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Old 08-09-2012, 12:25 PM
 
5 posts, read 59,269 times
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Hello all,

My SO and I will be relocating to MI from New Mexico in September. I will be working in Detroit for the FED and she will be working at the U of M hospital. We are looking for places that will give us an even commute between Detroit and AA -- maybe even more-so for me. I currently have a 30 minute commute but don't want to push it past 35/40 min.

We are young professionals looking for a safe, but hip and cool city/neighborhood. We enjoy the casual night life with good restaurants, music, culture, and don't mind driving to a more 'metro' downtown area to do so. We also are avid outdoors people and would love to be around biking areas/trails. I grew up in Flint, Michigan but have been gone since 2001. A lot has changed since then and we can't wait to get back and enjoy the numerous things the state has to offer.

We are looking for rental HOMES - we are not currently looking to buy (mainly due to having 2 rental properties back in NM). We've heard good things about Plymouth, Northville, and Ferndale. I haven't heard so much about Livonia, Dearborn/Dearborn Heights, Ypsilanti, Southfield? I've heard mixed reviews on Royal Oak - we're not looking to party and deal with that scene, but what about the out skirts of that area? What about Farmington?

All your help is very much appreciated.

-Shaun
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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Downtown Plymouth might be a good option.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:35 PM
 
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Pretty much a no brainer with Plymouth IMO.

It is located precisely between Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Over the last five years the downtown has really boomed and I think it's probably the coolest/nicest downtown in metro Detroit. (Obvious exception is Birmingham, but that's not everyone's cup of tea.) Lots of fun bars and restaurants, live music in the park every weekend night, lots of fun shops and boutiques.

It's really something.

Northville is great too but quite a bit sleepier these days. The recession smashed Northville's downtown retail and I would have to say Plymouth is quite a bit more lively these days.

Northville's feeling a little like a pretty small town again. Nothing wrong with it at all, lovely, but faaaaairy sleepy.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:56 PM
 
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Awesome - thank you. That's more good news for Plymouth and its on the top of our list (if we can available housing!).

Any opinions on the Romulus are?
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,253 posts, read 74,301,245 times
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The only good places to live in Romulus IMO are the outskirts. Rural type areas where youmight find a small farm, or just a regular house on an acre or two. Huron Township is similar, but generally nicer. Romulus is where people go for bachelor parties and DTW. I would not want ot be anywhere near DTW.

Livonia is not out of the queston but it is not where near as neat as Plymouth. Northern Livonia is much nicer than southern.

Canton would work too, it is plenty nice, but it is soulless suburbia (subdivisions and strip malls and big box stores).

Dearborn would not be a bad option. Not as cool as Plymouth, but it has some neat areas. Lots of cultural things (orchestra, museums, colleges, amature theater and the like) and a little bit of a downtown with a little bit of life to it.

Just outside of Ann Arbor are the villiages of Dixborough and Salem. These are tiny places as in one shop, one resturaunt, maybe a church and a dozen houses. However driving time wise, you probably could do as well driving from Ann Arbor to Detroit. Northville Township along the 14 is nice. Northville is nice too. It is more upscale than Plymouth and more expensive.

Along the 96, I cannot think of anyplace except Livonia or Dearborn you might want to consider.
Along the 94, there are not many good options until you get to the downriver communities.

There are actually some ok homes in Taylortucky along Heritage Park if you do not mind traffic and bad schools.

Some downriver communites are nice but the nice ones are pretty much all south of I-94. Southgate would be the easist to get to. It is so so , nohting special, nothing bad. Lots of shopping. Woodhaven would be ok too distance wise and it is nicer. However the livliest city downriver is Wyandotte and the nicest (but very quiet) is Grosse Ile. Wyandotte might be manageable between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Grosse Ile would not. Trenton is also a neat place in parts, but it is really pushing the commute to Ann Arbor, although it is only minutes form Wyandotte, but Wyandotte is really getting close to an hour, so a few minutes is adding too much IMO.

Either Downtown/midtown detroit or Ann Arbor woudl be fun places to live. If you had good freeway access it can be done in less than an hour.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:30 PM
 
5 posts, read 59,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
The only good places to live in Romulus IMO are the outskirts. Rural type areas where youmight find a small farm, or just a regular house on an acre or two. Huron Township is similar, but generally nicer. Romulus is where people go for bachelor parties and DTW. I would not want ot be anywhere near DTW.

Livonia is not out of the queston but it is not where near as neat as Plymouth. Northern Livonia is much nicer than southern.

Canton would work too, it is plenty nice, but it is soulless suburbia (subdivisions and strip malls and big box stores).

Dearborn would not be a bad option. Not as cool as Plymouth, but it has some neat areas. Lots of cultural things (orchestra, museums, colleges, amature theater and the like) and a little bit of a downtown with a little bit of life to it.

Just outside of Ann Arbor are the villiages of Dixborough and Salem. These are tiny places as in one shop, one resturaunt, maybe a church and a dozen houses. However driving time wise, you probably could do as well driving from Ann Arbor to Detroit. Northville Township along the 14 is nice. Northville is nice too. It is more upscale than Plymouth and more expensive.

Along the 96, I cannot think of anyplace except Livonia or Dearborn you might want to consider.
Along the 94, there are not many good options until you get to the downriver communities.

