The University of Michigan offers it’s own off-campus housing guide at: http://offcampus.umich.edu
Additionally, Housing Ann Arbor (housingannarbor.com) lists many of the local management companies or available apartments.
North and Medical Campuses
The Department of Chemical Engineering is on North Campus and at NCRC (North Campus Research Complex). Most graduate students live near North campus or the medical campus, which is nearby.
The most popular locations for a lot of graduate students are Traver Ridge or Northwood. Northwood is one of the two university-run graduate housing systems. Northwood is fairly convenient to both North Campus and NCRC but is kind of out of the way of any other areas.
Apartment complexes is this area aren’t brand new but are decently priced, most include parking and are a short drive or bus ride to lab. North campus/north Ann Arbor does have a few good restaurants but isn’t comparable to downtown.
Central Campus/Downtown Ann Arbor
Your options on central campus will be a bit more limited as reasonable leases are signed very quickly. This area is the most expensive in Ann Arbor due to location and as desirable undergrad housing.
Munger Graduate Residences are a popular option in this area and the second university-run graduate housing system. You do have to apply for a room, but the application is simple. Munger is slightly more expensive than North Campus options and does not have parking for cars.
South Campus (or the athletic campus)
Rent can be cheaper here but it’s much further away from labs. This is a very popular area for undergrads and is busy during football season, so avoid it if those don’t sound appealing.
Kerrytown, a little north of downtown, has a decent number of options while still being residential. Kerrytown is also home to the Ann Arbor farmer’s market. You can easily walk to central campus and bus stops.
The westside of Ann Arbor has a more graduate student, and family residential vibe to it, depending on how far west you go. It tends to be quieter but a longer commute, but a lot of new development is focused in south and west Ann Arbor.
Outside Ann Arbor
A few students choose to live in Ypsilanti, which is the town east of Ann Arbor. It’s much cheaper, but also not quite as safe and is a longer commute.
Additional useful links as you search for housing:
Take a look at padmapper.com, apartmentlist.com, ApartmentAdvisor, RentCafe, and craigslist (Ann Arbor). Look both in the rentals and sublets sections. Also, check out U-M Campus Housing, Ann Arbor Observer City Guide – Ann Arbor Apartments, and MLive- Rental Living (homes).
Word of mouth is often a good way to find good places, and more importantly, reliable roommates!