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excuse me, I'll be having the last word here. can we stop littering the forum with some pointless clarifications?

Economically depressed cities tend to have higher crime rates than those with more prosperous economies. Homelessness rates are generally indicative of a city's economic state. Therefore, looking at t

Congrats on getting into UMich and starting your new journey. I just finished my PhD there last August and was living there for 6 years so I feel like I am in a good position to offer some words of ad

Hi There, 

In the process of securing housing for the fall. I am considering some of the larger apartment or townhome communities as it's easier to arrange out of state. Anyone here have positive reviews of particular places or recommendations to stay away from certain ones? I am looking for something relatively quiet, dog and family friendly. 

Woodbury, Surrey, Shoreview, Brookside, Mill Creek, Spruce Knob...so many!

Any advice would be awesome - thanks in advance!

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  • 7 months later...

Hi folks, hoping to revive this massive thread for 2017 incomers. I've been accepted to Michigan (PhD) and will be moving there sometime between April and August with my husband and our two cats. I've heard Kerrytown and Old West Side are good areas. I've only lived in the DC/MD/VA area to date, and have lucked out in that I've been living in a really beautiful "garden-style" apartment in a quiet neighborhood for three years. Looking at housing in Ann Arbor, I see mostly apartment complexes. Does anyone have recommendations for how to find smaller places that are more garden-style? Would this require a trip to A2 to just look for "for rent" signs in neighborhoods? I'd even be down to rent a small, 2BR house or a townhouse, but am a bit overwhelmed. Even recommendations of complexes that have a good reputation would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kerrytown and Old West Side would both be great choices! A lot of grad students and young professionals live in Kerrytown--it's close to a lot of stores and coffee shops and the Ann Arbor's farmers market. You'd still be close to all of these things on the Old West Side, too. Burns Park is also very nice--closer to campus it's occupied by undergrads, but as you move south it's quieter with more families--a lot of professors live there. There aren't really any "bad" areas in Ann Arbor, though. Choosing a neighborhood depends a lot on what is important to you. If cost is a concern, for example, you might try looking a little farther from campus, around Briarwood Mall etc. (Nowhere in Ann Arbor is going to be cheap!) If fitness is important to you, check out what gyms are close (UMich gyms are IMSB, CCRB, NCRB--IMSB just got renovated, the other two need some work) or if you're a runner an apartment close to the Arboretum might be a good fit. If you're looking for quieter areas, probably best to avoid South University or Tappan neighborhoods--these areas are loud and lively, filled mostly with undergrads, sororities, fraternities. The Elbel/East Packard/Yost neighborhoods are also home to a lot of undergrads, but again, this shifts as you get farther from campus. 

I'm not sure about smaller places vs. apartment complexes, but you could start with CMB and J Keller Properties--both have good reputations. 

https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/UM-Neighborhoods/

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On 1/30/2017 at 9:12 PM, Character Zero said:

Kerrytown and Old West Side would both be great choices! A lot of grad students and young professionals live in Kerrytown--it's close to a lot of stores and coffee shops and the Ann Arbor's farmers market. You'd still be close to all of these things on the Old West Side, too. Burns Park is also very nice--closer to campus it's occupied by undergrads, but as you move south it's quieter with more families--a lot of professors live there. There aren't really any "bad" areas in Ann Arbor, though. Choosing a neighborhood depends a lot on what is important to you. If cost is a concern, for example, you might try looking a little farther from campus, around Briarwood Mall etc. (Nowhere in Ann Arbor is going to be cheap!) If fitness is important to you, check out what gyms are close (UMich gyms are IMSB, CCRB, NCRB--IMSB just got renovated, the other two need some work) or if you're a runner an apartment close to the Arboretum might be a good fit. If you're looking for quieter areas, probably best to avoid South University or Tappan neighborhoods--these areas are loud and lively, filled mostly with undergrads, sororities, fraternities. The Elbel/East Packard/Yost neighborhoods are also home to a lot of undergrads, but again, this shifts as you get farther from campus. 

