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Is Condo Ownership in Your Future as an Ann Arbor University Student?

You could own a condo in beautiful Brentwood SquareAt the moment, you (and your parents) may still be celebrating your admission to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor Medical School or a graduate or undergraduate program.  You are confident that you will be getting a great education while living in a pleasant, smaller town less than 30 minutes from the Detroit airport.  You know that soon, very soon, you will be pulling out your checkbook to reserve your place in the university and secure your housing arrangements. 

As you briefly scan the university website, you learn that the minimum room price for the 2010-2011 academic year is $5,032 for nine months or $5,885 for 12 months for a room with three occupants.  As a graduate student, your minimal housing cost will run $800 per month.  Given the number of reasonably priced condos in Ann Arbor, buying a condominium might be a viable option, especially if you are enrolled in a program that will run several years.

At this time, there are over 240 listings priced under $150,000 in the 90 complexes around the city.  Whether you want high rise styling, a townhome, a stacked ranch, or something in between, there are many exciting choices in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area.  Even if your plan is to sell the place in three or four years, you can realize tax advantages while gaining privacy and space.  If you are married and/or have children, you might also be concerned about having a place for the kids to play.  Some student housing apartments offer play areas, but there's nothing like having your own space.

A quick tour of The Bouma Group website offers a glimpse of the available properties in your price range.  Many have video as well as pictures, so you will be able to compare both the interior and exterior, as well as see how close the location is to the University.  Here are a few selections well under $150,000: 

Arbor Heights:  Located on the southeast side of Ann Arbor near Packard and Carpenter streets, this 48 unit complex is built in the "stacked ranch" design around a central courtyard.  The complex is close to both bus routes and the highway.  Right now there is a condo available for $65,000.

Brentwood Square:  This group of 80 townhomes located on the east side is set in usually beautiful surroundings, yet has stores like Whole Foods and Barnes and Noble within walking distance.  The University is a short bus commute away.

Crossings of Ann Arbor:  Crossings complex offers 62 units, all remodeled in the past 10 years, set on beautiful grounds that you don't have to maintain.  All units are within walking distance of the University of Michigan Medical Center, Campus and downtown.

Woodland Meadows:  Located just off S. Main Street, selected by the American Planning Association as one of the Top Best Streets in America, Woodland Meadows condos are near shopping.  Many are retrofitted with cherry cabinets and all appliances; there is a fitness center with a pool, plus a beautiful view with a pond.  Some units are even available as rentals.

Weatherstone Condominiums:  Located in Pittsfield Township, near Lohr and Oak Valley Roads, this 302-unit complex offers stacked ranches up to $200,000, but there are many nice units in the lower price ranges.

If you (or your parents) see the wisdom of ownership as an alternative to campus housing, Martin Bouma will run the numbers for you.  Whether you are buying or selling your home, the Bouma Group can help you with your real estate needs in Ann Arbor, as well as keep you up to date about Washtenaw County and Ann Arbor neighborhoods.  Visit our website at and check out our Condo Hotline to get a handle on the Ann Arbor condo market.

Posted Thursday, May 13, 2010 by Martin Bouma