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Old 07-20-2010, 03:15 PM
 
83 posts, read 179,489 times
Reputation: 22

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Nice to hear the the snobbiness is untrue! It's been a worry of mine. Your friends, they will deal. It isn't like you are moving out of state! Go where it's right for your family, hands down. Your friends will still be less than a half hour away. Friends can be such pains in the butts sometimes.

I would love to live in a place with the well behaved children that you speak of LOL. We are lucky right now to be in a school district in NY with very down to earth families. I've only met great kids and parents and my children are very "culturally immature"... I guess that's what you could call it. My 5th grader doesn't get into the "tween" things and would rather read than do anything else, and most of her friends are the same. I'm very worried of tossing her into a culture shock! Anyhow, I digress....

Since you are a resident, aside from the homes being smaller, do you see any other downsides of Berkley? BTW, night life isn't an issue for us. It's not something we take part in that often.

Regarding new homes vs. old homes - I happen to know both! I built a new house back then, and currently live in a 200 year old house that is going on the market soon. I can assure you that I will never, ever own a house this old again. This is too old. Regardless of the upgrading done and renovating, it's still old and something always needs to be fixed. We won't do this again, my husband and I both agree with that. That said, the new home didn't ever feel solid. The construction was shabby (we're not talking cheap homes, we sold it for 370K) and it was nearly impossible to find a true right angle. Ah, but I'd still take that over the money pit that we own now! It's nice to move in and not have to clean up anyone else's dirt.

We're hoping to find something older, but not terribly old. Something built solid and strong with buckets of character, but not so old that there are surprises lurking behind every wall!

And I second the notion of the basement. In my old house here, the basement has been a thorn in my side since day one. As a matter of fact, it's the number one thing we have to work on (water!) before the house can go on the market.

There are some excellent homes on the market in GP right now! When are you looking to move?
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:08 PM
 
17 posts, read 57,643 times
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We are looking to move probably between October and December.

The things I would look out or speak with realtors about in Berkley, is Basement. While you have a good size basement make sure it doesn't get any water, Berkley was built on a swamp back in the day. However our house gets 0 water in the basement, all depends on the house.

One issue with the schools that community is constantly fighting over is schools of choice, what that means is kids from other districts can come to Berkley schools. I personally have no issue with that, but some of my neighbors think its the worse thing in the world. I think that was a big problem with the bond, is it was the community's way of saying we wont support anything until you stop schools of choice. I guess its all in your perspective. I think having schools of choice helps the district from an economic perspective plus if someone is willing to relocate their kid to another district their obviously caring parents, and those are the type we want in our schools, but others view it differently, I guess everyone has a right to their opnion
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,313 posts, read 75,274,723 times
Reputation: 38510
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit81 View Post
We are looking to move probably between October and December.

The things I would look out or speak with realtors about in Berkley, is Basement. While you have a good size basement make sure it doesn't get any water, Berkley was built on a swamp back in the day. However our house gets 0 water in the basement, all depends on the house.

One issue with the schools that community is constantly fighting over is schools of choice, what that means is kids from other districts can come to Berkley schools. I personally have no issue with that, but some of my neighbors think its the worse thing in the world. I think that was a big problem with the bond, is it was the community's way of saying we wont support anything until you stop schools of choice. I guess its all in your perspective. I think having schools of choice helps the district from an economic perspective plus if someone is willing to relocate their kid to another district their obviously caring parents, and those are the type we want in our schools, but others view it differently, I guess everyone has a right to their opnion

Ask some principals at existing schools of choice. A few will tell you it is fine. Many will tell you that along with concerned parents looing for better schools, they get the discipline problems who get kicked out elsewhere, or the oddball kids who have alienated themselves at their local school.

In part I think it depends on your location. How much effort it takes to get kids to you school, will in part dictate whether you get dedicated parents or problem cases where the parents are just looking for the closest/easiest school that will take their kid. Of course, "dedicated parents, may end up being what teachers often call "helicopter parents" (always hovering around and completely controlling their childs life) which can be equally detrimental to the learning environment.


