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Old 12-28-2011, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan and Sometimes Orange County CA
15,820 posts, read 28,636,462 times
Reputation: 11638
I think that you woudl enjoy any of the places discussed here. They are all nice communities. You will enjoy life more with a shorter commute.

You only concern is picking one fo them and then deciding that another place woudl have been even better. Since you will rent first, you can avoid that concern. Pick none, rent there for 6 months and check out all fo the different areas. Sometimes places just do not fit. Some people find Birmingham snobby or pretentious, some people find Northville too provincial, Novi soulless, Troy sterile. However other people find each of these places perfect for them. You really cannot know how you will react to a place until you try it.

If I say Birmingham is fake, shallow or pretentious, it would be foolish for you to say "Oh then I will nto consider Brimingham" You might find it perfect. (I actually like Brimingham even though there is a stronger fake shallow and pretentious atmosphere than some places, there are also a lot of terrific people there as well).

A lot of your reaction to any place i going to depend on whom you encounter. The first ten people you meet in any area are going to give you a notion of what you believe the area is like, and that notion is unlikely to change. Thus, your best bet is to identify 5-10 nice communities within a reasonable commute of your work and come check them all out. Spend at least two or three days in each, maybe attend a local church, explore, talk to shopkeepers and small resturaunt owners, even jsut approach people on the street or in a store. It is a lot of work to identify an ideal community, but it is well worth a huge effort.

When we went through this, we identified a lot of communities that we liked a great deal. After choosing one, we often had regrets that we did nto live in one of hte other communitis, but we did not want to move, we just want to live in all of these places at once. THere are an awful lot of great towns and great people around here. You could live 15 seperate lives and not run out of very different neat places to live.

That is the problem when people come in here an ask which of these ten towns/suburbs is nice?" They area all fantastic. People are used to areas that have one or two nice places to live a bnch of mediochre places and a dozen bad places. SE michigan is different in that regard. There are 20 fabulous towns, maybe about the same number of mediochre places and about hal that many bad places. No place I have ever been has as many great and varied options as this area. I do no thtink you woudl be unhappy in any of thes epalces, or in any of another ten or so that are withing a close commute. Then of course you have the in between areaas and rural areas that have no name, but are still very nice.

For your budget, you could afford to live on a lake in one of the many lake communities. Imagine walking out your back door into a boat, or just dive in, or go ice skating. . . .. You cannot walk to shops or resturuunts form most such places, but it is an option. Every kind of living imaginable is available except true urban living like you might find in New York, San Francisco or Seattle.
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Brentwood/Nashville
124 posts, read 155,114 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by movestoomuch View Post
Looks like we'll be moving *again.*

Have an opportunity to work in Farmington Hills, zip 48335. (Haggerty Rd.)

We would prefer to be in a very suburban area, as new as possible, high end shopping (I read that Troy has the best mall, but that the Nordstrom at the other mall is better.) and easy access to highways.

We do not want anything remotely rural nor do we enjoy living in the big city.

Not looking for diversty, don't need schools, but realize the better the school district the easier it will be to sell the house in the future.

If we buy (we may just rent the first year) our budget would be 450-500K. But may not go that high as we are now empty-nesters.

Coming from Nashville, originally from NY. Have lived just about everywhere.

*** The "as new as possible" statement is concerning the roads, stores, (strip malls) etc. As opposed to the housing. I've lived in areas where the housing was old, but everything around it was brand spanking new. I don't care about the age of the house, I am looking for a nice, clean, close-in area to shops, restuarants and roads that are easy to travel on.

Thank you.
In addition to the above, I wanted to add this information also and perhaps it will help me get a little more information.

I'm white, 50, married - we are both extremely fit for our age, one adult child (not living with us) and we're totally suburban type people. (Jez, I feel like I'm signing up for a dating site...)

At this time I live in Cool Springs, TN and *love* it. I'm not xain, not into country music either (yuck) but it is as suburban as it gets and other than Scottsdale, Arizona (where we raised our 2 children) it is the cleanest place I have ever lived.

Where have I lived before? Funny you should ask...
Not including where I lived whilst in the military:

Amherst, NY (A suburb of Buffalo, NY)
Las Cruces, NM
San Antonio, TX
Coral Gables, FL
Richmond, VA (Midlothian)
Scottsdale, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA (Peter's Township)
Franklin/Cool Springs/Brentwood/Nashville, TN

If anyone has lived in or knows any of the above mentioned places and can relate areas in/around Farmington Hills that may match those listed above, please leave a comparison of cities for me. I would be forever thankful.

It would be great to score a home with at least 3000 sq ft. Does the MLS include the basement with total square footage? (PA did not)

Places that we lived in before and disliked - Midlothian, VA because it was far removed from everything else. Too far to the highway, shopping, no street lights, no shoulder of the road, no neighborhood sidewalks etc.

