If you're in a hurry to find a place in Pontiac because you think vacant apartments are going to get snatched up quickly, just calm down and have a sandwich. These places aren't going anywhere. With a staggering vacancy rate of 18%, you'll have plenty of time to search for the best possible apartment before settling on something. If you're looking for great prices on a place to live, you've definitely found the right place, and if you do your homework, you can end up in a decent area. So sit back, calm down, and commence searching.
How Much Will It Cost?
If you're looking for one of the lowest cost places that you're going to find in Michigan, you found it in Pontiac. The median income of all Pontiac residents is just a little over $27,000. When you look at income per capita, however, you end up with just a little over $15,000. As with anywhere else, rent is going to vary depending on where you stay, but honestly, it's not going to vary that much. Might as well buck up, pick up that extra shift, and pay s little extra to stay somewhere in Pontiac with a lower than average crime rate. Rent can range from inexpensive to downright cheap. It's advisable to stay away from the downright cheap areas... just a suggestion.
The Best Time to Rent
In all honesty, any time is a good time to rent in Pontiac. As mentioned, the vacancy rate in the city is, in a word, excessively high. Yes, that was two words, but the situation warranted it. Fortunately, this means that there's not much incentive for landlords and apartment communities to alter their rental rates too often. This means that if you find a nice apartment for around for an affordable rent in July, there's a good chance it will cost the same, if available, in December. Of course, the temperatures drop excessively low during the winter. Frosty the Snowman would probably get frostbite here, so it's not a bad idea to choose a move-in date during the warmer months to make it more comfortable. Honestly, with the vacancy rate as high as it is, starting to look for an apartment one to two months in advance should be efficient to secure the best possible place.
What to Bring With You
Some self defense classes. Just kidding! Most parts of town are actually pretty safe; we promise. Keep in mind, though, that just because rent is really low in these areas doesn't mean that a landlord is going to let just anyone rent from them. Come looking your best and bring along a rental application and a letter of employment. With rent as low as it is in some areas of Pontiac, landlords likely worry that someone without a job and with an inability to pay rent on time simply searched through the couches and got up enough for a single month of rent. Don't be that guy. Let the landlord know that you're serious and prepared to take great care of their apartment.
In Pontiac, it's all about the neighborhood you choose to stay in. Sure, rent prices are low throughout the city, but that doesn't mean you have to stay in the slums. In fact, it's probably best not to since there are only about 60 police officers in this town of 60,000. There are several differences between the different neighborhoods, and you should consider them all before making the move. The dollar signs below signify the prices you'll see in each neighborhood. Calm down, these are relative to the average price in Pontiac, so even 4 dollar signs could be cheaper than 1 in other cities.
Terry Lake: The Terry Lake neighborhood is just a short distance from Terry Lake, and since one out of every five residents are implants from other states, it seems like a decent place to move to. The rent is a little steeper than some other neighborhoods in Pontiac, but its close proximity to everything makes it ideal. Keep in mind though, the crime rate, especially property crimes, are a bit higher here than in other neighborhoods. $$$
Sterling Lakes: If you're looking for a less densely populated area, Sterling Lakes is your place. Seriously, there's under 800 people per square mile, and this only equates to about 100 people in the entire neighborhood. Of course, this comes with a price: the median rent price is a is a tad bit more (we're talking about the amount to have dinner with you family at an expensive diner.) Come on, though; how bad is that? In addition, Sterling Lakes has one of the lowest crime rates in all of Pontiac, so that extra bit of rent goes a long way. You can give up one dinner out for all this! $$$$
Crystal Lake: Crystal Lake is in a great location, and when you consider the fact that it's got one of the lowest crime rates in all of Pontiac, you'll understand why the median rent price in the neighborhood is high, compared to the surrounding areas -- although, still inexpensive compared to Detroit. There are beautiful apartment complexes in the area and nearby... you guessed it... lakes. The median age of residents here is around 40, so they're much more mature than other areas of the city. It's so appealing, in fact, that 25 percent of its residents actually moved here from out of state. $$$$$
Downtown (Historic): Living in the downtown area will keep you close to the night scene and some great clubs, and with a median rental price that is significantly cheaper than the rest of the city, many people would wonder why downtown wasn't the perfect place to live. Well downtown is a big part of the crime problem in Pontiac, so while you'll be getting a good deal, you should likely stay in at night. $
Become a Movie Star!
Pontiac is the home of Motown Motion Picture Studios. Sure, Raleigh Studios ended their long-running relationship with the company, but this still hasn't stopped several movies from coming through the area.
Just imagine being an extra on the set of a movie starring James Franco. Well you already missed your chance because Oz the Great and Powerful was filmed in Motown Motion Picture Studios already. Even Transformers 4 had most of its filming done in Pontiac. Yeah... missed out, right?
Spend Some Time Downtown
While downtown might not be the most pleasant place to live, it does have some great places to hang out. Just make sure not to get too far off the main roads or hang out after the bars and clubs shut down. Come on people! You're 30 minutes from Detroit. This should be common sense!
Tonic and Club Visions are two of the go-to places downtown. Check out a few reviews and then have a blast. Ahh, so a bit fearful, huh? Never you worry. These places are on the main streets and relatively safe during business hours. You can also enjoy a show at The Crofoot. Seriously, this place has its own Wikipedia page, so it has to be awesome, right?
Getting Around Pontiac
There's honestly not many choices in Pontiac transportation. The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) does, however, operate regional and local bus transit. You could take your bicycle around as well, but make sure you lock it up. Seriously.
For a little break from the city, Amtrak runs its Wolverine train service (yes, that sounds awesome) from Pontiac and travels through Chicago, Battle Creek, and Detroit. Wow... none of those places sound anymore appealing. At least there's stuff to see in Chicago, though! Become a Cubs fan!