First-time buyers usually cannot afford expensive homes.  If you’re one of the few who can more power to you, but most of us need a starter home, we don’t buy our dream home the first time out of the gate.  In most cases that is going to mean a compromise on location.  When I’m working with first-time buyers in the Greater Lansing area the top choices for location are always the suburbs, never Lansing itself.  However, most of my first-timers ultimately end up with a Lansing zip code because you get so much more for your money in Lansing.  Plus, contrary to popular belief – there are some GREAT neighborhoods in Lansing!

Can you afford to live in the burbs?

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This data represents sales between 5/1/06 and 5/1/07 and was provided by the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors (GLAR) MLS.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Compare the figures above to Lansing.

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Want more proof that you get more for your money in Lansing?

In Okemos between $140,000 and $145,000 you only have 2 homes to choose from. 5160-marsh.jpg Let’s look at 5160 Marsh Road listed for $144,900.  It is a cute little 3 bedroom home on almost an acre of property in the Okemos School District.  What’s the catch?  Less than 100 feet from the front door is one of the busiest streets in Okemos.  This home has been on the market for well over a year.

Let’s compare this to a similarly priced home in Lansing.  In Lansing you can choose pict0232.jpgfrom 18 homes priced between $140,000 and $145,000.  I have a new listing at 708 N. Francis priced at $142,900.  It is a 4 bedroom cape-cod with tons of updates and it is on a quiet street.  Tell me which one you would choose.

So, what I always tell my buyers who are looking at homes in lower price ranges, “You don’t have to like Lansing, but you have to try it.”  You might not end up buying a home in Lansing, but you should consider it.  

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