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Salem Michigan: The City NO ONE Talks About

Have you ever heard of Salem, Michigan?


That's okay, most people haven't! I was driving around the other day, and I found myself in Salem, Michigan. I’m familiar with this city, I know it exists, and of course I thought to myself, why doesn’t anyone talk about this city? As I drove around my first instinct was to develop a list of reasons to live in Salem in my head and share this unknown city with the world, so that’s what I am going to do, so be sure to stick around, You may fall in love.


I know what you’re thinking, Salem Michigan, Salem witch trials. It’s okay, I thought that growing up too so this city was a no go for me until I realized there’s no witchcraft happening there (to my knowledge). Salem Michigan is actually a civil township located in Washtenaw county, which is home to the one and only Ann Arbor, Dexter, Chelsea, and Saline, among several other cities and townships. This township has been a place to call home since 1832 and covers 34.38 square miles with a population of over 6,900 people, so it’s safe to say there’s a good amount of space in this township, and it can be labeled fairly as being rural, which I will touch on more when I talk about real estate in Salem.


So I was driving around the other day, and I found myself in Salem, Michigan. I’m familiar with this city, I know it exists, and of course I thought to myself, why doesn’t anyone talk about this city? As I drove around my first instinct was to develop a pros and cons list in my head and share this unknown city with the world, so that’s what I am going to do, so be sure to stick around, You may fall in love.


I know what you’re thinking, Salem Michigan, Salem witch trials. It’s okay, I thought that growing up too so this city was a no go for me until I realized there’s no witchcraft happening there (to my knowledge). Salem Michigan is actually a civil township located in Washtenaw county, which is home to the one and only Ann Arbor, Dexter, Chelsea, and Saline, among several other cities and townships. This township has been a place to call home since 1832 and covers 34.38 square miles with a population of over 6,900 people, so it’s safe to say there’s a good amount of space in this township, and it can be labeled fairly as being rural, which I will touch on more when I talk about real estate in Salem.


RURAL COMMUNITY


The first reason I find Salem Michigan to be extremely fascinating is it’s an extremely rural community hiding in plain sight. When you look at a map of Salem township Michigan, it’s almost dead center to several of the most desirable cities to live in southeast Michigan from Ann Arbor, Northville and Novi to Brighton, Milford, and the surrounding Plymouth-Canton communities, and for the longest time, When going through Salem, the town gave off this “don’t blink or you’ll miss it” mentality, without realizing the township of as a whole actually covers a lot of ground. With that being said, there’s an amazing commute to all the nearby communities, going down all these awesome back roads, while having the luxury of being secluded as well. That’s not oftentimes something you can have both of, especially in southeast Michigan.


SCHOOL DISTRICTS


Another aspect of Salem Twp that people don’t realize is it’s served by four separate school districts: South Lyon community schools, Plymouth-Canton Schools, Ann Arbor Schools, as well as Northville public schools which is a very small northwestern portion of the township. I just rattled off some top ranking school districts in Metro Detroit, it’s not just your stereotypical one room schoolhouse, but the township does have that too, it’s called Jarvis stone school and it was built in 1857. The point is if you haven’t jumped to conclusions yet, there’s some property tax opportunities in this situation. The biggest complaint, concern, or question I get from a lot of out of staters making the move to Michigan is pertaining to property taxes, which is understandable, because yes a home’s price tag may look amazing, but if you’re paying thousands and thousands more in property taxes, there’s not really a benefit there to your wallet.


HOME PRICES


Before we take a look at these 4 school districts, and see the financial benefit, I want to give you some insight on Salem’s home prices. As of recording this, Mid-May of 2023, there are 15 homes for sale on the market ranging from a $123,000 manufactured home on lake to a 2.49 million dollar historic colonial on 50 acres.


Taking a look at this graph provided by the MLS, it shows Salem twp’s average sale price over the last 3 years, which as you can see has been pretty steady, coming in at a whopping $637,307, which was an increase of 17.9% year over year. And I’m sure this figure may be a little shocking to you, and it was for me a little bit too, because you think, small town, not a whole lot going on, probably cheaper home prices, and that is unfortunately not the case, but keep in mind this township is incredibly rural which I have said a few times already, so these homes are situated on quite a lot of land, and if you didn’t know, they aren’t making this stuff anymore so it’s a pretty hot commodity. And just for giggles I took the average acreage between all 15 of those homes for sale, and it was about 11.48 acres, so it’s fair to say you get “just a little” more space.


Property Taxes


This is one of those areas of southeast Michigan that is perfect for those homebuyers who want what most Realtors call “impossible”. I want acreage, but I also want to be close to stuff too, oh and a good school district is a plus. That my friends, is right here in Salem, it just costs you a little more. With all this in mind, how does the 4 school districts affect the property taxes? I’m so glad you asked, so I am going to hop on my trust Michigan property tax estimator, which I will link in the description and punch in $315,000 which would be about 50% of the average sale price right now in Salem. I'll choose Salem township for placement #2 and I will choose Northville school district for spot #3, and just like that, we have a property tax amount of just over $8,400 for homestead taxes, which means your primary residence, which equates to a millage rate of 26.92, but if we change this township section to be Northville twp, the millage rate is 36.69 and the taxes are nearly $3,000 more. So for those of you that don’t feel the need to be right inside of these communities to take advantage of the highly ranked school district, you can get that benefit living in a city or township like Salem.


That’s just something to keep in mind, and I always want to throw the disclaimer out there when I show previews of this tool, it indicates the millage rates for 2021, and the 2022 rates will be updated in august 2023, so it can lack a little accuracy if the local governments are making some changes year to year, but overall, it’s not by much and this range in millage rates from city to city and township to township vary that much, so I invite you to use this estimator and play around with it as you narrow in on where you want to live, because you could save thousands of dollars.


MENTIONED LINKS ⬇️

→Michigan Property Tax Estimator: https://www.michigan.gov/taxes/proper...


Salem Michigan has a good location, seclusion, acreage, and the opportunity to have a good school district, which checks a lot of the criteria people moving here are looking for in a community, so I recommend having this one on your watch list if it makes sense for your budget. There’s not a whole lot of things to do in Salem Twp by any means, but as any resident could attest to, there’s so many nearby city offerings to take advantage of. The biggest complaint or worry from current and past residents is the future development that is bound to happen in the community. The location is amazing in every aspect, and most developers understand that, but the community has continued and will try and continue to preserve the communities ruralness that is truly unlike any other.


So for those of you reading, what are your thoughts about Salem, Michigan? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!


If you’re looking to buy, sell or invest in the wonderful state of Michigan, feel free to find my contact information in the description so you can chat more about your Michigan goals and dreams.


Cheers,

Andrew


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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