Have you ever heard of Hamburg Township, Michigan before? That’s okay most people haven’t, but I can promise you that it’s worth learning about, If you’re considering a move out this way.
It’s crazy to think that after many many years of making videos, I have not touched on Hamburg Township. For those of you that don’t know where this township is at, it’s located 8-10 miles southwest of Brighton, 17 miles north of Ann Arbor, and 13 or so miles west of South Lyon. It’s about 36 square miles in size with a population of around 22,000. There’s a lot of good things to say about this community, but there’s also a few not so good things too that I’ll be sure to mention.
Kicking this off with the good stuff, We have the location, which you could probably assume based on the proximity to other great cities in southeast Michigan I mentioned a second ago. I wanted to reference this handy dandy colorful zoning map for Hamburg township to give you a sense of the population density in each area through the township. The orange is medium density, yellow is waterfront, pink is low density, then there’s light green for village center and light-ish blue for village residential. Granted this map is fairly old, but it holds some truth today to give you an idea of what lifestyle you’d want within the township.
When looking at a map, a lot of people think this is a community that’s a little off the beaten path but it really isn't. Being east of Pinckney which is a city I have made a video about that I'll link in the description if you’re interested, it’s only 6 miles away from US-23 which is the expressway everyone takes in southeast Michigan for north and south travel. The township also surrounds M-36 which is used for east and west travel until it connects to US-23. This township gives you the option to experience rural living without being too far from civilization, and I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty nice to me, all while being able to take advantage of Brighton area schools, which is a huge plus.
COST OF LIVING
Moving on over to reason #2 why people move and live in the fine township of Hamburg, and this has to be the biggest, and is, come a little closer, the cost of living, specifically property taxes and home prices. Jumping on over to this Nifty Michigan property tax estimator. Let’s base this on a $300,000 home. So we will throw in $150,000 (which is 50% of the list or sale price) then we will select Livingston county, Hamburg township and Brighton area schools, it calculator and we get a figure of just over 4,000 based on the 2022 millage rates, but here’s the kicker, if we go back and change it to Brighton instead of Hamburg township, that tacks on about $1200, and if we were comparing it to ann arbor since that’s a close nearby city a lot of people want to live in, the estimator pumps out a number of over $7,600. So if you’re experience some budgetary problems right now, make some compromises on the area you’re looking, expand your search a little bit, and I know it may increase your commute 10, 15, or 20 minutes, but you could save thousands of dollars a year on property taxes, and don’t even get me started on home prices.
Too late…. Taking a look at this graph provided by the MLS, we have the 3 year progression of the median sale price, the blue is the entire MLS as whole, green is ann arbor twp, yellow is Brighton twp., and red is Hamburg twp. And the reason I am comparing these townships instead of the cities is simply because townships are the outskirts of cities, so if you were thinking, well instead of living in Hamburg, why not find a spot toward the outer edges of Ann Arbor or Brighton based on the property tax scenario I gave earlier. So this graph will answer that for you from an affordability standpoint. Ann Arbor’s median sale price was $578,000 and some change which was a 15.5% decrease year over year, Brighton twp. is chilling at $464,500 which was a 5.6% increase year over year, and Hamburg twp. was at $389,003, which was a 3.7% increase year over year. So with that median sale price and the property tax amount, can you see why people would be interested to move there to save some money but have the luxury of still experiencing the cities? I thought so!
WATERFRONT LIVING OPPORTUNITIES
The next pro to heavily consider especially if you’re someone who values lake living is the waterfront living opportunities. As of right now there are 11 waterfront or riverfront homes for sale in Hamburg twp. ranging from a $339,999 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home with 942 square feet, with a 4-car garage on the huron river, to a 2.395 million craftsman style home with 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, with 5800 square feet, a 4 car garage, with 400 feet of lake frontage on strawberry lake. What I’ve noticed about Hamburg’s lake opportunities based on what’s for sale is the amount of acreage that comes with it. When looking for a lake home across southeast Michigan, it’s not uncommon to be a very tiny lot where your home hugs the property lines on either side, because a lake home is a lake home am I right? Well, in Hamburg, the average lot is about an acre, which is almost unheard of, so if you’re someone looking for acreage and a home on the water, Hamburg is definitely one place to be considered. Just keep in mind with the ruralness of the township, there’s not often a lot of inventory that hits the market.
