Fish don’t shop — that’s why Avon Lake has dodged the commercial boom seen in its southern neighbors of Westlake, Avon and Sheffield Village. It may be a bit harder to get your big-box shopping done, but the suburb has retained a quaint vibe. That aura was further cultivated recently when city government designated what is believed to be the first cottage district in Ohio, limiting the height of homes in that part of the city to 26 feet. But don’t make the mistake of thinking the entire city of more than 20,000 is cozy. One of the biggest draws has been new homes ranging from 2,000 square feet to well more than 5,000. Unlike some up-and-coming suburbs, Avon Lake’s residential growth happened over a longer period of time, picking up steam in the ’80s with the development of the Westwinds, just over the border from Bay Village on Lake Road. Today, the place to build is Legacy Point, a golf course development. Wherever you build or buy an existing home, your profit is likely to be good. Over the last 10 years, houses here have appreciated nearly 50 percent. Top-rated schools, ranked No. 18 this year, are the backdrop for the suburb’s success and, of course, there’s the lake.