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Old 08-23-2011, 12:58 AM
 
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We may be relocating from Chicago to Detroit Area. We use to live in the Detroit Area but had to move for a job and now may be moving back. My husband would be working at the Ren-Cen and would like to keep the commute to 30-40 minutes. We have a small child and so would like a city with a great school district.

Any help is appreciated!
Cindy
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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Anybody????

There were two cities I was thinking of, Troy and Rochester Hills. Do you think the commute would be ok? And family-friendly?
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Michigan
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Both are nice cities, usual middle class suburbia, good schools, and good services. Sterling Heights, is a good choice too, since I used to live there.

The only problem would be the commute into downtown. I-75 is the main thruway into the northern suburbs and around rush hour, it can get pretty backed up. The trip might be an hour because of traffic, otherwise it's pretty close to the 30-40 minute range.

Overall, the areas you picked are pretty good and family friendly. The only difference between the cities would probably be price ranges for homes.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Downtown Detroit
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Both Rochester Hills and Troy are relatively upscale and are good communities. There honestly isn't much difference between the two. Rochester Hills is a little more "quaint," but otherwise I tend to think they are interchangeable. Rochester has a little downtown that is nice and family friendly. Troy has a business district and has some highrise office campuses.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,338 posts, read 75,378,718 times
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If you can afford to live in a nice place, then I think that your two best options are the Grosse Pointe Cities or Grosse Ile. Grosse Pointes are just upriver from Detroit and Grosse Ile is about 20 miles downriver from Detroit (I think it is 27 miles if you take the freeway, but 14 miles as the crow flies).

All offer excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, very nice housing options, and community amenities.

I know Grosse Ile the best.
Grosse Ile is a group of 14 islands (although you really do not notice when you cross a canal, or narrow straight, or causeway from one to another; and most people refer to it as “The Island”). Roughly 10,000 people live there. Access is by two bridges (one free, one toll). It has about 700 acres of scattered open space properties that were purchased by the township and preserved as forest and a bird sanctuary. Basically when a developer wanted to build a subdivision, the Township bought the land and made it into open space. There are some subdivisions (including Jewell Colony a really beautiful subdivision created in the 1920s). Most waterfront property is zoned 1 house per acre. Inland zoning is tighter, but still pretty well spaced out. Many inland homes have canal access to the river/Lake Erie. Trees, forests, and wildlife are common. The houses nestled in the trees, prevalence of trees, forest and wildlife, water and boats everywhere, and the ever present smell of wood smoke from back yard fire pits or winter time fireplaces, creates a camp like atmosphere. Schools are small (650-700 in the high school), but very highly regarded (top 10 in some ratings). The high school football team is usually terrible, but they excel in tennis, golf, sailing, crew (rowing), and sometimes swimming, track, and baseball/softball. Community amenities are amazing. The Township owns a country club with a pool and a restaurant, a large farm that is now used as a community center complex and an equestrian center, a sledding hill, several soccer fields, a small airport for hobbyists, a river view boardwalk, a community built playscape, a marina, miles and miles of bike trails and a pavilion where live music is performed outside on Sunday evenings in the summer. In addition to public facilities there are two private country clubs, three boat (Yacht) clubs, an indoor tennis club, an alpaca farm, and a historic Azaela nursery. “Town” consists of a single street with a large grocery (with starbucks) and a small independent grocery, a bakery, hardware store, B & B, a smattering of restaurants and art galleries and a lot of banks and realtors. Going for a walk or a bike ride is like walking through a park or a tourist destination city. When you vacation, you may just want to stay home for a week. Community events abound (parades, festivals, island clean up, Island Fest, etc) and hundreds attend the football games to cheer them on when they lose by less than 30 points (they even won a couple of games last year!). The four churches band together every four or so years to put on the Boar’s head festival – a huge Christmas pagent involving 500 or more performers, directors and technicians. Housing ranges in age from the early 1800s, to modern houses, and in size from Condos and small starter homes to a 28,000 square foot mansion with everything in between.

I live in Grosse Ile and work at the Ren Cen. It takes me 37 minutes to get to work (usually). It is a pleasant drive because 15 minutes is on surface streets, 18 minutes on the freeway and then about three or four minutes into the parking garage. This breaks it up a bit. Some day I am going to take a boat to work and see if that is practical for occasional summer Fridays.


The Grosse Points include four separate cities grouped together bordering Detroit. A large number of my co-workers live here, and we considered it seriously before choosing Grosse Ile. The cities are all clean and safe. Grosse Point South High school enjoys an excellent reputation (North less so, but it is not terrible). Houses are tightly spaced and various strips of shops adjoin neighborhoods from place to place. Walking to shops is practical for many residents. The Pointes are family oriented. Each city has a really nice park for its residents use only. The Pointes are more city suburb type living, open space, forests and wildlife are not common. However the Pointes sit on the shores of Lake St. Claire. Although very few homes have water access, the City parks have access for most residents and you can get on a waiting list to keep a boat at a marina. Housing stock is varied in age and type and is mostly excellent. Best of all it is about 15 minutes from the Ren Cen all on surface streets. The only complaints that you hear from residents is that major shopping requires a long trek since you do not want to shop in Detroit and some complaints about snobbery (which I believed are mostly misplaced and/or sour grapes)
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Old 08-25-2011, 02:15 AM
 
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Default Dearborn is ten minutes away

Check out the community of Dearborn, Home of Henry Ford.

Low taxes, great city services, and all kinds of interesting places to eat, see, and be entertained.

Homes are available in all price ranges, with West Dearborn, 15 minutes from the Ren Cen, being more upscale.....

Troy and Rochester Hills are much farther away. Plymouth and Northville are also 'homespun type ' communities worthy of consideration.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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Plymouth and Northville are both fantastic towns. But they are an hour from Downtown. You might make it in 50 minutes from Plymouth.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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I am also relocating to Detroit. My husband and I are looking for a safe town with an active nightlife, where other young people live. I have heard that Royal Oak and Ferndale fit this description. Does anyone else have a recommendation?
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,338 posts, read 75,378,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitBound View Post
I am also relocating to Detroit. My husband and I are looking for a safe town with an active nightlife, where other young people live. I have heard that Royal Oak and Ferndale fit this description. Does anyone else have a recommendation?
Downtown Detroit.

Ann Arbor.

With Ferndale and Royal Oak, you pretty much have it covered.
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Old 09-01-2011, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Royal Oak, MI
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If Troy and Rochester Hills is around your budget I'd say you'd be better off looking at Pleasant Ridge. It's right outside of Ferndale and it's a quick drive down 9 Mile to I-75.

Very clean, upper class, although it has no school district. You'd have to either send your child to Ferndale or Oak Park schools (I'd recommend Ferndale out of the two)

Traffic usually gets pretty bad between 9 mile and 12 mile on I-75 (which would be your way to work most likely) no matter what time of day it is. If you choose to live in Pleasant Ridge you get on I-75 south of 9 Mile which means you avoid the traffic that you would otherwise be stuck in for a good 15-20 minutes commuting from Troy or Rochester Hills.
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