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6 Amazing Places to Live on the Outskirts of Ann Arbor

While there are certainly benefits of living in the heart of Ann Arbor, there’s something to be said about living just outside the city. Suburban living gives homeowners a laid-back lifestyle, while still providing access to the happenings downtown, just a short drive away. It’s the best of both worlds!

Ann Arbor is surrounded by an exceptional collection of communities and suburbs, each providing their own unique appeal, including historic downtown areas, sprawling parks, well-maintained neighborhoods, relatively lower housing costs, and a strong sense of community. And the best part? Many are within 15-20 minutes of Ann Arbor!

Let’s take a tour of some of the best places to live on the outskirts of Ann Arbor, examining the amenities and types of homes you can expect to find there.



Dexter, Michigan

Situated just 15 minutes northwest of downtown Ann Arbor along the Huron River, the village of Dexter is the unofficial gateway to the area’s lakes and metroparks, including Mill Creek Park, Dexter-Huron Metropark, and Hudson Mills Metropark. Originally settled in 1824 by Judge Samuel W. Dexter, 13 years before Michigan officially became a state, the village was known simply as Mill Creek Settlement and became known as Dexter six years later. Today, Dexter is home to about 4,600 residents and has a thriving village center with a number of appealing shops, local eateries, and a downtown park with a large gazebo. Downtown Dexter hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the much-anticipated Dexter Daze, which draws thousands of people from all over the county.

A wide variety of wonderful homes can be found throughout the village limits, ranging in style from Victorian and Greek Revival homes close in, to more modern and contemporary residences in newer subdivisions around the edges.

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Situated about 20 minutes southwest of Ann Arbor, the city of Saline consistently appears on “best places to live” lists, for its strong sense of community and excellent schools. Named by the 18th century French explorers who discovered the area’s natural salt springs, Saline simply means “salty.” Since its founding in 1832, Saline grew and eventually became a manufacturing hub, with Faurecia, an auto parts manufacturer, in operation today. Saline Area Schools has a reputation of excellence, which is a significant reason why people choose to move to Saline. Saline schools are among the best in the state of Michigan, and the district was even ranked the #1 Best School District for Athletes in America by Niche. The city is also well-known for its annual Celtic festival during the summer, drawing thousands of people from southeast Michigan and beyond. Saline’s Parks and Recreation Department manages nine parks and a recreation complex, featuring two pools, an indoor track, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts, weight rooms, an aerobics studio, and more.

Many different types of homes can be found throughout the city limits, from historic frame homes in city neighborhoods to spacious executive residences on large suburban lots.

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Chelsea, Michigan Real Estate

With a growing population of about 5,000, the city of Chelsea is a thriving and diverse community built strong by both its agricultural and manufacturing heritage. It has a vibrant downtown, with a mix of shopping, dining, entertainment and other activities and events, including the annual SummerFest and the Sights & Sounds weekly concert series during the summer. Chelsea stands as one of Southeastern Michigan’s finest cities, offering a vibrant and exciting art scene that spans from professional theater and music to exceptional visual arts and arts education opportunities. Chelsea is home to Jeff Daniels’ very own Purple Rose Theater, where you can enjoy professional world-class original American theater almost every day of the week. It is also nationally recognized for The Common Grill, considered one of the state’s best restaurants. Opportunities for recreation are endless in the Chelsea area, as the city is located at the edge of both the Waterloo and Pinckney Recreation areas. This puts a total of more than 30,000 acres of recreation land within reach, for a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, hunting, fishing, and hiking.

Housing in Chelsea includes styles ranging from charming turn of the last century frame homes to newly built neighborhoods.

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Pittsfield Charter Township

Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan Real Estate
Photo Courtesy of Dwight Burdette, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pittsfield Charter Township is just 15 minutes south of downtown, offering convenient access to the city while still providing that secluded suburban feel. The township encompasses more than 27 square miles and contains nearly 40,000 residents, making this a large, diverse community with a variety of housing options. And all residents enjoy easy access to Ann Arbor and nearby towns, including Ypsilanti and Saline. Pittsfield Township offers a unique blend of residential living and commercial growth, with conveniences like grocery stores, home improvement stores, gas stations, restaurants, and more, within reach for residents. Plus, travelers are just minutes away from the Ann Arbor Municipal Airport. The township has an excellent park system, with a number of beautiful parks to explore, including Lillie Park, Montibeller Park, Pittsfield Township Park, Prairie Park, Woolley Park, and more.

Due to its size, Pittsfield Charter Township has a variety of housing options, with more affordable prices than Ann Arbor. There are many new construction communities in the area, with homes situated on larger lots. Some homes back to undeveloped areas, providing a beautiful rural backdrop, visible from the backyard or on the drive to and from home.



Ypsilanti, Michigan Real Estate

With a combined population of about 74,000, Ypsilanti and the adjacent Ypsilanti Township represent some of Michigan’s best and most interesting hidden gems, including dining destinations, outdoor recreation, historic attractions, craft breweries and events. Ypsilanti (pronounced ip-si-LAN-tee) consistently makes “best of” lists in almost every category and it’s no wonder as to why. Ypsi is also home to Eastern Michigan University, creating a lively college-town atmosphere focused on education. With 12 parks in the city, and another 30 in the surrounding township, recreational opportunities abound.

Many housing styles and ages are found in the Ypsilanti area, from stately Italianate and Queen Anne examples to newly built neighborhoods. If you’re looking for more guidance on the city’s neighborhoods, check out 6 Great Neighborhoods in Ypsilanti, Michigan!

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Milan, Michigan Real Estate

A growing city of about 6,000, Milan straddles the Washtenaw/Monroe County line, providing its residents with ready access to Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Monroe, and greater Detroit. Founded in 1831 as an agricultural community, Milan has evolved into a community of small business owners and professionals working in other locations. This small community boasts tree-lined streets, a charming historic downtown, beautiful parks, and excellent schools. The idyllic and colorful downtown is lined with local boutiques, eateries, coffee shops and other small businesses. The city maintains nearly 200 acres of parkland, including Milan Nature Park and Wilson Park, which are located along the scenic Saline River.

About half of the homes in Milan were built prior to 1959, but there are a number of new single-family and condominium communities throughout the city. All enjoy easy access to the heart of downtown, as well as US-23, which connects Milan to nearby cities.

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Can We Help?

Reinhart Realtors has a team of Realtors working throughout Ann Arbor and its surrounding communities. They are knowledgeable about the region, including everything from local attractions to school districts. Contact us to be connected with one of our agents!

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