Cost-of-Living: Above the National Average


Michigan Retirement Communities


University Commons

817 Asa Gray Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105

University Commons, Situated Close to the University of Michigan Campus and Dedicated to Lifelong Learning, is a Nationally Recognized Model for Active Adult Housing


Ann Arbor, Michigan (population 120,000) is home to the University of Michigan (population 40,000) and is the site of University Commons, a small active adult condominium community with just 92 units (and styles vary).  This life-long learning development was started in the year 2000 by a group of former University of Michigan staff and faculty members and today receives national recognition as a model for active adult housing (it is not, however, officially connected to the University).     Situated on a hill about a block from the University campus, University Commons is open to any one age 55+ or better, but most residents are college graduates and many have had some relationship to the University.




New homes are sold out, but a few re-sales are available.  Prices range from the low-$200,000s for a unit with two bedrooms, two baths and around 1,300 square feet to $369,000 for a unit with two baths, three bedrooms and nearly 2,000 square feet.  Hallways are wide with railings, and each floor has an elevator.  Units are served by a back-up generator as a precaution against power outages, and a full time maintenance crew is available when needed.  Each unit here is designed for independent living; there is no assisted living offered.  Sixty of the condos are located in one large building, and each homeowner has at least one parking space in the parking garage.  Condos known as "town homes" and "villas" have attached garages. Pets are allowed.  Visit www.universitycommons.org for more information.


What makes University Commons special is its wide array of activities that includes recitals, classes, elegant dinners, Shakespeare reading groups and film discussion groups, as well as presentations, lectures and workshops by various guest speakers (many of whom teach at the University). These events are held in Houghton Hall, a 17,000 sq. ft. community gathering space and the social center of the community.  There is also a fulltime community director who ensures that residents have plenty to do.    The community has an exercise room, a craft room, a woodworking shop, a library, seminar rooms and a music hall. 

There are three HOA fees.   The association fee, which covers grounds maintenance, snow removal, sewer, etc., ranges from $275 to $734 per month depending on a unit's square footage.   The program fee covers the coordinating of lectures, music programs and classes, as well as the costs of maintaining the library and classrooms, and is $150 per month.  The AT&T U-verse fee, which is $85 per month, covers TV, internet and telephone services.   There is also a one time $500 association membership fee which is paid when a home is purchased.

Many residents are still employed full time, and others are part-time residents who travel throughout much of the year.  Residents are an eclectic group, with everyone interested in staying in shape mentally and physically and enjoying the close proximity of a vibrant university.

Ann Arbor is a great town, and despite the cold weather, is highly rated for its overall quality of life, including excellent medical facilities, efficient public transportation and an emphasis on healthy living.   Winters see temperatures in the teens and 20s, and it snows up to 12 inches per month from November to March.  Summers are beautiful with temperatures rarely reaching above the mid-80s.   Humidity average 60% in the afternoons, and the sun shines 180 days of the year.

Great Retirement Communities Newsletter is published daily and weekly by Webwerxx, Inc.,  2770 S. Elmira St., Denver, CO  80231. (303) 358-0512.  Copyright 2006-2010.  All rights reserved.  No part of this electronic publication may be reproduced without the express written consent of Webwerxx, Inc.   Various attempts were made to verify the accuracy of the information contained in this report, but some information may have changed since publication.   Webwerxx, Inc. cannot be held responsible for information that has changed since this publication appeared online.    Please contact us at staff@greatretirementcommunities.com if you have questions or comments.  View our privacy policy We are not real estate agents.