Housing Feedback Forum

Disclaimer:
The opinions listed below are those of individual chemistry graduate students. The GSC has made no attempt to verify these comments; if an email address is listed, you may contact that person with additional questions.


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Below you will find feedback from chemistry graduate students about various housing options in the area (apartments and family housing). These are just a few of the many complexes in the area. Housing in Ann Arbor is rather expensive relative to most towns (decent 1-BR apts. cost $600 or more per month). Click on the name of a complex or just scroll to see all comments:

Many of these complexes have entries on apt. search websites; we have included links if we could find them. You can also search for apts. by price, amenities, etc. on these sites--click here for a list of apt. search engines.

Family Housing (Northwood)
Arbor Hills
Arbor Pointe
Bell Properties
Broadview
Glencoe Hills
Hidden Valley Club
Island Drive
Nob Hill
Park Place
Pheasant Run
Pine Valley
Ponds at Georgetown
Schooner Cove
Spicetree
Surrey Park
Traver Knoll
Traver Ridge
University Towers
Village Park
Willowtree
Woodbury Gardens


Arbor Hills Apartments
S. Huron Parkway (off Washtenaw), Ann Arbor website

I recommend this complex--I have lived here for 3 years (and will continue to live here). I have a 2-br apt. for $757 a month (incl. heat and water) on the 2nd floor (840 sq ft.). Electricity is about $30/mo. Management is decent, and repairs are completed very quickly (usually the same day). It's an older complex that has been renovated. Laundry room in each building (you need quarters) with 12 apts. per building. AC wall unit in living room, but the apts. are well-insulated so you don't need to run it much in summer. Cats are allowed for $15 a month. You can rent a covered parking space for $15 a mo. It's within walking distance of a Barnes and Noble bookstore, a video store, and it's 0.5 mile from Arborland shopping center. It's about 3 miles from campus--about a 10 min. drive. Most neighbors are quiet--mostly grad students and professionals.
--Stacey Nevins (snevins@umich.edu)

Arbor Pointe
Arbor Circle East (off W. Clark Rd.), Ypsilanti website

This apartment community is really nice. I really enjoyed my stay here. Rent was mid range (last I knew ~$890 for a two bedroom) for being ~5 miles from campus; but what you get is worth the extra money. The place is located right across the street from Washtenaw Community College, half mile down the road from St. Joe's hospital. The entire complex is now only ~5 years old and the place is completely modern with gas heat, stove, frost-free fridge with ice maker, central air cond., and your own fullsized w/d for an additional amount included in your rent. I believe the above price quote included the w/d and cable TV. The people living in this community are all very respectable and for the most part considerate. The apartment interiors are very nice, clean, and modern, but aesthetically were a little sterile looking. I would highly recommend living here. Unfortunately, the only pets they allow are fish and small birds.
--anonymous

Bell Properties
728 S. Main

I recommend this complex. The location is great (about 1 mile from central campus--15 min. walk, 6 min. bike ride, UofM bus stop 5 min. walk). Landlords respond reasonably quickly to tenant requests. Family run business so i know my landlords personally. Rent is a little expensive--$700-725/mo., but it's furnished and this also includes hot/cold water and heat. There is not much closet space, or space in general for that matter. Perfect for one person, but you may run out of space if you have a ton of stuff. Right on Main St. so traffic noise takes some getting used to. It has a very nice interior (renovated in '98). Nice hardwood kitchen floor. Huge balcony! I've been here for almost 3 years now and I intend on living here until I graduate. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to be close to campus and does not have any furniture.
--Dustin Mergott (dmergott@umich.edu)

Broadview Apartments
Broadview Lane, Ann Arbor
website

I recommend this complex. The apartments are spacious (2 bdrm, 2 full baths) with a nice porch. It's quiet, there is laundry on the premises, and it's nicely landscaped. Rent is about $825 but you have to pay over $100 a year for laundry. It does include all the laundry you care to do and you don't have to save quarters. Pets are allowed at an additional cost. We're within a 5 min. walk of the Bursley-Baits buses so transportation to U of M is free. One negative aspect: they do not plow or shovel the walks often during winter.
--Jessica Pankuch (jpankuch@umich.edu)

Family Housing (Northwood)
North Campus U of M family housing

I recommend this complex. All utilities are included, rent varies based on location, size and features. A lot of children in the area so it can be noisy, no pets allowed. Excellent location, on university bus routes, excellent maintenance service, community programs, storage space, economical, easy to break lease after graduation, a lot of children in the area (good if you have
kids).
--Craig McClure (cmcclure@umich.edu)

I would like to recommend this apt. to some families with a child, so the kid can play with other kids. Now it costs $626, including local phone, electricity, water, and heat. Bedrooms are very small. It is near north campus and very convenient to take the bus.
--Suping Zheng (zhengs@umich.edu)

Glencoe Hills
Glencoe Hills Dr. (off Washtenaw), Ann Arbor website

I would highly recommend this complex. I have lived there 3 years and hope to continue living there. Their apartments are very large and the property is well maintained. It is a great value since it is just outside the city limit, but still close to campus (10 min. drive). It is located on an old farm, so there is lots of green space, and it is easy biking distance from parks on the Huron River. Our 2-br. currently rents at $715/mo. This includes water, sewer, trash, and the cost of heating the water. Some people feel it is too far from campus, since you have to drive in. The place allows all pets, except for aggressive breeds of dogs. Our apartment is large (990 sq feet). The place is very secure, and has lots of amenities (4 tennis courts, two pools, a gym, pool table, clubhouse, laundry in every building, covered parking). It is VERY convenient to shopping (5 min or less to 3 grocery stores, Old Navy, Borders, Target, Kmart, Starbucks, Home Depot, etc.)
--Jennifer Pickett (jpickett@umich.edu)

I have lived 3 years at Glencoe Hills and have been pretty happy there. It's cheap ($715/month for a 2 bedroom + about $90/month gas and electric on avg with the higher gas prices). It's a bit farther out, but easy to get to the commuter lot or campus. The apartments are large and maintenance response is good. They put in new carpet when we moved in and new kitchen floor and oven the next year.
--Katie Henzler (khenzler@umich.edu)

Rent: 3 bdrm...about $1000 ('98-'99). Negatives: had significant maintenance problems... had to go through Ann Arbor Tenants Union and Student Legal Services to get maintenance issues resolved. Positives: Pets allowed with deposit and monthly fee.
--Kim O'Neil (kozz@umich.edu)

Hidden Valley Club
Hidden Valley Club Dr. (off S. State St.), Ann Arbor website

I definitely recommend this complex. Really nice people in the front office, prompt response to maintenance problems, generally very quiet. We paid $940 for a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in 1999-2000 (includes heat). They charge $10/month extra for cats. They also have 2-br, 1-br, and studio apts. It's kind of far from campus (but it's on the free bus line). Kitchens are kind of small. Complex in general is kind of old but in not-bad shape. It's on the 36 bus line (Free with your UM student ID). Allows cats (but not dogs, I think). Swimming pool, weight room, and tennis courts in complex. Generally quiet, mix of students and nonstudents. Maintenance staff is very friendly and good at their jobs. Our rent increase for our lease renewal was only $10 or $20. Special note: HVC has an ad in many Current issues (a local entertainment magazine) that lets you apply without the application fee ($150 when we lived there). Save yourself some money and pick up an issue of Current (it's free).
--Angela Carden (acarden@umich.edu)
(note: look for Current in the Michigan League or in stores like Meijer's.)

Rent is a little pricey (i have a 1-brm with about 700 sq. ft. for $730/mo.). I know there are efficiencies available for a little less and there are also 2-br. apts. available...the rent includes all the amenities (minus covered parking which is an extra $25/mo; but there's plenty of parking if you don't want to pay extra. I think, though, that rent will be going up soon. Amenities include tennis court outside and an outdoor swimming pool and a clubhouse facility with a racquetball court and a weight room that's open 24 hrs (the weightroom is
not great but it does have the basics. The apts. are all carpeted--central heat and air included; I pay about $15/mo for waste water and trash disposal and $25/mo in electric... gas is included (for the fireplace) and each apt. has its own hot water heater. Pets are allowed (for $250 non-refundable deposit...plus $20/mo). The apts. are all cement-walled so unless your neighbors are REALLY loud, it's pretty peaceful...and because it IS on the pricey side, most of the people there are families, businessmen (or women), and grad students (usually med or law or dentistry). The free bus (#36) stops at the front of the subdivision and runs every 15 min; the #36 also stops directly in front of the chem building, which is fabulous.
--Amy Wu (ajwu@umich.edu)

