You NEED To Be Living In Holly Michigan!
Why Would Anyone Live In Holly Michigan? - Holly Michigan is easily one of the most (if not the most) overlooked areas to live in southeast Michigan, so stick around because I'm going to shed some light on why Holly, Michigan should be on your list of potential places to live, let’s get to it.
Have you ever just watched an older movie that takes place in a small town where everyone knows everyone and it just has that “go to your neighbors house to get a cup of sugar vibe” that seems non-existent these days, but you wish we could go back in time? Well, before you start figuring out how to build a time machine, that lifestyle still exists in good ole holly, Michigan.
From knowing everyone by their first name and a diverse selection of things to do, to a prime location and a manageable cost of living, Holly is chalked full of potential that a lot of people don’t know about, so I’ll break it all down right now.
Holly, Michigan is a little village located in the northern part of Oakland county east of Fenton, south of Grand balance and quite a few miles north of White Lake. This 3.124 square mile chunk of land has a population around 6,000 people. Holly township however, is just over 36 square miles, with a population of around 12,000.
Holly is one of those places that flew under my radar for awhile until some of my family moved out that way and I started to get a sense of the community, what they offered, and several of my clients have found it to be a place worth considering. This video is about a year overdue because I wanted to experience this city in full before I just threw together facts that I didn’t have experience to back up.
THINGS TO DO
So with that being said, I want to start off with things to do. Holly has earned the reputation of being that place that is in the middle of nowhere, and lacks things to do, but I’ll dish out all the amazing things this city has to offer in my opinion and you can make your own opinion on the matter.
HOLLY OAKS ORV PARK
First and foremost, we have Holly Oaks Orv park. My brothers and I signed up to ride our dirt bikes on their trails before they were opened up to the public and we were almost like a focus group invited to share our opinions about the trails before it was open. It was definitely a good time on the dirt bikes to say the least since the closest and decent place to ride seems to be 1.5-2 hours away from southeast Michigan, so it was nice to have something so close. These trails are available to full size 4x4’s atvs and quads, side by side and dirt bikes. My brothers and I thought it was laid out a little better for the four wheeled toys, and I believe that is the most popular vehicle type there, but nonetheless, we enjoyed it.
Next we have Mount Holly, a place for snowboarders and skiers of all different skill levels. Most people around here go to Mount Brighton or Alpine Valley in White Lake, but mount holly is a great option that is actually a little cheaper. It has a nice Bavarian lodge and is also located to the well-known Bottom’s up food and spirits, which has a volleyball court and tournaments throughout the warmer months.
MICHIGAN RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL
One of the biggest events that happens in Holly, Michigan, is the Michigan Renaissance festival, which happens every weekend from August 19th until October 1st. Where there’s pub crawls, whiskey tastings, happy hours, feast that consist of 6 course meals, and of course the 16th century environment filled with jousting, jesters, jugglers, acrobats, magicians, artisans, and all the fancy cosplay costumes you could imagine and more. Even if it’s not your thing, it’s something you should definitely put on your itinerary.
HOLLY DICKENS FESTIVAL
Next on the list, we have the holly dickens festival and parade. It’s the oldest and longest running dickens festival in the united states, which takes place during the end of November and into the middle of December, that brings you into the holiday spirit as this “A Christmas Carol” theme welcomes thousands of people every year and has become a family tradition to many.
HOLLY RECREATIONAL AREA
Moving forward, we have the Holly recreation area, which is over 8,000 acres of woodlands, open fields and offer the outdoor activities everyone loves such as; hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, camping, mountain biking and of course snowmobiling. This park has 3 lakes, 2 campgrounds and a boat launch, along with several other activities like a disc golf course, playground, and hunting blinds that can be reserved.
As you can probably conclude by all the information I’m dishing out to you, Holly is what I'd call an outdoorsy town. There’s endless parks, trails, lakes, and other recreational activities that make this spot particularly appealing to those who love the outdoors and want to take advantage of the outdoor beauty this village has to offer.
With this small rural town in mind, the downtown space isn’t anything too fancy, but the history is what makes this spot an unforgettable destination. Holly offers something for everyone, whether it’s shopping in the historic downtown district, midtown lake district, or even the north end of town, where there are boutiques, antiques, gift shops, dining options such as an Irish pub, a renowned deli, or fine dining at the world-famous holly hotel, from Saginaw street to grand hall road, there’s an abundance of things to do all. And if the Holly hotel sounded familiar, I talked about it in my popular series, haunted places in Michigan, so I’ll link part 3 in the description where I chatted about the history of this building and why you need to make a visit.