Alright, now the not so good things about living in Hamburg Township and that starts with #1, city offerings. I’m sure you can assume based on how much I talked about the nearby cities, that there’s not too much going on in Hamburg. And this is often something I say a lot when it comes to rural communities in southeast Michigan, but most rural communities don’t have lakes and rivers, so for that Hamburg already gets a few extra gold stars. The township has the nearby parks, several golf courses, I think I embarrassed myself a few times at a few If i’m not mistaken, along with the one and only Zukey lake tavern nearby, rise and grind coffee shop, mimi’s diner, Boomer’s party store, which has the best pizza, and my favorite, Hamburg fitness center. This is a family owned gym that I went to living in Brighton for 8-10 years i’d say. I love everyone there, it’s a gym atmosphere that is completely unmatched compared to anywhere else, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area looking for a gym. That might seem like enough offerings to satisfy you, but the general consensus is, people run over to Brighton for stuff to do and a downtown life that Hamburg just doesn’t have. Of course, it has that small town vibe and village feel, but it doesn’t have that walkable, close-knit, community feel that Brighton gives off, as well as the variety too.
FLOODPLAINS AND FLOODWAYS
Stepping on over to con #2, the floodplains and floodways. Hamburg township has over 30 named lakes, several creeks that connect to the Huron river and of course interconnect to many lakes. Floodplains make up a large portion of the banks of the Huron river near the north end, and the Buck lake subdivision. Then there’s several floodways south of all the bodies of water. In 1986, Hamburg township joined the national flood insurance program, and is now a class 8 community in the community rating system. This program was implemented to encourage community floodplain management that exceeds the standard. Hamburg Township has experienced a number of high water events. The township stated that Property owners of flood prone properties need to be vigilant and take appropriate measures for protection or evacuation against flooding if the need arises. I am in no way saying that this should make your decision to move here an automatic “NO”, I just would say there’s additional due diligence necessary before finalizing a purchase. Whether it’s chatting with the neighbors around the house, asking the seller if they've had basement flooding and what they did to repair it, having an active sump pump, and a battery backup, just in case as well as any french draining around your home if it’s necessary. Let this con simply create awareness to ask those particular water questions, because Hamburg isn’t just under water every rain, but the bodies of water get affected as they do everywhere depending on the severity of the storm. They have an abundance of information on the townships website that i’ll be sure to link in the description for you,
TRAFFIC AND ROAD INFRASTRUCTURE
Last but not least we have con #3, and that’s the traffic and road infrastructure. This has been a common complaint over the years, but I feel like I’d have to disagree as of late. I have never been slowed down driving through Hamburg, aside from rush hour, which is everywhere. Hamburg has developed several roundabouts over the years which has kept the flow of traffic which was a great add in my opinion, because it was either a four way stop full of hesitant people, or a traffic light that never seemed to change colors when it should've. The roads have widened and aren’t as tight as they used to feel in a small town as you’d expect. They still have some work to do, because they are most definitely throwing homes anywhere and everywhere in the area so they creates more congestion than there was 10 years ago of course, but I’m seeing that in several areas of southeast Michigan, where they are either having to add a lane to a road, or create some type of roundabout to accommodate the influx of new people moving to the area. There just isn’t too much to complain about in this township, yes you are a little further away from other towns in some people’s opinion, you don’t have a lot of city offerings, but you have the essentials to live of course, and for what the area used to be, you’re experiencing a little more slowdowns with traffic. When I think of an area that struggles with their road infrastructure, Hamburg isn’t even on the map at all. I talk alot about “pass through towns” in southeast Michigan, where a lot of people are having to pass through one city to get to the next, so it’s not so much that the residents of that particularly area are taking up the space, it’s just people getting from point A to B, and since Hamburg is more on the outskirts, you’re not getting that traffic, you’re simply getting the traffic of people who live in the area since it’s been built up more.
MENTIONED LINKS ⬇️
→Hamburg Twp Website: https://shorturl.at/dfyHU
→Pinckney Video: • Pinckney Michigan Pros And Cons | Liv...
For those of you who made it this far, what do you think about Hamburg township Michigan? Is this a place you’d live, why or why not? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.
If you’re looking to buy, sell or invest in the wonderful state of Michigan, please don't hesitate to reach out and I’d be happy to be your go to resource.
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.