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Pros and Cons Of Living In Berkley Michigan

PROS and CONS of Moving To Berkley MI - Are you thinking about making the move to Berkley Michigan? Well, in this video I am going to break down some crucial pros and cons you need to keep in mind if you’re considering making the move.

Berkley MI is an AWESOME place. There are so many good things about living in Berkley MI, but there are also some not so good things about Berkley as well. Make sure you watch this video if you're thinking about relocating to Berkley MI, Royal Oak MI, or any other cities in southeast Michigan.

This blog is a direct transcript from the video below. This comes in 3 versions: You are able to watch the video, read the blog for your convenience or listen to the audio experience (which is linked under the video below).

For those of you that don’t know who, what, where, when about Berkley. Here’s a quick overview. Berkley is located south of Birmingham, and east of Farmington. Berkley covers 2.62 square miles of land, and has a population of just over 15,000 people, and the city was incorporated back in 1932.

Just to do something different here, I’ll be starting off with the not so good things about living in Berkley, Michigan. Starting off with con #1, the downtown area. Berkley has a very small downtown area which is at the intersection of 12 mile and Coolidge. Yes, there’s over 178 different shops, restaurants, forms of entertainment, etc. I’ll link their downtown map in the description so you can give it a look.

A lot of people think that since Royal Oak is essentially across the street, what is the point of having a downtown in Berkley, when people could just go a few minutes down the road and utilize their downtown? And that’s a fair question, but at the end of the day, I’ve always believed that a downtown area creates a better sense of community, which I’ll talk more about with the pro’s and how this downtown area does just that. For those of you that live in Berkley or have passed through it, do you think it’s a waste of space or do you think it truly has a purpose for the small town? Let me know in the comments.

Con #2, the population density. Like I said before, Berkley isn’t even 3 square miles with over 15,000 people. So the density is over 5,000 people per square mile. Most of the lots you’ll notice are .10-.15 acres, which is fairly tight, so when your neighbors sneeze be sure to say bless you. It may just sound like the worse thing in the world, but there is a pro to this to say the least, which I will mention later.

Moving on to con #3, and this is something a lot of people don’t know, is Berkley sits 7,000 or so feet under an auxiliary air-traffic holding pattern. And for those of you that don’t know what a holding pattern is, it’s essentially a flight path a plane has to take while they wait for the OK to land. This is also true for the areas of Royal Oak, Birmingham and parts of Southfield. This isn’t the end of the world, but if you hear plane traffic periodically throughout the day, then you know why! A current resident said you can hear it most between 7:00-8am, 11am-12pm, sometimes 2pm, then 6pm-7pm as well. Others have theorized that this holding pattern is only when there’s an abundance of flights happening, so it’s almost an overflow holding pattern, others say they hear some air traffic every couple hours or so. It’s not house shaking by any means, just something worth noting. A lot of people actually enjoy watching planes go by. I’ll link the online air traffic map, so you can familiarize yourself with the plane patterns in and out of the airports if you’re curious.

Now onto the pros of living in Berkley, Michigan. Starting off with pro #1, we have the location. Like I mentioned earlier, the town is just a few short minutes from Royal Oak, 7 minutes from Birmingham, 20 minutes from Troy, 25 minutes from downtown Detroit, and 25 minutes from Novi. On top of that, it's just a few short mile commute to hop on I-696, I-75 and of course being right off Woodward Avenue gives you some opportunities for a better commute. The city of Berkley is very centrally located, but doesn’t fail to maintain the small town feel despite the city’s convenience.

Switching gears to pro #2, the community. Earlier when I mentioned how small the lots were, it has been known to give residents a better sense of community. Imagine in this day and age knowing your whole city on a first name basis, wouldn’t that be cool? That is something I can guarantee people miss about the olden days. I’ve covered a lot of cities over the years, and one of the bigger complaints has to do with the lack of community involvement. A lot of these cities have amazing downtown areas, but no one is stepping up to the plate to start events, and build that true sense of community. Well, Berkley is exactly the opposite. I read a comment from a current resident that said they could help but observe how obsessively involved people are in the city. They said they joined a Berkley facebook group when they moved into the area, and they ended up having to turn the notifications off because there was just so much going on in that group. It’s community involvement like that that makes Berkley Day's Celebration, Berkley CruiseFest Parade (part of the Woodward Cruise) and The Berkley Art Bash all come to life in this little town, along with so many other events and opportunities that I will link in the description.

And last but not least, we have pro #3, the cost of living. Since Berkley is ranked #1 for the best place to buy a home in the Detroit area, which takes into account key factors of a location’s housing market, including home values, taxes, crime rates, and quality of local schools, and an attempt to measure the quality and stability of an area’s real estate market. The median household income according to is just over $86,000. The average sale price In Berkley, as of May 2022, is just over $313,000, which is a 7.9% increase from a year ago. According to Payscale, The cost of living in Berkley is 2% less than the national average. The city's housing expenses are also quite a bit lower than the national average, the average energy bill is just a few cents over $158 a month and the phone bill is just over $174 a month, with a median rent of just over $1,000. As far as food and grocery items, I’ll provide this image from payscale to give you an idea of the average costs. How do these prices compare to yours? Comment your costs below.

I hope these 3 cons and 3 pros were helpful for you.


→Berkley MI Downtown Map:

→Berkley MI Air Traffic Map:

→Berkley Mi Events Page:



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.


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