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Moving to Ann Arbor? Six Top Neighborhoods to Consider Close to Downtown

Map of United States with arrows those relocating from large cities to Ann Arbor

Are you planning a move to Ann Arbor?  If you want to live close to downtown Ann Arbor and near the University of Michigan, you will want to consider these six neighborhoods. From vibrant downtown living to calm residential areas walkable to school, these neighborhoods are loaded with character and are close to the University of Michigan. To search for homes by neighborhood, visit our Ann Arbor neighborhoods page to view them all.

1. Kerrytown and the Old Fourth Ward

Brownstone Condos is located at Detroit and Kingsley streets, across from Zingerman's Deli and the Kerrytown farmers market.

The 8-unit Brownstone Condos in Kerrytown is located across from Zingerman’s Deli and the Kerrytown farmers market.

Kerrytown and the old Fourth Ward, located just north of downtown Ann Arbor, is known for its historic ambiance within the city’s heart. Named after County Kerry, Ireland, the neighborhood was part of Ann Arbor’s original village.

This lively area combines a mix of shops, restaurants, and historic homes, highlighted by the renowned Kerrytown Market & Shops. The nearby Farmers Market adds to the neighborhood’s charm with its fresh produce and local goods. As one of Ann Arbor’s most walkable and bikeable residential areas, Kerrytown appeals to individuals desiring a car-less lifestyle. 

The neighborhood offers a variety of housing options, including historic single-family homes, luxury condominiums, multi-bedroom and single-family rental homes, and newly constructed properties. University of Michigan students often choose to live in Kerrytown, presenting investment opportunities for parents and long-term investors.

The neighborhood hosts key Ann Arbor establishments, including Zingerman’s Deli, the Kerrytown Concert House, The Tea Haus, the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, the People’s Food Co-op, and many other locally owned shops.

Community High School,  an Ann Arbor Public School, further enriches the neighborhood’s vibrant character. Community High is a lottery-based magnet school. Kerrytown is also known for its progressive politics, hosting the annual Ann Arbor Pride Parade since 1994.

If you’re seeking a vibrant urban neighborhood with a historic small-town feel, Kerrytown and the Old Fourth Ward could be the perfect match for you.


The Good and Bad of Ann Arbor. The Detroit Street Filling Station is just a few steps from Kerrytown Market & Shops

The Detroit Street Filling Station in the highly walkable Kerrytown Neighborhood.


The historic Kerrytown and Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is located just north of downtown Ann Arbor and is Ann Arbor's most walkable and bikeable residential area.

The historic Kerrytown and Old Fourth Ward neighborhood is located just north of downtown Ann Arbor and is Ann Arbor’s most walkable and bikeable residential area. Click to search listings in Kerrytown.

2. The Old West Side

The Good and Bad of Ann Arbor, Old West Side Home

Old West Side Tudor Home in Allmendinger Heights. Children walk to Bach Elementary School.

The Old West Side of Ann Arbor is a captivating neighborhood, rich in history and charm, where tree-lined streets and diverse architectural styles create a picturesque setting. The area is renowned for its beautifully preserved Victorian houses, quaint bungalows, and elegant Craftsman homes, each adding to the neighborhood’s unique character.

This tranquil enclave offers the perfect balance of serene residential living and the vibrant energy of city life. Its streets are ideal for strolls or bike rides, enhanced by the lush canopy of mature trees. The sidewalks lead seamlessly to downtown Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, making it highly desirable for those seeking a blend of quiet living with easy access to urban amenities.

Living in the Old West Side means being part of a community that values history, architecture, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. It’s perfect for those who appreciate the charm of the past while enjoying the conveniences of modern life. This neighborhood isn’t just a place to live; it’s a lifestyle choice that offers a unique and enriching experience, making it an ideal home for anyone looking to become part of Ann Arbor’s vibrant history and future.


Bach elementary school area homes for sale in Ann Arbor. Includes the old west side and adjacent areas.

Bach Elementary School area in Ann Arbor. Includes the Old West Side and adjacent areas.

3. Water Hill

Water Hill features offers many options for home buyers from bungalows to large remodels and new construction infill homes.

Known for its annual music festival and diverse architectural styles, Water Hill is a unique and community-oriented neighborhood. The eclectic area features beautiful homes, including Craftsman-style bungalows, Victorian-era houses, and mid-rise condos, catering to a variety of needs and preferences.

Many homes, from the late 1800s to the 1960s, still stand, having undergone renovations. In recent years, spacious modern homes have elevated property values, making Water Hill a highly sought-after real estate area. Notably, Water Hill residents enjoy a short walk to Main Street and Downtown Ann Arbor, providing convenient access to many restaurants, bars, music venues, cafes, shops, and attractions.

Additionally, Water Hill offers numerous amenities. Hunt Park spans 7 acres, featuring courts, a softball diamond, benches, picnic tables, restrooms, and community gardens. Other nearby attractions include Bluffs Nature Area, Argo Park, Kerrytown Market & Shops, and the Farmer’s Market. 

Other Water Hill gems include Big City Small World Bakery, which offers baked goods and a full lunch menu. In addition, the annual Music Fest is a one-of-a-kind experience where neighbors play music together from their porches and yards. 

If you’re seeking a peaceful neighborhood that combines an eccentric community with convenient access to downtown Ann Arbor, Water Hill might be the perfect fit for you.

Big City Small World Bakery .Water Hill Neighborhood in Ann Arbor

Big City Small World Bakery in Water Hill Neighborhood in Ann Arbor.