I'm not sure about smaller places vs. apartment complexes, but you could start with CMB and J Keller Properties--both have good reputations. 

https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/UM-Neighborhoods/

Thank you so much! I hadn't looked at burns park -- I heard south of campus is pretty crazy on home game weekends with tailgating and people parking in neighborhoods, would burns park be in this area? My only real motivating factor is being as close to campus as I can afford, as I'd like to walk when weather permits and avoid a bus ride longer than 20 minutes. Figuring out what's affordable will also be tough, I figure the University pays you what they know is enough to live off of but looking at the numbers it seems pretty meager. Do you have an opinion on the school's grad student housing? I'm also noticing that so many places on the two rental companies you suggested are available September 1, which doesn't seem unusual for the area but is unusual for where I'm from (where May/June is the best time to move). My lease is up July 15, and I have two cats so I can't just travel the country like I want to! Is it normal for people to move during the summer and get a sublease? Not to make you the spokesperson for all Ann Arbor transplants, but since you're the only one who's responded... ?

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Yep--that sounds about right for South Campus. Burns Park is just south of the Tappan/South Campus areas so the closer you are to those areas the more undergrads or other students and Greek life you'll find. As you get farther south, and also probably farther east, you get away from that and start seeing quieter streets with bigger, expensive houses, families, etc. If you take the two maps below together, that should give you a decent idea of where Burns Park/Lower Burns Park sits relative to other neighborhoods. Housing in Ann Arbor definitely isn't cheap--it's not New York or San Francisco, but for a Midwest college town prices are pretty high! 

https://nextdoor.com/neighborhood/burnspark--ann-arbor--mi/
https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/UM-Neighborhoods/

I don't have any experience with Northwood graduate housing, but they do have some family or multiple bedroom options. The other graduate housing is the Munger Graduate Residences--brand new (2015) graduate housing that is incredibly nice, but for singles--each unit has 6 to 7 bedrooms (with bathrooms) and a common area. There are no windows in most of the bedrooms, though! 

Late August or very early September is common for a move-in date. While it would be frustrating to have to move twice, the good news is that you shouldn't have any trouble finding a temporary place to stay over the summer, and probably at a decent price--students with 12-month leases will be looking to sublet over the summer. You might be able to find earlier move-in options though--I wouldn't give up on it!

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14 minutes ago, Character Zero said:

Yep--that sounds about right for South Campus. Burns Park is just south of the Tappan/South Campus areas so the closer you are to those areas the more undergrads or other students and Greek life you'll find. As you get farther south, and also probably farther east, you get away from that and start seeing quieter streets with bigger, expensive houses, families, etc. If you take the two maps below together, that should give you a decent idea of where Burns Park/Lower Burns Park sits relative to other neighborhoods. Housing in Ann Arbor definitely isn't cheap--it's not New York or San Francisco, but for a Midwest college town prices are pretty high! 

https://nextdoor.com/neighborhood/burnspark--ann-arbor--mi/
https://www.scribblemaps.com/maps/view/UM-Neighborhoods/

I don't have any experience with Northwood graduate housing, but they do have some family or multiple bedroom options. The other graduate housing is the Munger Graduate Residences--brand new (2015) graduate housing that is incredibly nice, but for singles--each unit has 6 to 7 bedrooms (with bathrooms) and a common area. There are no windows in most of the bedrooms, though! 

Late August or very early September is common for a move-in date. While it would be frustrating to have to move twice, the good news is that you shouldn't have any trouble finding a temporary place to stay over the summer, and probably at a decent price--students with 12-month leases will be looking to sublet over the summer. You might be able to find earlier move-in options though--I wouldn't give up on it!

Thanks! This is so, so helpful. I'm visiting U of M in a few weeks and will send my husband to these neighborhoods to get a feel for them :) 

With a whole house of belongings, two cats, and a spouse it would be a huge pain to sublease for a month -- fingers crossed it doesn't come to that -- but good to know it would be relatively easy to find a place to stay!

