The ACTUAL Cost of Living In Brighton Michigan - One of the biggest considerations you need to keep in mind when moving to an unfamiliar or desirable area is the cost of living, because at the end of the day even if your pros outweigh the cons, if it’s too expensive it doesn’t matter, so in this video, I’ll be breaking down the ACTUAL cost of living in Brighton, Michigan. From the real estate prices and transportation, to gas and the common grocery items. Find it all here!
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).
Have you ever gone to the store to buy something and as you walk down the aisles you instantly regret the drive there as you see the price tags associated with even the most cheap and lowest quality things, but as you make your way to the good brands, made with great quality, the price is just a little more, so you tell yourself to think long term and pull the trigger on that one? If I was asking for people to put their hands up, I bet everyone’s would be. Well, in this scenario, Brighton Michigan is that good brand.
What’s going on everyone, Andrew McManamon here with living in Michigan, where I make videos, podcasts and blogs about living in, moving to and everything in between in the fine state of Michigan, so let this channel be your go-to resource for all things Michigan.
I know that scenario earlier was a little cheesy, but the easiest way to describe Brighton, Michigan’s cost of living best is using the phrase, you get what you pay for.
And before I go further, I want to let you know I put chapters in this video to let you skip around in case there’s one area of curiosity, but I encourage you to hang in there through the whole thing to truly understand, not only the cost of living, but home affordability and the projections that follow.
To kick this off, I want to start by providing this graph from bestplaces.net to give you an outline of Brighton’s overall cost of living. As you can see, the overall is a 111.8 based on 100 being the U.S average. Housing, transportation, and miscellaneous are the three categories that drive this overall as high as it is. In terms of housing, this graph shows the city of Brighton’s average sale price over the last 3 years. As of February 2022, Brighton’s median household income is just over $63,000, the average rent is roughly $1,200 and the average sale price of a home is just over $311,000, which is a 21.5% increase from a year ago. At the beginning of 2019, the average sale price was almost $100,000 less than it is today, which is absolutely insane. I know it probably seems normal from all the headlines out there, but there was a time not too long ago where people were excited when their homes appraised after a refinance for $10-$20,000 more than what they bought it for years later.
Another notable graph to take a look at is the days on market or DOM, which is simply the amount of days a home is on the market before selling. And for those of you listening instead of watching, the graph for the days on market in Brighton is anything but consistent. As you can see the entire MLS is fluctuating slightly, but Brighton is all over the place. You may be wondering, why is Brighton’s graph increasing when the entire MLS’s graph is decreasing as we get closer to the present day, and there’s a couple reasons for that. I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t see or hear about it anywhere else, and that's seller's greed.
All you hear about is the market is what it is, because the buyers are willing to buy, but for the homes that aren’t being sold in minutes or hours sit on the market. Brighton is a desirable place, there’s no doubt about it, the location couldn't be any better, the downtown is unlike any other, it’s clean, it’s well taken care of and has amazing schools, homeowners know that, and they want to push their list price as high as they can because they know someone will look past finances long enough to capitalize on a house in Brighton.
That’s the first reason, the second reason is the sale process is being prolonged. Maybe the buyer is in over their head and it’s taking awhile to figure out how to buy the place, maybe the house is very messed up and there’s contractors involved, or maybe there’s stalling to the process for other reasons, there’s no saying for sure unless you’re one of the parties involved. The stats don’t lie and hardly in a year's time 20 additional days have been tacked onto the average.
The last graph I want to touch on is the average percent of list price. This graph shows, based on the list price of a home, how much of that price it actually sold at. Brighton averaged a 102% over list price with a 3.2% increase over the last year. If you think about it, this graph is almost a contradiction to the reasoning of the increase in days on market I mentioned earlier, but in terms of ”buyer behavior” it makes sense, let me explain. If these graphs were a story, this is how they would read.
A buyer schedules a showing on a home, doesn’t like it, thinks it’s too expensive, then continues on with other homes, putting in offers, losing out on them, then they reach this “discouragement stage” where they just settle. They turn right back around and go back to that first house no one wanted, that was too expensive for what it was and put in an at-list price offer, and the rest is history. I promise you I’m not making this up, I have seen it more than I’d like to admit, because at the end of the day, we all need a place to live, and sellers would almost rather keep the house on the market, than sell with an under ask offer.
Sorry if I just beat a dead horse going off on this tangent, but I figured it would be some valuable insight to see what’s ACTUALLY happening vs. what people want you to think is happening.
In terms of the other costs driving the average, Transportation is higher because Michigan’s car insurance is higher and structured differently than most states. In terms of miscellaneous, this category is going up in most states due to the price of goods, supply delays and labor shortages.
Taking those same categories and putting them in comparison with the well known cities around the nation (most people tend to move from) such as: Washington, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Boston, and New York. Salary.com states that If you move from San Francisco to Brighton, your cost of living will be 79.9% less, from Washington, 49.9% less. Miami, 5.4% less. Chicago, 8.8% less. Boston, 44.8% less. And New York, 74.2% less. I know those are just percentages, but whip out the calculator and see the potential savings before your eyes.
Lastly, I wanted to compare a few items you’d pay for on a regular basis, such as grocery items and gas, just to give you a better perspective outside of averages. Bread, frozen meals, alcohol, pop, milk, cereal and gas are all very common items, and in most cases, wherever you live, you have a general idea of how much these items are. Taking the averages from 3 grocery stores in Brighton: Kroger, Meijer & Busch's. Bread will range from $0.99-$2.50 for the cheapest. Yes, you literally can get a loaf of bread at Meijer for 99 cents. As far as frozen meals, I'll base this on frozen pizzas because we all know that’s common no matter where you are.
A Digiorno at Meijer and Kroger will be about $6.49, at Busch’s they are $6.99. For alcohol, I'll touch on beer. A 6 pack of Beer (Since Bud light is the top seller in the U.S, I figured I’d reference that) at Kroger, Meijer and Busch’s is $6.49-$6.99. Jumping over to pop (or soda as every other state calls it). A single bottle is roughly $1.99. And a 12 pack of cans will be around $5.99 plus a deposit of 10 cents per can that is returnable if you recycle them afterward. A traditional gallon of milk averages at $2.69 and a box of cereal can be $2.49 to $5.49 depending on if you get the good brand, bigger size or just the no name store brand.
Last but not least, the gas prices. Right now at the time of recording this. there have been a lot of recent factors that have influenced the increasing gas prices. For example, the Russia/Ukraine situation. Based on today’s averages, regular gas is about $4.10 a gallon, mid-grade is $4.58 a gallon, premium is $4.87 and diesel is at $4.91 a gallon. The highest gas price recorded by Gasbuddy in Michigan supposedly was $4.26 a gallon in May of 2011.
That sums up the cost of Living in Brighton, Michigan. If you’re still curious about the Brighton area, I will link a few videos I created over the years about this fine city just to expand your knowledge.
If you have any questions or would like to know the cost of living for other areas in a similar format to this one, please don’t hesitate to text, call or email anytime. I’m always happy to be a local resource.
For those of you that are from out of state, how does Brighton compare to your cost of living? Drop your common costs 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 White Lake, Michigan.