Is Detroit, MI a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in Detroit

Detroit, MI, once the powerhouse of the American automotive industry, has undergone significant transformation in recent years. Today, it stands as a city on the brink of renewal, with a growing arts scene, historic architecture, and a resilient spirit that defines its identity. But is Detroit a good place to live? While the city provides an energetic urban lifestyle, it also presents its own set of challenges. In this Redfin article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in Detroit to help you decide if it’s the right place for you.

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Quick Facts about Detroit

Median home sale price $85,000
Average monthly rent $1,655
Walk Score 51/100
Transit Score 36/100
Bike Score 52/100

1. Pro: Rich history

From its pivotal role in the automotive industry, shaping the course of American history, to its contributions to music, art, and civil rights, Detroit’s past is infused with a blend of innovation, resilience, and creativity. Exploring the city’s historic sites, from the Henry Ford Museum to the iconic Michigan Central Station, offers a window into the remarkable journey of a city that has faced.

2. Con: Limited grocery stores

Detroit faces a shortage of large grocery store chains, leaving many neighborhoods underserved by major retailers. This lack of accessible supermarket options not only inconveniences residents but also contributes to food deserts in certain areas, exacerbating issues of food insecurity and limited access to fresh produce.

3. Pro: Affordable cost of living

One of the major advantages of living in Detroit is its affordable cost of living, with a median home sale price of $85,000. Housing prices are significantly lower compared to other major cities, making it an attractive option for first-time homebuyers. The lower cost of living extends to other expenses as well, such as groceries and utilities, allowing residents to enjoy a higher quality of life without breaking the bank.

4. Con: Population density

One of the challenges of living in Detroit is its relatively high population density, which can lead to congestion and limited space in certain neighborhoods. The dense urban environment may result in increased noise levels and reduced privacy for residents.

5. Pro: Music and art

From the soulful rhythms of Motown to the cutting-edge sounds of the underground music scene, Detroit offers a diverse array of musical experiences. Art lovers can explore renowned institutions like the Detroit Institute of Arts, home to masterpieces by world-class artists. Alternatively, they can immerse themselves in the city’s thriving street art scene, where colorful murals adorn building facades throughout the city.

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6. Con: Public transportation

Public transportation in Detroit is limited and can be unreliable, with a transit score of 36 indicating minimal options available. The city’s bus system, while extensive, often suffers from delays and infrequent service, making commuting without a car challenging, especially for those living in neighborhoods far from the city center.

7. Pro: Sports and entertainment

Detroit is a sport lover’s paradise, boasting a rich tradition of athletic prowess. From the roar of the crowd at Ford Field, home to the Detroit Lions football team, to the electrifying atmosphere of Little Caesars Arena, where fans cheer on the Detroit Red Wings hockey team and the Detroit Pistons basketball team, The city offers thrilling sporting experiences year-round, making Detroit a good place to live.

8. Con: Harsh winters

Detroit’s winters can be harsh, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. The cold weather can make daily activities more challenging and can be particularly tough on those unaccustomed to such conditions. Snow removal can also be an issue in some neighborhoods, leading to difficult driving and walking conditions.

9. Pro: Strong community spirit

Despite its challenges, Detroit boasts a strong sense of community spirit. Residents are known for their resilience and pride in their city, often coming together to support local initiatives and events such as the annual Detroit Jazz Festival or the Motor City Pride Parade. Neighborhood associations like the Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision empower residents to take ownership of their communities and advocate for positive change.

10. Con: Limited retail options

While Detroit is making strides in revitalizing its commercial areas, there are still limited retail options in some parts of the city. Many residents find themselves traveling to the suburbs for shopping, which can be inconvenient. The lack of major retail stores and shopping centers within the city limits can be a drawback for those who prefer having a variety of options close to home.


Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.

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