How to look for non-undergrad apartments in Ann Arbor?
March 23, 2009 6:39 PM   Subscribe

The first weekend in April my husband and I will be visiting Ann Arbor, and I was wondering if apartments in the area put up 'for rent' signs, so that it's easy to walk around and call?

We're moving from Chicago to Ann Arbor at the end of May, and we would like to find a quiet (non-undergrad area), unfurnished apartment in a walkable neighborhood. He'll be a grad student in the University of Michigan MFA program, I'll be looking for work, and we don't own a car.

I also saw this question, and I've been looking at Craigslist postings in Kerrytown, but is that the same as the Kerrytown business district, or is it a larger area? Also, what are the boundaries of the Old West Side?

The UM housing site seems very geared towards undergrads — are there any other local Ann Arbor apartment listing services I should check out before our trip?
posted by limeswirltart to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: ArborWiki - great source of all sorts of info on A2.

housing guide on ArborWeb

Rentals on MLive

Kerrytown is the same neighborhood as the Kerrytown business district - the shops are in a very discrete area, the neighborhood is a bit more extensive - and a nice area to live in.

Quoting the Old West Side Association: "The Old West Side neighborhood is bounded by South Main and the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks on the east, Huron on the north, generally the Eberwhite area on the west, and Pauline on the south. For the exact boundaries of the Old West Side, refer to our online map."
posted by leslies at 7:08 PM on March 23, 2009

Some do, but Ann Arbor's rental market is notoriously bad and opaque.

This is the official Kerrytown district, however, it's a marketing term more than a neighborhood.

This page has the map for the Old West Side.

One more thing: Ann Arbor's general student housing will already be locked up by May. September is usually when you start looking for your place for the following year.

Aside from that, look to the north side, where there's a lot of single-family housing that's a bit broader than the stuff in the student ghetto (and the art school is on North Campus, though I don't know if his MFA is in art per se).
posted by klangklangston at 8:40 PM on March 23, 2009

Best answer: A friend of a friend runs Show Me the Rent, based in Ann Arbor, which is a decent place to look for rentals here.

The city bus system is fairly good here, and your husband will be able to ride for free as a student. It expands the options for where you can live without a car.

I've never been able to get a clear consensus from people about whether "Kerrytown" includes the entire residential area stretching east to the nursing school and the medical campus. I figure it might as well, because I don't know any other name for that area.

A large number of buildings in Kerrytown (including the area east over to the nursing school) have signs on them with numbers to call for rental management companies. A lot of undergrads live in this area, especially as you get closer to campus to the eastern edge, but it's nothing like the student area south of central campus. The Old West Side is definitely quieter and has an older population.

I live in Kerrytown without a car. I love it. Zipcar is here, and it's great. They just added cars in Kerrytown. Plus, I can take a bus most anywhere without much trouble from the main bus depot a few blocks away.

Feel free to MeMail me, if you have more specific questions about living without a car here, or we can keep it in the thread.
posted by whatnotever at 8:49 PM on March 23, 2009

Best answer: The MFA in English is housed in Angell Hall, while the MFA in art would be on North Campus.

I really wouldn't recommend the north side if one is carless. The Old West Side and areas west of the OWS have non-student ghetto areas, and are both easily accessible from Central Campus. Also, the rental market is a bit more flexible than it used to be, given new construction aimed at students and the economic climate. In particular rentals not aimed at U-M undergraduates (and they do exist) are not locked into the calendar cycle mentioned by klang.
posted by needled at 9:04 PM on March 23, 2009

"I've never been able to get a clear consensus from people about whether "Kerrytown" includes the entire residential area stretching east to the nursing school and the medical campus. I figure it might as well, because I don't know any other name for that area."

Well, the Medical Center is in old Fullertown, which overlaps with North Broadway, which overlaps with the Lower Fifth. The Nursing School is up in the North Catherine neighborhood, which connects to the Medical Center by Fuller, but is in a different neighborhood (roughly).
posted by klangklangston at 9:11 PM on March 23, 2009

I think you're probably going to end up with at least a few undergrads around you anywhere within walking distance of campus, although undergrads in Kerrytown and the OWS will be less undergrad-y than in areas to the south of Central Campus, where it is fairly regularly completely over the top in its undergrad-ness.

If you look at the OWS, just remember that walkable in May in Ann Arbor is very different from walkable in January in Ann Arbor.
posted by PhatLobley at 10:16 PM on March 23, 2009

Best answer: I completely ignored your real question. In May, if it's still available for the fall, it is extremely likely to have a sign up, as the landlord is sure to be getting desperate. There are not, however, likely to be a lot of places still available very close to campus. There are typically some nice places listed on craigslist that a little off the beaten path for students. Look there before your visit.
posted by PhatLobley at 10:19 PM on March 23, 2009

I lived here when I was teaching at the U of M. Nice place a couple of miles away from the North Campus, with a bus stop outside the complex. But--the commute during the winter was beyond unpleasant, because in snow the buses would run anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour late.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:32 AM on March 24, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers! It's an Art & Design MFA, so my husband will be splitting time between north campus and the grad studios on S. State St., and I have my eyes peeled for an admin job at UM.

ArborWiki looks amazing! Thanks leslies, I'll be referring to that a lot.

Most of the end-of-May/June 1 rentals on Craigslist that I had been finding are in car-centric complexes near I-94 with names like "Spruce Knob," or divided up furnished houses next to campus, or nice places that are over $900 not including heat, so I started to panic. This has totally put my mind at ease. It's great that Zipcar is adding cars.

All this info is incredibly helpful!
posted by limeswirltart at 7:27 AM on March 24, 2009

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