There is something for everybody when it comes to accommodation in Detroit. The city is home to not just characterful urban neighbourhoods, but also lovely green spaces and sprawling houses in the suburbs.
Most people tend to rent in Detroit when first arriving, but they may be encouraged by the affordable property market to eventually buy a home in Detroit.
Types of accommodation in Detroit
Thanks to the recent regeneration of the city, Detroit has experienced much investment in recent years which has in turn increased property values. Although prices are rising, the city remains affordable in comparison to other major US cities.
Expats will find a variety of accommodation options in Detroit. A mixture of high-rise residential blocks and low-rise townhouses dominate the downtown areas, while larger family homes with gardens can be found further out in the surrounding suburbs.
As with any big city, there are myriad options available when choosing an apartment in Detroit. While it may not have an iconic skyline like New York City or Seattle, there is still plenty of decent high-rise accommodation in the Detroit’s central districts. Along with this, there are also smaller condos and low-rise residential blocks, especially in the suburbs.
There is a huge variety of houses available in Detroit’s middle- and upper-class neighbourhoods. In contrast to the stereotypical image of Detroit as an urban jungle, there are loads of safe suburbs perfect for raising families. A huge range of housing styles can be seen in Detroit from gorgeous Gilded Age properties to Gothic Revival, Federal and Victorian-style homes.
Finding accommodation in Detroit
Online listings are the primary way of exploring housing options in Detroit and a good way for new arrivals to familiarise themselves with the city’s property market prior to relocation. Alternatively, real-estate agents are also an option, though they will charge a fee for their services.
When looking for a home in Detroit, families should consider areas close to schools and colleges, and working professionals should also factor in their work commute, which can become tedious as there is a degree of traffic congestion in the city.
Renting accommodation in Pittsburgh
Once new arrivals have decided on suitable accommodation, they will have to approach the landlord as soon as possible to negotiate a suitable lease agreement.
Making an application
The first step in the rental process after finding the desired accommodation is to file an application. Prospective tenants can either do this directly with the landlord or via an estate agent, depending on the situation. The landlord or agency will perform various checks, after which a lease is signed between landlord and tenant. Foreign nationals will benefit from having a US bank account and social security number set up as this will speed up the process.
A standard rental contract in Detroit is usually valid for a year with the option to renew at the end of the initial term. Sometimes tenants are able to negotiate shorter leases, but this is up to individual landlords.
Tenants will have to pay a deposit, usually equivalent to one month’s rent, in addition to the first month’s rent upfront to secure the rental agreement. This deposit belongs to the tenant and must be paid back at the end of the lease, unless the landlord deems it necessary to make use of some or all of the deposit for breakages, outstanding rent or other expenses the tenant may be liable for as agreed to in the contract.
Renters need to carefully check the terms of their lease to determine which utilities are included and what additional expenses they’d be liable to pay for. In Detroit, utilities such as gas, water, electricity and internet usually aren't covered by the landlord, but this varies from property to property.
►Learn more about the different neighbourhoods in Areas and Suburbs in Detroit
Are you an expat living in Detroit?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Detroit. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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