What Does $250ok Buy Now In Northern Michigan?

Unfortunately for home buyers, $ 250,000 is the new $ 125,000. It’s the reality of a northern Michigan real estate market that has never been so hot.

The trend has been going back a few years and home sales have recovered since the end of the Great Recession, eventually reaching record levels in 2019. This was partly because so few homes were built during the recession and the construction industry was still a long way from meeting demand by 2020. According to the National Association of Realtors, 18.2 percent fewer apartments were available in June 2020 than in the previous year.

The inadequate supply of new houses combined with a shortage of apartments between the ages of 10 and 20 drove prices up. Together with historically low interest rates and a strong economy, 2020 was a year ago with skyrocketing sales prices. Then the pandemic hit.

The effect was comparable to pouring a cork into a bottle.

The pressure mounted as many people across the state and nation newly locked in office jobs and able to work virtually fled to vast areas like northern Michigan, where inventory levels were already low. When the stores reopened, the top came off and the real estate industry exploded.

That brings us to spring 2021, a time of year when the region’s industry is usually just beginning to drain away – but sales in the region are already sky high. They would be even stronger if more homes were available, but stocks aren’t replenishing as quickly as sales take place – so prices keep rising.

What can you get for $ 250,000 here these days? In the most desirable areas – like in or near downtown Traverse City – not much, admittedly. So we opened the parameters to create a selection of the cutest properties available in the area, listed between $ 225,000 and $ 275,000 (shown clockwise from the top left of the photo collage).

$ 224,900 – 1006-1 Jefferson Ave, Traverse City
These rare Slabtown condos (two for sale as of this writing) are a short walk to the beach and downtown. Each of the two bedroom houses has a small garden and private basement. Historic brick building, hardwood floors on both the main level and upstairs, even a fireplace (could be converted to gas), all in a quiet, high demand area.

$ 265,500 – 19643 Pine Woods Dr, Lake Ann
Only 20 minutes away from everything TC has to offer but away from the hustle and bustle. This Lake Ann home offers a scenic, wooded setting with a large yard. Inside, it has an open floor plan, cathedral ceilings, and a kitchen island with a wood-burning stove for cozy days and nights when the air is fresh.

$ 249,900 – 9571 S Nash Rd, Maple City
Go go gone? At the time of listing, there was only one other property in Leelanau County in this price range. This three bedroom ranch sits on 1.5 acres and has a two car garage and a separate free standing two car garage for all of the family’s summer and winter toys. Central air, cable internet, and plenty of flower beds to brighten the days.

$ 225,000 – 11934 Homestead Rd, Beulah
Would you like to escape everyday life and still have almost everything close by? This could be just for you. Minutes to Crystal & Platte Lakes, rivers, hiking trails, and Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa. A short drive to Traverse City and just around the corner from St. Ambrose Cellars. This three bedroom country house sits on 5 acres with plenty of room for outbuildings. And horses are allowed.

$ 269,000 – 1571 Dorena Dr SE, Kalkaska
This fully renovated and modernized four bedroom ranch is located in a quiet area east of Kalkaska in a sought after residential area. Two vehicle garage and full basement, bonus room, perfect for a nice home office or game room, and front and rear decks.

$ 274,900 – 412 E Harris St, Cadillac
This restored Victorian Queen Anne dates from 1885. It has been updated and renovated, last in 2008, and has all modern conveniences. Relax on the wraparound covered porch and enjoy the lush greenery that surrounds it. Walk to downtown shops, restaurants, the library, and Cadillac Lake. Four bedrooms and three bathrooms plus the additional bonus room and garage look like they’ve always been there.

NOTE: This is an excerpt from a longer piece on this week’s Northern Express. Click here to read the full story.

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