When you think about Detroit, the first and foremost thought that comes to mind are automobiles. It is called the ‘motor city’ for a reason. But if you know even a tad bit about Detroit, you would agree with us when we say, this diverse and innovative city has a lot more where that comes from. So if you are planning on moving to Detroit and need more information so that you can be sure about the decision you make, keep reading on and discover the facets that can help you make the right decision for you.


What Should I Know Before Moving to Detroit?

Detroit is the largest by area as well as the most-populous city in the state of Michigan. It is spread over an area of 142.89 square miles (370.08 km2), of which 4.17 square miles (10.81 km2) is water. Detroit also happens to be the largest US city on the US-Canada border. The city is home to as many as 670,031 people, as estimated in 2019.

When it comes to nightlife, Detroit has one of those understated fun scenes that still carries the charm of the undiscovered. The place is full of trendy and hip corners that offer delectable cocktails with idyllic views of the city, all of which is just begging to be immortalised on your Instagram. You might also want to pay a visit to the Jazz Café, popularly called Detroit’s best kept secret, for a romantic night, or to just hang out with friends at a place that has great music and good food. Bleu Detroit is where you should go to experience the best sound system of the city. There is no dearth of places you could go to in Detroit for a night of carefree fun or for a round of classy cocktails. Whatever it is that you need, Detroit has got you covered.

While it is no secret that Detroit has one of the best music scenes in the country, the city has also had considerable influence on the rest of the country, by way of its commercial endeavours and fashion projects.

If we were to talk about food, we recommend that you definitely try out the coney dog – the unverified cousin of hotdog. Next would be the Detroit style pizza, and this is arguably the only pizza you will ever have that will make you love its crust. And then comes the Boston Cooler, zip sauce and double baked rye bread. If you ask us, we feel the food of Detroit should be talked about more often.

Detroit at its heart is a city for the contemplative artist. While the boisterous extrovert will never run out of things to do, it is the one who appreciates the nuances of life with their reflection in the arts who is truly going to enjoy Detroit.

Crime Rate in Detroit

The rate of violent crime per 1000 residents in Detroit, as estimated by NeighbourhoodScouts is 19.53, which means that your chances of being the victim of a violent crime are 1 in 51. When it comes to property crime, the rate per 1000 residents is 42.81, meaning your chances of being a victim are 1 in 23. In the ‘motor city’, if you are the owner of a vehicle, your chances of being the victim of motor vehicle theft are 1 in 97.

Despite the picture painted by the statistics, Detroit happens to be considerably safer than other cities of similar size or populations more than 200,000.

Detroit Weather

Much like most of the southern USA, Detroit’s temperature is classified as ‘humid subtropical’. Summers range from warm to hot, with the summer months being from May to September. The average daily temperature would be about 900F (320C).
Winters are colder and temperature can be freezing for a good chunk of the winter months, with them sometimes dropping to 00F (-180C). Temperatures in January average around 25.60F (-3.60C). Snowfall is commonly seen through October and sometimes in May, averaging around 42.5 inches (108 cm) annually.

Rainfall is on the moderate side and is kind of evenly spread out through the seasons. The annual precipitation rate is 33.5 inches (85 cm).

In the Detroit area, thunderstorms are common and the influence of the Great Lakes is seen on the city’s weather.


Is Detroit Expensive To Live In?

The weight of your pocket is the first thing to take note of when planning a new endeavour. After all, the pocket should not be lighter than it absolutely has to be. Therefore, it is natural to take an estimate of your expenses when contemplating such a move.
Let’s start with taxes. Detroit charges 2.4% income tax for residents and 1.2% for non-residents, after an adjustment for dependency and personal expenses. Michigan charges the highest property tax in the country so if you live in Detroit, you would be paying 1.45% tax on your property. When it comes to sales tax, people in Detroit pay 6%, which is a combination of state, city and county sales tax.

Cost Of Living in Detroit

The estimated monthly expenses of a family of four without rent would be $3,247 whereas a single person would be paying $918, without rent. The cost-of-living index of Detroit is 87.6 and the median household income is $31,283.

When you go to the supermarket, the cost of a litre of milk is $0.65 while a loaf of bread costs $2.32. A dozen eggs cost $1.68 and a kilogram of potatoes would be $2.71. On an off-day to the kitchen, a meal at an inexpensive eatery would cost $13.50 and a meal for two at a mid-range restaurant would be $50. When it comes to transportation within the city, the cost of a one-way ticket is $2 and that of a monthly pass is $60. If you prefer taxis, the base tariff is $3 and the price per kilometre thereon is $1.17. The cost of a litre of gas is $0.63, in case you own a car.

Where health insurance is concerned, you can expect to pay above $600 for a full range medical insurance plan for an individual.

Buying a House

The average cost of a 2–3-bedroom apartment in Detroit is 150,000 or less. Property rates have always been low in Detroit, which makes it an ideal place to invest in for first-time buyers or new families.

Renting a House

The average rent of a house in Detroit is $1,000 or even less. The city is one of the most affordable cities to live, in the United States.

Utilities

These are the expenses that we did not realize were supposed to be paid until we moved out of our parents’ house. In Detroit, you can expect to pay $169.72 for utilities like electricity, water, garbage, heating and cooling. An unlimited internet plan, which is compulsorily taken by anyone and everyone, costs $58.


Detroit Economy And Employment Opportunities

The lion’s share of the economy is occupied by the manufacturing, finance, technology and healthcare sectors. Three Fortune 500 companies along with quite a lot of other corporations are based in Detroit. Some of the companies are General Motors, Ally Financial, Compuware, Shinola, Lowe Campbell Ewald and Rosetti Architects, among others.

A fifth of the city’s employment is based in downtown Detroit, in companies like Comerica, Chrysler, HP Enterprise and Dearborn. The city’s biggest employer, Detroit Medical Centre, is based in Midtown, along with Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health System, and together they employ thousands of people in the city.

Midtown is one of the most successful areas and has an occupancy rate of 96%. Numerous constructions are in place like that of the David Whitney Building, David Broderick Tower and the repair and reconstruction of Fort Shelby and Book Cadillac Hotel.

Another industry that provides significant employment to the residents of Detroit is the music scene in the city, which happens to be popular across the country. Live music is an irreplaceable part of the nightlife of Detroit and that is the source of the bread and butter of many emerging and struggling artists. The population downtown is majorly that of young professionals which means that the retail industry is expanding. This has led to heavy investments in the surrounding area which includes reconstruction of historic buildings.

Meijer, a retail chain, has opened its supercenter stores in Detroit. Recently, JP Morgan declared plans of investing in the housing sector and in the growth of entrepreneurship in the city.


Education

The Detroit Public Schools (DPS) system is responsible for overseeing and managing the schools in Detroit. Along with 66,000 students in its schools, DPS also has 56,000 students in its charter schools resulting in a total enrollment of 122,000 students. DPS also continues to oversee the category of pupils in need of special education.

The city also has private and parochial schools, for those parents who wish their child to get educated as such. There are four Catholic grade schools and three Catholic high schools in the city. They are operated by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

There are several institutes of higher learning in Detroit. To name a few, Wayne State University is a national research institute that has medical and law schools. University of Detroit Mercy offers more than a hundred degrees across engineering, law, nursing, architecture and dentistry. There is also the Sacred Heart Major Seminary that is associated with the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas and offers pontifical degrees. Whatever your field of choice, Detroit offers decent institutions to pursue the study in that field.


Getting Around Detroit

Detroit is an important center for transportation, due to its location on the US-Canada border. The city has three border-crossings, which are the Ambassador bridge, Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the Michigan Central Railway tunnel connecting Detroit with Windsor, Ontario. The Ambassador bridge is the single busiest one, carrying around 27% of the transport between the US and Canada. Now, let’s take a look at transport facilities within the city.

Airport

Detroit is served by three airports: the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), the Coleman A. Young International Airport (DET) and the Willow Run Airport. The first is the primary airport while the second operates charter services and general aviation. The last one is for cargo and general aviation as well.

Train

Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, Conrail Shared Assets and CSX Transportation run the freight railroads in the city. Two other service providers are Delray Connecting Airport and Detroit Connecting Railroad.

