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Blue

Living in Detroit -- some questions

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Hello everyone -- I currently live in Southern California, and love many things about it ... however, the high cost of living is becoming prohibitive, and I've considered a move to the Detroit area (likely the suburbs -- I'm fairly familiar with the geographic layout of the area, as I've been there several times). If you don't mind, I have a few questions....

1) What are people like? Are they friendly.. reserved... outgoing... annoying... welcoming... what are people generally like?

2) How tough it is to be a newcomer -- will you be welcomed or looked down upon, etc.

3) What is the job market like, particularly in PR/marketing/advertising?

4) What is the housing market like? Our median price here approaches $600K.. I would guess it's still quite a bit better there? Ideally, I'd look for a 1200-1400 square foot condo, with a preference for new construction... is anything like that readily available, and if so, what do the costs run? Here, I'd be looking at close to $500K for such a place.

5) What is it like for allergies? Grasses are my worst allergies... California has been pretty good for that.

Thank you for your help!

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Hello everyone -- I currently live in Southern California, and love many things about it ... however, the high cost of living is becoming prohibitive, and I've considered a move to the Detroit area (likely the suburbs -- I'm fairly familiar with the geographic layout of the area, as I've been there several times). If you don't mind, I have a few questions....

1) What are people like? Are they friendly.. reserved... outgoing... annoying... welcoming... what are people generally like?

2) How tough it is to be a newcomer -- will you be welcomed or looked down upon, etc.

3) What is the job market like, particularly in PR/marketing/advertising?

4) What is the housing market like? Our median price here approaches $600K.. I would guess it's still quite a bit better there? Ideally, I'd look for a 1200-1400 square foot condo, with a preference for new construction... is anything like that readily available, and if so, what do the costs run? Here, I'd be looking at close to $500K for such a place.

5) What is it like for allergies? Grasses are my worst allergies... California has been pretty good for that.

Thank you for your help!

By the way.. I posted this in the general Michigan area first... should have posted it here.. if a moderator sees this, feel free to delete the thread in the Michigan forum, or combine the threads... thanks!!

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I'll try answer your questions the best that I can.

1) I would have to say a little of each, just like every where else. I know it's not a very good response, but every area is a little different, and it depends. In my neighborhood, a couple houses in each direction would get you one of each. Generally speaking, I think the people are friendly around the metro-area.

2) I doubt anyone will look down on a newcomer. Just find people who are a similar interest and you'll be fine,

3) I'm not really sure about the job market in those areas, but think it shouldn't be too bad. The region is highly manufacturing based and those are the jobs we're losing. Also, there are quite a few advertising firms around here that do work for the automotive industry. I suggest doing a search on monster to see what it's like. I wouldn't suggest just packing up and moving without having a job.

4) The housing around here is higher than what I would think, but no where near what you are seeing. If you're just looking for a 1200-1400 square ft condo, new construction, here's some ideas for prices for townhouse.

Downtown Detroit $210,000-$260,000 (see www.crosswinds.com)

Livonia has some new ones for $180,000-$250,000

Troy mid 200 on up

These are just the ones I know about. If you know about where you are looking to live, we could do a better job.

Try this link too. http://citylivingdetroit.com/04/index.php

5) The pollen count gets fairly high during the summer at time and the weather is going to be no where as nice or consistent as what you're used.

That's the best I can do for now. Feel free to ask any more questions that you may have and I'll try to help out the best I can.

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1) What are people like? Are they friendly.. reserved... outgoing... annoying... welcoming... what are people generally like?

Well it depends on the people. Like all cities, Detroit has its fair share of assholes and pricks, but nobody goes out of their way to be one.

2) How tough it is to be a newcomer -- will you be welcomed or looked down upon, etc.

Again it's a matter of the person. There are nearly 6 million people in the metro Detroit region. They all act differently.;)

3) What is the job market like, particularly in PR/marketing/advertising?

Right now the job market isn't the greatest, but that's mostly due to the decline of manufacturing. I'm sure there's openings in PR/marketing/advertising.

Here are some listings in the Detroit area for PR/marketing/advertising jobs

4) What is the housing market like? Our median price here approaches $600K.. I would guess it's still quite a bit better there? Ideally, I'd look for a 1200-1400 square foot condo, with a preference for new construction... is anything like that readily available, and if so, what do the costs run? Here, I'd be looking at close to $500K for such a place.

