There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Michigan:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Michigan, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Wolverine State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Michigan that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Michigan at the moment? That would be Hamtramck according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Michigan for 2019:
- Hamtramck (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hazel Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Oak Park (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Auburn Hills (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Roseville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Holly (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Flat Rock (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Benton Harbor (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Eastpointe (Homes For Sale)
- Rockford (Homes For Sale)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Michigan
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Michigan
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Michigan for 2019?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Michigan. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Michigan with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for Michigan with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 692 cities and towns in Michigan, only 149 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 149 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Hamtramck is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Wolverine State.
Read on for more on these places.
Hamtramck was originally settled by German farmers, but Polish immigrants flooded into the area when the Dodge Brothers plant opened in 1914. Poles used to make up a large proportion of the population. It is sometimes confused with Poletown, a traditional Polish neighborhood, which used to lie mostly in the city of Detroit and includes a small part of Hamtramck. As of the 2010 American Community Survey, 14.5% of Hamtramck’s population is of Polish origin; in 1970, it was 90% Polish.
In October 1882, a group of farmers gathered in a home located at the present-day city hall and had a meeting, requesting for a school to be built. A one-room school was eventually built in 1883 and later expanded to two rooms. In 1884, John W. Benjamine petitioned the state of Michigan to form a school district out of Royal Oak Township. Benjamine, who was Royal Oak Township’s School Inspector, decided to name it Hazel Park School District 8, after the surplus amount of Hazelnut bushes in the area.
This area was designated as within Royal Oak Township; it was first settled by European Americans in 1840, but remained sparsely populated for many decades following. The first major housing development was constructed in 1914 at the time of World War I, when the township sold land to the Majestic Land Company to be developed as the Oak Park subdivision. The subdivision was incorporated as a village on May 3, 1927. Two petition drives during the Great Depression to dissolve the village government and return it to the township, citing “excessively high cost of village government,” failed in 1931 and 1933, respectively. The village incorporated as city on October 29, 1945 following the end of World War II.
In 1908, automobile pioneer John Dodge bought a farmhouse 3 miles northeast of Auburn Heights to use as his country retreat. His oldest child, Winifred Dodge, married real estate baron Wesson Seyburn, who built his own country retreat 2.5 miles north of Auburn Heights. The estate included hunting land, dog kennels, a swimming pool, horse stables, and a 5,000-square-foot Colonial Revival house. Pontiac Township purchased the estate in 1976, and adapted the buildings for government use. Today, it is known as the Auburn Hills Civic Center.
The first permanent post office in the area was established in 1840 by William Rose who named it the Roseville Post Office in honor of his father Dennison Rose, a veteran of the War of 1812.
Flat Rock began as a Wyandot settlement. It was later designated as a reservation for the Wyandot, and still functioned as such in 1830.
Benton Harbor was founded by Henry C. Morton, Sterne Brunson and Charles Hull, who all now have or have had schools named after them. Benton Harbor was mainly swampland bordered by the Paw Paw River, through which a canal was built, hence the “harbor” in the city’s name. In 1860, the village was laid out by Brunson, Morton, Hull and others, and given the name of Brunson Harbor.
The community was first settled by Irish and German immigrants in the 1830s. In October 1897, a Post Office was established there with the name of “Half-way”, as it was near the halfway point of the stage run between downtown Detroit and the Macomb County seat at Mount Clemens. It incorporated as the village of Halfway in December 1924 and reincorporated as the City of East Detroit in January 1929. Prior to 1924, most of the community formed a part of Erin Township. The city changed its name to “Eastpointe” after the change was approved by residents in a 1992 referendum; the name change had been proposed to remove any perceived association with the adjacent city of Detroit; the “pointe” suffix is intended to associate the city instead with the nearby affluent communities of the Grosse Pointes.
The Rockford area was first visited and inhabited by Native American cultures, such as the Hopewell, Mascouten, and Ottawa tribes. There have not been archeological finds of Native American settlements in the Rogue River valley, but their trails branched through the area and were noted by early surveyors.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Michigan for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Michigan. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 692 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
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