5 Things to Know Before Moving to the City of Detroit (Hint: It’s All Good in the Hood)
Whatever your reason for moving to the City of Detroit, there are five things you must know about this city before loading up your U-Haul.
As any Detroiter will tell you, this city is unlike any other in the nation. Though the City of Detroit experienced its fair share of ups and downs over the last decades, where the massive boom of groundbreaking innovation marked the city, followed by lingering shadows of disappointment, you’d be hard-pressed to find any other major city with as vibrant a communal quality of life as this one.
That said, non-Detroiters have been giving it a bad reputation. While complaints about the roads, schools, and public transportation are reasonable, many overlook how the city is uniquely “huge, yet close-knit.”
But is the City of Detroit the city for you? Before you call it home, let’s look at the top five things you should know about Michigan’s largest city.
1. The Cost of Living Is Low But Rising.
The cost of living in the City of Detroit is relatively low compared to the rest of Michigan and other American cities:
Source: AreavibesWhether you choose to rent or own a home, the City of Detroit offers reasonable housing costs:
- The average rent in the City of Detroit is $1,176 per month, which is higher than last year but still lower than the national average of $2,002. (Just note that Detroit homes tend to be smaller, where the average apartment size is just under 800 square feet.)
- The median listing price in the City of Detroit is $85,000 or a fifth of the national average of $425,000—excellent news for aspiring homeowners. Property values are rising as well, so you can generate equity gains by holding on to Detroit properties long-term.
In short, the City of Detroit is still incredibly affordable despite the rising prices. As a result, it’s an excellent place for those who want to live in a big city without breaking the bank.
2. There Are Job Opportunities Everywhere.
The job market in the City of Detroit is filled with opportunities for creative professionals, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives alike. You can either start a new business or be employed by one of the many established companies here—the city has no shortage of stable, excellent employment options.
The top industries and major companies in Motor City include:
- Manufacturing (Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors)
- Finance (Quicken Loans, United Wholesale Mortgage, Ally Financial, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase)
- Retail (Target, Walmart, The Home Depot, Kroger, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Best Buy, Walgreens, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, Meijer, Sears, and Whole Foods Market)
- Information Technology (StockX, Rock Connections, and Duo Security)
- Healthcare (CVS Health, UnitedHealth Group, and Philips)
We’ve also written another article that dives into Detroit job opportunities in more detail. Check it out!
And the City of Detroit isn’t all business—it’s also home to a vibrant arts scene with opportunities for talented creatives. There are venues, galleries, and performance spaces everywhere, where artists can showcase their work and have others value their craft (yes, you can make a living as an artist!).
We’re basically like New York around here… Except you don’t have to deplete your savings to pay rent.
3. It’s a Unique Cultural Hub.
Continuing to carve our deep cultural vein, the City of Detroit has a long history and culture shaped by its diverse population. Today, it’s a melting pot of cultures worldwide, and the diversity is reflected in the local food, art, music, and film scenes.
This short list alone already shows the depth of the city’s culture:
- The City of Detroit is the birthplace of Motown, a genre that has influenced musicians and music styles worldwide (think Supremes, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye!).
- It’s home to some of the best African-American-owned comedy clubs and local theater troupes in the country. You’ll also enjoy music festivals like Detroit Jazz Festival, Mo Pop Festival, and the Movement Music Festival.
- The Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art gallery full of found objects, is a must-see for any creative spirit looking for inspiration. The project believes that a community can sustain itself by embracing its cultural and artistic roots and building a fulfilling way of life.
- The Eastern Market district is full of street vendors selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and other goods nationwide. There’s also live music happening here most of the time!
- Belle Isle Park is a 982-acre urban oasis where you can get lost on the weekends, exploring the famous Belle Isle Aquarium, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Belle Isle Nature Center, the James Scott Memorial Fountain, and more.
- For sports fans, you can join the crowd at Comerica Park during the opening day to get into the competitive spirit. The City of Detroit is home to the Detroit Tigers baseball team, Lions football team, Red Wings hockey team, and Pistons basketball team.
With this magical city’s vibrant culture, it’s no wonder why so many people are drawn here.
You’ll quickly find a community here where you’ll fit in like family. It’s not unusual to befriend neighbors, greet passersby on the street, and take the initiative to improve the local community.
Most of the City of Detroit’s culture is rooted in its past, where the lack of municipal support drove residents to initiate changes themselves. This special bond is difficult to break and often challenging to find in other similarly-sized cities. Yet, that’s what makes the city a unique, cultural hub!
4. There Are Tons of Gorgeous Period Homes.
Since the turn of the last century and through the mid-century, the City of Detroit flourished like no other, and new homes sprung up everywhere. The city’s boom in the 20s and 30s means gorgeous Art Deco architecture abound. Tour the town, and you’ll get to soak the beautiful designs in—all while learning about its rich history.
Before you know it, you’re tempted to purchase or rent a home here, since you can actually afford cute art deco homes in the City of Detroit instead of somewhere like Los Angeles (LA).
Take a look at these two brick-style homes for sale in the City of Detroit and LA, for example, where you can own one in Motor City for roughly 10% of what you’ll pay in the City of Angels:
The same goes if you want to rent, where the two rental homes below show that a gorgeous Detroit home only costs 10% of the rent that a similar LA rental is charging:
5. The City is a Winter Wonderland.
As with any city located in the Midwest, the City of Detroit has four distinct seasons throughout the year.
Summers are hot and humid with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to mid-80s. But winter is cold and dry with temperatures often dropping below freezing from December to February—three out of every twelve months. The coldest temperature recorded was -21° Fahrenheit back in 1984, but the average hovers from 20° to 35° in reality (not that much difference, we know).
What does this mean? The City of Detroit is perfect for enjoying winter activities!
Since it snows in the city more than in other major cities (think Chicago or New York), it’s an ideal destination for outdoor sports like ice skating, sledding, and skiing. It’s also immensely picturesque during winter time, like how The Rink at Campus Martius Park attracts Olympians, champion athletes, and locals to skate with a backdrop of the city’s skyline and famous Christmas tree.
Are You Ready to Experience the Detroit Dream?
The City of Detroit has the perfect balance of major city convenience with small-town connections. From its vibrant culture to its affordable homes, Michigan’s Motor City is the ideal home for anybody building a family, career, or real estate investment portfolio.
Life in the City of Detroit is unmatched, especially when you compare it to other Midwestern cities. Call it your home and start building a new, brighter future today.
We are a team of local property management experts in the Metro Detroit area. Get in touch with us for more information on the Detroit real estate market—our lines are always open.