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Old 07-12-2017, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Ann Arbor MI
2,113 posts, read 1,356,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan1837 View Post

-How safe are Lathrup Village, Berkley, and Farmington Hills? I don't know much about Lathrup Village's safety and I hear the southern part of Farmington Hills is less safe than the northern part, so I'd like to know more. I'm less "street smart" than average so safety is important to me.
Any time the "safe" question comes up, and it's a legitimate question, I always wonder what the writers primary concern is regarding safety.
It seems to me there are 3 basic concerns..
1. being assaulted/robbed/car jacked when you are out and about.
2. home invasion 2..... your stuff is stolen while you are away from home.
3. home invasion 1..... you are home when someone tries to break in.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,776 posts, read 65,692,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig11152 View Post
Any time the "safe" question comes up, and it's a legitimate question, I always wonder what the writers primary concern is regarding safety.
It seems to me there are 3 basic concerns..
1. being assaulted/robbed/car jacked when you are out and about.
2. home invasion 2..... your stuff is stolen while you are away from home.
3. home invasion 1..... you are home when someone tries to break in.
In the areas OP is discussing these are about as likely as finding a $100 bill blowing down the sidewalk. It can happen, it does happen, but it is extremely unlikely it will happen to you.

We did once find a $100 bill laying on the floor of a Vegas casino. it is not impossible.
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Detroit Suburbs , MI
157 posts, read 109,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post

We did once find a $100 bill laying on the floor of a Vegas casino. it is not impossible.
Have you been robbed in metro Detroit yet??
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Old 07-12-2017, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,937,484 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigan1837 View Post
Thanks for your replies everyone. I'll try to address as much as I can, but I'll probably miss some things, so I apologize if I look like I'm ignoring you.

I'm glad all of them are safe. I was wondering if the fact that Lathrup Village borders Southfield (which I hear isn't the safest area) impacted it negatively in that regard, but I'm glad to hear that isn't the case. Thanks for bringing up school districts because that prompted me to check the property taxes for the three communities I'm interested in. For a SEV of $100,000 Berkley's is $4,156-$4,191, Farmington Hills is $3,786-$4,566, and Lathrup Village is $5,976. I wasn't expecting them all to be the same, but Lathrup Village is much more expensive than the other two are! Is there something in the village that makes the taxes higher or is it the school district?

I don't mind older housing as long as it's structurally sound and if the layout is functional for my purposes, I wouldn't care about updating it. Are there any risks from things like asbestos or lead paint from the older housing? I'd imaging that would be found in an appraisal in any case, but I'd rather ask and look silly now than have to deal with something like that later.

DTWflyer, you say 85% of Farmington Hills is safe. What 15% of it isn't? Road boundaries would be helpful so I can know what parts of Farmington Hills to avoid.

I looked into northern Oak Park (north of 696), but it seems like the houses on the market are just as expensive or more expensive than Lathrup Village and Berkley with an overall less convenient location and a higher risk of property value loss in the vent of a recession, so I probably won't buy there.

I don't think any of the three places I listed are bad places to live, but buying a house is a big decision so I want to weigh my options as best as I can. Thanks again for your help!
The whole Prop A/Headlee tax thing really screwed up taxes here and what you get is a situation where some of these cities which lost a lot of value and have since regained it now have really high taxes. I may be wrong, but I suspect Lathrup Village was victim to this.

Ths issue is that property tax increases are capped in Michigan, unless a property is sold, but decreases are not. Let's say you have an SEV of 100k in 2006, but then property values plummet. Now your SEV in 2011 is 50k. Cities can't make ends meet so they throw a bunch of new millages on there which get approved because people want police and schools and stuff. Then the economy rebounds, but the taxes do not. So these homes have an SEV back to 100k, but their tax represents a home with an SEV of 60k. Unfortunately this does not apply to anyone wishing to buy a new home, because things reset with a transaction. The city is still barely making ends meet as taxes haven't rebounded with values, but luckily they "reset" with new owners. You get stuck with a full tax bill and get to subsidize your neighbors. As you can imagine this was worse in towns which fell significantly and have since become popular. Cities like Ferndale and Clawson really stick out here. I suspect Lathrup Village is in this similar boat where Berkley and Farmington Hills were a little more stable during the recession.

Hmm, I had no idea Northern Oak Park had increased so much in price. That's great to hear. It definitely has a lot going for it, but yeah - the recession risk is likely higher simply because it's still Oak Park.

