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Old 07-26-2017, 04:16 PM
4 posts, read 4,791 times
Reputation: 20


My husband and I recently moved to Southern Michigan from Cincinnati, Ohio. We moved from an amazing town called, Madeira, Ohio (consistently ranked #1 suburb in cincy) and landed in Commerce Township here in Michigan. We are just renting currently, but plan on buying next year. My husband works in Southfield. We seem to spend a lot of time driving south to find things we enjoy. Our main concerns are safety, good schools, and proximity to things like groceries, restaurants, and coffee. The commute from Commerce to Southfield is turning out to be quite a hike, as is our trips to Trader Joe's, Target, malls, etc.

We hate having to drive 20-30 minutes to everything we enjoy, but aren't familiar with what is where, and what are "good areas."

What we loved about Madeira: a small town feel, a walkable, small downtown area where we could get coffee, food, etc. Safe neighborhood with a really tight-knit community, and a 15-20 minute drive to basically anywhere in the city. We would love to find that small, tight knit community feel here in Michigan, as we haven't really felt like we "fit in" anywhere yet. I long to find that community where I can walk my neighborhood, make friends, and where my (someday)children can make lifelong friends.
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Old 07-26-2017, 05:32 PM
169 posts, read 131,273 times
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Check out Northville city. It meets all of your requirements. What's your budget?

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Old 07-26-2017, 06:22 PM
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Thanks! We've heard some good things about Northville. Our budget is fairly flexible (under 500k though lol). Northville has a good community feel?
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:19 PM
169 posts, read 131,273 times
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Originally Posted by cincinnatikristin View Post
Thanks! We've heard some good things about Northville. Our budget is fairly flexible (under 500k though lol). Northville has a good community feel?
Absolutely. You should come downtown on the weekend and walk around downtown and through the historic neighborhoods near downtown. Northville city and Northville township are separate governments. Northville city has a small town feel, while Northville Township is typical upper class suburb. The city and township share a school system which is consistently ranked in the top 10 districts in the state. Click the link to check out the downtown events.

What's Happening
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Old 07-26-2017, 07:25 PM
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,929,903 times
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It's a pretty subjective question. There was a thread about this a few months ago addressing the subjectivity of what is best for some is not best for others and getting inputs on what suburb people felt was best for various criteria. You can read the whole thread here:

Or the most recent tally came out as:
Best city for young singles: Detroit-4, Ann Arbor-2, Royal Oak-1
Best city for young families: Berkley-3, Ferndale-1, Grosse Ile-1, Grosse Pointes-1
Best city for older families: Birmingham-2, Bloomfields-1, Northville-1, Novi-1, Rochesters-1
Best city for retirees: Rochesters-3, Grosse Pointes-1, Madison Heights-1, Wyandotte-1,
Most improved city since 2000: Clawson-1, Detroit-1, Ferndale-1, Rochesters-1, "Not Detroit"-1
Most improvable, promising city going forward: Detroit-3, Pontiac-2, Dearborn-1
Most desirable "Affordable" city: Wyandotte-2, Commerce-1, Ferndale-1, Sterling Heights-1, Windsor-1
Most Down-to-Earth "high-income" city: Huntington Woods/Pleasant Ridge-2, Grosse Ile-2, Rochesters-1, Tecumseh-1
Best inner-ring suburb: Royal Oak-4, Dearborn-2, Birmingham-1
Best outer-ring suburb: Northville-3, Novi-2, Milford-1, Ann Arbor-1
Best exurb: Ann Arbor-1, Canton-1, Dexter-1, Shelby-1, Romeo-1, Washington-1, "Those rich areas up by 28 mile where Eminiem lives at."-1

Personally I'm a fan of the inner-ring burbs, and the best of these are the suburbs in Southeast Oakland County (Royal Oak, Ferndale, Berkley, Clawson, Huntington Woods & Pleasant Ridge), or the Grosse Pointes (Grosse Pointe City/Woods/Shores/Park/Farms). These tend to have a more down-to-Earth feel to them with walkable downtowns, and stronger communities. Based on your commute to Southfield I'd suggest the SE Oakland County suburbs. There is a Trader Joe's on the border of Royal Oak/Berkley, a Target in Royal Oak, and what some consider the nicest mall in the area (Somerset) is a 5-10 minutes north in Troy. Schools in Ferndale aren't the best, Clawson's are mediocre, but Royal Oak and Berkley districts are among the top 10% in the state. Huntington Woods attends Berkley schools and Pleasant Ridge attends ... actually I don't know where Pleasant Ridge goes, but I think Ferndale? Royal Oak has the largest downtown of these (and in my opinion the nicest of the region), Ferndale and Berkley have good sized ones of their own. I live in Berkley, so I'm biased to it, but of all the places I've lived in my short life, it's far and away the most "small-town" feeling of the region. Another town to consider should be Birmingham. It's a bit.. well.. actually it's rather snobby.. but for good reason. You'll pay a pretty premium to live in Birmingham, but everything there will be just a little bit fancier.

