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Best place to live within 60 miles or so of Ann Arbor?
May be relocating to Ann Arbor/Livonia area soon. What would be the best place to live?
2. resale value in 3 years (will be a temp move)
3. gated community?
4. friendly towards a young family
We will be spending from 350K to 450k or more. Will spend over 500K if the resale potential is better. I have noticed through the local MLS that Shelby Twn and Washington Twn seem to have the best house for the money. But are they good places to live?
If you're working in the Ann Arbor with the ability to afford 350 and up on a home, then Ann Arbor, itself, fits your needs. The resale on homes in this price range have been strong, esp. if your home is below 400,000. Some of the more popular subs are, Hometown Village, The Uplands, The Ravines and Country French Estates. These subs are on the edge of the city often falling into Scio Twnshp. (where taxes are lower than A2 taxes) - while remaining in the Ann Arbor school system. I know there are some housed in the Hometown Village sub that are for rent, though with monthly rents equal to a house payment.
The two places you mentioned may seem close, but the traffic in the Detroit metro area is awful. It would take forever to get to A2 (over a hour, one way). If you don't want to live in A2, then look at Dexter, Chelsea, Saline, South Lyon and Brighton. These towns all have good schools and surround A2. The cost of housing is a little less, as are taxes, but resale could be a problem. Overall, these towns are about as far as one would want to live while having to drive to A2 to work - traffic is very heavy around here.
Places to aviod at all cost - Ypsilanti and Willow Run. Ypsi covers a huge area of space from urbanish to country with subs. The subs are in the Lincoln Consd. School Dst., which is alright, but - it's still Ypsi - It's hard to sell a home with an Ypsi address because of the crime, proverty, etc - Check out the Michigan Dept. of Education website for MEAP scores or Michigan schools' report cards - here, you will be able to see how the different towns match-up in terms of basic school performance. Also, from this site, you can search to find the Standard & Poors ratings of the schools/dst. which provides valuable city demographics.
I agree with the previous poster on most points, but thought you could go a little further up 127 and check out Hartland. Dexter and Chelsea are really nice towns too. We live near Williamston and there are some nice areas there but I agree that might be more of a commute than you're looking for.
My dh commuted from Waterford/Whitelake area to East Lansing for 6 yrs. and it was a horrible commute! We were so happy when we could drop the commute!
I live in the Utica/Shelby area, but have lived in Ann Arbor, Livonia, and New Hudson (near Milford).
I really enjoyed living in the New Hudson/Milford area. You're near Island Lake State Rec. Area and Kensington Metro Park...both are beautiful. You have the country and then, the suburban conveniences such as shopping in Brighton, Novi, etc. It's building up rapidly, but it is such a gorgeous area. You're maybe 30-40 minutes to Ann Arbor at most (high traffic would make it this long)...There's lots of back road ways in and I used to make it in 20-25 minutes or less
I worked in Hamburg Twp. and loved the outdoors...lots of pretty homes and natural wooded places...for now
I mountain bike in Pinckney and that is another pretty area.
I went to grade school in Plymouth and loved the ambiance and small town feel of it.
Personally, I think it depends on whether you have kids or not. I think if you're young and single, Royal Oak is the place to live (half hour from Ann Arbor). But, you'll probably want the 'burbs if you are gonna get married and have kids...
You can buy more house for your money (as a very general rule) in Macomb County, but it's far from Ann Arbor. It takes me 1.5 hours from where I live (Utica).
Ann Arbor is a great town to live in. I went to University of Michigan for four years and when I graduated, I was very sad to leave Ann Arbor. It has it all really...culture, arts, great food, open-mindeness, political activism, and recreation. My favorite cities in Metro Detroit area are Ann Arbor and Royal Oak for these reasons.
Lots of good deals right now on housing due to the economy and job market, but you know, I think life is what you make of it...If you want it, you can create it
Livonia is safe and has good schools. It is about a half hour drive (by freeway) from Ann Arbor.
Royal Oak is another 25 minutes away and more yuppified. If you're single, you'll want to check out RO.
Family life is ok in Livonia.
If you are oriented towards more country surroundings and getting a bit farther away from development, Manchester and the outreaches of Saline are pleasant, and within range of commuting to Ann Arbor. The country is more rolling thru this region. Saline has more amenities than Manchester, which really is a sleepy little burg, but one that has some charm, too.
Livonia is a great place to raise a family. It has just over 100,000 residents, of which they are 99.9% caucasion, .05% african american, .05% Middle Eastern
Livonia Population: 100545
Male Population: 48718
Female Population: 51827
Median Age: 40
Average Household Size: 2.59
It's close to Ann Arbor & Detroit, major shopping and major expressways. The area has grown extensively in the past 20 years so your price range is probably on par with the homes in the area. Most neighborhoods are mature ranging from 1950 and on. Staying to the west and/or north of the city are the newer & larger homes.
