Movers Guide to Metro Detroit
If you’re planning a relocation to Detroit, Michigan, you have lots of options in the Detroit metropolitan area to move to depending on what you are looking for in a community. The area is well-known for its history in the automotive industry, display of the arts, sports, and its entertainment industry, and it’s also been a major center for international commerce and innovations in technology in recent years. With so many diverse counties, Metro Detroit continues to be a place rich with opportunity.
The Detroit Metropolitan Area hosts a population close to five million residents counties in the city of Detroit as well as its surrounding areas. The counties that are officially included in Metro Detroit are Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb. Each of these counties offers something different to their residents, making Metro Detroit a diverse and desirable place for people from all walks of life. Trying to decide which of Metro Detroit’s counties are best suited for you or your family? Below we will explain a little bit about each of these counties, including the qualities of each area, and what you can expect from living and working there.
The city of Detroit lies on the east side of Wayne county. Though Detroit does have some dangerous areas, there are plenty of safe towns and neighborhoods to move into if you’re relocating near Detroit. The average cost of living is very fair and affordable, with a crime rate much lower than many other areas in Metro Detroit.
It’s a general rule that the closer you are to the city, the higher the crime rate will be, and the lower the average housing prices are. Just west of the city limits of Detroit however, there are many communities that offer safety and great schools in neighborhoods that suit a middle-class lifestyle. Communities such as Garden City, Wayne, Lavonia, and Island Park are the ones to take a look at if schools and safety are your priorities.
Wayne County is also a wonderful place to live if your place of work is outside of the county, as much of Wayne County is filled with major roadways that cut through the southeast of the Peninsula. Living here allows you to easily find a place of work in a different county while allowing you to enjoy the benefits of the living conditions of the communities in Wayne County.
Cities In Wayne County such as Taylor have very affordable housing, averaging approximately $72,000, making the county a great place to live affordably while working in Wayne or any of the surrounding counties.
If you find yourself in the south-west of Wayne County, you’ll find that the homes are much newer in the neighborhoods there, as the county is growing in that direction. These newer communities have active downtown centers that host a plethora of events year-round. Plymouth, for example, holds an annual ice festival, Northville celebrates their Victorian Festival, and you’ll find lots of craft shows in the downtown areas of Wyandotte and Allen Park.
Residents of Wayne County benefit from their close proximity to the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, making the drive to the airport rarely much of a commute no matter where you find yourself in the county.
Because the city of Detroit lies in Wayne County, moving here allows you to be close to the culture of the city, where you’ll find many major attractions and centers for culture. The Detroit Institute of Art displays art from across the globe, a wonderful place to enjoy not only as a passing tourist, but also as an art enthusiast for many years. Celebrate the rich history of the city of Detroit’s automotive industry at the Henry Ford Museum. Shared with the beautiful Greenfield Village historical village, these two attractions are the biggest combined indoor and outdoor museum complex in America. If live events are your type of entertainment, Fox theatre hosts live music performances, comedians, and plays.
If you are choosing to take up residence in Oakland County, we imagine that you’re looking for one of two things: either you’re drawn to the more prestigious, upper-middle to upper class lifestyles that this county offers, or you have obtained a position at one of Oakland County’s numerous workplaces.
These large companies made their way out to Oakland when the city of Detroit took a downturn, and so they remain strongly established here. Most of these large businesses are located in the communities of Southfield, Troy, and Auburn Hills, but by choosing to move to any of Oakland County’s communities will allow you to commute to these cities very easily.
The more affluent cities of Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bloomfield, and Franklin contain communities of wealth and prestige, with some of the highest value houses in the Greater Detroit Metropolitan Area. These communities have some of the best schools and are also full of wondrous state parks and lakes to explore.
There are affordable communities in Oakland County as well, such as the city of Pontiac, where housing is very affordable. Although the average household income in this city is not incredibly high, Pontiac is a great place to live if your workplace is in Oakland County. Many of the workers who live there commute across the metropolitan area of Detroit to their workplaces.
If you’ve got a knack for fashion or just looking for a day out, Oakland County also offers Metro Detroit’s top shopping malls, Somerset Collection, the Twelve Oaks Mall, and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is a great place to spend some time! With 185 stores and some great places to grab food at the mall, there’s no need to leave once you’ve worked up an appetite shopping around. After a long day of shopping, you can head over to the mall’s movie theater, AMC Star Great Lakes 25, for a great way to end the day!
The county of Oakland is old but its downtown areas are still bustling. With fresh markets, festivals, and live music in the many parks, it’s not difficult to find fun things to do whether you’re single, married, or growing a family. The downtown areas of Milferd, Ferndale, Birmingham, Royal Oak, and Rauchester are full of local cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. These downtown centers also host a variety of festivals during the year, bound to be full of fun and excitement. There are dog parks, nature centers, outdoor concerts and art fairs, camping spots, and more, making Oakland a great place to live no matter what your life consists of. If you’re moving to Oakland with a family, we recommend checking out the Oakland County Moms website to find an assortment of fun family activities, parents night out ideas, great birthday party venues, and all sorts of things to keep your kids entertained all year round!
