What You MUST Know Before Living In Canton Michigan - If you’re thinking about making the move to Canton Michigan, or just want to get a sense of what this southeast Michigan city is like, I highly suggest you stick around so you can hear all about why you should move here and maybe why you shouldn’t.
For those of you that don’t know, Canton is a charter township located east of Ann Arbor and west of Detroit, it’s 36.14 square miles in size with a population of around 100,000 people. The question that often arises is, why do people want to live there? And why do people want to leave there? Let’s get to it.
COST OF LIVING IN CANTON MICHIGAN
Kicking this list off with the first reason, and that’s the cost of living, specifically home prices. As you may or may not know, the pandemic has created chaos in the housing market, and with inflation along with bidding wars and multiple offer scenarios, people are desperately trying to find a place to call home that’s actually affordable, and oftentimes, Canton is brought up in that conversation. This is something I have experienced first hand, I have had several buyers jump over to Canton, simply due to the fact that they could stretch their dollar a little further. Taking a look at this graph provided by the MLS it will actually contradict my point about affordability, but bare with me here.
This graph shows the average sales price over the last 3 years, canton in yellow and the MLS as a whole in blue. As you can see, Canton comes in much higher than average, by nearly $100,000, which was a 3.4% increase year over year bringing the total just about $388,000. As of right now, there are 86 homes on the market, ranging from a $140,000 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom condo that was built in 1973, to a $1.475 million home with 4 bedrooms, and 1 and half bathrooms built in 1903. So it’s safe to say Canton has a fairly diverse selection of homes out there. Most of my clients fell in the $250,000 to $450,000 range and have found that the amenities canton offered, along with the size and features these homes offered, outweighed homes in other nearby communities for the same price, and I’d have to agree, but I noticed several people noticed that as well. So within the last few years, Canton was always that line out of the door, secretary of state feeling every time you booked a showing, due to its increasing popularity, which is something that should be heavily considered when choosing a new community, especially in a market where you’re purchasing homes at a premium. Despite the price tag on this community being higher, I wanted to share what the buyer behavior has been lately and where they have been leaning toward to stretch your dollar.
ECONOMY IN CANTON MCIHIGAN
With that being said, it brings us into point number two, and that's the future outlook and economy. If you’ve ever spent some time driving through or researching the township of Canton, you’d find out real quickly that housing opportunities are popping up everywhere, there’s new condo communities, single family homes, there’s small businesses that are continuing to pop up in the area despite their being a surplus of big box retailers, and it’s location with great access to highways, and all the nearby cities such as Ann Arbor, Detroit, Plymouth, the airports, and of course the one and only IKEA store, which if you didn’t know, is not a very common offering in Michigan, so this is almost an attraction when it comes to visiting Canton. Before I switch gears to the next pro I wanted to take a deeper dive into Canton’s economy just to give you a better perspective. This graph provided by bestplaces.net shows the unemployment rate for Canton at 5.6% whereas the average in the United States is 6%. The recent job growth has dropped below 10%, which doesn’t surprise me, because Canton isn’t one of those places that is attractive for their job opportunities, more times than not, residents are traveling to other nearby cities and metro areas for work, and the plus side to this is, Canton is pretty close to all those opportunities. The future job growth is sitting at 35% which is a smidge higher than the average, then we jump down to sales tax, income tax, and the average household incomes.
CLEANLINESS IN CANTON MICHIGAN
One of the big takeaways from people I helped relocate to Michigan, and specifically Canton, is that their reaction to the town is often the same, and I didn’t really appreciate it until I traveled to Milwaukee Wisconsin not too long ago. As I drove through I couldn’t help but be observant of this town that I’ve never really been to before, and I thought to myself, if they would spend some extra time sprucing up the town, cutting the grass, pulling the weeds, power washing or repainting their storefronts, this town would be completely different in the best way possible. All that just to say that Canton is the opposite, because they definitely spend a significant amount of time and energy to keep the area clean and well-maintained, and I think this point is often underrated, because it could just as easily be the reverse. There are several cities and townships throughout southeast Michigan that neglect this type of maintenance and you can’t help but drive through and think, “Yeah, i’m definitely not calling this place my home” and I don’t want you to get it twisted, i’m not saying I base a city to live in on the city’s lawn service skills, I just think it has a direct correlation to how the area is ran by its local government as a whole and if they are neglecting that task, what other larger tasks are they neglecting too? You want to be proud of where you live, not just the home you purchased, but the community your home sits in.
CITY OFFERINGS IN CANTON MICHIGAN
The last point I want to touch on before I make the transition to the not so good things about canton, and that’s the community in regard to location, neighborhoods, and city offerings. Throwing in a few of these current and past resident reviews, it’s safe to say that the community that has been established in the township of canton, is one that is appreciated by the residents more than it is hated. I’ve chatted with several people who have moved to Canton as well as gathered some reviews, and a lot of them don’t necessarily move there for what Canton offers, but what the nearby cities offer. Take that for what it is, but people park their family in this township and venture out to other areas. In terms of Canton’s community, there’s often this misconception based on how the city is laid out that there couldn’t possibly be any sense of community, and a good indicator on whether that is true or not is by taking a look at the local event calendars. Several of them have the bare minimum or nothing at all, or they have a fair mix like canton, which I will link the description for you. Anything from the cherry hill village festival, brews, brats and brands, artoberfest, and all the Halloween, thanksgiving and winter holiday events as well. Canton also has a lot of attractions as well, it is by no means a lake town, but it has a lot of opportunities to do several activities, and I will put a link in the description to break that down for you!