Island Drive Apts.
Maiden Lane Court, Ann Arbor
website

I would recommend this complex - I've been living there a year and a half now. Decent size apartments in pretty quiet complex not far from central or north campus, and across the street from the hospital. I think that a 2-br is about $890 for new renters there, and it includes heat, hot water, and cooking gas. Electricity is pretty cheap (mine's always less than $20/month). I don't know what 1 or 3-br cost. Main negative: rent has gone up about $30/year and there are only dishwashers in some units. Positives: about 1 mile walk from Chem building (also AATA stop across the street that stops at Fletcher and N. University), maintenance and management very quick to respond to problems or questions, laundry facilities in building, I think that cats or small pets are allowed.
--Ilana Kasman (inkasman@umich.edu)

I recommend this complex--it's clean, spacious, and fairly close to campus. The staff is helpful, and I've never had any problems with Frankel Management Co., the owners. Rent just increased to $890/month for a 2 bedroom. This includes water and gas (gas stove and heat). Townhomes are currently being constructed in the lot next door, noise may be an issue. 20-30 min. walk from the chemistry building, less if you go through the medical school. Main office hours are somewhat bothersome (9-5 on weekdays). Maintenance staff effective but short-handed. You'll probably need to find a roommate or two. No free UoM shuttle from apts. to central campus. Washer and drier located in each unit basement. Cats or smaller pets. Main office accepts all deliveries (UPS, FedEX) and holds them for pick-up. A small pool. Gallup Park is across the street. DoT bus conveniently picks up outside of appts., passes available.
--Ray Meyer (raymeyer@umich.edu)

Nob Hill
S. First St. (near the football stadium), Ann Arbor website

I have lived here for 2 years and renewed my lease for next year, the apts. are cool, large picture windows and wooden floors. Maintainence is prompt, they pick up trash from you door 3 days a week, washer and dryer in every building (6 apts/building). Rent is pricey: $762/mo. includes water, I pay gas and electricity. Negatives: no AC, they don't always promptly shovel behind the buildings (where most of the parking is) in winter. It's within walking distance of Central campus lots of young professional-types live in the complex. I have never had noise problems or any of those kinds of hassles.
--Megan Frost (megfrost@umich.edu)

Park Place
Pauline Blvd., Ann Arbor
website

I recommend this complex. I pay $645/month for a 2nd floor, 1 bedroom. This varies depnding on where you live in the complex. It only includes water. I pay gas, electric, phone. Obviously it is a little expensive, the wall are also not super thick, and the kitchen is a little small. Nice looking and well maintained apartments, maintenance is very quick, only 2 miles from chem building, nice and big with a balcony, pets are allowed but I think you have to pay extra, on bus line and very close to Krogers.
--Julia Clay (jclay@umich.edu)

Right now for a 1 BR on the 2nd or 3rd floor it is $645/month. This is likely to increase to $670 by August. You can live for $30 less on the bottom floor. Cold and hot water are included in the rent, as well as garbage and sewage. Pros: Off-campus environment, residential area, more mature neighbors than you would find near campus; free, plentiful parking; well-maintained; safe neighborhood; pets allowed for a fee; located along two city bus routes; laundry on site; spacious apartments with balcony; outdoor swimming pool and fitness area on site; cable-ready; dishwasher included; a new apt. complex (by Ann Arbor standards, anyway); no roaches or other pests. Important Advantage: The leasing contract for this complex allows you to terminate your lease at any time for a one-time fee of double your month's rent, which will save you the hassle of subleasing if you want to (or have to) move out. Cons: You will almost certainly need to have a car to live here, as the bus lines do not operate at night, and because most stores are a mile or more away; Your apt. may not be rigorously clean upon move-in; microwave not included. Important Disadvantage: These apartments have very poor sound insulation! Another disadvantage: management will give you a lot of hassle before they will let you sign a lease here, unless your monthly income is at least three times the monthly rent (about $2000/month or $24000/yr.). This policy is of questionable legality, but is unfortunately the norm for apartment complexes in this town. Overall I would give a tepid recommendation for this place, but it is in your best interest to look around for other options.
--anonymous

