I'm graduating in April and am looking at heading to Detroit after I graduate. I know the job market isn't the best, but I've always felt like Detroit was "my city" even though I've never lived there. I want to be a part of the re-building of the city and help make it what it used to be. Those of you who live there, what do you guys think of the city? Any idea on the job market for Accountants there? Any information that might help me would be greatly appreciated.
There are some nice things happening in Detroit and the surrounding area now. I live in Ann Arbor, and have seen the job market improving steadily. YMMV, I do technical things, not accounting. I have had major luck with finding FT jobs in Ann Arbor on Craigslist. You might try that.
You also would probably really like living in Corktown. I have some friends that live there and love it. Good luck to you!
I lived in downtown detroit for many years. There's a lot to love living downtown, even more now than when lived down there in the mid/late 90s. There's a lot going on, especially in the University District by Wayne State, but in other areas too like Corktown as the previous poster mentioned. There are a lot of great restaurants and bars, Eastern Market, sporting events, all the parades, easy access to the DIA, DFT and other museums and libraries. There's a lot to like.
On the other hand there are some things to be aware of too. Get a place with secure parking. If you rely on street parking, your car WILL get broken into at some point, likely at several points. Plan on paying a lot more for your car insurance, renter's insurance, etc. It's gotten quite a bit better than when I lived there, but in some areas you're hard pressed to find a good grocery store -- I used Eastern Market. Depending on the area you're in, the constant badgering by the panhandlers gets old after a while.
I had some fantastic times living in the city, and I missed it sorely when I moved out. Of course, some of the other stuff above I didn't miss at all. When I decided to buy a house, I very much wanted to buy in the area I had been living in Detroit. But when you do the math, it's hard to make financial sense of it. There's a 1.5% city income tax if you live in the city, and another 1.5% if you work in the city. That's a total of 3%, for which you get very little in city services. Auto and home insurance rates are completely red-lined. Security IS an issue, maybe more maybe less depending on the area you live in. Police other emergency response services are stretched very thin.
I don't bring these things up to rip on Detroit. Like I said, I absolutely loved living there. But there are some things you have to be realistic about too. Unfortunately Detroit is in the difficult spot of having to provide city services to a city that is still physically the same size it was when there were several million people living there and many, many more businesses. The costs of running a city that size are high and the tax base is low. But there are more and more good things happening in Detroit every year. I amazed at the number of new businesses that have replaced the burned out buildings in my old neighborhood. So I say go for it. It's a great time. But do it being realistic of both the pros and the cons up front.
As the above poster noted, don't discount the violence factor in Detroit. It's sad to say but over the last few years most of the high profile incidents have involved school gangs and their behavior. I wouldn't raise a family there.
I find the City of Detroit as a great place. True it has fell on hard times and has had a poverty issue for the past few decades. Detroit form a Detroiters stand point is an amazingly cultural and diverse place to live. The art community is very active. The higher education is amazing and many of the suburb school districts are ranked highest in the country. I love that there are people like who want to come and help the city rebuild
If you are planning on raising a family in the near future, I would recommend not living in Detroit. Their schools are beyond pathetic and there are very few nice neighborhoods. There are plenty of very nice suburban areas to raise a family.
My advice would be don't try to be a hero and start a renaissance yourself. There are a lot of problems the city needs to get through before anything resembling a renaissance happens.
If you are just graduating, are single, and really want to live in Detroit, do it now. There is a lot of fun to be had in the city, and there are a lot of opportunities to enjoy the bohemian lifestyle in relative safety. That is to say that there is a lot of affordable housing with urban character downtown. I'm not talking about the neighborhoods here. That is drug dealer territory, and it is where the bulk of the violent crime happens. I'm talking about downtown proper.
I lived in Fox Town for five years in the late nineties. It was remarkably safe from violent crime since it was an entertainment center, and there was a strong police presence as a result. It is even more built up now. The worst thing you generally have to worry about in such downtown areas is panhandlers. That is not to say you should not be on your toes. Everywhere you go in the city, you are at least close to (if not in) a dangerous place. However, again, most of the real nastiness happens to the North, where there is drug territory worth fighting over.
As others have stated, though, it is not a place you would choose to raise a family. So, I say sew those wild oats and earn some awesome stories. Then, in a few years when you're ready to settle down, move up to Ferndale, Royal Oak, or Berkley, and tell those stories to your friends while you're driving around downtown looking for a cheap and safe place to park for the Lions game.