Ahhhhh Milwaukee… My old stomping grounds!
I loved living there (after a couple of years) and would move back in a heartbeat if the right opportunity arose.
Parts of town to look into:
“East Side” - pretty much north of Brady Street and east of Humboldt is considered the “East Side”. It’s a young neighborhood, alot of UWM and MIAD students as well as young professionals. I spent a number of years near the Prospect and North Ave area - some great places to live there at pretty good rates. plus you are in walking distance to the lake.
Downtown - is roughly bordered by 794 on the south, the lake on the east, Brady St on the north, and Marquette University on the west. A LOT of condos and new development here - not sure about how bad the housing market was hit, but I personally thought they oversaturated the market with condos and lofts and you may be able to pick up a bargain here.
“Third Ward” - this is where MIAD is located and where I lived in a loft /condo for the last six months I was in MKE. It’s a very trendy place to be, a lot of upscale shops, restaurants, art galleries, etc. But it’s freaking cool to live here - I loved it!
As far as suburbs go:
Wauwatosa (or just “Tosa”) isn’t bad - fairly quiet but still close to downtown.
Bayview – South of downtown and still kind of an up and coming area. I have a few friends that loved there and love it (mix of older folks and next gen hipsters). I never really liked the vibe myself, but to each his own right?
Whitefish Bay (affectionately known as “White Folks Bay”) – not a cookie-cutter suburb as there are a lot of older houses (not McMansions) and it’s a pretty family friendly kind of neighborhood and still fairly close to downtown.
Brookfield – getting into the real suburbs here complete with strip malls and all of that… not my cup of tea.
Those are all the specific parts of town that come to mind right now, but again, I lived there for about ten years and overall I loved it! If you find something specific I’m sure myself and a few others here can give you an honest opinion on it.