Northville, Michigan is the most greatest, fantastic, perfect and amazing place in the whole state of Michigan. Okay maybe I jumped the gun a little bit, so I’ll break down the REAL things to know before moving to Northville, Michigan, Let’s get to it
Also, before I dive head first into the reality, I want to mention the Northville cost of living and fun things to do in Northville videos I made a little while back, so be sure to add those to your queue.
The first topic I want to touch on is the city culture, and for those of you that haven’t watched that other video yet, my office is located in downtown Northville just to put my thoughts into perspective. I’ve spent some time talking with current and past residents of Northville to really dive into the nitty gritty stuff you’ll find sugar coated online, and the biggest reality check is the city’s culture and how it’s changing. Northville is a bubble, that’s the simplest way to put it. The city itself is just over 2 square miles with a population of around 6,000 people, so I’m sure you can imagine the sense of community, especially after many of the homeowners having lived there for quite a few decades. As these longtime Northville homeowners downsize, upsize, move closer to family, or runaway to Florida, it’s opened up some opportunity for some outsiders to come in. And just like with any city, or a job with new management for example, new people have new ways of doing things and oftentimes, change isn’t taken all that well. This definitely isn’t just Northville, it’s in cities across the nation, especially when you have a few generations of families who have planted their roots there.
Some people have said they don’t feel welcome, they feel like an outsider, and it just feels “clicky” like the clear separation of groups at school lunch tables in grade school. This has been a frequent comment, so of course I had to ask, did you take some time to chat with some people? Did you go out of your way to understand the community? And the majority of the people said they didn’t, and I’d have to say that’s a failure on their part. Of course there’s people out there who are clearly unapproachable, but it can be easy to judge someone when you don’t understand their situation. I grew up in Brighton, and the community received a similar reputation, I moved to White Lake recently, and spent a fair amount of time in Northville and I can’t say from experience that I felt like an outsider. I’m not a regular at the restaurants, I’m not on a first name basis with a barber, or anything like that. There’s an adjustment period, no matter if you’re coming from out of state or just a few cities over, the city values appearance, nice cut lawns, beautifully remodeled Victorian style homes, a pristine downtown atmosphere, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s like having a brother or sister who makes their bed and cleans their room all the time, while you don’t make your bed and have a maze of dirty clothes to get through in order to get out of the room. You, my friend, might see Northville a little differently.
One of the biggest complaints from current residents about new residents is their driving habits. Of course, there’s an adjustment period no matter where you go, but remember, this city is very close knit, there’s new construction of buildings going on, areas blocked off, especially on main street, and people are driving way too fast. There’s quite a few areas in Northville where pedestrians can cross without a light, so it’s very important that you are aware when driving through the town, because getting in a close call, or an accident, definitely isn’t a good first impression.
The next thing I’ve noticed a lot of people don’t talk about are the higher taxes and millage rates. Which is strange because I don’t know about you, but the amount I pay in property taxes would affect where I live, would it do the same for you? Drop your thoughts in the comments below. Anyway, if you don’t know what millage rates are, in the simplest way possible, they are the rate in which property taxes are charged on a property. A mill is 1/1000 of a dollar, and when you take that millage rate and times it by the homes taxable value (per thousand), you get your tax obligation. Here are the millage rates for Northville twp., and if you are looking for these in other cities or townships, look up your city/twp. website or give them a call. So Let’s take this example from Northville twp., Say your taxable value is $150,000, divide it by 1,000 and multiply it by the millage rate, in this case it will be 21.4772 (which is the 2022 summer rate based on Northville Schools, and being homestead which means the home is your primary residence, the rate is higher if it’s an investment or rental). Your tax obligation for the summer would be $3,247.13. Keep in mind, I haven’t familiarized myself with how other states do it, but in Michigan, taxes are paid twice a year, in the winter and in the summer. As you could see from that table, the rate is quite a bit more in summer than it is in winter, and that’s because millage rates are used to fund essential services such as schools, police, fireman, and street repair and that’s typically when those departments receive their funding.
Taking a look at the total millage rates in Northville Twp in 2021, It came out to be 36.2347, assuming the property is homestead and in the Northville school district. In Michigan, the average millage rate is about 42.44 mills, so yes it is under the state’s average but it can definitely be on the high side, especially when the city is on the higher end of home values.
Since we are already chatting about property taxes, I figured the next point would be fitting, the crazy housing market. The average sale price in Northville is just over $516,000, which is a 38.1% increase from a year ago, whereas the entire MLS sale prices on average increased just over 9% over the course of a year. If that doesn’t scream crazy, I don’t know what does. Another interesting graph I looked at is new listings. Northville’s inventory compares to all the others and as you can see, Northville comes in at the lowest with 66 new home listings in the last 12 months, while Walled lake comes in next with 133, Farmington with 185 and South Lyon with 328.
It gives you an idea of how little people actually move in Northville, which can be seen as good or bad depending on how your thoughts were with my earlier points. Before we switch gears, I want to show you this last graph for giggles that shows the average sale price in those cities I mentioned. As you can see the price nearly doubles in Northville compared to all other cities. So yes, there’s desirability to stay in the city, but at the same time, people are moving out of the other cities to most likely upsize at those price points.
THINGS TO DO
The last point/misconception I’ll touch on is things to do. A lot of people believe that there’s not too much to do outside of strolling downtown and going to the many great restaurants, but that couldn’t be any farther from the truth. There’s Maybury State park and farm that can be explored on foot, bicycle, horseback or on cross-country skis. It’s open all year around and has endless events and activities scheduled throughout the year. Next is Mill Race Village, which really puts Northville’s historical society in better perspective.
This is a village that is made up of old architectural buildings prior to the 1900’s, that sits on around 11 acres and can be a nice slice of history as you take a little tour around the area. Next we have the fall festivities, Parmenter’s Cider mill and Three Cedars Farm, which checks all your boxes for your fall bucket list, from cider, donuts and caramel apples to getting your wine and brew tasting on. On top of that, the Northville Winery and Brewery is open Wednesday to Saturday from 3-11pm to listen to great musical performances and get your fix from the food trucks. If you want to know more about this awesome thing to do in Northville, I’ll link.
And for those of you from out of state or are wanting to support some Michigan businesses, make a trip over to the Michigan Connection off of North Center Street in Northville, which specializes in gift baskets where they sell Michigan-made products only.
After everything I talked about, what are your thoughts about Northville, Michigan? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!
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.