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Thread: City living

  1. #1

    Default City living

    This may have been asked in a much earlier thread, but for those of you who work in the city but commute to the suburbs, what factored in your decision of choosing a suburb over a nice neighborhood in the city?

  2. #2

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    Outrageous property taxes, Utility taxes, Extra income taxes, Terrible schools, Terrible public services. Outrageous Crime rates. outdated housing stock. Having to travel to the suburbs to shop. Far too few nice neighborhoods.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndavies View Post
    Outrageous property taxes, Utility taxes, Extra income taxes, Terrible schools, Terrible public services. Outrageous Crime rates. outdated housing stock. Having to travel to the suburbs to shop. Far too few nice neighborhoods.
    Not to mention:

    *A relatively long commute, even if it is reverse. Part of the purpose of living in the city is o one could be in walking distance of their job and not have to drive a car. Being forced to work in the suburbs (which most will be in Detroit unless they work for Gilbert, the COD or in the Health Care Industry) just defeats the whole purpose.

    *Crumbling Infrastructure. Having to live on streets that are now pitch black at night under the new lighting plan (due to the reduction in working light poles) isn't particularly comforting with the outrageous crime rates, especially if you work nights or late on some days at your job.

    *Blight. Even if your immediate neighborhood isn't too bad by Detroit's standards (I.E. the Indian Villages and Sherwood Forests), it just gets downright depressing having to travel down main streets every day with nothing but boarded up and burnt out commercial structures aside from a Beauty Supply Store, Liquor Store or Gas Station.

    I actually work with someone who recently moved from booming Midtown to Royal Oak. I was shocked because of how much people on DYes brag about the progress down there, and he simply said because his commute was too long and because Royal Oak is "a nicer town."

    IT just goes to show things that ARE happening down there, while probably positive, aren't nearly what they're hyped up to be on this forum...
    Last edited by 313WX; March-15-15 at 09:29 AM.

  4. #4

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    Long term Suburbanites who have been working in the City for a decade or more have already established routines that serve them. You ask why choose a suburb over a a "nice neighborhood in Detroit?" Those nice neighborhoods with services were either non-existent or in decline until quite recently. Consider those career people with families in the suburbs who commute into Detroit. Their choice would be to now move to Detroit having already gotten established in another community.

  5. #5

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    Much as I don't like that it's true, most of what ndavies listed applies for us as well. Most of all it was schools at the point we would have had to pay private school tuition and transportation expenses/time for 2 kids as they started middle school. We made providing good neighborhood schools and access to neighborhood friends a priority for our family.

    Is there any city in the US where the schools declined like they did in Detroit, then came back to where they'd be attractive to middle/upper class families again? Any where the vast majority of students pass math competency and reading competency, and where most SAT/ACT scores are solid enough for, say for example, MSU? I don't know of any.

    For people without kids (or without kids at that point in their lives), I think the considerations are different.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndavies View Post
    Outrageous property taxes, Utility taxes, Extra income taxes, Terrible schools, Terrible public services. Outrageous Crime rates. outdated housing stock. Having to travel to the suburbs to shop. Far too few nice neighborhoods.
    Did you ever seriously consider living in the city?

  7. #7

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    I think alot of this depends on where you chose to live and what your lifestyle is like. For families with children its a difficult situation living in the city unless you have very deep pocket books to accomodate for schooling, services, child needs etc. For those of us who dont however many of us find there are some great neighborhoods still, our property taxes oddly enough are extremely reasonable, our access to food and services is quite good, we can walk to almost everything ( including work- downtown), have great neighbors , and have alot of entertainment and cultural venues as well as pro sports at our finger tips, Something we couldnt hope to have in the suburbs,,, best of all, never sit in a traffic jam, unless were going to something in the burbs, which in that last couple of years has been very rare, and something I dont miss as most interests and conveniences are here now.. I realize some of us may not be the norm for many people but for people who do fit in this niche, its works out very nicely. Live in Lafayette Park in a great high rise co-op- 1300- btw always safe for my car and ourselves... Auto insurance is high but what I save in gas, no extra parking costs, car depreciation and wear and tear more than makes up for the difference, and that is not even considering the fact Im home in a 6 minute walk. Cant beat the vew of the city, especially at night, up high either.

  8. #8

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    As always reality is somewhere in the middle of most opinions expressed.

    Plenty of pros and cons but been back in my city 14 yrs and love it. Problems exist of course everywhere. Missed a neighhood pot luck as we were out of town, Making a cake for a neighbor who b'day is Wednesday. Other neighbors are planning a going away party for a young free spirit going to Europe and coming home to a re habbed house. Work will commence on our community garden expansion soon.

    Our kids are adults and we can please ourselves. Schools are indeed a huge issue.

    Always say, not for everyone, but we live a quality life in Detroit. Just wish people would quit dissing Detroit in general. I see the blight clearly, I am surrounded by it.

