5 Small Towns in Michigan That Families and First-Time Home Buyers Love
by Jeff Glover
on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 6:10pm.
Michigan is a fantastic state to live in for a number of reasons. The proximity to beautiful lakes and streams, fantastic education opportunities, and a robust economy make Michigan a real stand-out in the Midwest, and throughout the nation as a whole.
Throw in the lower cost of living and affordable housing, and you have all the right ingredients for young-families to fall in love with Michigan real estate. So, if you're a first-time buyer, or are looking for a great place to raise kids, you can't go wrong with a home in Michigan.
There is however a wide variety of communities spread across this great state, so choosing the best one might seem a bit daunting. After all, every single one is good in its own way, so how are you supposed to choose?
Well, keep reading for a list of the 5 best small towns in Michigan for families and first-time buyers.
In no particular order...
North of Detroit and east of nearby Pontiac, Rochester is a small town surrounded by some of the area's major employers.
A short distance north is the Cranberry Lake Park and Historic District, known for its many woods and lakes, so you won't want for outdoor activities around this bustling small town. And in the town itself, the Clinton River has been lovingly restored and preserved, with part of it is now hosted by the expansive Bloomer Park.
Hugger, Long Meadow, North Hill and Baldwin Elementary are all highly rated schools in Rochester, so you know this is a great place for families.
Overall, Rochester and neighboring Rochester Hills have great employment and schooling options. Rochester Hills especially has some fantastically affordable housing options.
This may be a small town, but it's packed with all the variety of a big city.
2) South Lyon
South Lyon may seem like it's lost out in the farmland between Ann Arbor, Brighton, and the outskirts of Detroit, but people are fast noticing what a great place this is to live.
South Lyon boasts a fantastic high school, and family-friendly events like the annual Pumpkinfest, which includes games, rides, shows, and great food.
South Lyon still has some great vintage homes available, and even undeveloped land for sale. You won't have to go too far to feel like you're right in the midst of beautiful rural Michigan, and yet the quaint downtown strip with its many stores and eateries will never be too far away.
Ann Arbor is a great mid-sized city in southeast Michigan. Home to the prestigious University of Michigan, it's a city that values education and innovation.
But we're not here for "big" cities, so if you're looking for small-town living in this fantastic area, then consider Dexter a short distance northwest of Ann Arbor.
The beautiful Huron River flows by this town on its way to Ann Arbor, so outdoor activities are never far away. Dexter is also near the edge of both the Pinckney and Waterloo State Recreation Areas - together the biggest green recreation areas in southern Michigan.
Dexter High School is very highly rated, and the small town center is home to many venues for arts and culture, including the Dexter Area Museum.
Located on the western outskirts of Detroit, past the bustling I-275, this small urban center has everything a growing family could need. A quaint, historic downtown area hides some real gems for a grand day out and also lies within walking distance of Northville's various well-established suburbs.
Mature trees line the streets here, providing shade for densely built homes in vintage styles. Venture a short distance west and you'll run into farmland and wooded parks with miles of trails.
From Northville you're also a short distance from other family-friendly communities like Novi and Plymouth.
Northville is perfectly situated, just at the edge of a major urban center, with farmland and forests at its back, and unbeatable amenities.
Brighton is a small town with an excellent location. Just off the I-96 west of Detroit, and only 30 minutes north of Ann Arbor, Brighton properties enjoy a lot of space all to themselves.
Spacious lots are just one of the reasons why this town is great for families. Here you can also enjoy a number of beautiful lakes, forests, and even a ski hill. Schools in Brighton are very highly rated, especially Brighton High School and Hilton Road Elementary.
The beautiful scenery and wide open spaces mean that homes are a bit more expensive in Brighton, but that doesn't mean there aren't fantastic deals to be found. Whatever you get, you'll be able to enjoy the close-knit atmosphere and many parks, like the Island Lake and Brighton Recreation Areas, and Huron Meadows Metropark.
So that's it for great towns in Michigan for families and first-time buyers. Also, a notable mention for Grand Rapids. Although not a "small town", Grand Rapids scores strongly among Michigan cities for cheap home financing, livability, excellent schools, average income, employment, and low crime rates.
But really, places like Grand Rapids are just indicative of the overall friendliness of the Michigan real estate market to first-time buyers and families. The friendly towns and affordable homes are attracting interest from all over the country.