Pheasant Run Apts.
Pheasant Run Circle (off Stone School Rd.), Ann Arbor
website

Overall, I recommend this complex. It's one of the cheapest places that I found in A.A., and the apts. are pretty big. It's very quiet, at least in my building (each bldg. has 8 apts. in it). It's right on the AATA busline, so getting to campus by bus is very easy, as is driving to the Crisler parking lot for the shuttle service. And generally (see exceptions below!!), they are good at fixing things when you ask, within a day or so. HOWEVER--I spent almost a year trying to get them to fix my leaky roof!! The problem started in my first autumn here--I started the process with a few phone calls and stops to the office, progressed to (increasingly nasty) letters included in my rent check, and then I got smart and called the A.A. Housing Bureau, who came out and threatened the complex with fines if they didn't fix it. Magically, work started the next week. (I have heard from my neighbors that this was a problem for years.) Then, this past Dec., we had intermittant hot water for about a week b/c something was wrong with the hot water heater in the bldg. Another call to the housing bureau did the job. So yes, I would recommend them--they're "cheap", big, in a safe area, and close enough to campus to be convenient but far enough away to feel like you're not living at work. Just don't put up with excuses for months about not doing proper maintenance like I did. On the internet it lists 1bdrms. starting at $695 for new leases (you pay gas, electric, phone, cable).
--Kristen Balchus (kbalchus@umich.edu)

I have lived in Pheasant Run Apartments for the past two years. It is
located on Stone School Road south of Eisenhower, immediately over the I-94
bridge. It is a little far from campus but the #5 AATA but stops right outside it every 15 minutes for most of the day and it is also not far from the State Street and Crisler lots. The rent for a 900 sq. ft. 2-br apt. is $680, although they haven't yet told us what the rent for the next year will be. It does not include heat but our gas bill is certainly not high enough to make up the difference between our rent and rent right near campus. Cats are allowed but I belive there is an additional security deposit required. Dogs are not allowed. Car ports are
available with some apartments for an additional $10 a month rent. A brand
new activities building just opened with an indoor pool and hot tub and an
exercise room. It's small but it's nice. There is also an outdoor pool and
tennis court. Any time we have needed something fixed the response time was often same day. The only time it slows down is if there is a lot of snow in the winter and the maintance guys need to salt and shovel. If you are looking for a nice sized apartment with comparitively lower rent and don't mind being a little further from campus, I would certainly recommend Pheasant Run.
--Joslyn Yudenfreund (jyudenfr@umich.edu)

Pine Valley
Pine Valley Blvd. (off Packard), Ann Arbor
website

I recommend this complex. It is next to a bus stop (less than 5min walk) and to a Kroger (you can walk to the store!). Very convenient location. One can get to school in less than 15 minutes by taking the bus. Maintenance people are efficient and quick. Staff is efficient. Very quiet neighborhood. It costs between $600-700 for a 1 bedroom, all utilities included except electricity and phone.
--Gorka Peris (gperis@umich.edu)

Ponds at Georgetown
Packard (near Stone School Rd.), Ann Arbor website

Rent: 2 bdr...about $1000 (2000-2001) rent increases about $20-30 per year (1050 sq feet). Positives: Maintenance problems fixed practically immediately, mostly adult/graduate student complex, Washer/Dryer in each apt., pets allowed with fees (cats only), one carport per apt, cable TV included in rent.
--Kim O'Neil (kozz@umich.edu)

Schooner Cove
Schooner Cove Dr. (off Huron River Dr.), Ypsilanti website

1 bdrm. deluxe (850 sq. ft.) $620/mo. Water included in rent. Pets allowed (extra $20/mo), all sizes Pros: apt. is huge and airy, lots of windows, prompt maintenance, security entrance, huge closets, enclosed balcony, cable-ready, right next to Ford Lake Park (great for walks with or without pets), swimming pool, tennis court, volleyball court, fitness center, laundry facilities in each
building, dishwasher, garbage disposal, AC. Cons: in Ypsilanti (20-30 minute commute...depending on traffic), you have to drive to get anywhere (grocery store, gas station, Wal-Mart, etc.).
--Nicole Crane (ncrane@umich.edu)

Spicetree
Washtenaw (east of US 23, near Golfside), Ann Arbor website

I may or may not recommend living at this complex. Price-wise, it's pretty
hard to beat this place. You can get decent-sized 1, 2, or 3 bdr apts. for very reasonable costs, especially if you're looking to save some money on rent (as was the case for me). This is a large apt. community with a number of people living there. Because of the lower rent prices though, some of the people living there can be pretty weird/sketchy/vagrant. All in all, however, I never really felt afraid living there. Most pets are welcome--even large dogs. Some of the buildings are a bit older--the water heater in the apt. above me blew up twice, leaking water into my apt., causing management to enter when I was not at home. Also, many buildings had serious water leakage during winter due to ice buildup on the roofs. The buildings do not tend to insulate sound very well. If you want to save money on rent, have an OK apt., then live there.
--anonymous

