One of America's most famous college towns is Ann Arbor, Michigan (population just over 115,000). It is home to the University of Michigan, whose 40,000 students dominate the town (in a nice way) culturally, economically, and demographically. The city has strict zoning regulations which make life difficult for developers but result in an extremely pleasant small town environment. Many alumni and midwesterners choose it to be their retirement community for these reasons.
The downtown is vital and varied. The downtown is widely used by surrounding communities as the center for dining out, entertainment, and artistic performances, There are music stores, sidewalk cafes, bars, bookstores, and shops. Sports fans can cheer the Big 10 sports events held in Ann Arbor. Its name supposedly comes from a combination of the wives of the city's founders (both named Ann), and for the many groves of trees throughout the city. Photo of Michigan Union on Central Campus in the Fall of 2009, courtesy of Wikipedia and AndrewHome (public domain); photo of Exterior of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, spring, courtesy of Wikipedia (public domain).
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Where to Retire in Ann Arbor and Home Prices
The housing choices for retirees are quite varied. Its residential neighborhoods have a range of architectural styles, from classic 19th and early 20th-century designs in the older parts of town to ranch style homes further out. There is a university related retirement community, University Commons, plus many other developments and assisted living facilities that retirees would find desirable.
Real Estate Values The median price of homes in Ann Arbor are about the highest of anywhere in Michigan (where prices have been in a free fall). According to the National Association of Realtors, the median sale price of a home in Ann Arbor during the 4th quarter of 2020 was $297,800.
What is Special about Ann Arbor
Tree Town and 147 municipal parks; Traditional college town; A variety of housing choices for retirees; University of Michigan culture and Big 10 sports; Multiple neighborhoods to live in.
What is Not Special about Ann Arbor
Traffic, gentrification, and overdevelopment are a problem. Property taxes are high. It gets cold in the winter
Who Will Like Retirement in Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor attracts a community of retirees who want to live in a university town with a thriving and livable downtown.
Local Economy is Driven by
The economy is diverse, with the primary drivers being education, high-tech, health care, and biotechnology. The University employs about 30,000 people. There are a number of high-tech firms have their headquarters here.
Climate and Physical Environment
Ann Arbor is located in rolling hills on the Huron River. It is an agricultural and fruit growing region
Restaurants & Cultural Scene
The University has created a very liberal community with a thriving artistic, literary, musical, and intellectual scene. Performing arts groups include the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre; the Arbor Opera Theater; the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra; the Ann Arbor Ballet Theater; and the Ann Arbor Civic Ballet. The university offers museums. There are three theaters in town: the State Theatre, Hill Auditorium, and the Michigan Theatre (plays, films, and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra). Ann Arbor ranks first in the U.S. in terms of books sold per capita. There are a number of festivals
The crime rate is well below the U.S. average.
St .Joseph Mercy Hospital. University of Michigan Health System
Willow Run Airport is 16 miles away in Detroit. Detroit Metropolitan Airport is 28 miles. Amtrak service; Ann Arbor is a little above average for walkability when compared to other cities.
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