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5 Suburbs In Michigan To Get A Home UNDER $200,000 (Not Detroit)

It’s no secret home prices are up there. This market has your uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents, saying it’s how much for that cracker box? I’m sure some of you can relate to that comment as you proceed through your home search scraping for every ounce of advice you can get. Most people in southeast Michigan jump on a home search site, set a price limit and just look all over the region for something that is actually affordable and livable, and not in Detroit. So I figured I would tackle 5 of the most popular suburbs in southeast Michigan that my clients find themselves in to get a home under $200,000. Some of these may surprise you.

What’s going on everyone, Andrew McManamon here a Michigan Realtor, educating people to help move in, out and all around the fine state of Michigan. When people think about homes under $200,000 in southeast Michigan, they assume I’m referring to places like Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Warren or some of the smaller nearby suburbs to Detroit, and I’m here to say that is not the case today. Be sure to stick around until the end, because I’ll talk about one of the fastest growing areas in Michigan right now that you probably won’t believe.


The first area I wanted to talk about which isn’t an area in particular but something I want to raise awareness about to find affordable housing, and that’s townships that are on the outskirts of desirable cities. I have come to realize that a lot of people overlook these opportunities. Zillow and aren’t like this I don’t think, I don’t use them too much of course,  but when you set up a home search with a Realtor’s help you might say you want a home in Brighton, Howell or Hartland, but what a lot of time is being left off is all the other townships that surround those cities of interest. For example, when it comes to Brighton, there’s 4 townships that surround it: Green Oak township, Genoa township, Hamburg township and Brighton Township.

And you might be thinking, well I don’t want to be that far out from the city, but the reality is a lot of these areas are 5-10 minutes from downtown, so it’s compromising  just a little bit, especially in a market where the inventory is lacking substantially.

Cities and villages tend to be more expensive as not only do they have separate property taxes, they are also in more desirable spots. For example, a lot of people love Clarkston, but no one talks about Independence Township which surrounds Clarkston and is a lot more affordable, as Clarkston continues to be more and more desirable and unaffordable. When you watch all those HGTV or realtor reality tv shows, they say location, location, location, which is all fine and dandy if everyone wasn’t getting priced out of those locations, so the next place to look are the townships that surround those cities, because I have talked with several buyers who then just default to cities or communities way out there and no one has heard of, that adds 40 minutes to their work commute,  instead of looking into all the nooks and crannies available in southeast Michigan. I’m not saying it’s always overlooked, just be aware of these as you continue to search around.


The second area a lot of people are flocking to under $200,000 is Ferndale. I’ve talked about Ferndale and Royal Oak quite a bit and they are becoming more and more popular by the day for several reasons, and I link a few videos talking about them below. The only thing I want to reiterate is a lot of the homes in these areas were built prior to the 1950’s. And with that being said, I have found more times than not, the foundations of the homes are pretty brutal. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and find a home that took the necessary steps to ensure the foundation doesn’t settle anymore with supports and drain systems, others have neglected it and tried to put a temporary bandaid on it or simply disclose that it just gets a lot of water during heavy rains.

Don’t let this scare you away, because it’s highly situational of who has owned the property, I’m simply telling you my experience, just keep an eye out if you take a look out that way. I’ve talked a lot about being strategic in this housing market in my other videos being as homes are being sold at a premium and putting an investor hat on essentially by thinning about ways that you could reasonably add value to the home so when you do go to sell it, you’ve added enough to create extra value for the person wanting to purchase it. A lot of these homes still maintain a lot of their original features, which allows you to restore and update accordingly, which is a plus for sure. 


The third area I wanted to make sure I mentioned are some of the downriver communities. For those of you that don’t know the phrase “downriver” it’s the communities located along the Detroit river. A lot of these areas get a horrible reputation because when people think downriver they think it’s just an extension of Detroit and that is not the case. Areas such as Trenton, Brownstown, Wyandotte, and Southgate. I’m not oblivious that there are some downriver communities that are neglected, but these communities always have people saying, wait how’s this south Detroit. Maybe it’s journey’s song don’t stop believing’ that started it all. You can get a reasonable home for under $200,000 in these areas, Brownstown is borderline more expensive than the others, but nonetheless, it’s not going to have you saying it’s how much for a 2 bedroom,1 bathroom home with no garage or basement? Each of these places have their own communities, and I firmly believe it will be a place a lot more people continue to move to as homes continue to become more and more unaffordable. 


The fourth community I wanted to shed some light on that a lot of my clients are moving to get their hands on a home under $200,000 is Waterford.  I have had several clients move to this area over the last several years to secure a home. It’s close to several of the lakes in southeast Michigan, many of them have lake access too. This community doesn’t have a downtown, but it is a location that is in the center of all the action and that’s what my clients appreciated while being able to get a home around $200,000. When you set your criteria to homes at $200,000 or just a little over, Waterford tends to yield a lot of the results outside of Pontiac, which is nice in this market where inventory is so slim and you get 1 or 2 homes that pop up in your area of interest and you think you have to just settle because the options are limited, it’s not so much the case with Waterford. Granted the whole market is down in homes for sale, but Waterford has more than most.


The last community or area I wanted to mention, is that pocket or border between Livonia, Redford, and Westland. Livonia is the most desirable of the 3 areas, but I have found there’s been some budget friendly homes that are on the border of Livonia and get all the benefits of Livonia while being just a little bit toward the next nearby city, similar to if you’re looking in the Farmington/Farmington Hills area, but it’s right on the Southfield border. And it’s not just these areas that have that possibility, there’s several throughout southeast Michigan, similar to when I mentioned to keep an eye on townships, do the same with nearby cities. As I have mentioned time and time again, when it comes to Michigan, a lot of times the only reason you know you’re in a new city or township is when you see a sign, otherwise, they could look fairly seamless into one another. Some metro Detroit locals may not agree with me on that, and of course, I would always tell you to do your due diligence, ask for a Realtor’s expertise, and see if it’s an area that works best for you and your wants and needs. I simply want to create awareness to all these nooks and crannies that have affordable housing in a world where housing doesn’t seem to be that way. 


Before you run away, I wanted to talk about the fastest growing areas in Michigan right now. Aside from Novi being number one on the list, it’s followed by two other southeast Michigan cities. Dearborn comes in at number 2 with a population change of 12.07% from 2010 to 2020, and number 4 on the list being Dearborn heights at 9.49%. Whether that’s an area you want to live in or not, data shows people are flocking to those areas, so it may not be a bad area to look more into for real estate investing if anything at all being as the area is much more affordable than others, and people are always looking for a place to rent as rentals have been slim in Metro Detroit as well. 

Before I mentioned these being the fastest growing areas, where did you think would be? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

Thanks as always for watching, subscribe and like this video for more information about Michigan real estate, coming from a Michigan realtor. Until next time!


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→Ferndale vs. Royal Oak Video:

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→Waterford Michigan Under $500,000:

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Andrew McManamon is a Michigan REALTOR® with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty and provides real estate services to Buyers, Sellers and Investors throughout SE Michigan including Livingston County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Genesee County & beyond. Andrew has become one of the rising stars of Michigan real estate agents. Prior to his real estate career Andrew was responsible for managing a senior living facility in Brighton, Michigan as a dining supervisor and an activities assistant. Andrew’s passion to help people is unlike any other, and he continues to strive to be best resource he can be. Andrew graduated from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan with a double major and currently resides in Brighton, Michigan.

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