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12 minutes ago, dormcat said:

Thanks! This is so, so helpful. I'm visiting U of M in a few weeks and will send my husband to these neighborhoods to get a feel for them :) 

With a whole house of belongings, two cats, and a spouse it would be a huge pain to sublease for a month -- fingers crossed it doesn't come to that -- but good to know it would be relatively easy to find a place to stay!

You bet! I hope you find something soon that works out for you! If you have other questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Ann Arbor is a great place to live--a lot to look forward to! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi everyone,

I am an incoming PhD Stats from Fall 2017.

To minimize the stress of finding a new home in a new city, I am planning to stay in a shared 2-bedroom apartment at Northwood IV & V Graduate Housing for the first one or two semester(s). The monthly rent is $635 (with AC).

Apparently, there are many negative feedback about the place. Is it really that bad ? Is the UMich bus system between North and Central Campus reliable ?

Edited by machinescholar
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On 2/27/2017 at 10:05 PM, machinescholar said:

Hi everyone,

I am an incoming PhD Stats from Fall 2017.

To minimize the stress of finding a new home in a new city, I am planning to stay in a shared 2-bedroom apartment at Northwood IV & V Graduate Housing for the first one or two semester(s). The monthly rent is $635 (with AC).

Apparently, there are many negative feedback about the place. Is it really that bad ? Is the UMich bus system between North and Central Campus reliable ?

Anyone ?

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8 hours ago, machinescholar said:

Anyone ?

It seems like no umich grads use the grad cafe, so I'll tell you what the grad students told me when I asked about northwood during my visit. They said it's fine to live there and there's a bus (but that the buses in Ann Arbor aren't always perfect) but that most of the social life stuff happens around central campus. So planning your social life around the bus schedules can be a bit of a bummer. Aside from that they didn't have much to say. 

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On 2/27/2017 at 10:05 PM, machinescholar said:

Hi everyone,

I am an incoming PhD Stats from Fall 2017.

To minimize the stress of finding a new home in a new city, I am planning to stay in a shared 2-bedroom apartment at Northwood IV & V Graduate Housing for the first one or two semester(s). The monthly rent is $635 (with AC).

Apparently, there are many negative feedback about the place. Is it really that bad ? Is the UMich bus system between North and Central Campus reliable ?

I actually posted a decent amount about housing recommendations in this thread a while ago. I recommend going through my old posts or reading the earlier pages in this forum for more detailed info. 

I haven't personally lived in Northwood, but I have had many friends, classmates, and co-workers that have. From my experience, everyone has been generally happy living there. The pricing is reasonable for what it is and how close to campus you are. If I worked on North Campus I would move there in a heartbeat. For Central, it isn't bad by any means. The UMich blue bus systems is good, not amazing, but good. Buses run frequently, but it also depends on where you want to go. And while they do continuously run, the scheduled time isn't usually that accurate. However, there is a live tracking system so that helps. My only real complaint about the blue buses are they can fill up around typical "rush hour" times. But if you avoid those times, they are fine. 

Now if you are going to be based on Central Campus, I think it is worth investigating other places. Again, Northwood is fine, but I personally think there is better. If you are going to pick a place sight unseen, most of the large apartment complexes here are well reviewed on apartment ratings websites. When I first moved here, I picked Spicetree Apartments based on ratings and I lived there for 3 years with no problems. I now live in a McKinley (huge chain of complexes all over town) apartment, and recommend them as well. 

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15 minutes ago, ghanada said:

I actually posted a decent amount about housing recommendations in this thread a while ago. I recommend going through my old posts or reading the earlier pages in this forum for more detailed info. 

