These Are The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In Michigan For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in Michigan have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

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Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers.

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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 St. Clair Shores according to our analysis.

Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Michigan:

  1. St. Clair Shores (Photos | Homes)
  2. Ferndale (Photos | Homes)
  3. Fenton (Photos | Homes)
  4. Allen Park (Photos | Homes)
  5. Southfield (Photos | Homes)
  6. Dearborn (Photos | Homes)
  7. Tecumseh (Photos | Homes)
  8. Fraser (Homes)
  9. Wyoming (Photos | Homes)
  10. Swartz Creek (Homes)

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.

If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in Michigan and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Michigan.

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How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Michigan?

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 2012-2016 and compared it to the previous vintage (2011-2015). 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:

So of the 692 cities and towns in Michigan, only 21 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 21 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 St. Clair Shores is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Wolverine State.

Read on for more on these places.

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1. St. Clair Shores

St. Clair Shores, MI

Population: 59,916
Median Home Price: $102,400
Population Change: 0.0%
Home Price Change: 7.8%
More on St. Clair Shores: PhotosReal Estate | Data

2. Ferndale

Ferndale, MI

Population: 20,167
Median Home Price: $111,000
Population Change: 0.0%
Home Price Change: 11.6%
More on Ferndale: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Native Americans were early inhabitants of the area now known as the City of Ferndale. In the 1800s farmers began cultivating the land. After the invention of the automobile and the development of the automotive assembly line, the population of Ferndale increased rapidly.

3. Fenton

Fenton, MI

Population: 11,471
Median Home Price: $108,500
Population Change: -0.6%
Home Price Change: 6.7%
More on Fenton: PhotosReal Estate | Data

It was first established in 1834 and was originally named Dibbleville after Clark Dibble, one of the first settlers. It was platted in 1837 as Fentonville by William M. Fenton who would later become lieutenant-governor of Michigan. When the settlement was incorporated as a village in 1863 the name Fenton was used. The settlement’s post office used the name Fentonville from 1837 until 1886, when it adopted the current name.

4. Allen Park

Allen Park, MI

Population: 27,519
Median Home Price: $99,800
Population Change: -0.6%
Home Price Change: 4.5%
More on Allen Park: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Allen Park was incorporated as a village in 1927, and as a city in 1957. It was named after Lewis Allen, a well-to-do lawyer and lumberman whose 276½ acres of land (primarily in Ecorse Township) included holdings in what are now Allen Park and Melvindale. Hubert Champaign (for whom Champaign Park is named) and Edward Pepper were two other early residents of the area.

5. Southfield

Southfield, MI

Source: Public domain

Population: 73,055
Median Home Price: $113,100
Population Change: 0.3%
Home Price Change: 6.9%
More on Southfield: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Southfield was surveyed in 1817 according to the plan by Michigan territorial governor Lewis Cass. The first settlers came from nearby Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan, as well as the states of New York and Vermont. The area that would become Southfield was settled by John Daniels in 1823. Among the founders were the Heth, Stephens, Harmon, McClelland and Thompson families.|Town 1 north, 10 east was first organized as Ossewa Township on July 12, 1830, but the name was changed seventeen days later to Southfield Township. The township took its name from its location in the ‘south fields’ of Bloomfield Township. A US post office was established in 1833 and the first town hall built in 1873.

6. Dearborn

Dearborn, MI

Population: 95,520
Median Home Price: $112,200
Population Change: -0.6%
Home Price Change: 6.0%
More on Dearborn: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The area had been inhabited for thousands of years by varying indigenous peoples. Historical tribes belonged mostly to the Algonquian-language family, although the Huron were Iroquoian speaking. French colonists had a trading post and developed Detroit during the colonial period, trading with numerous regional tribes. This settlement was ceded to Britain in 1763 after its victory in the Seven Years’ War.|The Dearborn area was settled permanently by Europeans in 1786, after the American Revolutionary War. Population growth led to the formation of Dearborn Township in 1833 and the village of Dearbornville in 1836, each named after patriot Henry Dearborn, a General in the American Revolution and Secretary of War under President Thomas Jefferson. The town of Dearborn was incorporated in 1893.