There are actually some ok homes in Taylortucky along Heritage Park if you do not mind traffic and bad schools.

Some downriver communites are nice but the nice ones are pretty much all south of I-94. Southgate would be the easist to get to. It is so so , nohting special, nothing bad. Lots of shopping. Woodhaven would be ok too distance wise and it is nicer. However the livliest city downriver is Wyandotte and the nicest (but very quiet) is Grosse Ile. Wyandotte might be manageable between Detroit and Ann Arbor, Grosse Ile would not. Trenton is also a neat place in parts, but it is really pushing the commute to Ann Arbor, although it is only minutes form Wyandotte, but Wyandotte is really getting close to an hour, so a few minutes is adding too much IMO.

Either Downtown/midtown detroit or Ann Arbor woudl be fun places to live. If you had good freeway access it can be done in less than an hour.
Thank you. When you say north Livonia, do you mean north of 96? We're coming from a souless desert suburbia, so I think we're leaning towards being able to have access to a cool downtown area with a small commute but having a nice little place in the trees. lol. It looks like if we concentrate our search centrally around Plymouth, say within a 15/20 mile radius, we should be ok.

When you say less than an hour from AA to Detroit, does that take into effect *rush* hour times? Have the main highways gotten better? I think we would love to live on the outskirts of either, but I'm not so sure I want to add 2 hours drive time to our work days... It's something to consider.

Last question. Ypsilanti? Yay or nay? We're hearing mixed reviews.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-09-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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"Northville is nice too. It is more upscale than Plymouth and more expensive."

On average in terms of real estate, yes. I don't really think it feels like it these days though. Before the 90s Northville was a little one-lamp town and it is feeling like that. The downtown is extremely quiet. Plymouth's downtown has really come alive the last five years to the point where it is head and shoulders above Northville's.

The neighborhoods in Plymouth west of the downtown area are comparable to the nicer parts of Northville. There is a lot of money back there. And a lot of money in many of the subdivisions.

But Plymouth also has a lot of nice but more middle-class housing, as well as what would probably be considered a bit of blue-collar housing.

Northville also has those, but in far smaller scale.

I dunno. Love them both but if I had money and was looking to relocate... I think really Plymouth is a bit more attractive these days.

Northville though has an excellent, excellent high school.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:15 PM
 
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I live on the border of Canton and Plymouth. I love it and would recommend you check it out.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,253 posts, read 74,301,245 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billups View Post
Thank you. When you say north Livonia, do you mean north of 96? We're coming from a souless desert suburbia, so I think we're leaning towards being able to have access to a cool downtown area with a small commute but having a nice little place in the trees. lol. It looks like if we concentrate our search centrally around Plymouth, say within a 15/20 mile radius, we should be ok.

When you say less than an hour from AA to Detroit, does that take into effect *rush* hour times? Have the main highways gotten better? I think we would love to live on the outskirts of either, but I'm not so sure I want to add 2 hours drive time to our work days... It's something to consider.

Last question. Ypsilanti? Yay or nay? We're hearing mixed reviews.

Thanks again!
Yes.

If you cannot walk to downtown plymouth I see no reason to pay hte premium to llive near plymouth (or northville for that matter). If you are just going to live in some sub five miles from town, you may as well choose one in a township that is cheaper.

Based on a friend who does the commute. He rarely drives during peak rush hour, but he is coming into Detroit int he morning (usually before 9) and leaving in the evening. He says he frequently drives 100MPH, and it takes him about 40 minutes. But even at reasonable speeds (i.e. 80), it should still be less than an hour. Weather, construction and traffic will make it much slower. THey are supposed to rebuild the 96 soon (if the new gas tax ever gets passed).

Ypsi has some pretty neat areas and some amazing historic homes that you could not touch for the same price elsewhere. However it is a bit run down. Some areas have very serious crime issues and the schools are not good. Do you consider yourself an urban pioneer?

As for schools, Northville is likely the tops in that area, depending on your crieria. Next is probably Ann Arbor, Plymouth/Canton, Novi, South Lyon, all only a tiddle behind. I cannto see how it makes any difference between them. Not so good schools are Ypsilanti, Ypsi Township (better than Ypsi, but not great), Belville, Wayne Western (covers part of Canton). Livonia is probably a bit better than average, but not up there with Northville and similar towns. Novi is neck and neck with Northville and by some criteria tops Northville, but to me it is such an awful place to live (I detest soulless suburbia, strip malls, shopping malls and big box stores), it cannot compete.

Northville, and Plymouth have downtowns. Plymouth is definitely more lively, but younger and more chain type places, more silar to a city. Northville is quieter, not as much going on, more quaint. South Lyon has the remains of a small downtown, but is seriously yuppified with chain resturaunts, McMansion subs and a bit of attitude. Still it coul be neat to live in town. Everyone knows each other (sort of, the active people know each other). Livonia, Novi, and the various townships do not have any downtown to speak of. They are pretty much bedroom communities. Except that some of the townships have rural areas and Novi is a chain store mecca and has a giant shopping mall.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 08-10-2012 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:57 AM
 
Location: DETROIT, MI
42 posts, read 155,910 times
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What about South Lyon?
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