#2 - LOCATION
The next aspect of this town I want to touch on is location. Holly is the definition of a sparse suburban feel where you get the additional acreage, the space between houses and you’re outside of that everyday hustle and bustle that is fairly well known in the southeast Michigan area. Holly’s motto is literally “up north in Oakland County”, and it couldn’t be any more true. It’s that small town community living that so many people crave but don’t know where to look to find it. As I mentioned, I have family that live in Holly Michigan, I’m out there quite frequently and their situation is definitely worth mentioning. My brother is one of those people who enjoys having acreage, privacy and a place to ride his toys on his property, but at the same time he’s a part of one of the big 3 automotive companies, which makes sense because engineers are passionate about their toys. Most people in his position would have given up this lifestyle to live as close as possible to their workplace, but he found a happy medium and was able to find a home near but far enough from I-75, an interstate that acts as the main vein to get people right into all the action of southeast Michigan. You’d think he’d be driving hours and hours, but his commute is only about 30-35 minutes to get to where he needs to go. There aren’t a lot of rural areas like this that offer such an amazing commute time to where everything is, so that’s why I wanted to make sure I mentioned this example of its prime location.
#3 HOME PRICES
With that being said, Looking into the real estate side of things, granted the population isn’t massive by any means, but as of recording this video, there are only 15 homes for sale in the village of holly and holly township ranging from $170,000 to $699,900. And before I jump into some more housing statistics and figures, I want to show you the least expensive house for sale and the most expensive just to give you a visual about how far you can stretch your dollar in an area like Holly.
Taking a look at this $170,000 condo, located in Stonebridge of Holly, north of grange hall road and east of north holly road, this 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo was built in 2004, with just over 1,000 square feet and a 1 car attached garage. Taking a look at some of the images, this condo is definitely move in ready, it’s not out dated by any means, the floors are all types of shiny, and there’s a separate laundry area which is a huge plus as most condos and smaller homes have the laundry sitting right in the kitchen because that’s the only spot they had space. This condo has a $240 a month association fee that covers snow removal and ground maintenance.
Stepping over to the $699,900 home, this 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home that started being built in 2022, has about 2,500 square feet, a 5 car attached garage and is situated on almost 20 acres. I’m not exactly sure why it isn’t finished, maybe the person ran out of money or maybe they wanted to give people the freedom to make it their own. There's 1000 pine trees and 20 apple trees already planted on the property. You can use the builder who started the home or find your own to finish it.
Taking a look at this chart provided by the MLS, it shows the entire MLS in blue, holly twp in green and holly village in yellow. This is the 3 year progression of the average sale price. As you can see the blue line has some pretty steady progression, but holly twp had a few large sales in the middle of 2021 through the middle of 2022 then it dropped back down. The average sale price in holly twp. is just over $302,000 which was a -1.4% decrease year over year and holly village had a similar trajectory than the entire MLS with an average sale price of just over $226,000 which was a 11.1% increase year over year. So in an affordability stand point, finding a home in the village of holly would be a great opportunity for you as it comes in over $60,000 less than average.
#4 RESIDENT REVIEWS
Before we part ways, I want to break down reviews from real residents who live and have lived in the area ranging from excellent, very good, average and poor just to give you some well rounded insight on what the thought process is here. Starting off with the excellent review, this resident said the city has done a good job blending the modernness in with the historical town. They enjoy the festivals, and the community every event creates. It’s a small town feel that is relaxed, safe and loving. Moving over to the very good review, this resident likes the sweet little town atmosphere, all the planned activities to connect with the community, the shopping is plentiful but there tends to be a lot of antique shops over everything else but all in all, the town is clean and nicely decorated for the holiday seasons. Stepping over to the average review, this nearby resident says they go to school in holly, and how the town is trendy but other than that it’s boring and like every other little town. Last but not least, we have a poor review. This resident says the people are nice and they recognize you out in public, but they’d like to see more stores out there so the commute to places like Meijer, target and Kroger don’t burn so much gas and that a lot of places close around 9:00 pm so there aren’t a lot of late night options.
For those of you that live or have lived in the Holly area, what are your thoughts? Drop them in the comments below and for those of you that have never been, what is your opinion as an outsider looking in?
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.