Surrey Park
S. Maple (between Pauline and Scio Church Rd.), Ann Arbor
website

It is a fairly nice place reasonable rents (it was ~$725 for a 2-br, I think it went up some) they allow pets, and have washer and dryer hookups. It is in a great residential neighborhood, but near bus stops for AATA and about 2 miles to the stadium. Krogers, Target, Best Buy and Meijers are all within a short drive. There is more than adequate parking. No utilities were included, and the heat/AC is electric, which can get a little expensive if you like it hot in the winter.
--Joshua Whiting (whitingj@umich.edu)

Traver Knoll
Traver Rd., Ann Arbor
website

I recommend this complex. It's actually the nicest place I've lived during my
student life. Cost for the 2-bedroom my roommate and I share is $820/month. This is a slightly discounted rate due to my roommate having lived there previously. I think the actual cost is closer to $900/month. Included in this are heat and water. It's not the newest complex; there are things that go wrong from time to time. Walking to campus isn't the most convenient thing. The chemistry building is two miles away. The deposit is the same as a month's rent, so this is a little steep to come up with right off the bat. The manager is nice and always helpful. Anytime service needs to be done, I've always had someone show up the same day I made the request. They are excellent about snow removal. I'm not sure of the details of the pet policy, but they do allow them. I do think the location is convenient. M14/U.S. 23 are readily accessible. AATA has two different routes that come near the complex.
--Kevin Lewis (kdlewis@umich.edu)

Traver Ridge
Lancashire (off Tuebingen and Huron Pkwy), Ann Arbor
website

I recommend this complex. Two years ago it was $980 for a 2-Br. Up on North Campus. Required a longer commute and not real convenient for the weekends. Very long bike ride. The door into the complex had no lock on it, maintenance a little slow (generally required two phone calls). Large apartment, really nice balcony, in wooded area so very peacful. Well constructed so very sound proof. Pets were allowed but at an extra cost. Master bedroom is fantastic!
--Julia Clay (jclay@umich.edu)

University Towers
S. Forest (off S. University), Ann Arbor
website

It is downtown and not so expensive ($550) since you share an apartment with roommate. But, they don't treat you well, and the renewing time is so early that if you miss it you are out of your apartment. No pets. Biggest prob: roommate, if it doesn't go well, it is hell! I lived there 3 yrs and was very happy since I didn't have a car but the last 6 months were terrible because of the roommate.
--Olivia de Carmejane (decarme@umich.edu)

Village Park
Natalie Dr. (off Earhart), Ann Arbor
website

I recommend this complex. The apartments are a little old but the facilities and community are nice, easy access to the highway and North Commuter lot. Rent is ~$850-900 for a large 2 bedroom includes heat, water. Occasional flooding for some ground floor apartments, must drive or bus into campus. Quiet-there are few students-good for married couples, has a pool, racquetball court, exercise room. Apartments have option of laundry inside the apartment, large 2 bedroom apartments with 2 bathrooms, quick maintenance, cats allowed for a fee.
--anonymous

Willowtree
Willowtree Lane (off Plymouth Rd.), Ann Arbor website

It is a nice place relatively quiet. The rent is reasonable to a bit expensive (for a 2 bedroom apt). Close to a bus stop where university operated buses run every 10 mins, Kroger is within walking distance too. My only problem is the rent being a bit high.The rent this year is about $860 for a two bedroom. Next year it is about $900. Utilities included are water heating and gas. I have heard of problems (that other renters have had) but personally I am happy.
--Manolis Matzepetakis (matzman@umich.edu)

Good prices, spacious apartments, nice surroundings. Only disadvantage for me was that it was in North Campus and I had to take the bus, but I recommend it. I don't know about pets.
--Olivia de Carmejane (decarme@umich.edu)

Woodbury Gardens
Astor Way (off S. Industrial and Stadium), Ann Arbor
website

I like it a lot; they are not very flexible with leases but apartments are very nice. Not so far away from campus, OK to walk or ride your bike. Can have pets.
But, it is a little more expensive ($1000/2brm apt.)...better for families or for people who want to share an aprtment.
--Olivia de Carmejane (decarme@umich.edu)

 

 


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