    I am hardly saying Detroit, will rise like the phoenix from ashes. Poor baby is so wounded.

    Progress is being made. So much better to being a small part of solutions. than trash talk.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    Did you ever seriously consider living in the city?
    N has been around here a long while, i, and invested downtown way before it was cool. He can give you specifics for each of those listed complaints...and is being very generous by not elaborating. If there is a shortlist of D'Yes bona fides, he'd be near the top.

    That said, I'm shocked nobody mentioned insurance costs (geez, I missed DetBill's comments somehow). That is seems a surprise to some. Car insurance alone in the city is punishing...property coverage must be crazy, too.
    Last edited by Gannon; March-15-15 at 06:25 PM.

  10. #10

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    The original poster asked for the reasons why people don't live in the city, I gave them to you. They are all valid issues.

    I lived in the city for 10 years. I left the city due to a city real estate deal gone bad. If you want to know about the deal search the archives. I lost over $100,00 cash in the deal and almost had to go bankrupt.

    Now that I've recovered from that mess, I'm looking to move back. I will move back when the right opportunity presents itself. I'm looking for something very special.

    I am single with no children. I can afford the added costs. I can accept the added risks for myself. Most of the people I know who lived downtown when I did have left. Most have started families and left for the cheaper and safer suburbs. Some have great jobs in other parts of the country.

    And I was going to add insurance costs. When I lived in the city, My cars lived at my Monroe house while I lived downtown. My insurance agent suggested this solution after we priced out Detroit insurance. He knew I was keeping My Monroe house.
    Last edited by ndavies; March-15-15 at 07:00 PM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndavies View Post
    The original poster asked for the reasons why people don't live in the city, I gave them to you. They are all valid issues.

    I lived in the city for 10 years. I'm looking to move back. I will move back when the right opportunity presents itself. I'm looking for something very special.

    I am single with no children. I can afford the added costs. I can accept the added risks for myself. Most of the people I know who lived downtown when I did have left. Most have started families and left for the cheaper and safer suburbs. Some have great jobs in other parts of the country.

    And I was going to add insurance costs. When I lived in the city, My cars lived at my Monroe house while I lived downtown. My insurance agent suggested this solution after we priced out Detroit insurance. He knew I was keeping My Monroe house.
    What I'm getting at is that these false-choice questions aren't very insightful. Most people who decided to live in the suburbs did so because they want to live in a suburb. It's like asking why someone bought an Audi A6 instead of a Ford Fiesta.

  12. #12

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    Sorry I hearttheD, I can introduce you to at least 15 people who would love to live the city but don't due the reasons I listed. gannon knows most of them. Many of them are former forum members.

    I also know people who tried out Detroit and then fled to Chicago, New York and California to get the city experience without the hassles of Detroit.

    Detroit can be a great place to live, But lets not sugarcoat the experience.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndavies View Post
    Sorry I hearttheD, I can introduce you to at least 15 people who would love to live the city but don't due the reasons I listed. gannon knows most of them. Many of them are former forum members.

    I also know people who tried out Detroit and then fled to Chicago, New York and California to get the city experience without the hassles of Detroit.

    Detroit can be a great place to live, But lets not sugarcoat the experience.
    I work out in the sticks but wouldn't live in the northern suburbs if you paid me.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndavies View Post
    Sorry I hearttheD, I can introduce you to at least 15 people who would love to live the city but don't due the reasons I listed. gannon knows most of them. Many of them are former forum members.

    I also know people who tried out Detroit and then fled to Chicago, New York and California to get the city experience without the hassles of Detroit.

    Detroit can be a great place to live, But lets not sugarcoat the experience.
    If there were really that many people fleeing to suburban Detroit but wanting the urban experience... then wouldn't there be more urban places in the region outside of Detroit? Obviously there must be a market, according to what you're saying.

  15. #15

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    There is a large market of people. Unfortunately all of the issues I listed are stopping them from moving in. Detroit should be full of middle class families, just like Chicago, New York, Boston ....

    Until the city of Detroit can draw back middle class families it is not going anywhere.

    Also you seem to envision Detroit as a Extreme high density city. Most of Detroit looked more like Royal Oak than Manhattan. Most of the inner ring suburb have the similar densities as Detroit had at it's peak. Detroit never had the Density of the east coast cities and never will have.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ndavies View Post
    There is a large market of people. Unfortunately all of the issues I listed are stopping them from moving in. Detroit should be full of middle class families, just like Chicago, New York, Boston ....
    That's an odd statement. I live in New York and there are not a lot of middle class families living in the city. There are pockets here and there but it's not a broad category of the population. What New York does have is a very transient population and also a very high concentration of foreign born residents. People move here to New York from all parts of the globe, and the state of the public schools is probably something that does not register much in their decision for coming. Nor does things like car insurance (since most of the population depends on public transit), or property taxes (since most of the population rents).

