Think Twice About Living In South Lyon Michigan - For those of you that aren’t too familiar with South Lyon, this 3.74 square mile city with around 12,000 people is smacked into the middle of Brighton, Milford, Novi, Salem and Whitmore Lake. Not to be confused with Lyon township which is about 32 square miles, with a population of over 21,000 people, South Lyon is located at the west side of the township, and two unincorporated communities: New Hudson and Kensington, which was once a former village, turned metro park make up the majority of the area. South Lyon is known for its charming downtown, schools, quality of life, along with the several annual events and pristine parks that I will chat more about going forward.
If you’re in the southeast Michigan area, it’s fair to say that South Lyon doesn’t get as much hype as it deserves, the city is so often looked over with Brighton and Milford being in such close proximity. I think it has a lot to do with the expressway as you drive past all the city exits, you’re driving along east on I-96 and you pass the Kensington Road exit, then you pass the Kent lake South Lyon exit, and most people think Kent Lake is in Brighton or Green oak township but the majority of it is in Oakland County in Milford and Lyon township, then you hit the New Hudson exit that everyone calls Milford anyone, because it leads to Milford road and takes you right to Milford. That Kent Lake rd. exit is a popular one to follow along to get to the metro park, but if you just take that road and turn onto Pontiac Trail you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in what the city of South Lyon has to offer.
With that being said, I’ll start with things to do in the city of South Lyon. Since this just happened this year a few months ago, I’ll mention Blake’s Orchards and cider Mill, I’m not talking about the massive 800-acre operation they have going on in Armada Michigan that I highly recommend you make a visit to, I’m referring to the 104-acre apple orchard that was once known as Erwin’s, which was owned and operated for around 50+ years by the Emery family that decided it was finally time to retire. They did a welcome weekend a few months ago and showcased their signature doughnuts, Blake’s cider, a petting zoo, U-pick apples, along with the anticipated tractor rides and live music on the weekends. It’s sad to see such a staple to South Lyon go away, but having a family owned name like Blake’s come in and pick up where they left off while maintaining a great culture has definitely been refreshing to the South Lyon residents I'm sure.
There’s also a few parks as well: Andover and Columbia toward the eastern side of the city, along with a short commute to the one and only Kensington Metropark. There’s a also a playground and volleyball courts in the middle of the city off of Lafayette street located behind the Witches Hat Depot Museum where you can learn the history of South Lyon and educate yourself about about their late nineteenth century history when the city of south Lyon had 3 rail lines operating, and as of today one main line hosts the travel from Detroit to Grand Rapids, while another line was completely paved over and a bicycle trail was created where several bike tours are held throughout the year. This museum also includes: a Chesapeake & Ohio caboose from 1926, a freight house where the community gathered, the little Washburn school that was built in 1907, the little village chapel which was moved in 2001 from east liberty street to its current spot, and a gazebo. Then of course the several golf courses: Cattails golf club, moose ridge golf club, and Tanglewood golf club.
With all those attractions in mind there’s also downtown South Lyon, where they have 12 walkable blocks with over 100 stores filled with shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and the one and only South Lyon hotel that is famous for being a center point of the community for over 150 years was burnt down in 2016 and was reopened in 2017. They say it was an electrical fire from the second floor, but what many people don’t know is this location was formerly a cemetery where the city council approved removal of the remains at a cost of $2.50 each, so some people say there could be a little paranormal activity involved. For those of you that have visited this staple in South Lyon's history, did you feel it was haunted at all? Drop your thoughts in the comments!
After touching on downtown South Lyon, it’s fitting to touch on some good restaurants and shopping opportunities in the area. I have helped a few clients in South Lyon, and my fiancé's family lives there as well, so I have had my fair share of good eats. One of the places is Cancun Mexican Grill. I’ve been there on several occasions, the portion sizes are large and their margaritas are worth noting down. There’s also the Java House a door or two down in the same strip, that has cold and hot coffee beverages, baked goods, desserts, ice cream and even some lunch items such as: wraps, salads, burritos, paninis, and a selection of breakfast items as well. On the intersection of 10 mile and Lafayette street there’s also the lake street tavern, and the corner social, along with the South Lyon village bakery a few streets down, and the one and only Witch's hat brewing company named after the museum that offers a huge beer list, and a sizeable menu for any hour of the day. In terms of shopping, there’s a little lack of opportunities in the city, aside from a few mom and pop shops located down the downtown strip. Of course the city has everything you need within just a few miles, but if you find there’s not enough to satisfy, the Green Oak Village Place in Brighton is about 9 miles away and the Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi is just about 11 Miles away. So whatever lacks in South Lyon, the great location makes up for it in nearby cities.
Now what about South Lyon Schools? The South Lyon community school district has everything from an early childhood center to 8 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 2 high schools, which covers 3 townships and 3 counties. Taking a look at what US News best school rankings has to say about South Lyon, they gave them #1,774 in national rankings out of 24,000 or so schools, #54 in Michigan high schools and #23 in Detroit Metro area high schools. Then you can see the overall score of a 90.06 on where students lie in proficiency and graduation rate.
Now stepping over to some crucial information worth noting, and that’s home prices. kicking this off with home prices, we have this chart provided by the multiple listing service showing the entire MLS in blue, South Lyon in green and Lyon township in yellow. This chart shows the 3 year progression until October 2022. You can see how South Lyon falls right in the middle of the bunch, but Lyon township comes in with an average home price of $507,000 and some change. It’s safe to say the city of South Lyon is a little friendlier on the wallet.
Taking a look at these home listing results in South Lyon and Lyon township, there’s 85 listings as of recording this ranging in all price points. Taking a look at the top here, there’s a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo with no basement or garage, leasing at $1,300 a month. Scrolling down a little farther there’s several condo options for under $100,000 from 1 bedroom 1 bathroom to 2 bedroom 1 bathroom. Scrolling down farther, we have several new construction Single family homes from 3 bedroom 3 bathroom to 5 bedroom 3.5 bathroom homes ranging from $520,000 to $872,000 on the next page. So it’s safe to say there’s quite a large affordability spectrum when it comes to buying or leasing a home in South Lyon. The best part is, no matter where you are in South Lyon, you’re always close to Lafayette street which leads to the heart of downtown, and the onramp to hop on I-96 for any traveling you need to do throughout your day.
South Lyon is a great southeast Michigan city to consider if you’re thinking about making the move to Michigan. You have the charming downtown area, close proximity to the expressway and other great cities, and a nice little slice of history with several mom and pop shops that are heavily welcomed in this small town. As of late, the town is getting a little tight and populated since new subdivisions seem to be built in every square inch of the city, so in the future when they want to add some more city offerings they may find hardship if they continue to pile in all these new construction homes. There isn't an overly abundant amount of things to do in the city by any means, and the home prices tend to be a little high for the most part. In a best case scenario situation like that you opt for something on the outskirts of a popular spot so you can save some money on the real estate side of things, but here that isn’t so much the case, depending on what you’re looking for in a home of course. The area is becoming more and more upscale, shops and restaurants will soon be transforming in that direction as well, at least in my opinion.
So overall, what are your thoughts about south Lyon Michigan? Drop them 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.