Good luck. If my job allowed, I'd move back there, but probably to Northville.
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
14,918 posts, read 19,027,395 times
At your price range in this market, your options are almost limitless. With some searching, for $500,000 you can buy what was a million dollar home four years ago. There is no reason not to buy on waterfront unless you do not like waterfront. You have a choice of lakes, rivers, streams or ponds. That will help your resale value. Forget about resale for the next three to five years. Your property value will probably go down during that time. Nothing is selling and there is not much that is going to change that. Real Estate in the City of Ann Arbor is probably safer, especially if you find something on the Huron river and in walking distance or a short drive of downtown.
IN the no mans land around Ann Arbor, you could reacily buy an old farm with a neat house, a big barn and probably a pond or stream. You could get anywhere from 10 to 40 acres easily. Keep in mind that you will want to trim the grass/weeds to keep mosquitoes down in the summer.
Ann Arbor is an absolutely wonderful city. In my opinion it is in the top five cities in the United States. It is a busy city with lots of nightlife and some really good schools. If you want more privacy or a slower paced or quieter lifestyle, look at some of the surrounding quaint small towns.
In Ann Arbor itself, if you can find a house on the arboretum, or along the river, it is hard to beat. I would not bother with subdivisions outside Ann Arbor, but then I despise subdivisions and modern cheapo construction. Subdivision houses not in town are not going to have as strong of resale opportunities as something in town. You wil not find anything unique or special in a subdivision.
Within 60 miles of Ann Arbor you have a lot of choices. Chelsea is wonderful. Tecumseh is pretty nice and a quaint town. Dexter is cute and homey with good schools. Saline is probably less worth looking at than other nearby communities. South Lyon has good schools and very large properties available. The new high school there is awesome. The same is true of Northville. Northville is pretty pricey compared to other options. Plymouth has a marvelous little downtown with lots of quaint historic homes and excellent schools. Some people like Novi (endless shopping malls). In Milford you can get a house right on the edge of a beautiful and large park (Kensington Metropark 5700 acres with a 1200 acre lake). Pushing your 60 mile limits, you could look at Grosse Ile, (an Island) and the Grosse Pointes.
If you are interested in living in a town, take a close look at Plymouth. That would be my top choice outside of Ann Arbor.
Salem is a neat tiny village. It does not even qualify as a town. They have a general store and antique store, a church or two and maybe one restaurant. I think most people in Salem go to South Lyon schools (maybe some to Ann Arbor). I am not sure how they divide it now.
Canton is supposed to be a nice bedroom community with decent schools. I think that it is pretty much subdivisions.
Take your time. I strongly suggest that you rent first, get to know the various areas and then choose. Once you buy, you will not be able to readily sell your house and move to somewhere that you find more appealing. One thing about this area is that each town offers unique qualities and if you dismiss the bedroom communities, every place is very unique from anywhere else.
Looking at earlier suggestions: If you go as far out as Pickney, you may want to consider Hell just for fun. It is a tiny nothing town with a funny name. Very rural and lots of lakes in the area. I find Livonia extremely bland. It is densely populated with no real downtown (they made a hokey attempt to create one). It is relatively clean and safe, but given the other options available why settle for bland? Also if you consider Brighton look carefully at the schools. New Hudson is very close to Milford. There is not a lot there but a few quaint old businesses and a Wallmart strip mall. However it has the advantage of South Lyon Schools and a really nice bike trail that was once a train track. Manchester is another cuteish small town, but probably not as neat as other nearby options unless you find the perfect house there. I agree, do not other with Ypsi (or Romulus, Taylor, Westland, Inkster, etc). Even if you find something very rural the schools are not so great. there are a lot of rural townships in between the mentioned cities and towns (Nortville TWP, Lyon TWP, Ann Arbor TWP, etc) That are in the same school systems, but offer rural living and large acreage.
I cannot imagine not living in Ann Arbor if you work there and can afford to live there. The only reasons to live elsewhere are if you want a more private secluded location; big acreage; a small town or rural location instead of a city; or you want access to big water.
You have a fabulous opportunity right now. Good luck.
Last edited by Coldjensens; 12-05-2007 at 02:30 PM..
Reason: Forgot something
Honestly, if I knew I was going to be moving again in three years and was buying into a depreciating market...I would consider renting.
I second this comment! If the economy stays like it is now or gets worse, 3 years from now you will have a tough time selling your home, in fact you may even loose money. Hopefully you will at lease break even. I live in Canton, and a ton of new empty homes are sitting around, most are up for sale way below market value.
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