4. Burns Park

Burns Park home

Beautifully maintained Burns Park neighborhood home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Burns Park in Ann Arbor stands as a testament to both history and community, seamlessly woven into the fabric of the University of Michigan’s story. This esteemed neighborhood is distinguished by its tree-lined streets and a splendid collection of historic homes many of which have been meticulously remodeled to harmonize classic charm with contemporary living.

At the heart of Burns Park is the City of Ann Arbor, 15-acre Burns Park, a dynamic community cornerstone offering tennis and basketball courts, baseball diamonds,  playgrounds, walking paths, and a community center. The park not only offers recreational space but also serves as a venue for cherished neighborhood events, from lively summer gatherings to cozy winter festivities. The Burns Park Community Center, nestled within the park, acts as a hub for local activities and socialization, reinforcing the area’s tight-knit community ethos.

The neighborhood’s layout promotes a walkable and bike-friendly lifestyle, enabling easy access to the University of Michigan and the bustling downtown area. This proximity is particularly appealing to university affiliates and families, who appreciate the blend of small city neighborhood tranquility with urban accessibility.

The park is also home to the Burns Park Players, a unique theater company that stages outdoor productions. The neighborhood is minutes away from downtown Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan Campus, and Nichols Arboretum.

It is home to the Argus Farm Stop’s Packard location, York Food and Drink, and is also close to major shopping centers and grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

Nearby shopping areas, with their diverse array of shops and restaurants, cater to the residents’ varied tastes, adding to the neighborhood’s convenience and charm. Burns Park Elementary School, centrally located, is a symbol of the area’s family-oriented focus. Here, children can safely walk or bike to school, underscoring the neighborhood’s commitment to a friendly and secure environment.

The homes in Burns Park, many of which are historic structures that have been beautifully updated, offer a visual feast of architectural diversity, reflecting the neighborhood’s rich heritage. Each home, with its unique character, contributes to the tapestry of the community.

Choosing Burns Park means embracing a lifestyle where history, education, community, and convenience coalesce. It’s not just a place to live, but a community to be part of, where every street and home tells a story, and every neighbor is part of a larger, welcoming family.

If you’re seeking a centrally located in-town neighborhood with proximity to great shopping, Burns Park might be the perfect fit for you!

Burns Park neighborhood in Ann Arbor. Click to view listings.

Burns Park neighborhood in Ann Arbor. Click to view listings.


5. Eberwhite

The Eberwhite neighborhood in Ann Arbor presents a charming and inclusive community, offering more value, compared to the downtown area, where prices per square foot become very high. This neighborhood is notably served by the esteemed Eberwhite Elementary School, a cornerstone of the area known for its strong academic focus.

Architecturally diverse, Eberwhite features a range of home styles, from mid-century gems to modern designs. These homes are often set on spacious lots, offering a blend of privacy and community. The varied architecture reflects the neighborhood’s rich history and its evolution as Ann Arbor has grown.

Green spaces are abundant here, with several parks enhancing the neighborhood’s appeal. Eberwhite Woods, a local favorite, offers a natural retreat with walking trails and wildlife. Fritz Park and Allmendinger Park are other notable green spaces, providing playgrounds, sports facilities, and areas for community gatherings. These parks serve as communal hubs where neighbors meet and interact, strengthening the area’s communal fabric.

If you seek a peaceful neighborhood with proximity to downtown and shopping centers, Eberwhite might be the place for you!

6. Northside Neighborhood

Broadway Bridge Northside Ann Arbor

The Broadway Bridge looking over Ann Arbor’s Northside neighborhood.


Across the Huron River, over the Broadway Bridge, lies the Northside neighborhood—a serene and nature-filled suburban haven. This area offers a variety of housing options and a welcoming and calm community. Renowned for its relative affordability and proximity to UM’s North Campus and the UM Hospital, the Northside provides a tranquil retreat for residents.

The Northside has a special charm with a mix of older homes and newer luxury houses. While most are single-family homes, you can also find apartments and University student housing. Many restaurants, shops, and local businesses fall within the Northside Neighborhood. Some of our favorites are Northside Grill, Lowertown Bar and Cafe, Gandy Dancer, Sic Transit Cycles, and Cardamom. 

Lush tree-lined streets and numerous parks provide many recreational activities, with notable landmarks such as Fuller Park, Argo Pond, Olson Park, as well as Leslie Park and Golf Course. Getting to downtown Ann Arbor and UM’s Central Campus is easy due to quick highway access to US-23 via Barton Drive. The neighborhood is walkable and bikeable, catering to residents who prefer a carless or one-car lifestyle.

If you’re seeking a community that combines nature, affordability, and a mix of housing options, the Northside neighborhood might be the ideal fit.

The Northside elementary school, now known as Ann Arbor Steam school includes Northside, Lowertown and many nearby neighboods.

The Northside Elementary school, now known as Ann Arbor Steam School includes Northside, Lowertown, and many nearby neighboods. Click to see current listings.

Your Path to Home

As you embark on the journey of choosing the perfect neighborhood for your move to Ann Arbor, consider these 6 neighborhoods. Each neighborhood caters to various preferences—be it historic charm, walkability, eclectic vibes, community, or tranquility. Now, let us be your guide in this decision-making process. 

Reach out to us, and we’ll navigate Ann Arbor’s diverse neighborhoods together. Ensure your move isn’t just a change of address but a seamless transition into the community you’ll proudly call home.

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For immediate assistance, call us at 734-845-9700 or email Andy Piper at

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