Frequently Asked Questions

Tell me about University Commons

University Commons is a 92-unit condominium community near the University of Michigan campus, founded by faculty members and built on land purchased from the University. Residents are 55 years of age or older, and are graduates of an accredited 4-year college or university.

The University Commons’ site was purchased from the University of Michigan, however, University Commons is a separate entity. Residents of University Commons are not necessarily connected to the University of Michigan.

No. University Commons is a condominium community. Assisted living facilities typically offer regular meals, housekeeping and laundry services, and transportation, as well as emergency pull cords, assistance with medications, bathing, dressing and daily chores. University Commons offers NONE of these services.

No. The Commons does not provide any on-site medical or nursing services with the exception of flu shots.

University Commons is a smoke-free property both inside and outside. Employees, Caregivers, Contractors and others who must smoke may do so in a vehicle if the vehicle is fully enclosed (no open doors or windows) and the vehicle is not in the Woodbridge garage. This policy will be effective on October 10, 2019.

The founders of University Commons envisioned an active adult community where residents can engage in intellectual exchange and immerse themselves in learning and cultural events. This led to the inclusion of a 17,000 square feet common space called Houghton Hall, which hosts a rich and varied schedule of cultural, educational and social events.  Part of the effort to foster community involvement includes occasional catered dinners.   These are optional and are at an additional cost to the resident. Dining with a group provides an especially nice evening when combined with a lecture or concert.  Catered meals are typically offered twice a month.

Located on a hill and surrounded by thirteen acres of hardwood forest and natural wetlands are five acres of community buildings.  The site is about one mile from a well-maintained Ann Arbor city park and golf course, and about one block from a university commuter lot and its campus bus service. City bus service is available at the entrance to the Commons.

They are a diverse group. Some moved into UC from their Ann Arbor homes. Others come from cities and states around the U.S., and a few from other countries. Some are still actively working, while others are fully retired. Many travel a great deal, some own second homes, and many engage in volunteer work in the Ann Arbor community. The one thing they all share in common is a love for living in a lifelong learning community.

Call or e-mail the Community Director’s office (734-332-1221 or 817asagray@gmail.com) and ask for a resident-led tour of UC’s grounds and common areas. Tours do not enter any units. You can also check additional information on this website under “About” and “Gallery”.

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Are there restrictions on who can live here or on unit modifications?

No, a connection to the University is not required. Buyers/owners must be at least 55 years old and be degreed alumni of an accredited four-year college or university.

No. Only one person in the couple need qualify as a buyer/owner. The other person must, however, be a qualified occupant. A qualified occupant is a person who meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • meets the requirements of a qualified buyer/owner
  • is a spouse or companion of a qualified buyer/owner
  • is a surviving spouse or companion of a qualified owner, if the unit was owned prior to the passing.

Yes. In general, residents may have one dog or up to two cats.  There is an exception for new residents when they first take possession of a unit. They are allowed to bring two dogs or one dog and one cat, and keep them until one of the pets dies.  Animals must be on a leash at all times. When walking the animals, residents must immediately collect and dispose of all fecal material.

All changes to the exterior of a unit and some changes to the interior of a unit must be approved by the UC Board of Directors. This includes carpeting and hard flooring surfaces. In any case, master bedrooms must be carpeted.

The large building (Woodbridge) has a heated parking garage. Each of the 60 units in Woodbridge has at least one parking space and the 8 largest units have two spaces. The Townhomes and Villas have attached garages (a 1-car or 2-car garage). In any case, vehicles may not be stored or parked in driveways or on the street over night.

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What can I expect to pay as a Resident/Member of University Commons?

Here at University Commons, there are three monthly fees: the association fee, the program fee, and the AT&T U-verse fee. The amount of the monthly association fee is variable from unit to unit and is based on the square footage of each unit. The monthly program fee is the same for all units. The monthly AT&T U-verse fee is the same for all units and provides a significant cost savings to residents on their TV, internet, and telephone services. There is also a one-time $500 association membership fee which is paid when a Purchase and Sale Agreement is executed.

  • The monthly association fee is comprehensive and covers many services and expenses, such as maintenance of the grounds, some in-home services (e.g. annual replacement of furnace filters), contracted services (e.g. semi-annual exterior window cleaning, snow removal), water and sewer costs for all units, and the services of a professional management company which specializes in condominium management. In addition, a portion of the monthly association fee goes into the Replacement Reserve, a long-term fund which provides monies for capital expenditures not budgeted for as part of the annual maintenance and repair budget.
  • The monthly program fee goes toward the cost of a part-time business assistant and a full-time Community Director who coordinates lectures, music programs, and classes. It also goes toward the costs of maintaining the library, shop, classrooms, and the dining and recital/lecture halls. It provides the funding for post-lecture receptions and a special biennial event, the Asa Gray Lecture. All of UC’s events are available to residents and their guests at no charge. Special events may occasionally have a fee.
  • The monthly AT&T U-verse fee pays for high definition TV for each unit (over 200 TV entertainment channels) and program recording capability for up to 2 TV sets; 15 Mbps internet for each unit; and unlimited phone service for each unit, which includes long distance for US and Canada.
  • The one-time association membership fee goes into a Restricted Fund which is used for educational and program related expenses. For example, in 2008, a new sound system was installed in UC’s Lecture Hall. Software and equipment are periodically updated.

No. Unit owners pay their own real estate taxes directly.

No. Units are independently owned.

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Tell me about Condominiums?

The association is a legal corporation organized and incorporated under the laws of your state or commonwealth. The association has Articles of Incorporation that entitle the association to exercise powers of a corporation. By purchasing a home within your community association, you automatically become a member of the association and will remain so for as long as you own your home. Membership in the association is mandatory and automatic for all owners. The deed to each lot and/or parcel specifically designates that the property owner will comply with the Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R’s) of the association. You should have received a copy of these documents at the time your home purchase was closed by the title company. As a property owner in a community association, you will be required to pay assessments, abide by the community’s rules and restrictions and maintain those areas of your home for which you are responsible.

Your management company has a Resale Department with individuals whose main objective is to help your buyer and yourself complete your transaction in a timely manner. They can provide documents required in a sale. Check our Buying & Selling section for more specific information.

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University Commons
817 Asa Gray Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
(734) 332-1221
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