I haven't personally lived in Northwood, but I have had many friends, classmates, and co-workers that have. From my experience, everyone has been generally happy living there. The pricing is reasonable for what it is and how close to campus you are. If I worked on North Campus I would move there in a heartbeat. For Central, it isn't bad by any means. The UMich blue bus systems is good, not amazing, but good. Buses run frequently, but it also depends on where you want to go. And while they do continuously run, the scheduled time isn't usually that accurate. However, there is a live tracking system so that helps. My only real complaint about the blue buses are they can fill up around typical "rush hour" times. But if you avoid those times, they are fine. 

Now if you are going to be based on Central Campus, I think it is worth investigating other places. Again, Northwood is fine, but I personally think there is better. If you are going to pick a place sight unseen, most of the large apartment complexes here are well reviewed on apartment ratings websites. When I first moved here, I picked Spicetree Apartments based on ratings and I lived there for 3 years with no problems. I now live in a McKinley (huge chain of complexes all over town) apartment, and recommend them as well. 

Thank you ! That is a very detailed response.

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It's not clear why you would choose to live on N Campus if you're a stats major. Yes, the apartments are fine and, yes, the buses run frequently and usually on schedule but it is a long way. You will go to central campus in the morning and stay until you are finished for the day. It is a pain. My daughter lived in shared housing around central campus and never paid more than $600/month. You can get anywhere in less than 10 minutes walking. There are always people looking for roommates and there are a lot of incoming grad students looking for housing. Look for a shared house or apartment in an older building. There are a lot of them.

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22 hours ago, alanc said:

It's not clear why you would choose to live on N Campus if you're a stats major. Yes, the apartments are fine and, yes, the buses run frequently and usually on schedule but it is a long way. You will go to central campus in the morning and stay until you are finished for the day. It is a pain. My daughter lived in shared housing around central campus and never paid more than $600/month. You can get anywhere in less than 10 minutes walking. There are always people looking for roommates and there are a lot of incoming grad students looking for housing. Look for a shared house or apartment in an older building. There are a lot of them.

This is pretty much my same sentiment which I tried to convey in my previous post. Central (and moreso downtown Ann Arbor) is undeniably a better area/lifestyle than North so most people that are based on Central wouldn't choose Northwood/North Campus housing, such as myself. Really, the only people I know that choose to live in Northwood that aren't North Campus majors are people with families, because Northwood has a really nice family community that I know many people appreciate if that is your situation. 

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On 3/3/2017 at 6:50 PM, ghanada said:

This is pretty much my same sentiment which I tried to convey in my previous post. Central (and moreso downtown Ann Arbor) is undeniably a better area/lifestyle than North so most people that are based on Central wouldn't choose Northwood/North Campus housing, such as myself. Really, the only people I know that choose to live in Northwood that aren't North Campus majors are people with families, because Northwood has a really nice family community that I know many people appreciate if that is your situation. 

Yes, I third this. Especially if you don't intend to get a car or drive around much, try housing near central campus if you can get any and if you hope to socialise in bars, cafes, movie theaters, bookshops downtown and such! The only people I know in Northwood are those with families (or those who study in North campus), which is conducive for them, but not so ideal if you don't fall under either of those categories. Hygiene factor-wise though, I haven't heard any horror stories about Northwood.

 

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:| I've been at umich for 8 years now and I got accepted to Umich, but I chose UVA last week. As much as I am sure I want to go to UVA for my PhD, I'm going to miss Ann Arbor and all the incredibly smart and motivated people there. :(

I think my only tips are 1) If you choose to live in housing not owned by Umich within 2/3 of a mile from the diag, you are most definitely surrounded entirely by undergrads and 2) on football saturdays in fall, driving anywhere will be a friggin pain in the ass, so just don't.

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I agree that those apartments are probably best for families (and medical students).

For grad students in other parts of the university I'd suggest looking for an apartment in a house in Kerrytown, Old West Side, or Burns Park area. These are all areas with more graduate students. Anything near Packard Ave is going to be almost exclusively undergrads, many of them unofficial Greek houses.

