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View Poll Results: Best city for young families in greater lansing area
East Lansing 2 28.57%
Okemos 4 57.14%
Dewitt 1 14.29%
Grand Ledge 0 0%
Voters: 7. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-12-2019, 07:21 AM
 
Location: ILLINOIS
5 posts, read 8,406 times
Reputation: 15

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My husband and our toddler will be relocating to the greater Lansing area for work and we are searching for city options. We currently live in a very nice suburb of Chicago, IL that has great over performing schools, very nice park district, a diverse population and lots of shopping and things to do. We are a mixed race family and i speak two languages. I am a people person too and easily make new friends . I am wanting our child to learn another language as well and be in an open and diverse environment. Any recommendations on places to live? Was thinking east lansing because of the university being there but the school districts seem hit or miss depending on where the home is located. Is there a good area of east lansing that we should look for or spots to stay away from? Also considering okemos or dewitt but i dont know anything about those towns. I appreciate any help. This is a huge decision for us and i am open to honest and friendly feedback.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Naperville, IL
196 posts, read 267,402 times
Reputation: 284
Okemos... Okemos schools > East Lansing Schools > Grand Ledge, DeWitt, St John, Eaton Rapids, Mason Schools
Hasleet schools better than EL, not as good as Okemos.

Okemos will provide you with reasonable diversity (many MSU faculty/staff reside there), cultural access etc., without the negatives that the student population sometimes brings to EL.

Haslett schools are almost as good as Okemos, but Haslett itself is not as diverse/cultural.

Okemos is your best bet. My experience - moved from west 'burbs of Chicago to the area (lived in both Okemos and Haslett, daughter was in both school systems) in 2012. Moved back to Naperville in 2015. Neither the best schools (Okemos/Haslett) or the diversity, culture, shopping, dining, etc come close to matching what Naperville or other "top" west suburbs (Wheaton, DG, Hinsdale, GE...) offer. So think carefully about your move.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:29 AM
 
Location: ILLINOIS
5 posts, read 8,406 times
Reputation: 15
Default Thank you!

Thanks for your thorough review. I appreciate the feedback. Okemos will definitely be a contender. Do you mind lettung me know if you rented or owned while in Michigan? If you owned, just wondering what the re sale process was like when you were ready to leave. Still torn between buying or renting. Not very many nice rental homes in either location.
Also, by the way, I love Naperville. Its a great city. We were just there for the christkindel market last month.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:31 AM
 
Location: ILLINOIS
5 posts, read 8,406 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePO View Post
Okemos... Okemos schools > East Lansing Schools > Grand Ledge, DeWitt, St John, Eaton Rapids, Mason Schools
Hasleet schools better than EL, not as good as Okemos.

Okemos will provide you with reasonable diversity (many MSU faculty/staff reside there), cultural access etc., without the negatives that the student population sometimes brings to EL.

Haslett schools are almost as good as Okemos, but Haslett itself is not as diverse/cultural.

Okemos is your best bet. My experience - moved from west 'burbs of Chicago to the area (lived in both Okemos and Haslett, daughter was in both school systems) in 2012. Moved back to Naperville in 2015. Neither the best schools (Okemos/Haslett) or the diversity, culture, shopping, dining, etc come close to matching what Naperville or other "top" west suburbs (Wheaton, DG, Hinsdale, GE...) offer. So think carefully about your move.
Thanks for your thorough review. I appreciate the feedback. Okemos will definitely be a contender. Do you mind lettung me know if you rented or owned while in Michigan? If you owned, just wondering what the re sale process was like when you were ready to leave. Still torn between buying or renting. Not very many nice rental homes in either location.
Also, by the way, I love Naperville. Its a great city. We were just there for the christkindel market last month
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Naperville, IL
196 posts, read 267,402 times
Reputation: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madame Noire View Post
Thanks for your thorough review. I appreciate the feedback. Okemos will definitely be a contender. Do you mind lettung me know if you rented or owned while in Michigan? If you owned, just wondering what the re sale process was like when you were ready to leave. Still torn between buying or renting. Not very many nice rental homes in either location.
Also, by the way, I love Naperville. Its a great city. We were just there for the christkindel market last month
We rented (while selling our house here) and then owned. We (I) first rented an apartment in Okemos while my daughter finished school here (I moved to Mich in March to start the new position, family moved after school finished in June). Then we rented a house on Lake Lansing once school started again (Sep) until we sold our house here and bought one there (next May). The people we rented the lake house from were "snowbirds" - so a Sep-May rental worked out perfectly for us and them... their house would not have been available for a 12 mo rental.