7. Tecumseh

Tecumseh, MI

Population: 8,370
Median Home Price: $112,600
Population Change: -0.3%
Home Price Change: 6.3%
More on Tecumseh: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The boundaries of Lenawee County were laid out by a proclamation of the Territorial Governor, Lewis Cass on September 10, 1822. Lenawee remained attached to Monroe County, out of which it was formed, until an act of the Territorial Legislature passed on December 26, 1826, organized the county government.

8. Fraser


Population: 14,620
Median Home Price: $121,000
Population Change: 0.3%
Home Price Change: 8.5%
More on Fraser: Real Estate | Data

The Village of Fraser was incorporated by an act of the state legislature in 1894. The city was named for a lawyer from Detroit. The City of Fraser was established by home rule charter November 7, 1956, and adopted by the electors on December 26, 1956.

9. Wyoming

Wyoming, MI

Population: 74,692
Median Home Price: $100,600
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 2.2%
More on Wyoming: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The area that is now the city of Wyoming was established first in 1832 and was one of the first populated areas in the county. Over the course of the next 16 years the area was incorporated as the Township of Byron. During this time the area that is now Grandville was populated at first by mills that used the Buck Creek to power its mills. In 1848 the township of Byron split with the name of Wyoming being used for the northern half. The name came from the Wyoming County, New York from which the majority of the residents came during the first 16 years. During this time the Township of Walker to the north took over a small portion of the new township as it was north of the Grand River and the ability to manage that land would be difficult.|During the ensuing 50 years the township of Wyoming grew up slowly. The Grandville settlement in the northwest corner of the township grew the most and by 1884 had become the Village of Grandville and by 1893 had separated from the township. The City of Grandville was able to expand to its present size when it was able to grab land halfway between Byron Center and Ivanrest avenues a year before the township was incorporated as a city. Only the panhandle section from south of 50th Street was allowed to stay in the township and small effort was used to annex that section to Grandville that failed. In 1870 a settlement known as Fisher’s Station developed around a station on the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. It got a post office in 1871 and was platted in 1873.

10. Swartz Creek

Swartz Creek, MI

Population: 5,617
Median Home Price: $108,200
Population Change: -0.3%
Home Price Change: 2.6%
More on Swartz Creek: Real Estate | Data

The Indians travel the trail that paralleled the Swartz Creek to reach the maple trees on what would later be the Crapo Farm and to fish, fruit gathering and hunting while the trail terminated in the Lansing area.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Michigan

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.

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Michigan

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
St. Clair Shores 1 $102,400 0.0% 7.8%
Ferndale 2 $111,000 0.0% 11.6%
Fenton 3 $108,500 -0.6% 6.7%
Allen Park 4 $99,800 -0.6% 4.5%
Southfield 5 $113,100 0.3% 6.9%
Dearborn 6 $112,200 -0.6% 6.0%
Tecumseh 7 $112,600 -0.3% 6.3%
Fraser 8 $121,000 0.3% 8.5%
Wyoming 9 $100,600 0.8% 2.2%
Swartz Creek 10 $108,200 -0.3% 2.6%
Grand Rapids 11 $113,600 0.8% 3.8%
Auburn Hills 12 $121,000 1.2% 6.3%
Flat Rock 13 $115,100 -0.4% 4.5%
Norton Shores 14 $114,100 0.5% 3.3%
Marshall 15 $109,000 0.1% 0.6%
Ludington 16 $111,200 -0.0% 0.7%
Holland 17 $121,900 0.2% 4.9%
Flushing 18 $115,000 -0.9% 3.0%
St. Johns 19 $120,300 -0.0% 3.8%
Marysville 20 $116,500 -0.2% 3.1%
Grand Haven 21 $121,400 0.3% 2.7%

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