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Old 07-30-2017, 01:19 PM
 
7 posts, read 4,696 times
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Hi there!

Within the next year or so, my boyfriend and I would like to relocate to around Detroit due to my job. We are looking to relocate within an hour from DTW airport.

We really enjoy fishing and hiking, so city life really isn't ideal. We are big gardeners, so preferably a location with land and not tooooo many neighbors. Would also like to consider raising chickens and pigs.

We're hoping to start planning a family within the next few years, so school district is also a make or break.

With a budget around $120-150k, where are the best areas to consider? Thank you

Last edited by jen_s; 07-30-2017 at 01:41 PM.. Reason: Added info
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Old 07-30-2017, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,929,903 times
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If I were looking for space, country, and outdoors with a limited budget and near the airport, I'd probably start my search in the Huron Township/West Sumpter area. Luckily for you, there is no limit to reasonably priced areas south and southwest of DTW that can get you space at a decent price. Anything else you are looking to be close to or far away from?
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Old 07-30-2017, 03:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
If I were looking for space, country, and outdoors with a limited budget and near the airport, I'd probably start my search in the Huron Township/West Sumpter area. Luckily for you, there is no limit to reasonably priced areas south and southwest of DTW that can get you space at a decent price. Anything else you are looking to be close to or far away from?
Parks and/or nature trails would be lovely for walking our dog. And a shopping area within reasonable distance, however we like to support local business, so if farmer stands are a closer option that wouldn't be so bad.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:52 PM
 
169 posts, read 131,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen_s View Post
Hi there!

Within the next year or so, my boyfriend and I would like to relocate to around Detroit due to my job. We are looking to relocate within an hour from DTW airport.

We really enjoy fishing and hiking, so city life really isn't ideal. We are big gardeners, so preferably a location with land and not tooooo many neighbors. Would also like to consider raising chickens and pigs.

We're hoping to start planning a family within the next few years, so school district is also a make or break.

With a budget around $120-150k, where are the best areas to consider? Thank you
What you're describing can be found in Monroe County. Specifically Ash Twp., Carleton, and Frenchtown Twp. are the communities that come to mind. You aren't going to have excellent schools in these areas, however. With the specific parameters you have, you're going to have to sacrifice something. You're relatively close to Lake Erie in these areas as well as the Metroparks.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:02 PM
 
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Also, there isn't much hiking around these parts. People here refer to "hiking" as taking a walk through the woods. To me, hiking involves large hills which we really don't have here. It's pretty flat here in Michigan.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:47 PM
 
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First of all, avoid all things Metro Detroit as your budget will go a lot farther as housing prices reflect that of a major metro area and the issues related to traffic and other nonsense.

Within an hour of DTW, I would rule out anything north and east, and look at places south and west.

If you are looking for quasi-rural living, near state recreation land and small lakes for fishing I'd look somewhere in the swath of area including areas around Brighton, Pinckney, Chelsea, Grass Lake.

There is a lot of state land with hiking, small lakes for fishing, and just beautiful woods and farmland around the areas of Brighton State Rec Area, Waterloo State Rec Area, and Pinckney State Rec area.

Regarding schools, I'm not familiar with district areas, but Chelsea school district is very good. Chelsea proper is a older small town that has become a bedroom community for Ann Arbor. You won't find much in Chelsea-proper in your price range but in the more rural parts maybe?
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:42 PM
 
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I appreciate all this advice. I suppose school district quality would be the best sacrifice at this point. Who's to say where I'll be five + years from now. Are all these mentioned areas relatively safe? Kind of assuming if it's rural it's typically safe. For example, would I feel safe walking my dog at night?
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:45 PM
 
169 posts, read 131,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jen_s View Post
Are all these mentioned areas relatively safe? Kind of assuming if it's rural it's typically safe. For example, would I feel safe walking my dog at night?
Yes, all of the mentioned areas are safe. The only unsafe areas would be in Detroit and a few of its suburbs, which you aren't interested in. The rural areas are all safe.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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When we moved back to Michigan we needed to be within an hour of DTE. We spent 2 years researching and exploring different cities. We wanted more open, but that was not a priority. Priorities for us were historic homes, eclectic architecture, sense of community, preferably some sort of downtown. It helped that I grew up in Lyon Township near south Lyon, so I already knew a lot of areas pretty well.

