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Modern House


Should You ACTUALLY Live In Clawson Michigan?

Clawson, Clawson, Clawson. It’s one of those places most people don’t think about when we imagine appealing suburbs throughout metro Detroit, and the question is why? Well, stick around and find out.

I’ve been strolling and walking about the good ole city of Clawson a lot these days, and I guess I've decided it’s time to share the secrets this city keeps. I can’t keep them to myself anymore, it’s not fair to all of you out there. I want to dish out some information you NEED to know before moving, living or considering this fine city to be a place you call home.

Clawson Michigan is 2.20 square miles in size, with a population of around 11,300 people. The city is located North of Royal Oak, east of Birmingham and south of Troy.

clawson michigan
Clawson Michigan


The first aspect of Clawson that really drew me into the city is the small town feel. Their motto is literally a little city with a big heart. For those of you who have experience going in and around these little Detroit suburbs, it can be a little overwhelming or maybe I just white knuckle my GPS because I never know where I’m going. With all the U-turns, bridges and onramps, it just feels like a cluster, but then you pass through Clawson and it’s almost like a breath of fresh air. I don’t even live in the city, and the sense of community and neighborly atmosphere is felt deeply just walking down the sidewalks. I’m also a little biased too because I’m a sucker for these little small towns, but don’t just take my word for it. I want to share a few reviews from real past and current residents. The first one talks about how they were born and raised in Clawson with 4 generations of family going to Clawson High school, and how it’s a perfect little town. The next review talks about the city motto and how the city does a lot for their community, and how they love living there, and it being close to everything. The next one touches on what I'm sure you’d think this little town would neglect and that’s amenities, but it doesn’t. Everything is so close, people are friendly and the neighborhoods are quiet. The last one talks about how everybody knows and loves everybody, the community helps each other out, starting go-fund me pages for people and even dropping groceries off.


Another thing that goes very hand in hand with this small town feel is the location. As I mentioned about its location, it’s snuggled between Woodward avenue and I-75, minutes down the road from the one and only Royal Oak to satisfy your Friday night shenanigans and to add to your desire amenities list, the Detroit zoo is right there too, golf courses nearby in Birmingham, the Beaumont hospital of Royal Oak is nearby, which is now known as Corewell Health, the Somerset mall in Troy is also just over 4 miles down the road, if you look at an aerial map you’ll see there’s also several little parks that you can visit, of course there more plentiful the further west you go from Detroit, but it’s better than nothing at all. I know I have mentioned in several of my other videos that smaller towns are situated farther from city offerings, but Clawson is one of the exceptions. It’s a city worth hyping a little bit about, because the proximity to other cities, if you work in Detroit, it’s a nice commute, and it really just has so many different aspects that could cater to a lot of you out there, whether you’re a small towner, someone who likes options, someone who wants to be where stuff is actually happening, it’s all right here or nearby.


To solidify this a little bit, I wanted to switch gears to the cost of living. When I have clients who talk about Clawson, we are oftentimes comparing communities such as: Royal Oak, Ferndale, Berkley, and of course Clawson. And I’ve done videos for all these places, so I will be sure to link them all below so you can add them all to your queue.

Cost of Living In Clawson Michigan
Cost of Living In Clawson Michigan

For those of you that are watching, I wanted to bring up this chart provided by the MLS that shows the average sale price over the last 3 years in Ferndale (in blue), Clawson (in green), Berkley (in yellow) and royal oak (in red). Outsiders may think since these communities are so close to one another they must all be somewhat the same, but the reality is they are very different.

Of course, Michigan has an affordable cost of living compared to most of the states across the county, but a focal point when making your way over here are the property taxes, and I’ve been on quite a property tax kick to keep everyone informed out there, so here’s how I look at these 4 cities. As you can see, the city of Royal oak comes out on top at $366,000 and some change, and it has a millage rate of 38.22 for a primary residence as of 2022, which is the rate used to calculate property taxes. Berkley comes in second at $339,000 and some change with a millage rate of 38.58 for a primary residence as of 2022. Clawson comes in third at $268,041, and a millage rate of 48.29 for a primary residence as of 2022, and Ferndale comes in last at $258,000 and some change, with a millage rate of 52.24 for a primary residence as of 2022. With all that in mind, it’s clear that there’s a lot to consider before just jumping into a community, but something good to keep in mind is weighing a higher purchase price versus a lower purchase price, and how the fluctuating millage rates affect your overall payment. And that’s something I’ve mentioned in a few of my videos in terms of giving your mortgage lender the address or area of interest to see what your monthly payment will come out to be, just so you’re not surprised when you make your first mortgage payment.


The next thing I wanted to shed some light on is education. Since I’m the fly swatter that crushes all the stereotypes, I know there are people out there who think communities and schools anywhere near Detroit have to be horrible, graffiti all over them, overgrown grass and the education must be horrible too right? Wrong, Clawson is a very well-respected school district in Metro Detroit, is it the best one? Not necessarily, will you get a good education? I would say so. There was a poll done on pertaining to Clawson High school and the results showed that 82% of students and parents agree that the schooling is competitive. 91% of students and parents agree that the school is creative and artsy, and 92% agree that the teachers care for the students, 85% agree there are plenty of clubs and organizations for the students. The Clawson school district is small, but above average and values a sense of community. With a 15:1 student to teacher ratio, there’s a better opportunity for students to get the most attention possible. That was one of the reasons I went to Cleary University in Howell, because the student to faculty ratio was 11:1, so you never were a no name person sitting in a 300 person lecture hall where no one knew if you were there or not, your involvement was always encouraged and there’s a ton of value in that in my opinion.


Next thing to chat about that may or may not be a thought of yours is the traffic. When you’re this close to Detroit, there’s always the concern of getting that metro area traffic, the honking, the red lights, the J-walkers, etc. and despite it’s prime location, it actually doesn’t get too overwhelmingly packed. Of course rush hour adds a little stress to the roads, but as I have mentioned when I tackle the traffic topic in other communities is whether or not the city is a “pass through town” or not. Taking a look at a map, Clawson is "oreo-cookied" between I-75 and Woodward avenue as I mentioned before, but it’s not a city people are passing through to get to another city. For example, there are several cities situated along the Woodward corridor, so people are actively driving through these communities to get to the next one, but in this situation people can stay on Woodward or I-75 a little longer to get to the surrounding communities.

The city of Clawson is a little different from other nearby communities, it has that small town feel, but is in such a prime location that any commute around the city is not going to empty your gas tank. The amenities may be lacking to some people and not others, the job opportunities may be primarily food and retail, but the commute time to nearby corporations in the business hub of Troy or downtown Detroit is minimal. The Clawson downtown development authority is also very hands on trying to always better the small town.


→Ferndale vs. Royal Oak Video:

→ Ferndale Michigan Pros and Cons: →Berkley Michigan Pros and Cons:

For those of you that stuck around this long, what do you think of Clawson Michigan? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.



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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