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Old 06-04-2007, 11:33 AM
 
850 posts, read 1,773,930 times
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i'm thinking of moving here in the fall.....can anyone tell me the pos/neg's???
or anything at all really, i'd like to get a feel for the place.....
thanks!
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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What part are you planning to move to? The campus area or the rest of the city? I personally love the campus area. It's kinda considered a mini-New York. It has that great college atomsphere, if you like that.
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
136 posts, read 593,163 times
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Default About Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor has a lot going for it, with a few negatives added in. The biggest negative is that it is probably the most expensive city in the State of Michigan. It is an attractive small city. Most of it lies on old glacial hills, and there are many mature diciduous trees in town.
It's economy is the best in Michigan, with the problems other areas are facing in the state buffered somewhat by the university and the fact that the region, despite it's proximity to Detroit, isn't based on the automotive industry. Another big employer, Pfiezer, has closed their doors here and left a lot of people out of work, though. The University of Michigan is a big presence here, and its influence has always been strong on the town, leading to a steady ebb and flow of students.
There are two major hospitals, U. of M. and St. Joseph./McCauley Health. St. Joes is better, in my opinon. Washtenaw County Community College lies between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and offers many technical classes. It's a top notch community college. Concordia Lutheren Junior College is also here, as are several private schools and academies.
Ann Arbor is liberal in its politics and a place where differences are expected, not spurned. There is something to do any day or evening. There are numerous musical venues, plays and comedy, coffee houses, plenty of good restaurants, good bookstores and a fine public library. A huge summer draw is the art fairs, which occur in early July and bring in artists from all over the country. There is a fine arboretum and a big botanical garden. The public school system is very good. While there is some crime, it's not much for a town this size. There are several shopping centers, mostly on the edges of town, with most major franchise businesses represented, making it easy to shop for anything needed in the area. There are many public parks. There's a leash law for dogs, and it's enforced.
Ann Arbor doesn't really have any poor areas; parts that were run down 40 years ago have been gentrified. Barton Hills is where the most affluent homes are, followed by Ann Arbor Hills and parts of the near east side. There are beautiful old mansions and plenty of fine architecture to be seen in areas around town. The old west side is full of great neighborhoods, with plenty of homes from the Victorian era. While it's gotten pricey, some bargains can be found there. The near north side is modest, affordable, and sometimes quaint. Arrowwood Apts., off Pontiac Trail, is further out that way; it is subsidized housing with a long waiting list. The northeast side is dominated by the U. of M.'s north campus and a lot of development; no bargains are likely there. There are also neighborhoods a bit further out to the south and west that came up after World War II and are modest but respectable, and perhaps more affordable. Pittsfield Hills, once considered lowlife years back, is still a bargain but is gentrified. More recently, many condominiums have grown up, mostly on the outskirts in what was once farm country. There is a definite student ghetto around the U. of M., though. And it's still a landlord's market; there are still more people looking for housing than available rentals, and rents aren't cheap. Neither are houses, if you choose to buy.
And don't look for bargains in the grocery stores. The town has grown a lot in recent decades, and the traffic can get pretty bad on the major arteries. It's just plain luck to find a parking spot on a city streets; with meters strictly enforced, but there are plenty of structures and parking lots in town.
In summary, Ann Arbor is a nice small city. But expect to pay for your cappachino, your view and your night out. And don't be surprised if your next door neighbors aren't out with the welcome wagon... after all, it's a transient town.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:43 PM
 
850 posts, read 1,773,930 times
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wow......thanks meg

very informative.....its been something i've contemplated for awhile but am still not sure about. right now i live in clarkston, mi......i pay about $670/month in rent for a one bed. the thing i guess i was most curious about was trying to live close to downtown.....if that was possible and if the city is completely consumed by students, or if there are other single 30-somethings like myself? i sort of anticipated it would cost a little more, but i could live with that. i read somewhere else that the people there are not necessarily friendly.....which can be a total individualistic perception thing. how would you rate the friendliness of the city? i notice you said don't expect your neighbors out w/a welcome wagon.....but do people actually talk to each other?? :}
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:45 PM
 
850 posts, read 1,773,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissE View Post
What part are you planning to move to? The campus area or the rest of the city? I personally love the campus area. It's kinda considered a mini-New York. It has that great college atomsphere, if you like that.
not really sure.....i wouldn't mind living as close to downtown as possible but wonder if its all students or what?
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Howell and Whitmore Lake, Michigan
5 posts, read 18,924 times
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Default Ann Arbor? How about Whitmore Lake?

