This blog is a direct transcript from the video below. This comes in 3 versions: You are able to watch the video, read the blog for your convenience or listen to the audio experience (which is linked under the video below).
In this corner, with over 82,000 people, is the one and only Farmington Hills. In the other corner, with over 60,000 people, is the city of Novi. In this blog, these two cities are going to duke it out, as I break down an overview, cost of living, real estate, job market, downtown area and putting a ribbon on the fight with some reviews from ACTUAL residents who live and who have lived in both these cities. Stick around.
Farmington Hills vs. Novi, the fight you never saw coming, but believe it or not, they are held in comparison with each other quite often, and as you continue through this breakdown, I bet you’ll say the same thing.
Jumping right into the overview for Farmington Hills. Farmington Hills was settled in 1824, but was incorporated into the city it is today until 1973. This 33.3 square miles of land and water is home to over 82,000 people, as I mentioned before. This fine city has an average household income of $83,268, and has earned its stripes on numerous rankings provided by Niche.com. Farmington Hills ranked #12 of 337 Best Suburbs for Young Professionals in Michigan, #12 out of 337 most diverse suburbs in Michigan, and #26 out of 619 best places to retire in Michigan with other notable rankings for: the 30th safest city in the U.S in 2010 and the 2nd safest city in Michigan in 2020.
Next, I will tackle the overview for Novi, as I know it can be hard to compare two places when one whole comparison is laid out before the other one. Novi, Michigan was organized in 1832 as Novi Twp and incorporated as a city in 1969. Which makes Novi 4 years older than its neighbor Farmington Hills. The city covers 31.29 square miles and is home to over 60,000 people.
The median household income is roughly $98,020, making it nearly $15,000 more a year than its competitor. Novi has also earned its fair share of stripes from niche.com. The city ranked #7 of 815 Best Places to Live in Michigan, #7 of 337 Best Suburbs to Live in Michigan, and #8 of 619 Places with the Best Public Schools in Michigan.
COST OF LIVING:
Now what about the cost of living in Farmington Hills vs. Novi? The data for this comparison was provided by Bestplaces.net, niche.com along with Salary.com. Based on a 100 point scale, 100 being the US average, Farmington Hills ranked 106.6 on the overall index, while Novi ranked a 114.7. I’m sure you could’ve assumed based on the income differences, since you’ll see the more money you make, the more you have to spend. Food & groceries, Farmington Hills came in under average at 99.3, while Novi came in at 100.7. In terms of housing (which will be touched on later on), ranked 113.9 for Farmington Hills, and 144.6 for Novi. In terms of utilities, they ranked exactly the same at 100.5. For transportation, Farmington Hills is about 0.3% more at 120.1 and Novi is at 119.7. Another category they are equal on is health care, coming in at 79.9, and the last category touches on miscellaneous expenses such as clothing, restaurants, repairs, entertainment, along with other services at 110.6 for Farmington Hills and 108.8 for Novi.
That brings us to the next round of this fight, real estate. A lot of people would assume that the prices are about the same, since the only thing that separates them is an expressway, but as you can see from what I have shared so far, they are pretty different from one another. Based on data collected from my realtor association and MLS platform, I’ll give you some insight on what December 2021 looked like for both these cities. Farmington Hills saw an average sale price of $315,000 which is up 13.7% from a year ago, and Novi’s median sale price was $420,000 which is up 12.3% from a year ago. Farmington Hills has seen a 4.3% increase in listings on the market, whereas Novi’s listings decreased 9.8%. Listings in Novi and Farmington Hills averaged 21 days on market, which is nearly half as much as it was in December 2020. Throughout all property types, Farmington Hills had more closed transactions last month at 1,247 and Novi was at 975, but in terms of dollar volume, since Novi is higher priced, there was roughly a $7 million difference leaning in Novi’s favor.
