Living in Detroit is exciting, especially now as the city continues to improve. Just one short drive downtown will open your eyes to the arts, history and the hustle and bustle that is Detroit.
That said, you can't just move to “Detroit." There are more than a dozen neighborhoods that make up this city, each with something different to offer. Therefore, you'll need to do your research in order to find the right condos or apartments for rent in Michigan's top major city.
So, in order to help you “get your sea-legs," here are 10 things you should know and consider about living in Detroit.
For starters, one great thing about living “downtown," a.k.a. in Detroit, is that the cost of living is low. In fact, living in Detroit is cheaper than 84 percent of other major cities in the U.S.
This means that you can easily find a one-bedroom apartment in the city for less than $1,600 a month. The average studio apartment will run you roughly $1,000 a month, and a two-bedroom apartment will cost about $1,900 a month on average.
One drawback to life in the 313 is the winter. Sure, there's nearby snowboarding, skiing and a wonderful outdoor ice rink. Yet, when it comes time to warm your car up in the morning in an apocalyptic snowstorm, things are not so festive.
Here, winter is not a 4-month season that arrives in time for the holidays and leaves at the first sign of spring. Instead, it may snow on Halloween, ice the roads all November and cause school closings from December to late April. So, hopefully, you enjoy the snow.
Despite being called the Motor City, many people love cycling through the streets. In fact, every Monday, in the warmer months, hundreds of cyclists take to the streets for a slow-pace tour. This bike tour is hosted by Detroit Bike City and called Slow Roll.
But the bike fun does not stop there. Detroit also has a few skateboard/BMX parks and tons of people who ride BMX bikes well into their 50s. There are a few bike paths downtown, too, near the Riverwalk and Belle Isle.
When Detroiters are not taking to the streets on their bicycles, you can find most of them at a game. Events like Opening Day for the Tiger's baseball team and the Sunday that the Lion's kick-off their football season are practically holidays around these parts.
People also take their hockey (the Detroit Red Wings) and basketball (Piston's) seriously in the D. So, if you're a sports fan, get ready to have a fun schedule filled with games, pub crawls and more.
The music scene in Detroit is unreal. Not only will you find talented local artists and bands galore, but you'll also have the pleasure of enjoying big acts at music venues like the Magic Stick, Fox Theatre, the Fillmore Detroit and the Little Caesars Arena.
There are also smaller venues like Saint Andrew's Hall, Harpos Concert Theatre and the Fisher Music Center — just to name a few.
Say you're flying into the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), and you ask the person next to you where they're from. You can bet any money they will say Detroit. But the truth is that person is probably from Southfield, Farmington Hills or even Shelby Township.
Often, everyone claims to be from the D regardless of their ZIP Code because they're equal parts proud of their major city and trying to save some time — no one wants to explain on their hand/mitten where they're actually from to a curious, yet well-intentioned stranger.
Overall, you'll be hard-pressed to find a Detroiter who doesn't love art. The city is full of incredible architecture, year-round art exhibits and street art, and then, there's the Heidelberg Project.
The Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art environment that's whimsical and unique. So, if you have time, check it out after the big move — it's a definite must-see. Besides, art exhibits that are outside the box, the 313 also offers a wealth of artistic talent/famed photographers.
Plus, there are amazing art exhibits and informative history tours at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). So, if you fancy yourself an art buff, then welcome home.
Belle Isle is a stunning park with a rich history and is where most Detroiters go-to getaway. This park has a conservatory, covered picnic areas, an aquarium, a beach, playgrounds, open green spaces and nature trails.
So, if you're looking to escape the concrete jungle every now and then, you can stop on by this 982-acre island park, which is open year-round from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
It may not be too shocking to find out that you need a car in a town nicknamed the Motor City. But, often, people let the Q-line, bike night and the People Mover create a sense that you don't.
Unfortunately, one thing that Detroit does not do well is public transportation. Sure, there are city buses, a nearby Greyhound Station and the newly built Q-line, but if you're looking for city-wide convenient transportation, there's not much.
Plus, no one rides the People Mover. If you're wondering why, well, it's definitely not because you feel like you stepped into a scene from the movie "Midnight Meat Train."
Since you'll need a car in the D, if you're not originally from Michigan, then you'll need to start practicing your Michigan Lefts. Just go to any other state and look for a turn-a-round lane, and you'll probably not find one.
So, remember to make a U-turn, then an immediate right turn if you want to go left. Michigan is also notorious for no-right on red signs. Thus, you should be on the lookout for these signs. Otherwise, expect traffic tickets galore.
Ultimately, these are just a few things you should know about living in Detroit. The truth is any new place is going to require an adjustment period of sorts, so just give the D some time. You'll say pop instead of soda in no time at all, and you'll find a great apartment that fits your budget.
Of course, there are always drawbacks like an almost endless winter season and no New York- or Chicago-style transportation, but it's safe to say that Detroit holds its own. So, what are you waiting for? Start looking for apartments to rent or homes to buy now so you can enjoy your new city before the snow hits.