Personally I'm not a fan of the Western Wayne County suburbs like Northville, Plymouth, Livonia, Canton, etc. - They're beautiful, upscale, and have all the amenities you could want, but they're very suburban feeling, if that makes sense. They have that feeling of Mid/Late-Century urban planning. Culdesacs, giant lots, you'll drive everywhere, and they're farther from Downtown Detroit, but they're closer to Ann Arbor if you plan on spending a lot of time there.

There's a lot to choose from and there is no shortage of fantastic communities in Metro Detroit, I hope you find one you like!
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:06 PM
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If you want a short commute to Southfield, Beverly Hills could be great and has a nice community feel. It's Birmingham schools (one of the very top districts in area), and some of it is walking distance to downtown Birmingham (super upscale town, beautiful and clean.. though some say snobby). Birmingham itself is a good option too. Maybe even Franklin?

Royal Oak, Berkley, Clawson, Huntington Woods all would be nice. Huntington Woods doesn't have a downtown but it's close to Royal Oak and Berkley's, and it's walkable as far as the elementary school, library, community pool, etc., and from what I've heard is pretty close-knit. If your budget is under $500k, you could buy a great house in any of these places. I'm in Royal Oak and there are some beautiful neighborhoods, full of character, within walking distance of downtown or just a short drive. Feel free to PM me if you want more info on RO!

Northville, like others said, is a great suggestion too, depending on the commute - it also has top schools and a beautiful downtown.

Good luck!
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:12 AM
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,486 posts, read 7,745,733 times
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Check out downtown Plymouth too, you will fall in love. It is quaint, walkable, filled with shopping and dining options, and has a cute park right in the middle of it all. The neighborhoods adjacent to the downtown area are lovely and feel very cozy too. I would move there in a heartbeat if DH wanted to move up that way and we had a bigger budget. You should be able to find something for under $500,000, though. I've heard they have great schools too.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:54 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,749 posts, read 65,558,358 times
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Northville, Plymouth, Brighton, Milford.

Then consider South Lyon, Farmington, Royal Oak, and some so the little bedroom communities around it,

You might even look at Ferndale, parts of Detroit, and also Wyandotte. However you would probably eventually need to make some effort for schools.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:43 AM
915 posts, read 1,158,096 times
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South Lyon would be about as far West as you'd want to go.

My husband also works in Southfield and it's a huge pain to commute at peak times. He's lucky that he could adjust his work schedule so he can get in and leave before the rush (and work from home some days), but if you want to be closer to things - then Northville, Farmington, Royal Oak would be better choices.

It also depends on how you feel about traffic. 275 and 696 are always a mess at peak times. So it really comes down to how much traffic is tolerable.

Milford Road (into Milford) backs up between 4-6pm on the way back into town. And it's single lane. Brighton is just too far out from the Metro area - you'd really be driving everywhere if you want to do something in Detroit or even Ann Arbor. You wouldn't be solving your problem.

Oh - a good question is how do you feel about dirt roads - that will also impact how you view some of these locations.

Lyon Township/South Lyon still has a lot of single lane and dirt roads. Not that it's a bad thing, but if you have a honda civic or another model of smaller car - it will be harder to get around because some of the major roads are still dirt (and you don't want to mess up your car). Plowing on 8 mile sucks after you get out of Novi city limits. I'm so thankful I traded my Civic in for a CRV because I can get around and feel safe in the winter. 10 mile tends to be packed because 9 mile is a dirt road between Griswold and Beck (and it's single lane). So, traffic gets diverted naturally to 8 or 10 mile due to that. Things are supposed to get better after the roundabout is put in at 10 mile, but we shall see.

You will inevitably find that everything is always 20-30 minutes away from where you are - and you'll have to drive everywhere because things are so spread out.

If you want central location, then the 696 corridor is really your best bet, specifically, Royal Oak area or Farmington. I'd even put North Warren on the list as a sleeper (dark horse candidate). Northville is nice, but I wouldn't want to drive 275/696 to work everyday in peak traffic. You have to really want to be there for that choice to work well. It's a great choice, but it's not as central, but really close to the highway, so you can get places easier.
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Old 07-27-2017, 10:07 AM
Location: Southeast Michigan
1,277 posts, read 1,071,149 times
Reputation: 1544
I suggest the city of Farmington. Wonderful small-town feel, walk-able, many activities and shops, safe and reasonably priced...for now. It is growing in popularity, especially among young couples. Delightfully easy commute to Southfield and close to mega-shopping in Novi.
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