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Old 01-23-2009, 05:10 PM
16 posts, read 54,929 times
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We're looking into a position at EMU - Ypsilanti, which would mean a move from down south. I have read some on the forum about Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor; we are family of 4, DH is in IT, 2 kids (8 and 12) and 2 dogs and a cat; good schools are top priority with short commute another priority. Looking for input on these cities and surrounding townships (Dexter is one I think I heard about), places where we could rent before buying, but still buy in same area so there would be no changes in schools. Hoping for housing prices - <$200K-$250K if possible for 3-4 bed/2 bath and yard. A lot of forum input I read leaned more toward Ann Arbor or surrounding townships. Also, reading news of Michigan unemployment hitting double digit is scary, but then I also saw it was more in Detroit/Flint, not A2 or surrounds. I have family in Detroit/Northwest suburbs, but not familiar with this area at all. Any info appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:21 PM
Location: On the brink of WWIII
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Default West of Ypsilanti


Sounds like you might want to stay west of Ypsilanti or south.

Dexter is nice but so is Ann Arbor. Both seem to be really god schools. There is also the Lincoln Consolidated Schools just south of Ypsi.
Also Saline might be a choice as well.

If you look north of Ann Arbor there is Whitmore lake and a little further North is Pinckney...
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:38 PM
Location: Jacksonville, FL
217 posts, read 568,441 times
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What do you consider a "short" commute? Dexter is about 20 miles west of Ypsitucky and you either have to go through Ann Arbor or take the highway around it to get there. Factor in traffic and it can take some time.

Saline, like Dexter, is another nice small town, but it's much closer to Ypsi...just a direct shot down Michigan Ave. And Benny's Bakery makes the best pretzels on Saturday mornings

And, of course, Ann Arbor is closest and with the way housing prices are these days I bet you can find what you need within your price range.
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Old 01-25-2009, 05:58 AM
Location: Garden City, MI
15 posts, read 142,117 times
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There are some absolutely beautiful homes in Ypsilanti. You may be able to get more for your money. Ann Arbor has top notch schools and supports the arts strongly. Dexter is quaint, quiet, and a quick drive to A2.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:01 PM
Location: S-E Michigan
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Default Mutually exclusive - Good Schools and Under $250K

Unfortunately, as my title says your house budget and request for good schools may be mutually exclusive. Ann Arbor, Saline, Chelsea, and Dexter all have reputations for good schools. Home prices in these areas reflect the perceived school quality, and prices there will start at $250K or higher for the home you describe.

Private schools remain an option but cost is high. Be prepared to consider living in an area with less costly homes and paying private school tuition, or personally supplementing the local school course offerings; or paying significantly more for a home in school districts with a better reputation. Remember - the higher mortage payment associated with a home in a highly regarded district will continue into your children's college years, whereas the cost of personal educational supplements will end with college admission.

The quality of any school is more what the student makes of their opportunities than the school's public reputation. Even the lowest regarded local districts have graduates attending Ivy League universities.

Since you will be new to the area, please be aware the term "Ypsitucky", as used in an above reply, is usually considered an insult. It harkens back to a time nearly 70 years ago when, due to economic necessity and WWII, many southeners moved North to work in the Defense Plants, and many of them settled in what were then rural areas surrounding Ypsilanti. The irony is that today we see a reverse migration of northeners moving South for employment.

Last edited by MI-Roger; 01-25-2009 at 02:43 PM..
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Old 01-25-2009, 09:28 PM
Location: SE Michigan
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Well, also consider that many school districts are feeling the financial crunch and are looking for students from other school districts. They are becoming school of choice.

Saline, mentioned above is one that I notice is a school of choice for residents of certain home school districts... Ypsilanti is one of the school districts considered.

Also, I think Lincoln Consolidated school district seems to be pretty decent, good ratings on greatschools.com and is part of Ypsilanti.

If you live in the wrong part of Ypsilanti, or just along the border (like me, Superior Twp) Lincoln Consolidated Schools are also now a school of choice. They considered students from other counties such as Wayne and Oakland, so I am sure that you living in the city of Ypsilanti or Ypsilanti twp or on the border will have greater consideration for school of choice than someone coming from a completely differnent county.

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Old 01-26-2009, 06:11 AM
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Thanks to all the replies thus far. By school of choice, that means being able to request the school from outside the normal district I assume? Do you have to provide your own transportation? Some of the towns divide the middle school in the 5-6 and 7-8 grades, which seems like a pain to me. Are the starting times the same for all the schools, or staggered?
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:20 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Plymouth - small town great schools neat old fashioned small town atmosphere with lots of community events. Very close to Ypsi.

Ann Arbor - Much larger than plymouth this is a sizable city. Good areas and not so good areas. Mostly great schools. Many great schools. Very close to Ypsilanti

Ypsi - not recommended for families.

Dexter - very quaint small town with great schools. Not as close to Ypsi as Plymouth. A bit smaller. In my opinion it is also a bit nicer becuase it is small and more old fashioned.

Tecumseh - another really quaint small town with great schools. Cheaper than the other options. A bit more rmeote than the oethers.

Chelsea - really nice quaint small town great schools. This may be getting too distant from Ypsi though.

Saline - no longer quaint, but still a decent semi-small town. Good schools.

Ypsi township. Somewhat rural in areas or otherwise filled with cookie cutter subdivisions. Lower level schools are acceptable. I would move before high school, maybe before jr. high school.

You can also look at Ann Abror Township, Lyon Township, plymouth Township, and possibly even Northvlle and Canton. Northville is another great small town formerly quaint with awesome schools. Canton is basicallt cookie cutter subdivisions and stip malls/big box stores. If you are in the Plymouth/Canton school district they are good schools.

$250,000 will go a long way these days. Ignore the asking price. You can negotiate almost every house. You could readily be looking at homes listed in the $350,000 range or even higher.

Remember, once you buy, you will nto be able to sell your house for years. Choose carefully. It may be prudent to rent first before you make a final selection of a community to live in.
Keep in mind a lot cna change in an area in ten years so choosing a place to live based ont he quality of the high school today, may leave you desiring to more in the future. However since no one cna predict the future, the current quality/atmosphere is all that you cna go on.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:22 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,608 posts, read 71,706,145 times
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Personally, I would avaoid school of choice schools. They tend to get the kids that were kicked out of other districts or who did something that is so horrible or embarrassing that they cannot continue in their home school. Not all the kids that come in on school of choice trnasfers are that way, but a susbtantial portion generally are. If our local schools become school of choice, we are switching to private schools.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:40 PM
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Ann Arbor schools are OK, Ypsi wildly unpredictable with some great, some lousy. I would avoid Pinckney because they are horribly overcrowded, taking classes in trailers and tents, not to mention the drug problem. Stay miles from Whitmore lake, "home of the 14-year-old heroin addict." Livingston County schools (brighton, Howell) are OK except Hartland which is another drug pit. South Lyon schools are good and it's close to AA-Ypsi. The Stockbridge schools suck.
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