Lead in paint really isn't an issue for adults. It's only a serious risk if you're under 6, and even then things like updated vinyl windows and keeping paint in good condition go a really long way in mitigating any risk. Asbestos is also relatively safe as long as you don't disturb it. You can have asbestos in your attic, just don't go jump around in it or otherwise disturb it to the point it becomes airborne. A lot of people sensationalize these environmental hazards in older areas because they don't understand them, but the reality is we drive cars with tanks of gasoline and spray chemicals on our lawns. We simply take minor precautions when dealing with these risky substances and it negates most of the risk associated with them. Same thing goes for old paint and asbestos. My house was built in the 1940's. We have a 2 year old and a baby, but we also have vinyl windows, fantastic condition paint, and the kids don't go anywhere near the attic - so it's really just as safe as anything new. The big things you want to look for in old homes are old plumbing (lead or galvanized) and old electrical (fuses). Those are both pricey replacements and do present a minor safety risk. If nothing else, the price should reflect the need for updates.

Copper or PVC plumbing are good, and electrical boxes should have breakers. Most homes I looked at in Berkley and Royal Oak had been updated regarding plumbing and electrical, but make sure to check for yourself.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:15 PM
 
22 posts, read 33,449 times
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To the people asking, I'd be concerned about any of those three scenarios. I don't see what's unreasonable about wanting to live in a safe community. I understand crime happens anywhere, but if I'm hypothetically choosing between a safe and an unsafe community, I'm going to choose the safe one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
The whole Prop A/Headlee tax thing really screwed up taxes here and what you get is a situation where some of these cities which lost a lot of value and have since regained it now have really high taxes. I may be wrong, but I suspect Lathrup Village was victim to this.

Ths issue is that property tax increases are capped in Michigan, unless a property is sold, but decreases are not. Let's say you have an SEV of 100k in 2006, but then property values plummet. Now your SEV in 2011 is 50k. Cities can't make ends meet so they throw a bunch of new millages on there which get approved because people want police and schools and stuff. Then the economy rebounds, but the taxes do not. So these homes have an SEV back to 100k, but their tax represents a home with an SEV of 60k. Unfortunately this does not apply to anyone wishing to buy a new home, because things reset with a transaction. The city is still barely making ends meet as taxes haven't rebounded with values, but luckily they "reset" with new owners. You get stuck with a full tax bill and get to subsidize your neighbors. As you can imagine this was worse in towns which fell significantly and have since become popular. Cities like Ferndale and Clawson really stick out here. I suspect Lathrup Village is in this similar boat where Berkley and Farmington Hills were a little more stable during the recession.

Hmm, I had no idea Northern Oak Park had increased so much in price. That's great to hear. It definitely has a lot going for it, but yeah - the recession risk is likely higher simply because it's still Oak Park.

Lead in paint really isn't an issue for adults. It's only a serious risk if you're under 6, and even then things like updated vinyl windows and keeping paint in good condition go a really long way in mitigating any risk. Asbestos is also relatively safe as long as you don't disturb it. You can have asbestos in your attic, just don't go jump around in it or otherwise disturb it to the point it becomes airborne. A lot of people sensationalize these environmental hazards in older areas because they don't understand them, but the reality is we drive cars with tanks of gasoline and spray chemicals on our lawns. We simply take minor precautions when dealing with these risky substances and it negates most of the risk associated with them. Same thing goes for old paint and asbestos. My house was built in the 1940's. We have a 2 year old and a baby, but we also have vinyl windows, fantastic condition paint, and the kids don't go anywhere near the attic - so it's really just as safe as anything new. The big things you want to look for in old homes are old plumbing (lead or galvanized) and old electrical (fuses). Those are both pricey replacements and do present a minor safety risk. If nothing else, the price should reflect the need for updates.

Copper or PVC plumbing are good, and electrical boxes should have breakers. Most homes I looked at in Berkley and Royal Oak had been updated regarding plumbing and electrical, but make sure to check for yourself.
Interesting analysis on Lathrup Village and thanks for informing me on what to look for with older construction. It's good to know what risks might exist there.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:52 AM
 
142 posts, read 118,044 times
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Berkley: Old, grid-pattern streets, high density. This is a more urbanized area which is coming back into vogue. Berkley is quite popular with younger, millenial-type buyers. That surprises me a little bit because they dont have quite the active downtown area that places like Ferndale or Royal Oak do. But, the upsurge in popularity is helping the downtown grow and modernize. Lots of houses are being demolished and replaced. I think its because of 2 things: 1) the increase in desireability for Berkley living has resulted in record high property values. The land is more valuable than the house. A 1940s house with 800n square feet, a poor layout, and has been settling for awhile, will go on market for close to $200,000. I have a similar sized home and maintenance is an issue because it settles/buckles so every few years the ceiling and walls develop cracks and the floor gets wavy. People cant justify spending $180-200k on such a house. So a new one seems more viable. Also, I dont think younger buyers have any interest in old or vintage things. So they want the Berkley address but not a vintage home. Berkley right now shows the best potential for the the future with an improving downtown and housing renewal. Its mostly working, middle-class homeowners, and very few apartments. Its largely owner-occuppied. The most common crimes are probably property related-ie, vandalism, larcenies, etc.