We have some houses to rent in Whitmore Lake (about 10 miles from Ann Arbor) ..... Just bought them (a group of four) and looking for good tenants with character and integrity. The other two tenants are awesome people - one house is almost ready to rent now, the other may be in a month or two. If you're still lnterested in that area .... pop us an email and I'll send some pictures and more info. I hear rent in Ann Arbor can be pretty steep ... the place we're renting soon has 2 bedrooms, a finished basement (with washer/dryer), bran new ceramic tile & countertops, some hardwood floors, updated light fixtures, fenced backyard, doorwall to deck, new paint, no garage but has a shed ..... basically a really nice little spot. I've even planted a veggie garden for the next tenant. Rent will be about $880. If anyone out there is looking for a place - Whitmore Lake might be for you. Ya' never know?
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Old 06-06-2007, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
136 posts, read 593,163 times
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Default more about Ann Arbor

(First, I realized I made a little error in my last post, it's Pittsfield Village, not Pittsfield Hills; it's out towards Arborland on the east side, south of Washtenaw.)
Expect to pay more for housing that is close to the downtown. There are many rentals available in this area, but there is never a loss of interest in living in them, and the rents tend to be on the expensive side, which is often buffered by people by sharing rental space. You might look on Craigslist, but as a townie, I've noticed the postings there are on the high side; don't expect these to by typical of the whole rental situation in town. If you choose to live alone, expect to pay $800. to $900. for a one-bedroom, and about $1,200. for a two-bedroom. These of course are ballpark figures.
The Kerrytown area is known for being costly, and while it is close to downtown and has a lot of neighborhood appeal due to being close to many draws, if price is a concern I wouldn't look there first. You might consider the Burns Park area, which is south of Hill Street between Wastenaw and State, or just to the west of it, in the pie slice between State and Packard to the north of Stadium Blvd. These are mixed neighborhoods, with students, professors, families and working people in them. Or look in the Pontiac Trail/Broadway pie slice neighborhood on the near north side; this area has some bargains, if you can find rentals, and is close to downtown. I've already mentioned the old west side. This area starts just to the west of downtown and has plenty of rentals in houses, a few apartments, and is full of character. I'm partial to the neighborhood north of Miller starting at Spring St. and continuing west to Gott St.; Mostly houses built in the early 1900's, it's a quiet area with charm and still is close enough to walk to Main Street. (But that's just my choice, and I'm biased because that was a neighborhood I lived in for a spell.) There are some very reasonable rents in this area.
As for friendliness, I think this is an individual thing. If you want to make friends, you will. If you don't want to talk to your neighbors, you can maintain your privacy. I don't think of Ann Arbor as an unfriendly place. It is a place with a lot of people with serious work and academic concerns, and can seem snobbish, but I think people are people everywhere, and there are lots of interesting people who genuinely want to have friends here. If you go into the Peoples Coop on N. Forth Avenue at Catherine, (which is what Miller turns into east of Main Street) and hang around a while, you'll meet people, guaranteed. And they'll be interesting, intelligent, and receptive to a stranger. You can take up a table and plug in your laptop there, and no one says "shoo". Of course, those tables are right next to the pie and cake display...
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,559,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Lesher View Post
Ann Arbor has a lot going for it, with a few negatives added in. The biggest negative is that it is probably the most expensive city in the State of Michigan. It is an attractive small city. Most of it lies on old glacial hills, and there are many mature diciduous trees in town.
It's economy is the best in Michigan, with the problems other areas are facing in the state buffered somewhat by the university and the fact that the region, despite it's proximity to Detroit, isn't based on the automotive industry. Another big employer, Pfiezer, has closed their doors here and left a lot of people out of work, though. The University of Michigan is a big presence here, and its influence has always been strong on the town, leading to a steady ebb and flow of students.
There are two major hospitals, U. of M. and St. Joseph./McCauley Health. St. Joes is better, in my opinon. Washtenaw County Community College lies between Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and offers many technical classes. It's a top notch community college. Concordia Lutheren Junior College is also here, as are several private schools and academies.
Ann Arbor is liberal in its politics and a place where differences are expected, not spurned. There is something to do any day or evening. There are numerous musical venues, plays and comedy, coffee houses, plenty of good restaurants, good bookstores and a fine public library. A huge summer draw is the art fairs, which occur in early July and bring in artists from all over the country. There is a fine arboretum and a big botanical garden. The public school system is very good. While there is some crime, it's not much for a town this size. There are several shopping centers, mostly on the edges of town, with most major franchise businesses represented, making it easy to shop for anything needed in the area. There are many public parks. There's a leash law for dogs, and it's enforced.
Ann Arbor doesn't really have any poor areas; parts that were run down 40 years ago have been gentrified. Barton Hills is where the most affluent homes are, followed by Ann Arbor Hills and parts of the near east side. There are beautiful old mansions and plenty of fine architecture to be seen in areas around town. The old west side is full of great neighborhoods, with plenty of homes from the Victorian era. While it's gotten pricey, some bargains can be found there. The near north side is modest, affordable, and sometimes quaint. Arrowwood Apts., off Pontiac Trail, is further out that way; it is subsidized housing with a long waiting list. The northeast side is dominated by the U. of M.'s north campus and a lot of development; no bargains are likely there. There are also neighborhoods a bit further out to the south and west that came up after World War II and are modest but respectable, and perhaps more affordable. Pittsfield Hills, once considered lowlife years back, is still a bargain but is gentrified. More recently, many condominiums have grown up, mostly on the outskirts in what was once farm country. There is a definite student ghetto around the U. of M., though. And it's still a landlord's market; there are still more people looking for housing than available rentals, and rents aren't cheap. Neither are houses, if you choose to buy.
And don't look for bargains in the grocery stores. The town has grown a lot in recent decades, and the traffic can get pretty bad on the major arteries. It's just plain luck to find a parking spot on a city streets; with meters strictly enforced, but there are plenty of structures and parking lots in town.
In summary, Ann Arbor is a nice small city. But expect to pay for your cappachino, your view and your night out. And don't be surprised if your next door neighbors aren't out with the welcome wagon... after all, it's a transient town.
Way too much detail; every time I revisit my former (and still spiritual) home, I find yet another angle of the town to explore.

The easiest way to sum up AA is: "cooler than half the people you know, and then some."

Ann Arbor a transient town? That depends on the family. A lot of them are still classic old-timers. You do have the university students and faculty, but the staff don't move, and while people move between Ann Arbor/Madison/Evanston/etc, I would think there are a lot of people who decide "this town is cooler than most of the people I know" and stay put.

I wish I could.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:06 AM
 
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It's easier to live in AA if you have a car. Now, some people will scream at you that you don't need a car, and can get around on bike/public transit/etc. I suppose you could, but it's just not as easy.

For example, when you decide to go shopping for groceries, you will quickly find out that all the 'big box' stores (in Ann Arbor, these would be Meijers, Kroger's, and others) are located away from downtown/campus. The closest big box is a small and notoriously overpriced Kroger's outlet south of Stadium Blvd. But all three of the area's Meijer's stores (the biggest big-boxes in the area) are located beyond AA's freeway ring.

Much of the area's commerce takes place on a few major streets: Washtenaw Ave., S. State St., W. Stadium Blvd., Jackson Road, the AA-Saline Rd., Eisenhower/Packard, Carpenter Rd., and Plymouth Rd. north of the river. None of these areas are easily accessible from central campus without a car, and certainly not if you are trying to haul back groceries in the winter. In fact, I knew several people who used their cars to drive all the way up to the nearest Wal-Mart Supercenter in Howell - about 20 miles away.

Yes, you can get by on a combination of downtown restaurants, corner stores, food co-ops, high-end bakeries, and the downtown farmer's market. But it will cost you.

Also, if you are in AA, you will definitely want to visit and explore Detroit. And that is just really, really inconvenient without a car.

As for affordable rentals, try looking at some of the places on Packard St., south of the law school.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,903 posts, read 7,559,295 times
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Ann Arbor isn't San Francisco. Get a car. You're in Michigan, not Washington DC.
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