teaching facility ranked 37th in the nation by US & World Report in 2012, the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music. The city's public university is Cleveland State (CSU), which is located in Downtown Cleveland.

Cleveland Employment

Major industry sectors in the city include manufacturing, healthcare, and technology.

The city's imminent location to the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie facilitated its growth as a manufacturing and business center. Cleveland's economy is stimulated by its production of steel, auto parts, rubber and oil products, and machinery. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., the world's largest tire company, is headquartered in nearby Akron. The city is also home to major corporations such as Eaton Corporation, Applied Industrial Technologies, and the Fortune 500 company Sherwin-Williams.

The city's largest private employer is The Cleveland Clinic, considered one of the best hospitals in the country. It employed a workforce of about 37,000 as of 2008. The city's healthcare sector also includes cancer treatment center University Hospital of Cleveland and the Metrohealth Medical Center.

Living Costs in the City

The cost of living in Cleveland is about smack-dab in the middle--falling just on the line of the national average. Housing is fairly affordable, falling six percent below the rate of the average American city. The rent for the standard one-bedroom apartment in Cleveland is just $573 a month, and only $647 for a two-bedroom--quite low for any major city. The average home in the city is listed at about $93,000.

Other typical costs in the city are reasonable as well. Utility costs are only about five percent greater than average, and healthcare four percent. Groceries top the list, climbing above the mean at eight percent greater.

Cleveland Moving Resources

There are many moving and storage companies located in Cleveland that are waiting to help you relocate to your new home. Be sure to do your research and obtain estimates from several different services before choosing one for hire. You can compare online quotes from many different moving companies and other services to aid you in your move, whether you are coming from the next city or overseas. Visit the following pages here at to get fast quotes for the following services:

Cleveland Transportation

Public transportation in the city is serviced by The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), the largest transportation provider in the state of Ohio. It serves residents of the city as well as the outer suburbs of Cuyahoga County, providing about 44 million rides a year to tourists and locals alike.

The RTA operates the Rapid Transit rail system, which is made up of one heavy rail line, The Red Line, and two interurban light rail lines--the Blue Line, the Green Line, and the Waterfront extension. The RTA's bus service consists of regular routes, express routes, loop and para-transit buses. Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound.

If you plan on getting around the city by car, the streets in Cleveland are easy to navigate. Numbered streets run from north to south, while named avenues run east to west.

Culture and Contemporary Life

The city is chock-full of popular tourist attractions, fascinating museums, sporting venues, and diverse cuisine. A city that ranges from blue-collar unpretentiousness to hip and trendy, Cleveland has leisure activities for everyone.

Any music aficionado will feel right at home--the city features two major points of interest dedicated to the love of tunes. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum pays tribute to music's most notable and loved artists and bands with exhibitions and shows, and the House of Blues is a unique restaurant experience that combines live concerts with a Southern-inspired sit-down meal.

For the sports fan, Cleveland is home to three professional teams. Baseball's Cleveland Indians play at Jacob's Field (now renamed Progressive Field) in the Gateway neighborhood and the NFL's Cleveland Browns score touchdowns at FirstEnergy stadium in Downtown Cleveland. Additionally, the NBA's Cleveland Cavalier's shoot hoops at the Quicken Loans Arena.

When it's time to dine, Cleveland features cuisine that will satisfy any palate. Hearty foods such as corned beef sandwiches, BBQ, soul food, ribs and Eastern European fare like kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and pierogies are staples in the city. Perhaps the city's most famous dish, the Polish Boy, is a Cleveland original featuring meaty kielbasa sausage topped with French fries, Cole slaw and BBQ sauce. Friday night fish fries are also a popular tradition, especially during Lent and at church functions.

Cleveland also features a multitude of ethnic restaurants, including authentic Italian dining in Little Italy, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, and Mexican food. Additionally, the city's native Michael Symon, Food Network's famed Iron Chef, owns a number of eateries in the city, such as Lola Bistro.

Cleveland Relocation Tips

  • Bring a diverse wardrobe. The city has a continental climate, which means four varied seasons with a wide range of temperatures.
  • Navigation is fairly simple in Cleveland--numbered streets run north to south and named avenues run east to west. Traffic is also not terribly congested for a major city, so owning a car is completely feasible.
  • Get moving quotes from several movers before choosing one to hire. You can start today right here at

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on March 3, 2013

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