OT - Moving to Detroit

Submitted by beenplumb on June 8th, 2012 at 12:20 PM

This has kind of been a long time coming for me, but I just accepted an offer to come work for an advertising agency in Dearborn, and I will be moving to Detroit from Cleveland. I'm from Michigan originally, but have never lived in southeast Michigan. I was wondering if anyone who lives in the area could give advice on where to live, any nice apartments, etc.

I've been strongly considering moving downtown. I've looked at a couple apartments that look pretty cool, and it might be fun to have a downtown lifestyle. However, I don't want to get stabbed.

I've also considered Ann Arbor, but I'm not sure how much I would enjoy the commute from AA to Dearborn everyday on 94.

Anyways, thanks in advance for any tips or advice you can give. They are greatly appreciated.



June 8th, 2012 at 12:26 PM ^

AA to Dearborn really isn't that bad.  Outside of some construction in the DTW/275 area occasionally, it's not bad at all.  I previously drove through there almost daily during morning/evening rush our times, and can't complain too much. 


Althought living downtown sounds wonderful, I think I would take a 30 min trip twice a day, to ensure my car isn't stolen, I don't get stabbed, etc, but to each their own! 

Good luck, and welcome back.


June 8th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

(1) downtown west Dearborn. As earlier poster said great condos / lofts right on mich ave. 1100 -1800 per month to rent. Easy access to all freeways and all other cities.

(2) royal oak / ferndale. Higher rent than Dearborn but livelier downtown nightlifes. Biggest issue will be the traffic on Southfield fwy is busy south in the am and north in the pm.

(3). AA. 35 - 40 min commute. Again you'll be with the wrong flow of traffic.

(4) Det. Stay away. Ok to visit but not to live there. If ur in the areas listed 1-2 ur 20 min from downtown.


June 8th, 2012 at 12:26 PM ^

is a township that is busy but nice to live in. I used to live in Allen Park but stay away from there right now since the town is having serious financial issues.


June 8th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

My family lives in Canton, that's where I stay when I go up for games with my dad. The drive in to both Detroit and Ann Arbor are not bad at all, and while there certainly isn't as much art or culture as AA, it strikes me as a great place to live. I've thought about moving there, quite a bit recently.


June 8th, 2012 at 6:04 PM ^

As a person who fits that to a tee, I agree. I wouldn't move to Canton if I was single and in my 20s (unless I was planning on getting married in the next 2-3 years). That said, it's a great location, as I can get to AA in under 30 minutes and to Detroit in under 45 minutes, which allows me to attend a lot of fun activities, relatively quickly (key when you have family responsibilites).

If you're looking for a bit more fun place, similarly located, go a 10 minute drive north to Plymouth. It has an actual downtown with character. It's not Royal Oak or Ferndale in terms of youth, but it has a good number of bars and restaurants that aren't Applebee's or TGIF's.


June 8th, 2012 at 12:31 PM ^

Dearborn is really a great town, if you can afford it, I would try to live in Downtown Dearborn. It gives you that downtown feel and the condominiums there are beautiful. Also, some great bars and restaurants on Michigan Avenue. If you are looking to lease a nice condo I do not seeing it being more than 800-1000 dollars a month. Also, if your looking for more of a bachelor lifestyle, the lofts are gorgeous on top of some of those restaurants, I used to actually stay in one.

Welcome to town! Hope that helps a bit.


June 8th, 2012 at 12:53 PM ^

If you love Ann Arbor, I can make it to the far east side of Dearborn in under 40 minutes even in heavy traffic times (barring accidents and such). If you're on the west side, less. You can also take Ford Road and Michigan Avenue if you hate expressways. But Ann Arbor is expensive. But if one is still around college age, the perks might be attractive.

But fballcoach12 is right, Dearborn's a fine town to live in. Safe, strips of lots of stuff to do, easy access to Detroit and Ann Arbor, apartments and neighborhood living. And obviously, a really easy commute.  Where the offices you're at are might influence where in town you might want to look.


June 8th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

Detroit has an income tax so that is something to consider.  No comment on safety but grocery shopping, etc can be difficult in Detroit.  I know a number of Ford exec's live in Ann Arbor.  Plymouth is nice if you want to be a bit closer to work.  If you are young and single I'd see if you could swing living in Ann Arbor even with a longer commute.


June 9th, 2012 at 2:01 AM ^

Their are a TON of crazy people down here. Hell, we had a naked guy come in a few nights ago. Not to mention the armed robberies and car jackings that somehow don't make the news. A guy died of a gun shot wound on the corner of Warren and Woodward last month. That wasn't on the news either.


June 8th, 2012 at 2:57 PM ^

If he is moving from Cleveland, he will already be used to a 2 percent local income tax.  Of course, it is still a consideration if you can avoid it.

Downtown Cleveland is finally getting serious traction for downtown living.  I am hoping for the day that Detroit can say the same thing (and I am disappointed that it apparently remains so far behind).

