Though Ford is pretty synonymous with the city of Detroit, Dearborn was Henry Ford’s home, and the birthplace of his company in the early 1900s. Today, the city embraces that extremely important historic fact in many ways. Take, for instance, The Henry Ford: the nation’s largest indoor-outdoor museum complex, which spans much more than just the history of the car company. Dearborn isn’t all car-talk, though. Many other regional and national businesses are headquartered in the area.
While Dearborn doesn’t have its own transit system (why would they? Gotta show off that Ford pride), a handful of bus lines do run through it. The Suburban Mobility Authority for Public Transportation (SMART) operates cross-town buses (to other cities), downtown buses (to Detroit), and commuter buses through popular areas, such as the museum/Greenfield Village, and downtown Dearborn.
Unlike some of its neighbors, only about a quarter of the population in Dearborn are renters. This means two important things: a lot of places, and not a lot of competition! The common rentals are single-family homes. Also, expect to find some town houses/condos, smaller two or three-flat buildings and a few small, low-level complexes, as well as some much larger complexes.
There’s some nice variety in Dearborn pads. If you’re looking for spacious, historic houses, Dearborn’s got plenty of them. The most common rental houses you’ll find are cozy little brick bungalows and ranches, or new cookie-cutter town homes. Very “Metro Detroit”, if you ask us. Apartment-type housing tends to be newer and nicer. No matter what type of housing you choose, you won’t go far over $1000 a month, unless it’s a very nice place or in a very desired area, then expect to pay into the mid 1000s.
Renting a condo or a nicer apartment is one of the most common ways to get any utilities included in your rent, but with a single-family home, you may be out of luck. However, most appliances (often including washer and dryer), as well as a garage are provided in almost all of these places.
What’s known as Dearborn, today, was actually two cities, once upon a time. The dividing point was the Southfield Freeway. The differences between the two sides still show a little in modern day Dearborn. There are many subsections and neighborhood associations, maybe too many to list, so we’ll give it to you in two easy acts with a downtown intermission:
East Dearborn: On the whole, East Dearborn is on the cheaper side. The southeast side of Dearborn is very industrial, with lots of Ford buildings and facilities. The rest of the east side, however, is just as nice as any other place in Dearborn. Further north, you’ll find rows and rows of cozy little houses on tree-lined streets.
Michigan Avenue, the main “drag” of the downtown area, with shopping and entertainment, stretches between the East and West sides. Many of the museums and big attractions in the city are located on Michigan Avenue, or very close to it. On the corner of Michigan and Southfield, the Freeway that splits the city, you’ll see Ford’s main headquarters (or as locals call it, the “glass house”).
West Dearborn: Considered a little nicer and more desirable, West Dearborn is filled with neighborhoods with spacious, historic houses. The Henry Ford museum and Greenfield Village are also on the west side.
Playing a very important role in Michigan history (and United States history…and even world history!) is the little town of Dearborn. It’s a popular stop just outside of Detroit with quite the draw for tourist and resident alike. Why not check it out for yourself?