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Are you leaving New York to go to Cleveland?


Howard hanna Until Cleveland called, Sarah Scaturro thought she had it all.

Ms. Scaturro had a plum position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was renting a parlor-floor apartment in a brownstone in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. And she was a year into a blossoming relationship with a fellow art enthusiast, Chris McGlinchey, a former conservationist at the Museum of Modern Art who now works remotely as a consultant.

But just as the pandemic was gaining speed in 2020, Ms. Scaturro, who was the head conservator at the Met’s Costume Institute, was offered the role of chief conservator at the world-renowned Cleveland Museum of Art. It was a dream job, but it would mean moving to Northeast Ohio, an unfamiliar area. Mr. McGlinchey had been to Cleveland only once, years before.

But the city, with its affordable housing and walkable inner-ring suburbs within a short drive of the Museum of Art, drew her. “People in the museum world know Cleveland, and know the Cleveland Museum of Art’s quality of programming,” said Ms. Scaturro, 46. “I was immensely intrigued, and I just decided to make the jump.”

Adding to her confidence was Mr. McGlinchey’s assurance that their romance would survive the move, and that he was willing to join her in Cleveland — and even buy a home there.

“Howard hanna We both had jobs in New York that we loved,” he said, “but there comes a point when the work-life balance is out of whack.”

Howard hanna

At the time, the couple weren’t living together. Mr. McGlinchey, 61, was widowed in 2018 and had been splitting his time between a home on the North Fork of Long Island and a house in Jamaica Estates, Queens. So Ms. Scaturro went on her own, renting a house in Shaker Heights, a leafy Cleveland suburb.

Its footprint felt absurdly large — “I had to buy some furniture,” she said — and the rent, at $1,800, felt absurdly low. But the most pleasant surprise was her commute to work: less than 15 minutes on most days.

In the summer of 2020, Mr. McGlinchey’s Queens home sold for $1.05 million. A year later, the couple connected with Edith Myhre, an agent with Howard Hanna Real Estate, in Cleveland.

Mr. McGlinchey planned to pay cash and cover the purchase entirely. He was less focused on a budget than on finding a home with annual property taxes under $15,000.

The couple hoped to find a home with at least four bedrooms — one for guests and two for home offices. Ms. Scaturro, an avid cook, wanted a big kitchen and space for entertaining.

Cleveland’s housing stock is varied and distinctive, and with the couple’s professional backgrounds, architectural heritage was also important.

Among their options:

Designed by Philip Small, the architect responsible for the Cleveland Play House, this five-bedroom, three-and-half-bathroom home was on a half-acre in Shaker Heights.

The couple loved the built-in bookcases, beamed ceilings, screened porch and landscaped yard with its fenced-in patio, although the sprawling layout and numerous rooms seemed a lot to manage. The asking price was $499,000, with about $15,000 in annual property taxes.

Designed by J. Byers Hays, an influential architect who helped bring modernism to Northeast Ohio, this four-bedroom, three-bathroom house was on 0.11 acres in walkable Cleveland Heights, close to Ms. Scaturro’s job.

It was appealing for its open floor plan, Japanese garden and big kitchen, but the couple were concerned that there wasn’t a covered patio for their three cats. The asking price was $440,000, with annual taxes of about $15,000.

This four-bedroom, three-bathroom home, designed by the award-winning architect Stephen J. Bucchieri, was in Pepper Pike, an affluent suburb east of the inner-ring communities the couple were exploring — which meant a longer distance for Ms. Scaturro to commute.

But it had more than an acre of wooded land, and its modernist design, two-story living room and hand-painted dining room walls made a big impression. The asking price was $560,000, with annual taxes of about $12,000

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