Onto the next round, the job market. In this category you’ll see a little overlap since the distance between the two centers is hardly 7.5 miles. Based on the city’s annual financial reports, the top 5 employers in Novi are: St. John Health / Providence Park Hospital, Harman, Novi Community Schools, Ryder System, and ITC Holding, Inc. The top 5 employers in Farmington Hills are: Beaumont Hospital, Robert Bosch Corporation, Nissan Technical Center North America, Hitachi, and Farmington Public Schools. In terms of unemployment rate, Farmington Hills is at 2.3% and Novi is 2.4%. As far as future job growth, Novi is at 41.1% and Farmington Hills is 39%. Looking at the past 10 year job growth percentages, Novi came in at 13.3% and Farmington Hills came in lower at 4%.
There has been a lot of curiosity around this next category, the downtown areas. If you have been in or around Novi, then you know it’s a busy place to be. Every square inch of the place seems to have something you can do. The intersection of Novi road and Grand River is very busy, which makes sense because it’s right off the expressway, and that’s where you’d pass through to get to some of the other nearby cities.
Novi doesn’t lack things to do or places to eat. The one aspect that has a downside for some people is it isn’t exactly a small town feeling. You can walk down Novi road and Grand River, but this isn’t the 25 mph speed you might be used to. On the other hand, the city has been placed to have great destinations like Twelve Oaks Mall and various shopping centers to give you a little sample of walkability in places like the Twelve Mile Crossing. If you want to hear other pros and cons about Novi, Michigan and what else is offered, I’ll link a video I created touching on just that so you can expand your knowledge.
The same criticism goes for Farmington Hills as well, but Novi and Farmington Hills share the busyness of Grand River Ave, where a lot of the businesses call home, which makes sense because that road has a consistent amount of traffic. The more you look into the downtown areas, the more you’ll find out that these two places buddy up with their nearby cities to give their residents that ability. For Novi it’s Northville, and for Farmington Hills, it’s Farmington.
Switching gears to the final round, and that is reviews and comments from residents who live in these cities and have lived there. Starting with Farmington Hills, this particular resident has had great experiences while living in Farmington Hills, and has ventured over to Farmington for an eventful downtown atmosphere, but would like the city to focus its efforts on making it cleaner. This next review just goes to show the great community that’s been created even during these crazy winters. Everyone is always going out of their way to help each other out.
Jumping to some reviews of Farmington Hills that aren’t so great. This nearby resident touches on the easy commute to the highway and the numerous stores throughout the city, but has a complaint about all the traffic, but still says it’s a nice place to live despite the annoyance of the traffic. This last review was from a resident or nearby resident in 2016 that talks about there not being too much to do and the need to essentially leave the city for entertainment and a downtown experience.
Alright, now heading over to a few reviews about Novi. This current resident of Novi who left their review about 6 months or so, talks about living in the city most of their life, and how it’s a great and clean place to live. They went to Novi schools from K-12 and they challenged them to be the great person they are today! This next review is from a resident who has lived in Novi for over 10 years and has a lot of nice things to say about the city pertaining to stuff to do, police providing safety, along with education. This resident also had a few complaints about the roads needing some help and the hefty traffic on Novi road, but overall they gave Novi a thumbs up for “very nice”.
Moving on to some not so good reviews about Novi. This resident made a review from 2015, but in all fairness, Novi has seen some great growth in the last 7 years. They go on to talk about the mediocrity of the stores, but overall the businesses are pretty amazing. Maybe some of you out there can relate, do you ever feel like you’re in a city that has a lot of unnecessary businesses and shops in relation to what this resident said?
Drop your experiences in the comments below. This last review is from a former resident in 2019 who commented on the safe area with great schools, along with a diverse community. They did go on to mention how the activities are a little slim, so they would make a trip to Detroit, up north or the west side of the state for something to do.
I think the bell has finally rang, who do you think was the winner of this “fight”? Share your experiences with both these areas in the comments below and if you’re someone who hasn’t visited any of these two cities, which one are you liking better?
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 White Lake, Michigan.