If you are thinking about purchasing or selling a home in the upcoming year or beyond, it is not too soon to start determining where the perfect location is for you – whether it be Downtown Ann Arbor, the Suburbs, or a bordering area like Chelsea, Dexter or Saline. If you have been in the market for a while and have not been able to find the right home for you, this is a good time to re-energize your search.
What is the perfect location for you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these areas for your needs? Becoming aware and knowledgeable of the areas and neighborhoods that are a great fit for you makes all the difference in your long term satisfaction and quailty of life.
Reach out to us and find out how we can help you find the right home in the right area within your time frame. For more information about how we work with buyers and sellers, please download our Buyers Guide or our Sellers Guide.
Downtown Ann Arbor
Many home buyers considering a move to Ann Arbor start their search with downtown Ann Arbor condominiums and single-family homes. If you want to be in the heart of the action in the small city/big town that is Ann Arbor, it makes sense – until you see the prices. Downtown Ann Arbor per square foot prices can run 2 to 3 times the price of other neighborhoods featured here.
For some buyers, it’s worth it though. With a WalkScore of 93 and a Bike Score of 88, you can live car-free or ditch the second car. You will quickly notice that Ann Arbor is investing heavily in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure downtown and throughout the city making it easy to connect with people and get to where you want to go by foot, bike or bus. You can find condos tucked into quiet neighborhoods, secure downtown high rises with secure heated parking or historic condos over downtown shops.
Living downtown gives you easy access to the University of Michigan Hospital, The University of Michigan Medical Campuses, Kerrytown, downtown businesses, and some of the most unique shopping and dining experiences in the midwest.
A few of our favorite neighborhoods and downtown condominium developments include Anything in Kerrytown/Old Forth Ward, 111 N Ashley, Ashley Mews, Liberty Lofts, Tower Plaza, and many smaller condo buildings throughout the downtown area.
In-Town Ann Arbor
Living just outside the downtown area offers more affordable options with per square foot prices often half of those in downtown. We consider the in-town area to be up to about a mile outside of the downtown and U of M campus area. This includes areas such as the Old West Side, (roughly between S Main and 7th street and Pauline and Miller), Burns Park – near Hill Street and Washtenaw, west to Stadium. Also, the Dicken Elementary Neighborhood area (further west of the Old West Side), Ann Arbor Hills (to the southeast of campus and much less walkable), Water Hill N of Miller Rd., and the Northside area (from the Huron River to Barton Rd.). These neighborhoods offer easy walk, bike, or bus access to downtown and the University of Michigan with lower density, larger yards, garages, parking, and tree-lined streets and sidewalks. The Ride provides public transit to the greater Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas, which means reliable, convenient, and environmentally-friendly ways of navigating the city. Living in town is a great middle-ground for homebuyers who want the Ann Arbor lifestyle without the hustle and bustle of downtown living.
Suburban Ann Arbor – Pittsfield, Scio, and Superior Townships
Pittsfield, Scio, and Superior Townships are outside the Ann Arbor city limits but still close enough for residents to enjoy all the culture, cuisine, shopping, and other amenities that the city has to offer. You can reach downtown Ann Arbor from these areas within a 15-minute drive. You will find traditional suburban neighborhoods within the Ann Arbor school district mostly built in the 1990s and 2000s. These communities offer homes with larger lots and square footage from @1800 – 3500+ square feet. They include features many home buyers are seeking such as larger yards and garages, more energy-efficient construction, luxury kitchens, and primary suites, large walkouts, daylight basements, and flexible spaces for growing families and working at home. You will enjoy lower property taxes too which means more money in your pocket. Some of our favorite neighborhoods include Stonebridge, with single-family homes and condominiums surrounded by the Stonebridge Golf Course, and The Waterways, with of tree-lined streets, mature landscapes, and walking trails.
East Ann Arbor
The east side of Ann Arbor (generally east of Carpenter Rd., to a bit east of Hewitt Rd.) is one of Ann Arbor’s best-kept housing secrets and offers affordable housing options that are still close to both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Most of this area is in Pittsfield Township with property taxes running substantially lower than the City of Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.
You will find mostly single-family homes built between the 1940s to 1980s with some newer construction neighborhoods built after 2000. This area is serviced by Ann Arbor public transit, so getting to the center of the city is accessible, while shopping and dining are plentiful.
Some of our favorite neighborhoods here are Silverleaf, where homeowners can choose from a variety of detached condos and single-family homes and Washtenaw Club, conveniently located near the array of restaurants and shops on Washtenaw Ave.
Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township
This area borders the city of Ypsilanti to the east, west, and south. Why is Ypsilanti Township a hot area in the 2017 real estate market? Again, because of the convenient location and lower taxes as compared to Ann Arbor. Amenities are within easy reach, by vehicle or by public transit, and the cost of homes is comparatively lower, too. And, the township offers 30 parks and recreation facilities (including a dog park!) on over 900 acres. Definitely another plus for home buyers, especially those with families.
Additionally, Ypsilanti’s Depot Town area is full of history, with fabulous dining and craft breweries. Ypsilanti is also home to Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, and St. Joseph Mercy hospital, making both Ypsilanti and east Ann Arbor an easy commute for students and staff. This keeps the real estate market hopping and prices very stable.
In Ypsilanti, we love Depot Town – a neighborhood feel, but walkable to EMU, University Heights – smaller homes, but often newly updated with large yards, and Normal Park – where there is an active community and small-town feel. In Ypsilanti Township, look into – Greene Farms – which features a variety of home layouts and a community pool, The Preserves – with spacious backyards and larger homes, and Creekside Village, where you can commute to Ann Arbor, Belville, Saline, and Plymouth reasonably.
Small Towns near Ann Arbor: Saline, Dexter, and Chelsea
To the west and south of Ann Arbor are the small towns of Saline and Dexter and Chelsea. These communities offer unbeatable proximity to Ann Arbor but in a more relaxed, small-town, and rural setting. More land to build on translates into bigger homes on bigger lots. Each community has its own government and services including public libraries, community recreation centers, and highly rated school systems making these smaller communities outside of Ann Arbor very attractive to like-minded home buyers.
You will still only be 15-30 minutes from downtown Ann Arbor. In Dexter, West of Ann Arbor, Brass Creek features luxury homes with private rural lots, and Dexter Crossing is a large subdivision walkable to downtown Dexter. Saline, which is just Southwest of Ann Arbor, hosts Stonebridge, surrounding the Stonebridge Golf Course. Here, see both luxury single-family estates and condominium units. Chelsea features Chelsea Fairways, where homes overlook Pierce Lake or the Pierce Lake Golf Course. New Construction is available here, too.
We know Ann Arbor Neighborhoods Inside and Out
If you are considering a move to Ann Arbor, let’s have a chat. We know Ann Arbor neighborhoods inside and out and if you tell us what you are looking for we can take you right to it! Often identifying opportunities, you may not have considered. If you are thinking of selling, we may already have a buyer interested in a home such as yours potentially saving you the time and hassle of listing and showing your home and also saving you substantial sales costs. With very limited inventory available in the area, we make it a point to match our sellers with in-house buyers whenever possible.
We work with home buyers, sellers, real estate investors, out-of-town buyers, and renters too. Your circumstances are unique, and so are your housing needs. We get that. We’ll start understanding your needs and offer fiduciary real estate services so you can make the best decision that is right for you and your family. Contact us today!