If you pull up a map and search Oakland County, Michigan, then zoom just north of the cluster of lakes in the middle of the county, you’ll come across a place known as Four Towns, Michigan. I’m going to touch on what that is, and why you should consider living there.
Four Towns, Michigan, a place most Michiganders haven’t really heard of unless they live in the area. An unincorporated community located where the townships of Commerce, west Bloomfield, Waterford and White Lake meet. Ironically enough, this intersecting point is just a few miles down the road from me. It all started in the late 1800’s when a tiny schoolhouse was built In Four Towns which eventually was outgrown and a new school was established across the street that has since been to this day used for church activities.
This little white church near the intersection of Cooley lake road and Lochaven road is known as Four Towns United Methodist Church, which I drove past every single day for quite awhile when I first moved into the area without actually understanding the history behind it. I wish I had someone like me to spread knowledge about areas when I was buying a house… That’s okay though, I’m fine, this is all fine. Anyway, that doesn’t end this little history lesson quite yet. Parked right next to this church is Four Towns Cemetery which is home to over 2000 burials.
Across from the Church used to be the location of the Four Towns Elementary School, home of the Four Towns Chargers, which was completed in 1930, but was demolished in 2006. What’s very rich about this school is there’s a Facebook group for Four Towns Elementary Alumni with over 500 people in it who reminisce about their days at the elementary school, talking about old teachers, posting old yearbook photos. It’s not a private group and I found myself scrolling for longer than I’d like to admit just to hear some stories from students who graduated in the 50’s. Four towns also had a post office for less than 50 years, that was given the name Four Towns P.O. So the next time you’re cruising down Cooley Lake road, be sure to remember this little slice of history, so whoever you’re talking to in the car thinks you’re a nut that has too much time on their hands.
For me personally, it has been an awesome experience to be within rock throwing distance of Four Towns. I have been fortunate enough to have the ability to experience these four towns without having to make an extensive commute out of my way. Because let’s face it, driving, traffic, honking, are just a whole lot of things I don’t want to deal with so if I can avoid it, I will. Each township offers something very unique. Where one township lacks, the others make up for it.
LET’S TALK NUMBERS…
In terms of statistics, The Four Towns (based on the location of the buildings I mentioned) is primarily in Waterford Twp., which has an average home sale price of $225,000. If you take the four townships that make up this community, the average price point comes out to be roughly $319,000. This average made this dramatic hike due to West Bloomfield townships involvement, being as the majority of that area is waterfront homes, they tend to come with a higher price tag.
COST OF LIVING
When looking at the cost of living of the area, it averages out to be rated at a 96.8 based on a 100 point scale for U.S averages. Taking a look at this graph breaking down the cost of living, I’ll focus more on the Waterford area. Grocery, health, housing, and utilities are all below the national average. Transportation and Miscellaneous come in a little higher in their ratings due to car insurance for transportation and clothing, repairs, restaurants and entertainment for miscellaneous.
With an unemployment rate of 3.5% compared to the United States average of 6%, this area is projected to have future job growth of 38%, which is a great sign for economic growth, but the downside is, the average commute for residents is 30 minutes, which is higher compared to a lot of the surrounding areas, so despite the state of a growing economy, most residents have jobs outside the township.
In terms of location, I mentioned there was a nice blend of townships for a nice lengthy list of things to do, but on the other hand, the area is pretty centrally located between highways and M-59 which adds quite a bit of time to your commute as you navigate through all the winding roads around all the nearby lakes. On the plus side this location eliminates a little bit of the pass through traffic, which is seen more in areas near expressways.
WHY SHOULD YOU LIVE IN FOUR TOWNS, MICHIGAN?
So why should you live in the Four Towns community? Well, from my personal opinion, I was able to take advantage of the lower housing costs to get a home on lake without paying well over $500,000, which is a pretty common price tag around southeast Michigan. You have the ability to experience other nearby lively cities and townships, and you more than likely will receive lake access purchasing a house in the area, which is a HUGE plus, especially if that’s the lifestyle that suits you. Numerous sources out there that rate the areas based on an abundance of factors such as: climate, job market, cost of living, housing, schools, crime, etc. have given these townships an average rating of a B+. Some of these townships are better maintained than others, some have more diversity, more restaurants, less shops, better downtown areas, better schools, or higher home prices just like anywhere else in the country, so really take some time to realize what you need and what you want in a location before you commit to anything.
I can assure you there are endless pros and cons to weigh, and if you find yourself struggling to figure it out, don’t hesitate to call, text or email me anytime with questions about the area or other areas in southeast Michigan, I am always happy to be your go-to resource. The area has an abundance of Airbnb’s and I know a few of the owners to a couple of the waterfront Airbnb’s in the area, so if you want to sample the area first, reach out and I’ll set you up with an experience!
Andrew McManamon is a licensed Real Estate Professional in the great state of Michigan. His philosophy to put people first has paved the way to his extraordinary real estate career. Born and raised in Brighton, MI, Andrew acquired a bachelors degree in business management and marketing from Cleary University in Howell, MI. The combination of his experience and education allows him to take a strategic approach towards every transaction and help his clients make more informed and confident decisions.