Although I hav eno firsthand experience, after talking with various prinvipals, teachrs and superintendants, I am not a fan of school of choice. The fact is that more kids equal more demands ont eh school's resources. Sometimes, it may be better to pare back on costs and reduce the size of the school. Growth is not always a good thing for a school.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:32 PM
 
449 posts, read 900,877 times
Reputation: 400
I haven't been hearing good things about Gross Point. Although, I haven't been there in a while and would be interested to see what kind of house one could get out there. I wouldn't depend on the police being able to keep out unsavory elements. Back in the day that worked - today, not so much.

Rochester is much further from the city which is a huge bonus and the down town area is nice. They have a few local hot spots, a Tom's Oyster bar and good shopping. All in all, a good little bubble to live in.

RO is way to hip and trendy for my taste. Great place to live if you are heavy into the club scene but I can't imagine raising children there. Plus, seeing the club douches with their fauxhawks makes my head want to explode. They are not nearly as bad as sagging pants but still off putting.

So, I'd say RO is a definite no. GP is worth a look and Rochester gets a thumbs up.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,313 posts, read 75,274,723 times
Reputation: 38510
[quote=brandytab;15121759]



We're hoping to find something older, but not terribly old. Something built solid and strong with buckets of character, but not so old that there are surprises lurking behind every wall!
quote]


For quality and character, you are looking at pre-1950 and more likely pre-1940. Mass production of houses began shorlty after WWII. Construciton did not start getting really shoddy until the 1960s, but it was a downhill slide that started with ideas of mass production of homes and continues to get worse through today. Fortunately, better technology helps to slightly offset the lack of pride & workmanship and the introdcution of ever cheaper mass production techniques. Now housing is all about square footage and features. Quality does not sell homes. For the most part no one will pay for quality construciton even if they can find a quality oriented builder. WOudl you pay twice as much for the same quare footage just becuase the builder says it is higher quality?

Buying a newer home does not mean that you will not find surprises behind your walls. One friend of mine discovered that behind his wall was a hole where the employees had an emergency bathroom. That was certainly a surprise, in a brand new home. Other surprises you may get - they ran out of lon or large nails and just used lots of smaller ones thinking it woudl suffice; someone had a bad day, miscut the board and did nto want to bother cutting a new one. It all gets covered up anyway. Then there is the whole posion drywall thing. That is not a surprise behind the wall, the wall itself is a surprise. Roofing and window flashing is another common surprise area in new homes. Without surprises in new homes, I would not have as much work. There are often surprises. You just play the lottery as to whether you get to be surprised or not.

Your best bet is to find a fully and properly restored older home. In the Pointes you are looking mostly at 1930s tudors. I have no advice on how to can confirm that the restoration was properly and well done. Just get lucky. One thing to watch out for is flashy but cheap "upgrades" like granite counters or high tech kitchen devices. Also look out for restoration projects that were completed very quickly. You do NOT want a flip house. You want a house that was lovingly restored by someone who wanted to live there a long time.
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:58 PM
 
449 posts, read 900,877 times
Reputation: 400
[quote=Coldjensens;15122975]
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandytab View Post



We're hoping to find something older, but not terribly old. Something built solid and strong with buckets of character, but not so old that there are surprises lurking behind every wall!
quote]


For quality and character, you are looking at pre-1950 and more likely pre-1940. Mass production of houses began shorlty after WWII. Construciton did not start getting really shoddy until the 1960s, but it was a downhill slide that started with ideas of mass production of homes and continues to get worse through today. Fortunately, better technology helps to slightly offset the lack of pride & workmanship and the introdcution of ever cheaper mass production techniques. Now housing is all about square footage and features. Quality does not sell homes. For the most part no one will pay for quality construciton even if they can find a quality oriented builder. WOudl you pay twice as much for the same quare footage just becuase the builder says it is higher quality?

