Monday, February 4, 2008

Chelsea, Michigan highlighted in Business Week magazine

Chelsea was recently named the "Best Affordable" suburb in Michigan. The ranking comes from Business Week magazine, in a series of "best of 2007" feature articles in their real estate section. I first heard the news in a recent chat with the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce, and it was also reported in the Ann Arbor News last week.

Here are some links to follow to learn more:
  • Best Affordable Suburbs in 2007 - "State by state, the most affordable suburbs that offer the lowest crime rate, finest schools, and best quality of life for the dollar" (Business Week, 12/13/07). This link takes you to a slide show. The mention of Chelsea, Mich. is found on slide number 23.

    (Editor's note: I noticed they list population of Chelsea as 13,000+. The population of the city of Chelsea is closer to 6,000, so perhaps this number refers to the Chelsea School District, which includes the city of Chelsea, plus Lima, Lyndon, Sylvan and other surrounding townships. [see Chelsea School District map - PDF file]

Also of interest
Another article Business Week did at the end of last year was the Best Places to Raise Your Kids. There were three towns in Michigan on the list: Douglas, Haslett and Galesburg. And a whole bunch of places in Nebraska. [see slide show on]

Moving to Chelsea?
For anyone who is researching our town or considering moving here, be assured that there is certainly a great range of affordable homes in Chelsea. [See also: Real estate information in Chelsea, MI].You can find many homes for well under $200K as well as those on the other side of $500K, and everywhere in between. What is most interesting to me is the variety of home styles available in a relatively small area. I grew up in a true suburb, where your choice is 2-story or ranch, garage on the left or on the right.

Here in Chelsea, there are historic homes, brand new homes in subdivisions, lake front properties, homes within walking distance of downtown, homes out in the countryside or woods, and just about everything you can think of (well... except for "big city" living. We are a small town, after all). Great school district, award winning library, nice people, active community.

If you are thinking of moving to our area, you are welcome to email me. I can refer you to many useful resources. If you have specific questions about buying or selling your home, I'd suggest you contact real estate agent Richard Taylor here in Chelsea.

What do you think?
Of course, I agree that Chelsea is a great place to live. I don't know that I entirely agree with Business Week's interpretation of "affordable" -- for instance, can a person earning $73, 690 comfortably afford a house that cost $274K? (I honestly don't know the answer to this, which is why I'm asking.) Perhaps that's why they call it the "best affordable" as opposed to the "most affordable". Admittedly, I am always skeptical of how statistics are gathered and reported in feature articles.

What do you make of these rankings?


Sgt. Wolverine said...

I actually laughed when I saw the "affordable" part. I guess it's a relative measure; if you're looking at Chelsea in the context of Ann Arbor, then I guess it makes sense. But if you look at Chelsea in the context of, say, Jackson, then it's downright expensive.

So yeah, while there are many good things I'd call Chelsea, I'm not sure "affordable" is one of those things. Knock maybe $10k or $20k off the median income and a comparable amount off the home price, and I think you're getting closer to real-world affordability.

Leslie said...

I agree. Personally, I don't find those numbers "affordable". But out of curiosity, I just now did a search for a home in Chelsea, using $100,000 - $1,000,000 as the search criteria. It found well over 30 homes for less than $175K, which is much closer to affordable for most people.

And if you're curious, the *most* expensive house listed was $985K.
Here is the link I used.