/Born in Detroit


June 8th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

Both great and little to no commute. Of course Ann Arbor if you won't mind the commute. If you have kids, I'd go to Plymouth over Deraborn. If not, Dearborn. Very affordable and nice city. Ann Arbor schools are very good.


June 8th, 2012 at 12:40 PM ^

If you are, that's where I work. Awesome agency.  Anyways, people in Dearborn live all over Metro Detroit.  Ann Arbor is an easy drive to Dearborn.  Grosse Pointe, closer but 94 cross town traffic isn't great.  Same with Royal Oak.  Probably all are equidistant.  Personally, I wouldn't live in Detroit but I have a family.  Michael


June 8th, 2012 at 12:49 PM ^

Look me up when you get setup . . . we will go out to lunch and talk Michigan!  FWIW, if I were young and could swing . . . I'd live in Ann Arbor.  My wife really wants us to move to Ann Arbor from Grosse Pointe Woods . . . . I wish we could.  


June 8th, 2012 at 1:02 PM ^

Young folks dig it. I just happened to have the world's biggest d-bag as a boss, so I went on to greener pastures which were significantly less green upon closer inspection.

You can guess where I live, but A2 is a pretty easy commute. Not many traffic jams on I-94, plus you will be in Ann Arbor.

I warn you in advance: there be many Spartans in that building.

Perkis-Size Me

June 8th, 2012 at 12:49 PM ^

Congrats on the job offer, but don't live in downtown Detroit unless you plan on living right around Ford Field and Comerica. I've heard that's a decent area. I wouldn't commit to an apartment in Detroit unless I knew it had 24-hour security, and was preferably gated off.

If you can find a nice place in Dearborn, I'd go there, honestly, over Detroit. Much easier commute, and at the end of the day, well, its not Detroit.


June 8th, 2012 at 1:07 PM ^

Ferndale is pretty cool. Never spent much time there until I had a couple friends move right by the downtown area. Was just there this past weekend and had a good time.


June 8th, 2012 at 2:33 PM ^

Ferndale is great!  The rent is cheap.  Its nice.  It's safe and has a bit of a feel of Ann Arbor to it.  Also, its nice not having to battle 696 traffic like my colleagues who live in Royal Oak have to do.  I just get on 75 and go.  On the flip side, I'm a short 2 miles away from 11 and main in Royal Oak which is also a fun area.

I commute to Oakwood everyday in Dearborn and its not a bad drive from Ferndale.  It takes me about 20-25 minutes if its not during rush hour.  I also make the drive from Ann Arbor to Dearborn a few times a week, as my girl friend still lives there.  Also not a bad drive, maybe 30-35 minutes.   


June 8th, 2012 at 1:11 PM ^

Ann Arbor is of course my suggestion.  When I moved back to Michigan, I  specifcally accepted the job offer that was in Ann Arbor, so my circumstances are quite different though.  Canton is not too far away from Dearborn and is booming like crazy, so it may be worth a look.  Also, don't quote me on this, but if you think you can handle it (don't think I could), there are now cash incentives to move to Detroit.  I'm not sure if these are company based or city based, but it may be something to think about.

Foote Fetish

June 8th, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

...like it's some sort of apocalyptic wasteland where you are 1000% guaranteed to have all of your earthly possessions stolen. 

I live in Chicago now, but if I were to ever move back to the mitt I would probably move to Midtown.  My sister lives there near Wayne State and loves it.  I don't know what it would be like to raise a family there and I'm not going to begrudge anyone living in the suburbs, but if you're young, aware of your surroundings, and enjoy city living then that's the place for you.  There's a vibrant music and arts scene, some great restaurants and bars, the riverfront and the new bike paths, the stadiums and campus martius, and a sense that people are really trying to make things better.  I think it would be great to be part of that.


June 8th, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

I go to med school at Wayne State and can make a lengthy list of people I know whos cars were stolen, broken into, or mugged.  Detroit has some nice pockets to it, but those areas are immedately boarded by the desolate waste land where your 1000% guaranteed to have all of your earthly possessions stolen. 

Compare that to my 4 years in Ann Arbor.  Other than getting into a fight outside of Ricks, I cant think of any trouble I've had in Ann Arbor.  I never had a problem with my car or safty.  Shoot, I dont even know if the locks on our house worked at East U and Tappan.

Foote Fetish

June 8th, 2012 at 4:43 PM ^

...people act like that sort of stuff only ever happens in the miserable hellhole that is Detroit.  I also have a lengthly list of Chicagoans that have had their cars stolen, broken into or been mugged and that's just near where I work.  I'm not saying Detroit is a safe-haven or paradise - crime is certainly a problem there - but I think people can live relatively safely with some basic streetsmarts.  I know a couple of people who seem to be doing all right there.