Lathrup Village: A 1950s idea of a future community. A kind of place that will soon face decline. Many of todays home buyers want lofts of homes on small lots in places like Royal Oak. A cape cod home on a wide lot alongside a curvy street is something I believe is falling out of favor. The typical LV resident is probably an older small-business owner or retired schoolteacher. There is no downtown, just a stretch of unhip,generic commercial properties.Very little crime. Mostly vandalism, larceny, maybe some customer disputes or vagrancies at a few shops.

Farmington Hills: Getting older. Lots of subdivisions, which again dont seem as appealing to todays new buyers. Todays buyers with kids no longer have to buy a 1970s colonial in FH if they can get a new one without all the yard work in Berkley. Many homes in FH need some updating. There are some run-down areas in the south side. Traffic sucks. And the large amount of commercial property and apartments attract more crime, like shoplifting, car theft, or larcenies from auto. FH is popular with immigrant communities, so they have kept it healthy for the time being. But I believe it will need to find a way to redefine itself soon to stay competitive with a market that is moving toward more urbanized neighborhoods.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:58 AM
 
981 posts, read 1,121,144 times
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I still think for every millennial type that wants the close-in, small lot houses, there is another one that still desires larger lots and suburban living. Can't paint everyone with a broad brush as so.

I have friends in the 27-30 bracket that are indeed buying 1960s-1970s era colonials and ranges in Rochester Hills and Troy. They want the space/yard, garage for their workshop and toys, etc.

I think the biggest problem that many have the inner-ring bungalows are the ones that are both functionally and cosmetically obsolete. The biggest issue with many is the ones that still only have 1 bathroom, or the upstairs master but only a single bathroom on the main floor, or ones that still have unfinished basements, or dilapidated garages. I've seen some really nice, well maintained and updated bungalows and they are a nice house. I lived in one in Royal Oak for 3 years.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,937,484 times
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Personally I love the bungalow layout for a small family. Upstairs is like a nice, private parental retreat. We have a bedroom, office, bathroom, and the kids rarely come up. Then downstairs the kids have their own bedrooms and a bathroom to share. Throw in the fact that so many bungalows have been customized or modernized with additions for a kitchen/family room and you have a solid low-to-mid budget home with staying power and an ability for a person to live there for 5 years or 50 years (assuming maintenance is kept up).

The division in what us 20-30-somethings are looking for is often on a bit of a lifestyle/ethos divide. Those who embody the more stereotypical Millennial communal ethos of Instagram this and GoFundMe (the Bernie Sanders crowd) are going to be drawn to the Berkleys, Ferndales and Royal Oaks of the world. They want social interaction and artistic shared spaces. Those who subscribe to a more individualistic, libertarian lifestyle (the Rand Paul crowd) are going to prefer what was popular with a majority of their parents, privacy and space for their projects. There's definitely a spectrum, but the majority of urban-dwelling millennials are more communally minded than individually minded, so when one states older inner-ring layout is more popular among young people, they're not wrong, but if someone were to imply that ONLY that kind of layout was popular among young people - they'd be wrong. Naturally if you were to interview millennials who grew up in Armada Township you'd find the majority of them value space over community, but we're getting at the rural/urban divide here, which is present across all generations.

Downtown Berkley has seen quite the renaissance over the last 10 years or so. Viewing an image of 12 Mile in 2007 vs. 12 Mile in 2015 really paints a picture of what's going on there. An observation I've seen is that some of the more established residents are not happy with the number of trendy bars and restaurants opening up. I'm not really sure why this is a problem, but I suppose for some who grew accustomed to the dull Downtown Berkley of prior generations would have an issue with it. Personally I fully support all of the redevelopment. I would put Downtown Berkley at the same level as Downtown Ferndale when it comes to activity or things to do. It's not as hipster or trendy as Ferndale, but it's more upscale and family-friendly. Neither approach the cool-factor and broad appeal of Downtown Royal Oak though.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:44 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,822,569 times
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It seems like that ranches are most popular for small- and some mid-sized homes, and colonials are most popular for mid- to large-sized homes.

Bungalows and Cape Cods come behind. I think there is more of a love/hate divide on these styles.

Nobody wants bi- or tri-level homes. Ditto for any house built on a slab.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Southeast Michigan
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Why not bi or tri-level homes? I know they usually are older homes, but what's perceived as the problem? Not currently living in one, but raised a family in a quad level. It worked out really well.
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