Pretty much everything is under $500K around here, unless you're looking for a McMansion on a huge lot in the exurbs. Royal is a great market for new condo constructions of all kinds and it is centrally located in the metro with access to major highways. Here is a site listing some of the condo developments in the city. http://www.royaloakcondos.com/ You can also search other metro cities as well.

Royal Oak, Birmingham, and Dearborn are probably your best choices if you want somewhat of an urban experience. If you want to be way out in the boonies there's Canton, Troy, Novi, etc. but I wouldn't suggest them. And if you're not completely frightened, I suggest at least taking a look at some of the stuff going up in Detroit, particularly in the midtown/new center areas.

Here are just a few examples of what you can find. You can click on the link for more info.

Dearborn

1XV8F4CACRH3WP.jpg

Area: 1,740 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 3.5

Year Built: 2001

Price: $335,000

Dearborn

1DB0Z2CA09EXY4.jpg

Area: 2,700 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 3

Baths: 3.5

Year Built: 2000

Price: $299,900

Dearborn

82GEB3CA0B4ESZ.jpg

Area: 1,027 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 1.5

Year Built: 1998

Price: $133,900

Birmingham

3HD553CAOG29Q9.jpg

Area: 2,153 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2.5

Year Built: 2003

Price: $449,000

Royal Oak

4XTMANCA01HDD7.jpg

Area: 1,894 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2

Year Built: 2005

Price: $459,900

Royal Oak

2P8ZU2CA49K4XE.jpg

Area: 1,414 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2

Year Built: 2003

Price: $419,000

Royal Oak

60W053CA3HE2TE.jpg

Area: 2,062 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2.5

Year Built: 2000

Price: $379,900

Royal Oak

93R7B2CA0TA3SF.jpg

Area: 1,300 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 2.5

Year Built: 1994

Price: $269,900

Royal Oak

24M0W3CAXNUVT5.jpg

Area: 1,000 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 2

Baths: 1.5

Year Built: 1995

Price: $212,950

These are some of the more expensive ones too. If you're willing to go with something that's a little older or in some of the less-classy areas you can find decent places for under $110,000.

5) What is it like for allergies? Grasses are my worst allergies... California has been pretty good for that.

I have no idea...

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Wow.. this is great information... and to the housing prices... WOW! Nice places that seem somewhat affordable -- maybe my senses are skewed from SoCal, but those look like very nice places for the price! Getting down under $200K would be great, and it appears I would be able to do that, based on what I'm seeing.

As far as weather... I've only lived in SoCal three years, and I've spent most of my life around snow and ice.. so I know what it's like. I won't lie... the weather here is unbelievable.. but is it worth the cost of living? Or more specifically... renting instead of owning? I feel like in renting, you're throwing money away, as there's no equity.

What are some of the new developments in Detroit itself (as opposed to suburbs) like? I'm pretty sure I'd rather go suburban.. but are some of the developments in respectable neighborhoods? I remember seeing a few developments when I was there a few years ago.. the developments seemed nice, but I had some concerns about safety (although, I have to say, I never felt threatened when I drove through even some of the most run-down areas -- it didn't have a threatening feel, just an abandoned one).

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I too, have a question about Detroit. I was lookin at 2002 aerials of the city the other day, and I noticed that there's tons of green spaces all around the downtown area within each block. Is this because they leveled slum housing that used to be on those lots, or did the city just develop that way in the first place? It seems odd to see such holes in development when a nice gridded street system exists.

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Blue - A lot of the new developments in the city are really nice. There are a lot of townhouses going up in midtown right now, and also some going up in the nearby Woodbridge neighborhood. As for the safety issue...the city is not nearly as dangerous as outsiders like to think it is. Part of the problem is just the aesthetics of the city. Pretty much everything is old, and there are pockets of abandonment, but that is to be expected in a city that has lost 1,000,000 people. There are some really nice neighborhoods, neighborhoods with vast open lots and abadoned houses, and everything in between.

Recchia - Ahh, all those green spaces around downtown. Yes, those are places where homes used to be. Fortunately many of the lots near downtown are being built on now.

