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Moving to Ann Arbor
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Moving to Ann Arbor
We are considering a move to Ann Arbor (possibly with a
connection to U-M). I'd love to get neighborhood and school
recomendations (we have a almost 4 year-old). We'd love to live
in an older neighborhood like Berkeley, within walking distance
to shops, schools etc. Also, what is the cost of living like
there? What do people do with kids during the winter? Any
other genderal information on what it's like to live in Ann Arbor
would be apprciated. Thanks!
I don't have a recommendation per se, but we are considering a move to Ann Arbor,
too. I just got a job offer at U-M. We also have two small children, ages 4 and 2.
We'll be actually going there for a visit in a couple of weeks to decide whether we
want to move there. After that visit I might be able to tell you more. E-mail me and
we can chat more. Gyorgyi
I lived in Ann Arbor for many years, in college and as a parent
of a child birth to six. The Old West side is close to downtown,
(walking distance) and full of lots of educated, liberal
families with young children and older, charming houses with big
porches, big yards and old trees. Because of the U-M, raising
children in Ann Arbor is pretty intense and there are a lot of
type-A parents around. An advantage is that the public schools
are MUCH better than here. They are still supported by property
tax, and still have music, art and PE in the elementaries.
Facilities are good, and teachers are supported by the
community. Parents at our son's school started a pre-
kindergarten play group, which was a great way to transition
into school and form connections. We met lots of cool parents
and kids that way. Cost of living is less than here, but you do
have heating bills in the winter and air conditioning in the
summer, (if you use it), so factor that in. Also travel costs,
casue you'll want to get away for vacations. Winters are pretty
brutal; cold and gray from November to May. There are local
sledding parks, which is fun with kids, but people tend to do
lots of INDOOR activities. I had a good friend who also liked
hiking, so we took our toddlers on walks in the Arboretum and
other big parks, but lots of people had indoor play dates and
such. Ann Arbor has an awesome library and a great science
center for kids, so we spent lots of days there. Downtown is
small and very pedestrian-friendly, so we would hop the bus
downtown, go to the library, go to a cafe for lunch and such. I
hope you enjoy living there. It can be a funplace, if you don't
miss the weather and natural beauty of California. Be ready for
flat, gray and humid! Good luck. Oh, a GREAT realtor is Audrey
Curtis. She's really smart and energetic.
There are a lot of great neighborhoods in Ann Arbor. The one
most similar to Berkeley is Burns Park. I don't know how
expensive houses are there, but I imagine they are fairly
pricey, although nothing compared to the Bay Area. Another
great neighborhood is down by Kerrytown which has a lot of
shops, a terrific food co-op, a farmer's market, and some great
restaurants. The world famous Zingerman's deli is also there,
which is quite an Ann Arbor institution. As far as schools,
Ann Arbor's public schools are good, or at least they were when
I was familar with them in the 1990s. I don't know much about
their elementary schools, except that I believe there is a
Burns Park Elementary in that neighborhood. The University
campus is really beautiful and in the winter you can go
sledding locally or cross-country skiing. The downhill ski
areas are about a 4-5 hr drive up north and are not much
compared to Tahoe. Ann Arbor is a really nice and friendly
community--I lived there off and on for ten years, and I have
very fond memories of it. Feel free to contact me if you have
any other questions. Good luck!
Got something to say about Ann Arbor? We're moving there and would
appreciate any insights on where to live, how to find an apartment, and
how much to expect to pay.
Of course, with a nine month old, we're also eager to find out about
resources for parents, connections to mom's groups and playgroups, baby
-friendly places to go and things to do, resale shops for toys and clothes,
Our son has not been vaccinated, so if anyone's got a recommendation
on a sympathetic pediatrician, please share! We're also interested in
your recommendations for a homeopathic practitioner, a dentist, an opt-
ometrist,and a veterinarian. Know of a to-die-for bakery or a great veg-
Don't keep it a secret! If I've forgotten anything, please let us know.
Thanks in advance for your consideration and time spent sharing information.
It has been a long time since I grew up in Ann Arbor, but you would
probably feel at home in the Burns Park neighborhood (and public
elementary school) if you are looking for something that feels like
a community and reminds you just a little of Berkeley. If you are
working or studying on campus, it is within easy walking distance.
Prices have skyrocketed in recent years, but A2 is still more affordable
than the Bay Area. Other recommendations: Dentist: Richard Han. Great
vegetarian restaurant: Seva. Ann Arbor was a great place to grow up. Elisa
A distillation of four years spent in Ann Arbor -" Zingermann's
This is really all you need to know (and probably all I know that's really
as we didn't have kids when we were there). We stayed eighteen months in
Family Housing which had a good social network and support group for
babysitting co-ops. We later rented half a house on the west side of town,
far side of the train tracks but still in walking distance of Main Street,
pleasant. Rents can only be lower than they are here, but heating costs can
- they may or may not be included in the rent. The locals are very friendly.
this page was last updated: May 20, 2006
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