Although one of Metro Detroit’s smallest Counties, Macomb County is full of highly populated communities, containing 27 separate municipalities. It is not as affluent as Oakland, but still offers great communities in the middle and upper-middle class. Macomb is expanding towards the north, and this means newer homes have popped up in the northern suburbs over the last decade, growing more modern communities.
Macomb is a financially strong county. Residents of the county collectively score higher than the vast majority of American counties by credit score. This county-wide financial responsibility is caused in part by the many successful and growing manufacturing corporations that employ many residents of Macomb and its surrounding counties.
There are eight community hospitals through the county, and it’s communities offer much safer places to live than many other communities in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, especially further north away from Detroit.
Macomb is directly west of Lake St. Clair, making it an incredible place to move if you want to experience lake life. There are many marinas and harbors in the area, making it a great place to live if you want to have a boat. Sailing clubs are all around the county, and races and other lakefront events are happening all summer long. The parks and rivers around Macomb County make it a great place for families, and there’s plenty of shopping around Gratilt, Vandyke, and Dequindre, so you’ll never be lacking in fun things to do.
The City of Warren lies in Macomb County and is a very stable town with low crime rate, affordable-to-mid tier priced housing, and a very good average household income. As the third largest city in Michigan by population, there are widespread communities of all sorts and festivals and events by the lake or in the city.
Although more historical artistic attractions lie closer to the city of Detroit, Macomb offers less hustle and bustle. There are many golf courses and beautiful parks, where you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this county. See a comprehensive list of these golf courses here.
If you’re relocating or considering a move to Detroit Metro, we hope this overview of the area was helpful! Figuring out where the best place in an area to move to is difficult, but now that you know more about Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties, figuring out if one of them is a good choice for you and your family should be much easier than before! At Palmer Moving Services, we recognize that figuring out the best county and neighborhood for your family to move to is only the beginning of the moving process, so we’re here to help with the rest of it! We’ve been moving people to and from Detroit, Michigan area for more than a century, so we know how to help you in your move to the Detroit area, from anywhere in the world! We know the neighborhoods of the area well, and will be able to help your move go smoothly.
Outer Northern Counties
In the North of the Detroit Metropolitan Area lie Genesee County, Lapeer County, and St. Clair County, each with diverse communities and townships. Genesee County holds their county fair annually and just held the 170th fair this year in 2019. Although the crime rate in Flint are high, the rest of the county brings the average crime rate lower than the US average.
The county in totality has undergone many of redevelopment projects, making older communities more suited for the modern age. Genesee County offers a more rural way of life, a great place to raise a family. The proximity to many workplaces around the Detroit Metropolitan area makes this county a great place to commute from your rural home to your industrial job.
To the east of Genesee is Lapeer County, another rural suburb with natural beauty that is less developed than similar areas such as Oakland County. The housing prices in Lapeer are mid range, but the market has been growing in the past decade and is projected to continue to rise. The highly-rated schools in Lapeer appeal to younger families and created great communities.
St. Clair County sees the coast of both Lake Huron in the north-east as well as Lake St. Clair in the southern part of the county. The proximity to the water makes for many attractions as well as tourism and events. The natural beauty of the water has caused river walks and boardwalks allowing residents to truly enjoy and appreciate where they live. Housing along the water is more expensive than property further inland however, the county is fairly affordable with the average price of a home at approximately $100,000. A low crime rate, highly rated schools, proximity to the water, and affordability makes St. Clair County a great choice as a new resident.
Outer Western Counties
Livingston County is a great place to live if you want to get away from the urban atmosphere and enjoy the countryside. There are plenty of places to find farms, lake life, and bigger acreages than many of the other counties near Detroit. The communities within Livingston are all smaller and semi-rural, though no matter where you live, you will be able to get whatever you need within a half-hour drive of your home. There are many expressways throughout Livingston, making it a great midway point between Lancing, Ann Arbor, Flint, and Detroit. This is a good place to live if your household requires residence between workplaces in different counties. Brighton is the biggest and most developed of the suburbs in Livingston county, with a nice downtown area that has some franchise restaurants and stores, though everything is still very locally owned. Howell and Hartland are similar to Brighton in this way.
Washtenaw County is a very rural county with lots of farming and country life. There are many markets that sell fresh produce and restaurants that use locally farmed ingredients. Ann Arbor lies directly west of the city of Detroit in Washtenaw County and is known for its science-centered attractions as well as for the research done in the University of Michigan. With many Museums and art exhibits sprawled across the area, you’ll never run out of ideas for outings if you choose to live near Ann Arbor. Housing in Ann Arbor can be in the higher range of prices, but the County itself offers plenty of neighborhoods with affordable living close enough to drive to work, and enjoy the attractions of the city as well.
Monroe County lies just south of Wayne County and Detroit with Lake Erie to the east, and is quite small by population. The largest city in the county is Monroe which borders the lake, which means you’ll be sure to find some beautiful views and properties in this area. With the lower population more rural areas and townships, the actual cost of living in Monroe County is fair, and the average income is very good. From tight-knit communities and great schools to lakefront views, Monroe county is a great choice if you’re looking for a more relaxed lifestyle or if you work in Wayne County or the city of Detroit, and enjoy living in a rural area instead of the city.
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