Speaking of Ann Arbor, I also had a DVD player and a bike stolen out of my apartment on separate occasions; a friend of mine had an X-box swiped as well and another had his car broken into.  Just saying.


June 8th, 2012 at 5:18 PM ^

My wife goes to Wayne Med...I agree with everything you have said. Although, if you are going to live in the D, the new, gated condos over the expressway and opposite Comerica park/Ford field are the places to stay. However, I hear there is quite the demand/waitlists for some of those places


June 8th, 2012 at 5:29 PM ^

Ann Arbor has become a big red target for folks from out of town to come rob the defenseless college kids. Anyone who receives UM crime alerts can attest to that. A friend of mine got jumped and beaten for no reason, he wasn't even robbed, by a bunch of kids who hopped out of a van. This was on the block between East Quad and Pizza House, and was one a string of random beatings by these kids in a van that night.

So I've moved to LA. Much safer! /s


June 8th, 2012 at 1:19 PM ^

that it has been an excellent city for services. 

Police EMS and Fire response time is terrific.  Library system is very good, though it took some hits in the last few years, due to the hit on property values.  Schools are ranked a little lower, but this is mostly due to the large bi-lingual population and english as a second language issue of haveing a very large Arabic population.  West side schools tend to be better performers than east side.

Housing may also be more attractive on the west side, with main very nice neighborhoods to choose from.  Real estate took a hit, so the market is a bit depressed, but on the other hand, if you pick a good location, you could make out quite well.  Levagood Park area, Dearborn Hills, homes by Ford Field are all very nice areas to live in.

Aribic culture and, thank god, the food is very much part of Dearborn and if you don't think you can deal with that than you should look elsewhere.

As others have mentioned, the apartments off of Michigan avenue near Monroe places you near a very happening area comparable to a mini Royal Oak. 

Good luck!



June 8th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

Detroit is ruled by guns, so you are more likely to get shot.


P.S.  I'll tell you how to get Capone.  He pulls a knife, you pull a gun.  He puts one of your men in the hospital, you put one of his in the morgue.  That's how you get Capone.


June 8th, 2012 at 1:22 PM ^

As a poster stated above, downtown West Dearborn is very nice.  Many cool bars such as Bailey's (my favorite) and good restaurants.  You will have both a nice downtown area and close proximity to your job.  Try this site:



I bought a house in Livonia last year and it is definitely not a renter's haven nor does it have a downtown presence.  It is a very nice city to live and raise a family, but if you are looking for a more upbeat, lively city, I think Dearborn or Royal Oak is a good place to start.  Good luck and congrats!


June 8th, 2012 at 1:41 PM ^

If you want to live in Detroit proper, midtown is the place to be.  I have a buddy that lives there and I hang out down there quite often.  Shoot, there are a couple units vacant in his building, you might be able to score a deal.  And it's literally right next to Slows-To-Go and a couple blocks walk from Motor City Brewing Works.  Great area.  Right by the Majestic/Magic Stick complex too, if music is your thing.

Otherwise, I'd recommend the Royal Oak/Ferndale area.  Not a bad commute and a ton of stuff to do.


June 8th, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

When my wife and I were looking at homes back in 2004, we almost bought one in the area around Divine Child school - very nice neighborhood with some old craft homes in it. Of course, it depends on what you want - if you are single and want to live in a great city with much to do, then definitely consider living right in Dearborn as others have mentioned.

If you want to be a little farther out but still not a bad distance from either Dearborn or Ann Arbor, the Belleville / Romulus area (where I happen to live) isn't a bad deal, and it is fairly cheap from a property tax / housing standpoint, but there isn't too much to do right around here. However,  you're maybe 20 minutes from Ann Arbor (where my wife works) and 15 minutes from Dearborn via I-94. Going up and down I-275 ,which is easy from where I live, basically gives you reasonably quick access to some decent shopping too.

In my position, I often find myself going between my office in Belleville (or my house, which is in Romulus) and downtown Detroit and back, and it's about 25 minutes to Edison Plaza (our HQ) from my office (which is in the I-94 / I-275 area), so commute times to many places in Metro Detroit are reasonable from here.


June 8th, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

Some are fine and nice and there are good restaurants and family and blah blah blah....BORING.  There are not many interesting things happening in these towns, even Royal Oak.  If you are a young person without kids you're going to live a more joyful existence if you live in Detroit. 

There are several attractive highrises in Detroit that offer plenty of security, views, proximity to fun activities, etc.  There a Whole Foods coming in (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/whole-foods-detroit-groundbrea… ) so that area will almost surely continue to 'develop'.  Detroit is where it's at. 

And...this isn't a lifetime commitment.  If you hate it for whatever reason, you can always move away. It's definitely worth a shot compared to the bland suburban existence that most people above are suggesting.  Don't settle for the unexceptional. 

Ann Arbor is nice, but spending a significant chunk of your limited free time driving in a car listening to bad radio is a huge waste.