    Quote Originally Posted by ndavies View Post
    Until the city of Detroit can draw back middle class families it is not going anywhere.

    Also you seem to envision Detroit as a Extreme high density city. Most of Detroit looked more like Royal Oak than Manhattan. Most of the inner ring suburb have the similar densities as Detroit had at it's peak. Detroit never had the Density of the east coast cities and never will have.
    None of the inner ring suburbs have anything close to the density of Detroit at its peak. Detroit's population density today is pretty uniform with the inner ring suburbs. In the 1950s, Detroit had areas with population densities similar to areas of Manhattan.

  17. #17

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    Personally-and without elaborating too much here-when I find things getting a lot better for me, I probably will move back to Detroit.

    Just to add, college towns are great places to live when one is young, but they are an enclosed bubble. To be a young couple living in one can be one thing, but I would never want to raise a kid in one. I've seen what becomes of the kids who grew up in college towns. They are usually convoluted, selfish, emotionally stunted, immature, wastes half-destroyed by self-indulgent drug abuse. There's a similar thing I've observed when I seen in the long run what becomes of the kids who went to progressive schools.

    The point being: is sheltering our kids from the harsh realities of life, the answer?

  18. #18

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    I would move to Detroit right now if they would build high rise condos in the downtown area. But It is not happening. Even with a extremely tight condo market (250k to 1 Mill) there are only 14 properties available today in the entire city and only one of them is in the downtown. When I talk to my real estate person in Detroit she says she has buyers but no real inventory and even worse in the downtown to sell. Buyers have to compromise out of DT if condo is what they want. Even then pickings are still slim.
    Last edited by ABetterDetroit; March-15-15 at 11:51 PM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    That's an odd statement. I live in New York and there are not a lot of middle class families living in the city. There are pockets here and there but it's not a broad category of the population. What New York does have is a very transient population and also a very high concentration of foreign born residents. People move here to New York from all parts of the globe, and the state of the public schools is probably something that does not register much in their decision for coming. Nor does things like car insurance (since most of the population depends on public transit), or property taxes (since most of the population rents).



    None of the inner ring suburbs have anything close to the density of Detroit at its peak. Detroit's population density today is pretty uniform with the inner ring suburbs. In the 1950s, Detroit had areas with population densities similar to areas of Manhattan.
    So you're trying to tell me, out of New York's total population of almost 8.5 million there are very few middle class families? I find that very hard to believe. Maybe they don't live in Manhattan, but they do live in the city. Without that backbone of middle class families, New York would be a very different place.

    Detroit has a total population of 700,000. It continues to bleed middle class families. Detroit continues to lose that backbone of middle class families. Until the issues I posted are fixed and Detroit starts to bring families back into the city, the city will continue to decline. The families moving out of the city far outweigh the hipsters moving downtown

    New York also has a very vibrant job market. Detroit's Job market is nowhere near it.

    Detroit is not comparable to NY. The conditions in place in NY are very different from Detroit's.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bdjack View Post
    This may have been asked in a much earlier thread, but for those of you who work in the city but commute to the suburbs, what factored in your decision of choosing a suburb over a nice neighborhood in the city?

    It was the walking man who left Detroit and moved to the burbs.


    He's moved from the Woodward/Grand Boulevard area. He say, "I may have been born there, but God knows I don't belong there anymore."

    http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/artic...d_in_the_burbs
    Last edited by Dan Wesson; March-16-15 at 08:23 AM.

  21. #21

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    We have been tagging threads like this so the tag Living in Detroit offers a good cross section of discussions on this topic.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bdjack View Post
    This may have been asked in a much earlier thread, but for those of you who work in the city but commute to the suburbs, what factored in your decision of choosing a suburb over a nice neighborhood in the city?
    #1 - Safety
    #2 - Schools
    #3 - Auto insurance
    #4 - Property taxes
    #5 - Income tax

    That's pretty much it. I'd elaborate, but I think we're all aware of the problems. I work downtown but live in the south end of Rochester Hills.

  23. #23
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartthed View Post
    TIn the 1950s, Detroit had areas with population densities similar to areas of Manhattan.
    I would be very surprised if this were true. Detroit was never built densely, and was developed much later than other cities in the eastern half of the U.S., concurrent with the auto boom. There were never any extensive areas of large apartment buildings, so I don't get how there would be density comparable to Manhattan (or even apartment areas in Brooklyn/Bronx/Queens for that matter).

    The only way this could have happened was if there was some really horrific overcrowding, with like 5 families per house, but I doubt that was the case. Detroit was a prosperous city with the highest homeownership in the U.S. Probably the original African American areas near downtown had bad overcrowding, but I doubt they ever had Manhattan-style densities, because the built form didn't support such densities.

  24. #24

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    Sorry That was a mistype. I meant to say even in the 50's, Detroit never had the density of Manhattan.

  25. #25

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    Check out Hamtramck on this list, it's one of the densest cities in the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...lation_density

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