I live in the Old West Side in an old, charming house divided into three apartments. All of us are grad students. Found the place on Craigslist! It's a great location walking distance to campus, downtown and the stadium. My downstairs neighbor signed the lease on his place without even having a roommate yet and then just found a roommate/subletter. If you find a great place that is probably not too risky; you'll be able to find someone to live with!

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20 hours ago, ljo377 said:

I live in the Old West Side in an old, charming house divided into three apartments. All of us are grad students. Found the place on Craigslist! It's a great location walking distance to campus, downtown and the stadium. My downstairs neighbor signed the lease on his place without even having a roommate yet and then just found a roommate/subletter. If you find a great place that is probably not too risky; you'll be able to find someone to live with!

How long is your walk to campus? I just signed on an apartment in Kerrytown, and it is a 10 min walk to one of my buildings and 20 from the other. This is a dumb question but Michigan has a harsher climate than what I'm used to - during the winter does it get too cold to walk that far? Even the closest bus stop to my apartment is a 10 min walk. Should be fine with good clothes right?

 

@almondicecream I turned down UVA for Michigan! The universe is in balance :) 

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@dormcat - you actually asked the perfect person because I moved up to MI from North Carolina and turned down UNC to attend :)

My walk is actually about 25 minutes to class, and it is not too bad. Though I have been told countless times that this winter has been extremely mild - it only snowed a handful of times, and it was only below freezing for a few weeks total. Looks like we'll get some more snow this week and next, but on the whole I've gotten away unscathed from what I expected coming here. So it could be terrible next year, or global warming/weirding just continues and Michigan keeps getting mild winters...

I definitely had to gear up a LOT. I spent more money than I anticipated on good quality gear - Uniqlo heat tech line (leggings, undershirts, knee socks, etc.) was a lifesaver. Also bought several pairs of (surprisingly expensive) wool socks, fleece-lined tights, snow boots, other rugged boots for when it's not wet but I have to wear super thick socks, a heavy-duty long winter coat (I didn't have one until after winter break and my boss at my work study was so concerned with my ill preparedness she asked if she could give me one of her old ones). I also got a backpack that is water resistant for when it is snowing when I walk to class. These costs along with the costs of moving across the country definitely strained my grad student budget, but thankfully everything will last a long time, though your shoes will get ruined early from all the salt on the roads and sidewalks. I didn't get snow tires but I don't have to drive very often and got lucky with mild weather on most of the days I have to drive to metro Detroit for my internship - if I were going to be driving more I would probably get them.

It really is true that if you have the right gear the weather is not so bad! Also sometimes if I have evening classes I have time to go home and get my car to drive to campus, where parking is free in some lots after 5/6 p.m. depending on the lot. I don't really like to walk home in the dark by myself (no matter where I live), and there have been a string of armed robberies/muggings in one area of campus in the past few months (south campus where all of the undergrads live in group houses). If you are walking from campus to Kerrytown everything will be pretty bright even at night!

Hope this helps; happy to answer if you have other questions!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello everyone! I'm an incoming MSW student at Umich for Fall 2017. I have a question about housing (as do we all haha). I found a nice leasing company online in Ypsilanti and I like a few of their apartments. However, on their site it says they will not approve an application until the applicant has visited the apartment in real life. Is this a common policy in Michigan? I'm actually living abroad until June, so I'm worried about waiting that late to get housing figured out. I could send my SO up to view apartments sooner than that, but it's a 5+ hour drive for him, so still fairly inconvenient. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, hanndema said:

Is this a common policy in Michigan? 

I signed sight unseen, except for a FaceTime tour. Maybe they would be willing to do that? None of the companies I checked out required me to physically enter the apartment before letting me sign it, and many were willing to do video tours. 

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I'm really excited to visit Ann Arbor next weekend, my program is having a visiting day for accepted students. I can only stay in the area for one day afterwards, as its a really long drive. I'm planning on lining up apartment visits for that extra day and I'm starting to get anxious. Looking for a cat friendly place near Kerrytown/Old West Side. Let me know if you have any leads! I'm also going to see if any of the other visiting students needs a roommate too...

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