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Old 01-21-2010, 08:20 AM
Location: Macao
16,286 posts, read 41,173,718 times
Reputation: 10119


So what's the story with Royal Oak, MI.

As far as I can gather...with Detroit's 'demise'...the suburban cities are making up for it with their own happening areas and downtowns...and sounds like Royal Oak is one of the cities that does this best, and appeals to most people.

However, I'm about mixed on housing prices...when I look at sites like realtor.com, I see quite a few reasonably priced houses. However, throughout those forums, some say it is overpriced. To me, I'd like to find a house for under 175K. Maybe a 3BRM.

I also read some debate on Royal Oak being good for people with kids...is it? The argument was that Royal Oak was appealing less and less to familys, and as the kind of people who moved there changed, the less kids were in the school districts, and the more that were closing. Any truth to that?

Another thing about Royal Oak...sounds like tons of a bar scene occuring. For me, I like energy, so not a big deal. But, some of what it sounds like is young college kids trying to get laid type of energy going on. Of course, if you aren't a young male trying to get laid, then doesn't sound so interesting at all to be around. But how much of that is just exaggeration and how much is somewhat based on reality. I also read some threads of 'Royal Oak vs Ann Arbor', and it seemed to the be opposite. People were saying AA had way too many frats and too much of a college party scene all the time, and RO was the better to be if you weren't a college kid looking for a party. So, there are some mixed messages, I'm sorting out here

What attracts me to ROYAL OAK is it sounds lively, pedestrian-friendly (which seldom happens in MI), and has all one's basic needs, and has a bit of a pulse...and that I'd be back in MI again (my home state), if I were to choose to go back.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:05 PM
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I've only been to Royal Oak once. But what you describe is right on.

Southeast Michigan has so much potential, but one CAN NOT approach SE Michigan the same way the approach the Chicago area, where EVERYTHING revolves around downtown Chicago. Its best to think of SE Michigan as being a region of smaller cities that collectively have a lot to offer including:

downtown Detroit, midtown, Royal Oak, Birmingham, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, and Windsor. Between these places. the region has a lot offer. They just need to work together, and accept that the region can only make a recovery if the understand that individually none of the areas can be a "total package" to anyone, but together, they can be an exciting,vibrant area once again.
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Old 01-22-2010, 12:35 PM
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Unlike the other poster, I actually have been to Royal Oak more than once. In fact I live there so I can speak with some authority.

Royal Oak definitely has the "hip and happening" reputation but I find it is a great city to live in even if you're not after the kind of scene. I absolutely love it there. I love older homes and neighborhoods and RO has those in spades, plus tons of sidewalks to access stores and restaurants -- no need to get in the car.

Yes, housing prices tend to be on the high end but not as high as they used to be. You couldn't find a small bungalow for under $200k a couple years ago, so prices have definitely come down. Don't let the listed price dissuade you from putting an offer in on a house. People are desperate to sell and may just accept it.

There aren't as many kids as there used to be in RO because a lot of families think the houses are too small by today's standards. So yes, schools have closed. However, the existing schools, especially the elementary schools, have a pretty good reputation. For some reason posters on this forum seem to think otherwise. I'm not sure where that comes from. RO schools are ranked above average in the state.

I think RO is a great place to raise a family. Yes, space may be a little tight but there's so many parks to walk to, and neighborhoods to explore, that you really need not be confined by four walls the same way you would be if you were in a McMansion sub in Macomb Twp. or someplace like that.

If you're looking for a house my favorite neighborhoods would be those along Woodward, from roughly Catalpa north to 13 Mile on the east side of Woodward, and then the Royal Oak-Beverly Hills neighborhood on the west side, north of 13 Mile and south of 14 Mile. I also like the upper Vinsetta neighborhood (closer to Crooks and Main than Woodward) and the areas around Red Run golf course and just east of downtown north and south of Gardenia.
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