Living in Ann Arbor: A Comprehensive Guide
Are you considering a move to Ann Arbor, Michigan? This lively college town has a lot to offer, from a vibrant cultural scene to outdoor recreation opportunities to excellent schools. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect from life in Ann Arbor.
Lifestyle in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor is known for its high quality of life and progressive values. As a college town, it attracts a diverse and intellectual community, making it an exciting and welcoming place to live. The town has a strong sense of community and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in local events, festivals, and organizations. Ann Arbor is also conveniently located close to major metropolitan areas like Detroit, making it a great place to live if you want the benefits of city life without the drawbacks of living in a large urban center.
Things to Do in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor has a thriving cultural scene, with a wide variety of arts and entertainment options. The University of Michigan is a major contributor to the town's cultural life, with museums, galleries, and performing arts venues that showcase both student and professional talent. The town also has a vibrant music scene, with plenty of venues for live music ranging from indie rock to classical. For outdoor enthusiasts, Ann Arbor offers a wealth of parks and nature preserves, including the Huron River and the beautiful Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
Cost of Living and Home Prices in Ann Arbor
While Ann Arbor's cost of living is higher than the national average, it's still relatively affordable compared to other college towns and major metropolitan areas. According to Numbeo, the cost of living index for Ann Arbor is 82.5, compared to a national average of 100. Home prices in Ann Arbor vary depending on the neighborhood, but the median home price is around $450,000, according to Zillow. However, it's worth noting that the housing market in Ann Arbor is competitive, with many homes receiving multiple offers and selling above asking price.
Schools in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor is known for its excellent schools, both public and private. The Ann Arbor Public Schools district is consistently ranked among the top school districts in Michigan, with a high graduation rate and strong academic programs. The town is also home to several private schools, including Greenhills School and Rudolf Steiner School. For higher education, the University of Michigan is one of the top public universities in the country, with a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.
Attractions and Entertainment in Ann Arbor
In addition to its cultural offerings, Ann Arbor has plenty of attractions and entertainment options for residents and visitors alike. The town has a vibrant food scene, with a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars to choose from. Ann Arbor is also home to several craft breweries, including Arbor Brewing Company and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. For sports fans, the University of Michigan is home to several NCAA Division I teams, including football, basketball, and hockey.
Jobs and Job Market in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor's economy is driven by the University of Michigan, which is the town's largest employer. However, there are also plenty of job opportunities in other industries, including healthcare, biotechnology, and software development. The town's unemployment rate is consistently lower than the national average, making it a relatively stable place to live and work.
Pros and Cons of Living in Ann Arbor
Like any town, Ann Arbor has its pros and cons. Some of the benefits of living in Ann Arbor include its high quality of life, excellent schools, and vibrant cultural scene. However, the town's cost of living is higher than the national average, and the housing market can be competitive. Additionally, while Ann Arbor is relatively diverse for a town of its size, it still has room for improvement in terms of inclusivity and equity.
High quality of life: Ann Arbor offers a high standard of living, with a strong sense of community and plenty of opportunities for recreation and entertainment.
Excellent schools: Ann Arbor is home to some of the top schools in Michigan, with strong academic programs and high graduation rates.
Vibrant cultural scene: With its museums, galleries, and performing arts venues, Ann Arbor has a thriving cultural scene that offers something for everyone.
Convenient location: Ann Arbor is located close to major metropolitan areas like Detroit, making it easy to access the benefits of city life while still enjoying the advantages of small town living.
High cost of living: While Ann Arbor is relatively affordable compared to other college towns and major metropolitan areas, its cost of living is still higher than the national average.
Competitive housing market: Ann Arbor's housing market can be competitive, with many homes selling above asking price and receiving multiple offers.
Inclusivity and equity: While Ann Arbor is relatively diverse for a town of its size, it still has work to do in terms of promoting inclusivity and equity for all residents.
In conclusion, Ann Arbor is a vibrant and welcoming town that offers a high quality of life, excellent schools, and a thriving cultural scene. While it may not be the most affordable place to live, it offers a great balance of small town charm and big city convenience. If you're considering a move to Ann Arbor, it's important to weigh the pros and cons and decide if it's the right fit for you.
Andrew McManamon is a Michigan REALTOR® with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty and provides real estate services to Buyers, Sellers and Investors throughout SE Michigan including Livingston County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Genesee County & beyond. Andrew has become one of the rising stars of Michigan real estate agents. Prior to his real estate career Andrew was responsible for managing a senior living facility in Brighton, Michigan as a dining supervisor and an activities assistant. Andrew’s passion to help people is unlike any other, and he continues to strive to be best resource he can be. Andrew graduated from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan with a double major and currently resides in White Lake, Michigan.