Buying a newer home does not mean that you will not find surprises behind your walls. One friend of mine discovered that behind his wall was a hole where the employees had an emergency bathroom. That was certainly a surprise, in a brand new home. Other surprises you may get - they ran out of lon or large nails and just used lots of smaller ones thinking it woudl suffice; someone had a bad day, miscut the board and did nto want to bother cutting a new one. It all gets covered up anyway. Then there is the whole posion drywall thing. That is not a surprise behind the wall, the wall itself is a surprise. Roofing and window flashing is another common surprise area in new homes. Without surprises in new homes, I would not have as much work. There are often surprises. You just play the lottery as to whether you get to be surprised or not.

Your best bet is to find a fully and properly restored older home. In the Pointes you are looking mostly at 1930s tudors. I have no advice on how to can confirm that the restoration was properly and well done. Just get lucky. One thing to watch out for is flashy but cheap "upgrades" like granite counters or high tech kitchen devices. Also look out for restoration projects that were completed very quickly. You do NOT want a flip house. You want a house that was lovingly restored by someone who wanted to live there a long time.
There is a Latin term for that fallacy - "argument ad-antiquatem" or something like that. That which is older is better.

While it is true some of those old homes were built well there are benefits to newer homes as well. Particularly, far better use of space, updated electrical systems, walls that are not made of plaster, etc. For me the big thing would be the horrible way space was utilized in the old homes.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:10 PM
 
17 posts, read 57,643 times
Reputation: 13
Edub, when you say you haven't been hearing good things about GP what things have you heard ?
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Huntington Woods, MI
1,742 posts, read 3,826,945 times
Reputation: 683
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit81 View Post
Edub, when you say you haven't been hearing good things about GP what things have you heard ?

It borders Detroit. I was looking to purchase in Grosse Pointe Woods and got cheap and went to Harper Woods. I spent a third of the price on the same house, in the same neighborhood, in the same school district. According to the people here, I should've been robbed and stabbed by now, and my fiance raped. A year and a half later and I still love the neighborhood. I'm glad I did the legwork myself and investigated the neighborhood instead of taking these people's advice.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:33 PM
 
449 posts, read 900,877 times
Reputation: 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by detroit81 View Post
Edub, when you say you haven't been hearing good things about GP what things have you heard ?
A guy I do business with was robbed in his driveway.
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Old 07-27-2010, 11:05 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,921 times
Reputation: 10
Hi Detroit81,

Huntington Woods gives you 3 neat close by downtowns all within 1 mile of our border (9 Mile and Woodward in Ferndale, Main Street and Washington in Royal Oak, and 12 Mile and even Coolidge in Berkley). You will find loads of variety in restaurants, cool coffee shops, neat bars, a great Barnes and Noble. We are 15 - 20 minutes to downtown Detroit and major cultural and sports events, with easy access to nearby cities (Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Birmingham) I-696 and expanding public transit on Woodward will increase the value of your home and give you unbelievable mobility. (I worked in Flint and didn't have to fight a couple of miles to get on the expressway.)

Yes we have smaller houses then some parts of the Pointes but you know your neighbors, the city is walkable, the tree canopy is gorgeous, we have lots of babysitting co-ops, an unbelieveable summer camp system, and a fabulous Men's Club and Women's League that raise tons of money for cultural, arts and recreation programming. They even give scholarships.

Your kids can walk to school, the pool, the library parks - without ever crossing a major street. In the Pointes you will drive. Burton Elementary has national ranking and that's where your kids will build their educational foundation. We have a great latch-key program if you both work. We have an outstanding rec center and library. The zoo and Rackham golf course are right next door.

Our police and fire program and our library have national certification. We have virtually no crime. We are a safe city. And, we are a city of trees.

Our elected officials work cooperatively together locally, regionally and at the state and national level. There are no recall elections. We have one of the best City Managers in the country and he's been here a long time. The same holds true for our dedicated city staff. Look at little further then just the physicial home you want to live in.

The school funding problem is statewide and a result of a broken revenue collection system. The Pointes although wealthy actually are losing some state education funding. I think aggregate Berkley statistics don't accurately reflect the quality of education and achievement that Huntington Woods kids are making beginning with Burton.

Huntington Woods is growing young couples! This is where you want to be! You should look much more closely at your neighboring city.
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