Selling the house was not much different than selling in Illinois - find a decent/aggressive agent who will actively market it (and not just put it on the MLS and sit back), clean it up/de-clutter, stage it well for showings. The difference was that at our price point there, there were not a lot of potential buyers, whereas here in these suburbs there are plenty of buyers for 300K-800k$ homes - homes at that price point are "flying off the shelves". Whereas in that area of Michigan, buyers expect to get 5Br, 10 acres, pole barn, granite and hardwood, for 150k$!! OK, so I exaggerate a bit, but you get the idea. We had to wait about 6 mos from listing to getting a buyer. Our house was 4Br, 3Ba, den/office, LR, DR, Kit, WB FP, full-finished basement, all kinds of built-in oak bookcases, shelving, etc., HW floors, granit counters, marble tile in baths, on 2+ acres, 2 car attached garage, 4 car detached garage, Haslett schools, etc. and priced under 300k$. Here that would be on the market for 8 seconds. Of course , we lost $$ on the sale since RE appreciation there/then was virtually non-existent, certainly in the 2.5 years we owned the house it did not match the hit from the RE commission and closing costs.

So... my advice is to rent for at least a year until you are sure you want to stay there, and during that time, spend time finding the right house for you. Depending upon where you are coming from/selling here, you'll get a lot for your money (though salaries are lower too). Taxes are lower on similar homes too - the tax rate is not much different (around 2% of market value), but values are so much lower. Just watch out for homes that haven't been sold in a long time - the market values could be (artificially) low so the taxes are low - but will increase when the "new" market value (selling price) is used.

Yes, the house rental market there is virtually non-existent, at least in the "non-student" areas (basically everything except Lansing and EL). Maybe do what we did (there were just three of us too, my daughter was a bit older tho (-10 years old)), and rent a 2-3 BR apartment in Okemos. We rented at Central Park apts, they were pretty good.

Be ready for a big shock with auto insurance - it will be more than double what you pay in Illinois, for equivalent coverage.

I'll PM you the name of a good RE agent, who could help you in your rental search, along with your eventual purchase.
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
2,050 posts, read 5,663,639 times
Reputation: 1619
Okemos schools are the better of East Lansing vs. Okemos. Okemos has diverse population of university associates (administrators and professors) and professionals (drs./lawyers/CEO's and Jackson National Life employees). Easy access to East Lansing (the college area for events and activities), Okemos for shopping needs and all of your medical needs can be found on Okemos Road and Jolly Road vast selection of professional buildings/suites etc. Nice park system (Ingham County and Meridian Township). Okemos is governed by Meridian Township, as is Haslett. Haslett and Okemos each have a school district and post office, but all other services (ambulance/fire/parks/taxes) are under the Meridian Township governance. Haslett Schools just a little behind Okemos, but without the "have/have not" mentality or attitude that is subtle but present in Okemos land. Both have wonderful school buildings with lots of extracurricular offerings. East Lansing schools lag only because of the transient population of grad students with families, and the pockets of super affordable housing, as well as the abundance of rental options (houses, townhouses and apartments). East Lansing elementary schools are being rebuilt, so some students have been bused to other buildings in the district until they are completed. Another confusing part of all of this, is that you can have an East Lansing mailing address, and still be in either Haslett or Okemos school district. There are several neighborhoods where this occurs, so be sure and use a realtor that knows exactly what district you'll be residing within. Michigan has school choice, but it's difficult to get in to some of the districts, and depends on the grade level.

Grand Ledge is a nice area, I just feel as though it's someone removed from the hub of the Lansing area. DeWitt is a beautiful area as well, and has some nice subdivisions and seemingly good schools. Again, a little bit of a drive from the "activities" surrounding the MSU campus and downtown Lansing.

As a previous poster said, car insurance will shock you! Shop around to get the best coverage for your needs. If you can rent a townhouse or large apartment for even 6 months you can spend your time seeking housing for the long term. If it's priced right and in decent shape, in a desirable subdivision~it probably won't last long on the market so if you like it, put in the bid.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:33 PM
 
Location: ILLINOIS
5 posts, read 8,406 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks so much. This was very helpful.
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Old 10-12-2019, 12:31 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,249 times
Reputation: 10
Hi. My husband just got a job in Lansing and we are looking to move to Okemos too. We also have a toddler and I'm wondering what to expect. How did your move turn out? Got any advice? If we go, we'll move from Los Angeles to the Lansing area. I am also wondering if we should rent or buy and what its like to have a toddler in Okemos. Did you start preschool?
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