We ultimately chose Grosse Ile - which has great fishing (the Trenton channel is one of the top ten walleye fishing locations in the USA - also perch, bass, Musky, even some sturgeon supposedly. In the early spring the silver bass run and you can catch a hundred of them in a few hours, They are trash fish, but fun to catch. GI has as much or more hiking as anywhere in the area, it is very natural (some nice paths and trails through the woods - 680 acres of Township open space, but not contiguous, the biggest areas are about 130 acres give or take a bit), This morning there were 4 deer and a handful of bunnies munching on our front lawn, plus a gaggle of geese and some swans at the end of our driveway. GI has excellent schools and is ranked the safest place in Michigan. Lots of other reasons to choose it. Downside is it is expensive. You can find cheaper houses and some condos, but you pay for for the community and get less house for the money. GI is totally unique - search the threads, I have written about it in detail in the past. Airport is about 40 minutes away. You can make it in half an hour, but it would be silly to rely on that. You would get too many tickets.

Huron Township is a great option because you can be right along Willlow metro-park. They have very good schools and a huge cemetery. It is very close to DTW. Willow is smaller than many of the other metroparks, but it has some decent trails mostly through marshlands. The Huron river runs through it and there is a small lake/pond where i think you can fish. I have seen people fishing there, not sure what is in it.

Within an hour of DTW you could choose Milford or Brighton Township and find a place contiguous to Kensington Metropark. Kensington is developed (most trails are paved) but it is one of the most beautiful developed parks you will find. It is a 5700 acre park with a 1200 acre lake with lots of pan fish (bluegill/croppie) and a few bass and pike tons and tons of Carp if you like carp). Island Lake State Recreaction area is just across the street (freeway) form Kensington. Milford and Brighton both have good schools, not excellent, but certainly good enough. You could also choose New Hudson/Lyon township and be reasonably near Kensington (plus there is a nice rails to trail path that goes to South Lyon). There you would be in South Lyon schools which brings you back into the top tier in the rankings.

Just outside of Northville is Maybury State park A small, less developed park with some very nice trails (also a corn maze int he fall). Small meaning 2 square miles or so, but no lake. In that area you have Northville, Northville township , Novi, and Lyon township. They all kind of meet right at Mayberry. Northville and Novi have even better rated schools than south lyon, but not enough difference to matter. They are both pricey though. BTW South Lyon "city" was the second safest place in Michigan in some sort of recent rankings.

Plymouth is also a very nice little town with great schools right in the area. You have to drive a bit for hiking though.

Saline, Ann Arbor, also quite nice, within your 1 hour range great schools. Limited hiking.

Lots of rural areas you could choose. Dixborough, Salem, Willow, then as you go our a way: Dundee, Milan, Clinton township, Tecumseh, there are even parts of Romulus that are semi rural and within the Huron Township school District.

If you want fishing from your yard - or walking distance away, you will want to focus along the Huron river and its lakes, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, Lake Erie, or the smaller private lakes in North Oakland County. The Huron and most of the the smaller lakes have primarily pan-fish, pike, some bass and carp. I have heard there are also trout in the Huron, but certainly not a lot of them. Bigger fish (Musky, Walleye, perch, large bass. Are mostly in St. Clair, Detroit river and lake Erie. Muskies are fun to catch. No good to eat, but they get big. I caught a 48" musky in Lake St. Clair that must have weighted 35 pounds or more. Our neighbor caught one that size off his dock in the Trenton Channel of the Detroit River. .

A couple of things to keep in mind about "top" schools and safety rankings. These rankings only look at specific data points without consideration for why they are high or low. For schools, that mostly means test scores. SO what you are really looking at is top test scores, not top schools. To figure out the top schools you need to do some real research and leg work.
However top school for your kids may be different that top school for mine. Or you may have different priorities than others. For example some school rankings heavily weight diversity or how many kids get lunch assistance. I do not see how either one improves a school and I do not care about that at all. Some schools excel at teaching mainstream kids, but do not do well with kids who are different (autistic, creative, single sensory learners, etc). You need to figure out what works for you and your kids. Are they better off in a small school, or a giant school? Do they do better in hyper competitive atmosphere or more relaxed conditions? Do you want a school that believes in heavy homework in elementary school or little to no homework? Thee is no one thing that makes a school best for all types of students. Then you have to accept the school system will likely change while your kids grow up. My son started in our school system at kindergarten. His oldest sisters started in 9th grade. I do not think any of the same teachers, or administrators who where there for our girls are still at the high school (there might be one or two teachers, but most are different). Things change fast.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,749 posts, read 65,558,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DTWflyer View Post
Within an hour of DTW, I would rule out anything north and east, and look at places south and west.
I would not rule out the North or the East, especially if you want fishing. Michgian offers a lot more in fishing opportunities than hiking, but some of the best hiking you will find in the area is at Kensington Metropark and Island Lake. To the east, flat rock, Newport, Dundee, the Outskirts are of Monroe are all very open and rural. As mentioned Grosse Ile is very open space oriented and had a considerable number of trails.
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