See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Royal abodes 

Best Neighborhood to Buy a New House / Most Walkable Neighborhood
Royal Oak

One would suppose that Royal Oak has a walkable downtown (as long as you’re not playing chicken with the trains). But as far as residential neighborhoods go, a sizable portion of Royal Oak consists of a colorless grid of aluminum-sided postwar bungalows (aka “Victory” homes) interspersed with some momentary dwellings of architectural distinction and a surfeit of ersatz-town home-style condos (many of the exteriors of which have languished due to the developer’s financial dilemmas). In any event, Royal Oak certainly warrants being chosen as the best neighborhood to buy a new house, if you’re looking to purchase one of the aforementioned overpriced bungalows or expensive brick condos with weeds for landscaping. The Royal Oak residential real-estate boom caught fire about eight years ago and has yet to cool off, so don’t look for too many bargains. This should really be called “most driveable to,” as the true lineage of Royal Oak’s popularity (pedestrian postwar bungalows notwithstanding) lies in its geographic location at the epicenter of metro Detroit’s autobahn system (i.e. I-696, I-75 and Woodward). Just a few feet from your doorstep are the keys to miles and miles of high-speed freeways and eight-lane arteries, eager to whisk you off to exotic ports of call such as Dearborn, Center Line or Auburn Hills. And if you choose to stay home, you have a plethora of theme restaurants, bars, coffee shops and a dwindling selection of retail survivors from which to choose. While the high rents continue to drive many businesses down Woodward to Ferndale (SoRo), the possibility that the liquor license moratorium may soon be lifted has metro Detroit club- and bar-owners licking their chops. Which, in turn, makes bar patrons even more pleased that the town is “most walkable.”

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit