First off, Southfield is home to the Southfield Town Center, a giant office complex encompassing over 2 million square feet of office space, including a hotel and conference center. This building houses the headquarters of many local and global businesses, Fortune 500 companies, and foreign consulates. Actually, its office space is larger than all of Detroit’s central business district, so it draws a lot of diversity and commercial attention to the city. And that’s only the beginning.
The People of Southfield: Compared to the rest of Michigan, Southfield’s population is generally better educated (more citizens with bachelor’s degrees live within the city limits), higher-earning, and very diverse. Michigan isn’t really known for its racial diversity, so Southfield is a bit of a rarity in that it’s a blend of different cultures and races, not just a majority white population. Most of its people are middle-aged white collar families, about a quarter of them with children under 18.
A Mixed Bag of School Choices: Southfield is served by three public school districts: Southfield Public Schools, Birmingham City School District, and Oak Park School District, depending on where you’re located. Some schools and districts are considered better than others. Some are highly regarded, some not so much, so if you’re moving with children, that’s definitely an area to research. Also important to note is that in Southfield, there are a moderate number of college students who attend eight nearby colleges, including the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.
To Do: Most of Southfield’s recreation includes its 780 acres of parks, nature preserves, and hiking trails. It has all your typical suburban family amenities, such as community centers, golf courses, and sports facilities. Like most of Metro-Detroit, shopping and commerce is mainly found within malls and big-box stores.
Getting Around: Southfield is served by the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) which operates a handful of inter-city and local buses. The majority of Southfieldians drive, as Metro Detroit is a pretty car-friendly place. Traffic on the freeways can be a pain at rush hour though, so beware!
Now that you’re a little more familiar with Southfield’s atmosphere, let’s get more specific about living here. One of the city’s big draws is its home-y, suburban feel combined with its proximity to everything, both in and outside of town. Despite the number of settled families, almost half of its population rents, which means options, options, options!
What to Expect: Southfield is unique in that it has many different types of housing available, from luxury high-rise condos to cozy apartments or single-family homes. Of course, detached houses are the most common, but large apartment complexes are also plentiful, with town houses and smaller apartment buildings available, as well. Many of these are priced very modestly for the area. Most one or two bedroom apartments run in the $600-800 range, depending on size and quality. Smaller houses run just over $1,000, though may go as low as $700 or $800 in some places. Larger, nicer rental houses of all styles, many located on tree-lined streets with spacious yards, tend to be in the mid to high 1000s.
Extras and Fees: When renting a stand-alone house, don’t expect to find any utilities included, though if you’re looking for an apartment, you may be able to score some included with a little bit of searching. Both houses and apartments will have appliances included and hook-ups for a washer and dryer (if they’re not included), though that may vary depending on the quality of the apartment. Pets are negotiable in most places, often with a fee, and parking (lot or garage) is often included, as well.
Southfield is full of tight-knit little communities, many with their own neighborhood organizations. The area can range from quaint and suburban grids of residences to more spacious, rural homes on wide lots, and even urban-feeling luxury high-rise apartments. Southfield is a gathering place for businesses, but also for families, offering a variety of perks from its Metro Detroit location to the comforts of home. Still not sure if it’s the place for you? Well, why not check it out for yourself?
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