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Old 05-23-2011, 10:58 PM
 
5 posts, read 17,665 times
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Looks like we'll be moving to the Lansing area this summer. My husband will be working downtown and we are looking for a place outside the city but with a commute under 30-40 minutes. Would like a newer home and would prefer not to spend more than 250,000 if possible. We have two kids under age 2 so looking for a place that is family friendly, safe, etc. I graduated from MSU about 10 yrs ago but don't remember a whole lot about the surrounding areas. From researching online, DeWitt seems like a nice area but would like opinions from anyone who actually lives in the area. We've also looked at the Okemos/Haslett area as well as Williamston. My husband has also checked out places in Holt but I've heard mixed reviews about that area. Would you recommend DeWitt as a good place to live and if not, where should we look? Thanks!
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:47 PM
 
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What about Grand Ledge, parts of East Lansing and parts of the Waverly/Delta Township area?
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,499,670 times
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Holt has a decent reputation but to be particular most try to avoid the south side of the city ( higher in crime), and Holt kind of merge with south Lansing but near safer communities. I think you are looking at the right areas, may also have interest in Eaton Rapids, Mason, Charlotte, and furthest commute I would suggest is St. Johns.

Okemos is known to have a very good school district, among the best schools in the state.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:22 AM
 
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
11 posts, read 49,011 times
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Dewitt is a good area, but avoid Dewitt Township - it's basically the north side of Lansing and it's just not very safe and it's Lansing schools. They have a very small downtown but plenty of restaurants and fast food. LOTS of newer homes and subdivisions on the outskirts.
I lived in St. Johns (roughly 35 mins from downtown Lansing) and LOVED it. Safe, very affordable, and there are some newer homes being built around the outskirts - though the "in town" area is mostly older historic homes (they're still nice though!). I've heard the schools are very good, but have no personal experience with it.
Okemos is beautiful, with lots of nice homes in many price ranges. There's a mall, lots of big box stores/restaurants and some local businesses too. But there's not much of a "Main Street" feel - not sure if that's important to you. There is a Montessori school, if you're interested in that.
Williamston is cute and also has lots of affordable and newer homes, but it feels like an insanely long commute in my opinion, and the only freeway to get there is I-96 which gets pretty jammed with commuters and ALWAYS seems to have construction. It'll get old fast. If you fall in love with the town, then go for it.
Williamston and St. Johns have a more rural small town feel, while Okemos and Dewitt are more suburban. All are low-crime and perfectly safe, but Dewitt is directly outside of Lansing, so you may see more city influence in the teenagers and young adults. All are okay for kids, I haven't heard a bad thing about any of the school districts.
Do you have any more specific questions? That might help you narrow it down a bit more. Most small towns and suburbs are safe and family friendly, so it depends on what you personally prefer in the place you live. Charm, walkability, variety in shopping/eating, diversity, etc. Based on the little info you gave, you'll be happy in Dewitt. But you won't know until you see it of course My advice is to rent for a few months at least before you commit to any particular town though. Especially if you're not familiar with the area. Take that time to explore and get comfortable (or if you live close enough, come out and spend a few weekends here).
Good luck in your search!
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:27 AM
 
5 posts, read 17,665 times
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Thanks so much for all the info. We're going to drive out this weekend to check things out. Definitely thinking about doing short term housing in July so our decision on place won't be limited to a weekend trip! Will let you know if I come up with any additional questions.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,623,135 times
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My two cents:

If your husband is working downtown, I would avoid places like Haslett and Okemos. Even though they look close to downtown on a map, there is no easy freeway access, so it takes longer to get somewhere, relative to how many miles you are traveling. Commuting is easier from the communities to the west, north, and south where you can just hop on the freeway. Grand Ledge, Portland, DeWitt, and Mason are all easy commutes. Charlotte is a little further out, but also a very easy commute on I-69. Commuting from Haslett or Okemos will involve more red lights and stop-go traffic.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Lansing, MI
2,951 posts, read 6,289,009 times
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Mason, Holt, Dimondale, Grand Ledge, DeWitt are all great communities within a reasonable driving distance. Haslett and Okemos are nice, but as other poster has stated, the commute is through town.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,870 posts, read 17,739,660 times
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Dimondale, Holt Schools, hands down.
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Old 05-26-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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I live in Haslett and work downtown. I graduated from MSU and have a family. Also I lived in the Lansing area before attending MSU. Haslett and Okemos have the best school system period (I receive Michigan k-12 education statistics at my job) in the area. Holt and Grand Ledge are on a decline. My co-worker is moving from Holt to Haslett. Also her kids attended Haslett schools after one year of schooling in Holt. Holt has many undeveloped subdivision where one third of the lots have homes and of those only half have residents. People only live in Dimondale, Dewitt, and Williamston if they like/want land. Mason is also good for land and family community. However Mason is a far commute. The commute for Okemos/Haslett to downtown is only 15 minutes. It is the same distance as Holt to downtown. The other cities/towns are further. Hope this helps.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,499,670 times
Reputation: 246
Quote:
I live in Haslett and work downtown. I graduated from MSU and have a family. Also I lived in the Lansing area before attending MSU. Haslett and Okemos have the best school system period (I receive Michigan k-12 education statistics at my job) in the area. Holt and Grand Ledge are on a decline. My co-worker is moving from Holt to Haslett. Also her kids attended Haslett schools after one year of schooling in Holt. Holt has many undeveloped subdivision where one third of the lots have homes and of those only half have residents. People only live in Dimondale, Dewitt, and Williamston if they like/want land. Mason is also good for land and family community. However Mason is a far commute. The commute for Okemos/Haslett to downtown is only 15 minutes. It is the same distance as Holt to downtown. The other cities/towns are further. Hope this helps.
Adding to my recent post and replying to this comment Holt and Dimondale both you barely can tell you are leaving out of Lansing city limits, this is also becoming more true with Grand Ledge. If you want more for your money then look at Holt, if you can spend a little more than perhaps Dimondale between the two.
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