Real estate in Old Town has “come a long way” as values grow

Print More
IMG_0284

Having an occupancy rate of just under 100 percent, Old Town may not seem to have much room for any more businesses or residents. Despite this high number, there is still space left to fill in the quaint neighborhood.

For Lease sign in The Grand Center apartments on Turner Street in Old Town. Photo Taken by Alexis Downie.

For Lease sign in The Grand Center apartments on Turner Street in Old Town. Photo Taken by Alexis Downie.

There are a number of noticeable “For Lease” signs hanging in windows or doors along Turner Street. Some of the properties are in large style apartment buildings or above businesses.

According to the Old Town Commercial Association website, there are commercial properties for sale and rent, as well as, residential properties in both categories. Some of these properties include office buildings, warehouses, lofts and single family homes.

Maggie Gerich, an associate at Re/Max Real Estate Professionals in Lansing, believes that while the commercial district of Old Town has come a long way, the residential market is still affordable.

“We are experiencing an inventory shortage in our area overall, which has helped increase the prices,” said Gerich. “But you can still find nice sized homes close by that are very affordable.”

On the corner of N Cedar and E Grand River, this property stands for sale by NAI Mid-Michigan TMN Commercial. Photo taken by Alexis Downie.

On the corner of N Cedar and E Grand River, this property stands for sale by NAI Mid-Michigan TMN Commercial. Photo taken by Alexis Downie.

Taking a look at a half-mile radius from the intersection of Grand River and Turner Street, Gerich said that single family home range in price from $20,000 to the mid $90,000, with some exceptions. On the contrary, condos on Turner Street tend to be on the higher market end ($150,000-$172,000), and only come available every so often.

Half mile radius from the corner of Turner Street and Grand River. Map by Google Maps.

Half mile radius from the corner of Turner Street and Grand River. Map by Google Maps.

Itzhak (Zahi) Ben-David, Director of The Ohio State University Center for Real Estate, said that different neighborhoods have different price dynamics. These price dynamics are seen in listing prices on properties.

“Sellers determine their listing price usually based on the prices of similar properties that were sold in recent months and according to their perception of the current demand,” said Ben-David. “A stronger demand will commend high listing prices.”

Street view of properties on Turner Street in Old Town known as On the Grand. Photo taken by Alexis Downie.

Street view of properties on Turner Street in Old Town known as On the Grand. Photo taken by Alexis Downie.

Ben-David also believes that there are many factors that can effect real estate in a neighborhood. Public schools, walkability, crime, and demographics are all aspects that could have an effect.

“We have seen recently broader trends of generational turnover where millennials and empty-nesters preferring to live in apartments,” said Ben-David. “This ultimately lead to lower demand for single-family houses in suburbs.

The Ingham County Land Bank plays a role in the real estate of Old Town. When property owners do not pay their taxes to Ingham county after three years, they are foreclosed on. Auctions are the first stop for the properties, however those not sold are then turned over to the Land Bank as a final resting place.

Properties with the Ingham County Land Bank are not just sold to anyone. A staff member at the land bank said that their goal is trying to guide the properties to what would be beneficial for the community.

With all of the properties available, Gerich believes that now is the right time to settle in and find a home in Old Town while interest rates are still low.

“It has a great history beginning back when Lansing was first being settled and a good sense of community,” said Gerich.