The People Mover, which is an elevated rail system runs daily in a loop downtown. Amtrak also provides its services, operating the train Wolverine between Chicago and the Pontiac.

Bus

The Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) provides the bus services in the area. From the outskirts of the city, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) takes the reins.

Cars

Detroit has a lesser than average number of cars in each household. A house has 1.15 cars on average, compared to the national average of 1.8.

Freeways

The Michigan Department of Transportation manages the network of freeways in the state and city. The I-75v and I-96 connect Detroit to Kings Highway 01 and to southern Ontario cities. I-75 is the primary north-south route and it goes through Flint, Pontiac, Troy and Detroit.

I-94 runs east-west and connects Detroit to Ann Arbor and Port Huron. The I-96 runs northwest-southeast serving Livingston, Oakland and Wayne.

I-275 provides a bypass through the western suburbs of Detroit while the I-375 is an extension of the Chrysler Freeway.


Best Neighborhoods Of Detroit

1. East English Village

East English Village has modest and well-maintained houses. It is bisected by Warren Avenue which has important and useful transit lines. This place also has Cadieux Café, which is the only place in the US that offers feather bowling. There is the landmark Alger Theatre which is being considered for renovation and a few other construction projects are under-way to develop the area.

The average home price in this area is $150,000 and the cost of renting a house is $800.

2. Jefferson-Chalmers

Detroit has a river and living in this neighbourhood is your only chance at owning a waterfront property if you are living in this city. The prize of this neighbourhood is probably the Canal district, which is called the ‘Venice of Detroit’ due to its backyard access to waterways. The area has an express bus on weekdays and a bike lane for the use of its residents. The houses in this area are mainly bungalows and four-squares.

The average cost of a house here would be $150,000 and the rent for a similar house would be $900.

3. Bagley

Bagley mixes cost-effectiveness and density with a certain sense of ease that adds to the charm of the Tudor revival and colonial homes in the region. The ‘Avenue of Fashion’ lends its facilities to Bagley putting it in the spotlight as one of the most vibrant areas of town. It is also a place for quite a few small businesses, mostly fashion and food ones. That makes this neighbourhood ideal for young families or professionals.

The average cost of a house here is $120,000 and the rent on average for the same house would be $800.

4. North Rosedale Park

Living in north Rosedale feels like you are living in a charming part of history, with its rustic and romantic feel, but with easy affordability. Due to the family minded community, the area has been well-maintained and there are always activities to do as a community which really helps families with children living in the area.

The cost of a house here would be $140,000 and the rent of such a house would be $1,000.

5. Palmer Park

The architecture of this neighbourhood can make even the most artistically dense person fall in love with it. This area’s apartment district has made it to the National Register of Historic Places. The inspiration for the architecture ranges from Egyptian to minimalism to Albert Kahn designs.

For entertainment, you could take a walk in the forested area, have a picnic by the lake or spend a romantic night in the old log cabin.

The average cost of a house in this neighbourhood is $200,000 and the average rent would be $800.


Is Moving To Detroit A Good Idea?

It is always a good idea to move to Detroit, provided the city is offering what you are looking for. If you are looking for a city with an easy cost of living, good employment opportunities with cheap housing and a wonderful music scene, Detroit would be a good idea. So, make that pros and cons list that you should before making a major decision and apply the information gathered from this article and reach your conclusion. While you’re making that decision, you can also read about the Best Moving Hacks to make the process easier.

See also: Best Interstate Moving Companies in America


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good salary in Detroit?

The median household income in Detroit is $26,249. This statistic reflects that half or less than 50% of employed people earn more money there- so if you’re looking for an opportunity with higher earning potentials, then this may not be a good choice considering wages can’t compete against other cities where workers make substantially better salaries!

Why does Detroit have a bad reputation?

The answer lies in its history. Just over 50 years ago, racial unrest caused by poverty and police brutality had ravaged much of America’s first Black metropolis – but even worse was when they couldn’t get things under control.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Detroit, Michigan?

Families with two adults and two children are sacrificing a lot. The Economic Policy Institute reports that they need an annual income of $79,308 – or $6,609 per month – just for basic needs!