Erica MacKinnon and Bill Sneed have lived all over the world and spent a couple of years in a rented Los Angeles duplex considering whether to move to Miami or Seattle, Oakland or Portland, Maine.
Instead, nearly a year ago, the business and life partners packed up and headed to Detroit, which they had visited months earlier in search of computer coders for their small commercial digital-animation company.
“We spent three days in Detroit, and we just fell in love with the city,” said MacKinnon, 38. “We couldn’t believe the mix of the location and the water and the people.” They also appreciated the expansive 90-year-old brick homes priced below most nondescript L.A. bungalows.
Those homes, in Detroit neighborhoods filled with 4,000- to 7,000-square-foot beauties, are in hot demand, both by newcomers to Michigan and Detroit suburbanites.
New residents have come to Detroit from Paris, Panama, New York, Washington and San Francisco, lured to the city by its creative vibe, sense of urban adventure and affordable homes — even when they buy abodes with a butler’s pantry and third-floor servants’ quarters.