Pittsburgh, PA (Peter's Township) was a difficult move for us also. Too rural, too dirty, too far from the highway, too far from everything, no street lights, no shoulder of the road, no neighborhood sidewalks etc. And the city and surrounding areas (other than up north around Cranberry) was SOOOOO dirty and the streets were a nightmare to navigate because of the antiquated street system and the vast number of bridges. Even with GPS it was easy to get lost. On a lighter note though, Pittsburgh had THE most polite drivers! Not to mention great sports teams and beautiful facilities.

The people in all of the cities mentioned above were all fine. Getting along with and meeting people doesn't seem to be a problem for me. *Imagine that after all my complaining* (I'm still friends with people in all the above cities.) Convenience and living in a nice, clean, up-to-date area seems to be really hard to find unless it's fairly rural or millionaire row.

I've done quite a bit of research, but other than actually going there (which will happen soon) and seeing with my own two eyes what it is like
not really Detroit proper, since it is a *city* and I'm not looking for that -

Please understand I am NOT saying anything negative about Detroit. Detroit has its good areas and bad. I'm looking for suburban life so I think finding what I am looking for may be easier than I am anticipating.

I'm just excited about living near an NBA team again!

Out drive time we are comfortable with would be from 1/2 to 3/4 an hour.

I'm seriously hoping I haven't turned a ton of people off on City-Data since I am asking for suburban area advice. If we were younger, this would be a no brainer. But being the age we are and having lived in so many other places, we know what makes us most comfortable.

Thank you City-Data crew. I've used these forums before and it has usually steered me in the right direction so I can gather the rest of the needed information on my own.

Once again, thank you all.

Last edited by movestoomuch; 01-01-2012 at 12:29 PM.. Reason: changed original house price to 450
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Brentwood/Nashville
124 posts, read 155,114 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I think that you woudl enjoy any of the places discussed here. They are all nice communities. You will enjoy life more with a shorter commute.

You only concern is picking one fo them and then deciding that another place woudl have been even better. Since you will rent first, you can avoid that concern. Pick none, rent there for 6 months and check out all fo the different areas. Sometimes places just do not fit. Some people find Birmingham snobby or pretentious, some people find Northville too provincial, Novi soulless, Troy sterile. However other people find each of these places perfect for them. You really cannot know how you will react to a place until you try it.

If I say Birmingham is fake, shallow or pretentious, it would be foolish for you to say "Oh then I will nto consider Brimingham" You might find it perfect. (I actually like Brimingham even though there is a stronger fake shallow and pretentious atmosphere than some places, there are also a lot of terrific people there as well).

A lot of your reaction to any place i going to depend on whom you encounter. The first ten people you meet in any area are going to give you a notion of what you believe the area is like, and that notion is unlikely to change. Thus, your best bet is to identify 5-10 nice communities within a reasonable commute of your work and come check them all out. Spend at least two or three days in each, maybe attend a local church, explore, talk to shopkeepers and small resturaunt owners, even jsut approach people on the street or in a store. It is a lot of work to identify an ideal community, but it is well worth a huge effort.

When we went through this, we identified a lot of communities that we liked a great deal. After choosing one, we often had regrets that we did nto live in one of hte other communitis, but we did not want to move, we just want to live in all of these places at once. THere are an awful lot of great towns and great people around here. You could live 15 seperate lives and not run out of very different neat places to live.

That is the problem when people come in here an ask which of these ten towns/suburbs is nice?" They area all fantastic. People are used to areas that have one or two nice places to live a bnch of mediochre places and a dozen bad places. SE michigan is different in that regard. There are 20 fabulous towns, maybe about the same number of mediochre places and about hal that many bad places. No place I have ever been has as many great and varied options as this area. I do no thtink you woudl be unhappy in any of thes epalces, or in any of another ten or so that are withing a close commute. Then of course you have the in between areaas and rural areas that have no name, but are still very nice.

For your budget, you could afford to live on a lake in one of the many lake communities. Imagine walking out your back door into a boat, or just dive in, or go ice skating. . . .. You cannot walk to shops or resturuunts form most such places, but it is an option. Every kind of living imaginable is available except true urban living like you might find in New York, San Francisco or Seattle.
Thank you for your wonderful insight and advice.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Michigan
2,795 posts, read 2,204,922 times
Reputation: 2005
Detroit's suburbs are way more organized and dense than most of the ones you mentioned. It's all mostly one contiguous developed area and I'd say it's a lot harder to get yourself lost than most metros. Overall, it's probably very similar to the Phoenix metro.

I also understand the city vs. suburban living preference (I've visited the urban planning forum, holy geez!), though personally it doesn't bother me none. I'd love for everyone to like all of SE Michigan and find the whole area to satisfy their needs. But ya know, different strokes for different folks.

