Challenges with Moving - What happened?

Hi everyone. My name's Brad. I recently had a job interview in Troy, Michigan. I expect to be moving to the metro area in the next few weeks.

I have found that I've had some really big challenges deciding on a place to live. I spent about six days in the metro area in early December. I checked out downtown, Midtown, Troy, Utica, Pontiac, Dearborn, Romulus, Bloomfield and West Bloomfield. I had some great experiences touring the neighborhoods in town. I thought the people were generally reserved at first but were also very polite and had good follow through. This is unlike the southwest where most apartment complexes are staffed with valley-girl wanna be's that have trouble even using the calendaring functions on their iphones that cannot conjugate a verb, never mind their chronic inability to follow through on the most basic phone call requirements.

I found Pontiac to be super depressing and lacking in the most basic shopping and entertainment options. I also found the suburbs to be rather boring and tough to get to know people. I really like Hockey, and I found that there was a lot of buzz about a new Hockey Arena being considered downtown. I'd really like to find a space near all the excitement but can't seem to find anything that meets my requirements. All the prices seem radically out of whack for the metro area too. $1500 for a 1 bedroom per month? in downtown Detroit? Really?


  • Hi @hinesbrad, and welcome to the site.

    I know there are quite a few rentals in the best Detroit neighborhoods that will put you very close to the hockey action, as well as just plain being awesome places to live.

    One thing I will say, though, is that our public transportation is about as bad as it gets (for big cities), so I hope you're prepared to commute to Troy via car. That said, things are definitely looking optimistic for public transit in Detroit, as the State legislature just passed bills created a regional transit authority. This was a big first step in getting both a reliable high-speed bus line and light rail going here. If I had to give an optimistic guess, I'd say there will be viable public transit from Detroit to Troy within five years.

    I agree with your assessment about the neighborhoods you visited. It sounds like you absorbed a pretty accurate picture of Pontiac, the burbs, and Detroit proper while you were here. As a person who has lived in Detroit, the burbs, and back to Detroit again (as well as a stint in Washington DC), I will say that Detroit has been the most rewarding and fulfilling place for me.

    My next door neighbor is renting out his upper loft for $600/mo + electricity. That's just one place. I know there are apartments in Brush Park (which is up-and-coming, kind of a trendy place and filling up fast), and that is literally right up the block from Comerica Park and Ford Field, not to mention that it will be very close to wherever Ilitch puts the new Red Wings arena.

    Anyways, I'd say don't get discouraged. There will definitely be housing in the D that is much cheaper than $1500/mo. Downtown is super hot right now and rents are pretty high, that's true... But I implore you to expand your search to Woodbridge, Lafayette Park, Midtown, and Corktown. I think you'll find what you're looking for :)

    And when you get here, first beer's on me :)
  • Hey Brad,

    Has 1 bedrooms for $800-1000 downtown.

    Southeast Michigan has a nice trifecta of bustling cities - East Lansing (MSU), Ann Arbor (U of M), and good ol' Detroit. I myself like the Metro Detroit area the best, I am a burbs kid through and through.

    Troy has Somerset and Oakland mall for your shopping needs. Royal Oak has the Main Art theater and a butt ton of bars. Ferndale has quite a few nice bars/restaurants, too. Ferndale is also home to the Magic Bag; I highly recommend doing a Brew N' View.

    Good hunting!
  • Hi Brad! My name is Aaron, and I am Lincoln's boyfriend. I'll be (finally, officially) moving into the Sullivan House at the end of January, which means there will be a decent 400 sf 1-bedroom opening up in Midtown. It has some drawbacks, but I absolutely love it. I've been here almost 5 years. My rent has not gone up, but I'm guessing that between tenants it will jump to around $500-$550, plus electricity. But who knows? It might not get that high.
    Beyond that, my landlord owns about 11 or 12 buildings in Midtown. There isn't much vacancy, and some of the prices skew a bit higher, but I like my landlord & it's worth a shot. The manager's name is Steve & his # is 313 930 0179.

    Prices do seem significantly lower in Woodbridge (and it's a GREAT neighborhood), but there aren't a lot of 1 and 2 bedrooms units.

    Have you looked into Hamtramck? There are plenty of very affordable flats, and it's a great city - very walkable, very multi-cultural, and a there's a whole lot going on.

    The expensive places are the ones that do all the marketing. You have to really hunt down the cheap places.

    Good luck!
  • One nice thing about commuting to Troy from Detroit is that you'd be doing the opposite of the normal rush hour on I-75. Probably save yourself 30-50 minutes per day versus the opposite.
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