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Old 05-09-2008, 05:26 PM
 
450 posts, read 1,744,092 times
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I've posted a similar thread on other city threads, but I have the same questions about Detroit, so here goes!

Reading the posts in this section over the past few months, I've come up with a few questions. I'm considering a move to the Detroit area -- early 30s, single. My parents are also contemplating retirement, and we are looking for a place we can all live.

Right now, we live in Southern California, where we've been for about six years. There are many things we like here, many we'd change, and we may end up staying where we are. But we may look at moving.. and Detroit(metro) is one of the areas on our list.

We're sports fans, particularly hockey. We all enjoy going out to eat, hang out at bars -- not nightclubs -- and we're far more into steak, sports bars, microbreweries more than anything too trendy or yuppie.

Yet at the same time.. we'd prefer something semi-urban. By that, I mean no huge yards (allergy nightmare!), preferably within walking distance of shopping and restaurants, and walkable areas -- places where you actually see people on the streets. In addition, I am somewhat concerned by the "white flight" from some suburbs I see -- our area here is happily diverse, and I really enjoy having people from all cultures all around. I don't think any of us could really enjoy a 99% white, 80% native-born suburb. Would we find a city where we are happy?

Royal Oak and Birmingham come to mind, but I haven't spent much time in either. My suburban experience is more limited to Novi, Auburn Hills, Plymouth, Livonia, Troy, etc. Ann Arbor, maybe that is an option as well?

Price range.... I know Detroit is a lot cheaper than Southern California. I don't really have a set range in mind, but I am curious what range the following would be:

-- A 2-bedroom, 1200ish square foot condo in a more urban area (new construction)

-- A 2-bedroom, 1500-2000ish square foot townhome -- again, preferably in a more urban area

-- A 3000 square foot suburban house

I know all about Detroit weather -- we've all spent much of our lives in climates that are similar or colder (Detroit made a nice winter vacation when we lived in Minneapolis, really!). A positive for SoCal, absolutely... but not the sole factor by any means.

Also, how bad is the Detroit area for allergies? My worst allergens are mold, grass, trees, pets, and tobacco (both the smoke and the plant).

Thanks!
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:15 PM
 
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You and I are so much alike, it's funny. I am hoping this bumps your topic up enough to get us both some answers.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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Currently smoking is allowed in restaurants and bars. When I moved from SoCal I found myself sick a lot from just going out even if I didn't drink because people here smoke so much. A ban is going through the government right now, but who knows when and if it will happen. I'm not sure about the other allergies, I haven't heard of it being bad for allergies. My BF has a lot of allergies and does okay here except for the smoke.

Royal Oak is pretty good with being walkable and urbanish, Birmingham is walkable, but it reminds of the parts of SoCal I hate with the Beamers and designer purses, I'm just not into that. Metro Detroit still tends to be quite segregated. It seems people are working on that issue, but I had friends of many races in SoCal, it's more difficult here.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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Ugh. the smoking I will hate. But it's not a dealkiller.

If I can put up with the BS here in Los Angeles, I can deal with it there. I am originally from NJ and no one has a leg up on the people here. I'll probably laugh if anything at the BMW/designer bag issue.

I am biracial, my son looks white and his dad is white, so hopefully things will be ok. As I said before I am from NJ and spent my whole life there before moving here, there's nothing Detroit can throw at me that I can't handle.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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I think the segregation is due more to lack of communication than racism. Many people welcome diversity, but aren't sure how to make it happen because of historical racial tension. I think you will be welcomed in metro Detroit. The people are nice.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Garden City, MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detshen View Post
I think the segregation is due more to lack of communication than racism. Many people welcome diversity, but aren't sure how to make it happen because of historical racial tension. I think you will be welcomed in metro Detroit. The people are nice.
Agree with that for sure.

And I rarely ever detect smoke in restaurants here aside from bars and things. Maybe just cause I've been around it forever.
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Old 05-10-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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It depends on the restaurant, many places a have good ventilation systems or are non smoking. It's a big problem in bars. The OP expressed a liking for sports bars, brew pubs etc. so it's something to think about. Sometimes my BF ends up sick just because we decided to go have a couple beers with friends and that has a negative effect on our life. That's one thing I really miss about California.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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I am very sensitive to smoke. VERY. I can smell it if someone has smoked any time in the recent hour or so before I've been around them. I don't really hang in bars much and if I do, I just put up with it if it's legal for them to smoke
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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You sould like a good candidate for the new condos and lofts in downtwon Detroit. You will get mixed responses about living there. Ann Arbor woudl be great for you, but it is an hour or so from Detroit. It is commutable, but not fun, especially in winter. Royal Oak or Ferndale are probably the next best bets.

Michigan is a very wet state. That means that a lot of things grow here. My wife has bad allegry problems. It is not too bad for her here, and ceterinly not noticably worse than elsewhere. Sometimes it gets pretty bad, especially in the spring. However it was worse in California, particularly during Santa Ana winds. Winter should be fine, unless you are allergic to clouds or snow.
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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Interesting (and encouraging) that Michigan would be better than California for her allergies! California is generally decent for allergies because of the winds off the ocean -- but Santa Anas certainly can be bad for sinuses and allergies. I did notice when I lived in Minnesota that I'd feel better when I went to either Chicago or Detroit -- it's different vegetation, but not that radically different -- yet I've come across others who had the same experience.

Regarding the smoking ban... it looks like it could pass in the coming weeks in Michigan. To be honest, the only way the Detroit area is a consideration is if it is approved -- I moved to SoCal largely, if not primarily, because of the smoking ban. And it's made even more of a difference than I thought -- it is so much easier to socialize and meet people, as so much of that is centered around restaurants, dinners, bars, etc. these days, as opposed to traditional visiting of people at their houses.

Thanks for the comments on Birmingham -- I was a little concerned that might be the case. I'm not really into designer anything, but I enjoy urban, walkable neighborhoods. In SoCal, I love Glendale, but I struggle with Newport Beach!

How much are the condos and lofts in downtown Detroit? About seven years ago, I remember seeing some great new townhomes just north of Comerica Park for $200,000 -- about $100 per square foot. I could not believe it -- if I had the money, I would have bought one as an investment and hope for the future of downtown Detroit to follow that of Denver, Cleveland and San Diego -- in other words, go from semi-abandoned in places to exciting, high energy neighborhoods.

On that last note.... do you think downtown Detroit is on that path?

Also... any thoughts on the Red Wings? Is there a lot of buzz around town about the playoff run -- wow, they look good right now!
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