I actually checked out Cool Springs on Google and Farmington/Novi actually looks pretty similar to that area just not as hilly or zig-zaggy roads. It also looks like it's not as new as Cool Springs but pretty new by Metro Detroit standards. So I'd like to say that you'll quite enjoy the area but until you see for yourself, I can't really say. But I do hope you find what you're looking for.
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Old 01-01-2012, 06:59 PM
 
18 posts, read 15,131 times
Reputation: 12
I would rent an apartment/condo close to your work for 3-6 months, then decide where you want to purchase a home. Good luck and welcome!
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:42 AM
 
2,733 posts, read 2,839,203 times
Reputation: 1547
I have lived in FL,CA,NJ. MI areas I suggested Bloomfield Hills,Birmingham,West Bloomfield are very clean,beutiful areas. I think at one time BH was the 4th wealthiest city in the US. It is very upscale and nice. I am not sure you could get a 3000 sq ft home for the price you are looking but who knows with the enconomy there are deals but I agree to rent first. There are plenty of side walks for walking/biking,close to many shops/restaurants,safe/clean.
Even in these 3 cities you don't have to be a millionaire to live not even close. Many middle class people but you may have to be flexible with the size and type of home. Also lets say you pick a place in WB it would be for the most part less expensive then BH.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Brentwood/Nashville
124 posts, read 155,114 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by movestoomuch View Post
Looks like we'll be moving *again.*

Have an opportunity to work in Farmington Hills, zip 48335. (Haggerty Rd.)

We would prefer to be in a very suburban area, as new as possible, high end shopping (I read that Troy has the best mall, but that the Nordstrom at the other mall is better.) and easy access to highways.

We do not want anything remotely rural nor do we enjoy living in the big city.

Not looking for diversty, don't need schools, but realize the better the school district the easier it will be to sell the house in the future.

If we buy (we may just rent the first year) our budget would be 700-800K. But may not go that high as we are now empty-nesters.

Coming from Nashville, originally from NY. Have lived just about everywhere.

*** The "as new as possible" statement is concerning the roads, stores, (strip malls) etc. As opposed to the housing. I've lived in areas where the housing was old, but everything around it was brand spanking new. I don't care about the age of the house, I am looking for a nice, clean, close-in area to shops, restuarants and roads that are easy to travel on.

Thank you.
SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to report that a friend I work with in Nashville is originally from Farmington and said that I'll love this area! YAY!
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Brentwood/Nashville
124 posts, read 155,114 times
Reputation: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
Twelve Oaks and Somerset are the malls you're talking about. Both are right off the freeway so you'll have no problem getting to either regardless of where you live.

Northville is probably more closer to rural than what you're looking for but it's still quite nice (though maybe not as new). West Bloomfied, Farmignton Hills, and Birmingham seem like your best options. Birmingham would be most affluent and FH would be least affluent. The west and north side of Troy would be sort of in the middle and Birmingham is probably a little more busy than the others but overall I think you'll have no problem finding what you're looking for in that area.

The main roads are pretty much laid out in a grid and getting your way around wouldn't be too hard unless you go towards the lakes (the grid breaks down around them). At worst, you'll just have to deal with traffic but without assuming where you've lived, I wouldn't say it's too bad. There's a lot but it at least moves.
The job is on Haggerty in Farmington Hills and Somerset is where I would shop with my daughter because it's like Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, AZ which is what I am used to.

Since the job is kind of far away from the Somerset area, any suggestions for a nice busy neighborhoods in between. Are Novi and Northville my best neighborhood/towns at this time? Looking up to 600K.
I'd love sidewalks, streetlights and nice stores/strip malls right around the corner.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Michigan
2,795 posts, read 2,204,922 times
Reputation: 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by movestoomuch View Post
The job is on Haggerty in Farmington Hills and Somerset is where I would shop with my daughter because it's like Fashion Square Mall in Scottsdale, AZ which is what I am used to.

Since the job is kind of far away from the Somerset area, any suggestions for a nice busy neighborhoods in between. Are Novi and Northville my best neighborhood/towns at this time? Looking up to 600K.
I'd love sidewalks, streetlights and nice stores/strip malls right around the corner.
Hmm. There's a lot in between with busy strip malls and plenty of houses under that price range so you'll have no problem there, the only thing is that a lot of subdivisions look like they don't have sidewalks unless you choose to either be closer to the mall or closer to the job.

Some probable areas that I think you might look into are: (by major road intersections)
  • 12 Mile and Evergreen
  • Southfield and 14 Mile
  • Cranbrook and Maple
  • Maple and Farmington

Those locations have subdivisions nearby with sidewalks. Between those areas, you're most likely to find strip malls on Telegraph, Orchard Lake Road, and Southfield Road. The price ranges vary a lot, but you'll find plenty within your range. However, you'll find streetlights within the subdivision to be few and far in between but I think that's the norm of most of suburban Michigan.

Of course, if you don't find what you're looking for there, Farmington Hills and Novi will still be good options and you'll just have to travel farther to get to Somerset.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
1,081 posts, read 1,586,945 times
Reputation: 465
The OP got me curious about Whole Foods. So I went there to get a simple item for dinner and they don't even have it. If the OP wants a good selection of food they should try Vince and Joes or Randazoo.

Just a heads up for the OP. I went to other popular stores in Northville and Livonia and they don't even carry this simple selection at the meat counter.

So it might be worth looking to live over in Troy, Sterling Heights, Macomb, Shelby twp area. You can find almost anything over there from the simple things to ethnic cultural stuff.

Last edited by Jwo85; 01-09-2012 at 04:31 PM..
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