Alright, switching to the not so good things about living in canton Michigan, starting off with con #1, we have the one and only ford road. I have experienced ford road, my clients have experienced ford road and any negative review that I can possibly find online from current and past residents all tie back to ford road. Remember earlier when I said there’s a bunch of housing communities in Canton, small businesses popping up places and people realizing that canton is actually a pretty good place to live? Well, with all that being said, traffic becomes the result of all those positives. For those of you that don’t know, Ford road is the main vein of canton, where the majority of businesses are and it’s also conveniently used by everyone (even non-residents) for east and west travel. Add some school buses to all that along with semi’s delivering goods to all the businesses and you have yourself a full blown trainwreck. When you’re driving in canton it’s inevitable that you need to drive on Ford road, and you just need to accept that it comes with a lot of traffic. I’m sure the people out in the metro areas across the state will probably laugh and say, “you call this traffic?” My answer is yes, our population density could line one of your blocks.
FLOODING IN CANTON MICHIGAN
Next con to think about, and I want to make sure I preface this with don’t let it be a reason you don’t move to canton, I simply want to raise awareness so if you do purchase a home there you take your due diligence period serious to avoid future issues and that is the flooding issue. I promise you I'm not just basing this off our recent large storms we had, that had Canton residents kayaking down the street, but over the years there have been a few storms that have caused major flooding on streets and basements. I wouldn’t single out Canton by any means, I would say Wayne county in general tends to get pretty hard, and a lot of the homes are old and not well suited for this influx of water. Whether it’s from the sewer backups on the street, in your home, sump pump failures or a foundation that could use some sealing or french draining to divert the water, it’s important to understand what could happen, plan for the worst and hope the best, make sure the downspouts are pulling water far away from the foundation. I had a listing recently with a downspout that disconnected during a big storm and water started leaking in through the roof since it had no other place to go. A lot of these basement floods occur when sump pumps fail and there’s no back up to kick on and the water backflows. Again, I don’t want to single out Canton here, because it’s heavily situational and how the owners of a home prepared for these situations, I just wanted to raise awareness for when you’re buying a home in general.
PROPERTY TAXES IN CANTON MICHIGAN
Another con to keep in mind, is yes home prices can be affordable (in today’s standard) depending on what you’re looking for in Canton, but the property taxes can be a little sneaky. Canton’s property taxes aren’t way off the charts compared to other comparable communities in southeast Michigan, but from time to time I like to show you how to calculate these, as I have in several of my other videos, so you can be as informed as possible. I have several clients bring this up when moving to canton so I wanted to make sure I touched on this. I'll also link a document that displays all the millage rates in all the townships, cities and counties in Michigan from 2022, since the 2023 one is not released yet. Keep in mind, these millage rates may have fluctuated a few points, so use this as a general guideline, not so much the end figure. A mill is equal to $1 of tax for every $1,000 of taxable value, so for example, I searched up canton Michigan's millage rate and found that for a primary residence we are sitting at around 40 mills. You would take 1/1000 of that millage rate, 0.04 and multiple it by the taxable value. Taxable value increases from year to year by the rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is lower. I always aim to calculate property taxes on the high side, just so you can again, plan for the worst and hope for the best. So we would take 50% of the sale price of the home or whatever it’s listed at, in this example i’ll say the home is listed at $300,000, so the number would be $150,000, then multiply it by 0.04 and an estimated tax amount would be about $6,000. If you’re looking for a better estimate, feel free to contact the local assessor's office in the community where the home is located.
LACK OF DOWNTOWN
The last con i’ll talk about is the lack of a downtown space, as I mentioned, Ford road is home to the majority of all the restaurants, businesses and attractions in Canton, similar to my videos about highland, white lake and Milford, they are all situated on the M59 corridor which is a 55+ mph road, and ford road gives off that same feeling of being a busy strip. So when people think of downtown, they venture over to the small towns of Northville, Plymouth, or Ann Arbor. So if that small town atmosphere is what you’re looking for, Canton isn’t that, but on the plus side of things, each subdivision within Canton tends to be its own community, several of them end in a cul-de-sac where you’ll see children play or people come together and chat. So despite the lack of a physical downtown, that sense of community is still there like I mentioned.
For those of you that have watched until now, what are your thoughts about Canton? Drop your thoughts in the comments below. If you ever need help buying, selling or investing in Michigan, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I'm happy to be your go-to resource.
MENTIONED LINKS ⬇️
→Canton Michigan Events: https://www.canton-mi.org/678/Events-...
→Canton Michigan Attractions: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...
→Canton Michigan Underrated?: • Living In Canton Michigan | What You ...
→Property Tax Video: • Michigan Property Taxes | What NO ONE...
→Millage Rates 2022: https://shorturl.at/eiJW9
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.