Should I stay or should I go?

I haven’t seen an advice/question post on here in a while, so I am going to take a stab. I currently live in a high-rise in Midtown and pay in the neighborhood of $700 for rent. I’m in the process of moving my auto insurance (I need full coverage – $1k deductible) from my prior residence in East Lansing into Detroit. This has yielded a less than desireable result: rates increase from $120 in Lansing to around $350 per month in Detroit. I’ve gotten quotes from more than 20 firms now, and I get the same result every time, usually a range from $340 to $500/month. Read on for the rest…

Now, my lease is up on October 31st (I was subleasing) and I now have the option. Move to the suburbs (probably the cabbage patch in GPP or the westside Plymouth/Canton) and not have to pay city taxes or insane insurance premiums or downsize from my nice apartment to a less desireable and much smaller one in my neighborhood without good parking. Do you guys know of any good (safe) inexpensive places in midtown? I’m talking less than $400 for a 1br or studio, since I’ll be paying insane insurance premiums. Better yet, do you guys know of any insurance companies that aren’t trying to rip off a 23 year old male with good credit, a bachelors degree, and a spotless driving record?

I’d prefer to stay in midtown and more specifically north of Prentis, but the city is making it tough with the taxes and terrible red-lining that occurs. Give me some ideas!

5 Comments so far

  1. baliad (unregistered) on September 7th, 2006 @ 12:08 pm

    the city does make it tough doesn’t it??? i’ve heard that the Cathedral Tower goes for about $400 a month, though i’m not sure… it’s silly to think that the reason someone would leave Detroit is for financial reasons, but i’m sure it’s already happened and i think it’ll continue to happen (even to those who aren’t really financially struggling)…

  2. Another Tom (unregistered) on September 7th, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

    I don’t know what your personal situation is, but it is too bad something zipcar doesn’t exist in Detroit. That could make it possible to live in the city without having to own a car.

  3. Tom (unregistered) on September 7th, 2006 @ 12:43 pm

    Well, I guess I could always take the Pedicab

  4. Kim (unregistered) on September 8th, 2006 @ 8:47 am

    Re: Insurance, find an insurance broker who can do the leg work for you, I have my insurance for 2 new cars down to $280.00/mo working with a broker, that’s right that is for two cars (and its great coverage as you say you need, not that PLPD crap that only covers your “A” when you’re pulled over…)

    Generally the gripes about cost: Keep in mind that the general rule with living in any city is that it costs more. Whether its in NYC or DC paying $1500 for rent, expensive groceries and the like or even Chicago for that matter. You are either cut out for a tighter budget or you move to the burbs.

    Red-lining is certainly a problem here in Detroit, but car insurance in any urban location will be pricy, city dwelling means that there is just more probability of getting into accidents and more car theft than in the burbs.

    The choice you face is whether you actually want to live in an urban setting? If city-life isn’t for you then go to the burbs.

    You see, there are other things here in Detroit you can save on, groceries are better and cheaper hear than anywhere in SE MI, let alone MI-wide. There are plenty of choices of cheaper rent than anywhere, really any city in the country, you can even find a nice place in the mid-town area for around $400.00 just do the research, shop around and investigate (can you sacrifice a good view for a good space?).

    So the sacrifices here in Detroit are a little extra cost for car insurance, but there are so many benefits if you are willing to seek them out. It is so very easy to find problems here in the D, but it is so much more rewarding when you take the time to learn, explore and enjoy the city.

    Re: Taxes, your not paying property taxes as a renter, my guess is that your income tax will be between $200-$500 depending on how much you make, $200 being closer to like $25,000/year. And just hang on to your paper work, you get a deduction on your federal returns next year.

  5. Tom (unregistered) on September 8th, 2006 @ 10:08 am

    Thanks Kim, you’re right about a lot. I’ve been doing a lot of legwork lately and I’ve found some fairly cheap places in the area I like (Ferry St). I can find a cheap (tiny) studio for about $380 in midtown which would cover the difference that I would be paying in auto insurance. First, I’m going to call my building’s manager and see what I can work out with him. I really like my building.

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