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Allan... where is the midtown neighborhood, in respect to downtown Detroit? Also.. is there anywhere on the Internet that shows crime rate by area of town?

The Royal Oak, Birmingham, and Dearborn areas sound interesting, as a single person most likely looking for a condo. What are the neighborhoods like -- is there much for restaurants, shopping, services, etc., in the areas where the condos are located? I've briefly driven through Dearborn and Birmingham, but I've spent more time in other parts of the area, so I'm not that familiar overall.

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Allan... where is the midtown neighborhood, in respect to downtown Detroit? Also.. is there anywhere on the Internet that shows crime rate by area of town?

The Royal Oak, Birmingham, and Dearborn areas sound interesting, as  a single person most likely looking for a condo. What are the neighborhoods like -- is there much for restaurants, shopping, services, etc., in the areas where the condos are located? I've briefly driven through Dearborn and Birmingham, but I've spent more time in other parts of the area, so I'm not that familiar overall.

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http://detroitmidtown.com/projectupdate.shtml

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Midtown is the area just north of downtown, and is bounded by I-75, M-10, & I-94. The more gentified areas of midtown are in the northern part of the neighborhood, although the southern area of the neighborhood is becoming increasingly gentrified.

I'm not sure if there is anywhere that shows a map that compares the crime rates in the different areas of the city. Or at least I haven't seen one.

As for the suburbs...I am not the best person to ask, since I live in Southfield and do almost all of my shopping in Detroit, so I rarely visit the areas you mention, but I will try my best to give you some insights.

I'm not very familiar with Dearborn. It is centered along Michigan Avenue, and many of the buildings were constructed in the 1920s. There are a growing number of restaurants in the area.

Royal Oak is centered along Main Street. There are a lot of midrise condo towers popping up in the area. Main Street has a lot of stores, restaurants, etc. I'm not sure about things such as grocery stores though...I would imagine that there is a small one somewhere near downtown Royal Oak.

Birmingham is centered along Old Woodward Avenue. I am not familiar with Birmingham either. I have driven through a couple times, but that is about the extent of my explorations there.

Hopefully some other forumers are more familiar with these areas, and can offer some better insights.

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Dearborn is most famous for being the home to the Ford Motor Company as well as the Ford Rouge Complex. The city is actually made up of two old townships with two separate "town centers" The eastern center is called Eastborn and the western center is called Westborn. The highly suburban area in between these two urban centers is called Fairlane.

Dearborn is an ethnicly diverse city. The largest ethnic groups are Arabic (1 in 3), German (1 in 7), Polish (1 in 8), Irish (1 in 11), English (1 in 14), and Italian (1 in 16). Nearly 40% of the residents speak a language other than english. 85% of the city is non-hispanic white, 1.5% is non-hispanic black, 1.5% is asian, and about 3% is hispanic. About 9% is of two or more races.

Eastborn is where the majority of the Arabic population lives in Dearborn, and is in fact, the largest concentration of Arabs outside of the Middle East. The shops along Michigan Ave. and especially Warren Ave. through Eastborn cater to the growing population.

Westborn is more high-class than Eastborn. It is where you'll find most of the upscale restaurants, bars, and clubs. There's also more mid-range shopping, particularly grocery stores, clothing stores, etc. that cater to a more "Americanized" patron. (Though that's not to say that you won't find this in Eastborn.)

Fairlane is where you'll find several of Dearborn's largest institutions as well as most of its highrises. The World Headquarters for Ford Motor Company, Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford Museum, The Dearborn campus of the University of Michigan, Fairlane Town Center -- a mega shopping mall, Henry Ford Community College, Tournament Players Golf Course, the Hyatt Regency Dearborn, as well as several office parks.

Here are a few pics of Eastborn:

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Here are a few pics of the Fairlane area:

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07.jpg

11.jpg

Right now, I don't have any pictures of the Westborn area. Hopefully this spring and summer I'll get some.

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Thanks for all the info! The Dearborn pics are great -- I actually recognize a couple of them from driving through there a few years ago.

However... as a big hockey fan... the big question is, where in Dearborn is Cheli's Chili Bar? :-)

The Midtown area is exactly where I was thinking it was -- it seemed like that area was starting to be redeveloped last time I was through there. That area seemed like it would be reasonably safe for an urban neighborhood -- that might be something I'd want to look at.

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