By Aundreana Jones-Poole
Holt Journal staff reporter
Krista Oesterle-Smith is a mother in Holt. She moved here as a young woman and has loved it ever since.
“I moved away from my parents at age 24 to Holt because I liked the small town atmosphere,” said Oesterle-Smith. “I got married, bought a house and had two children here.”
She’s not alone in her feelings.
Last year, Holt was placed in the top 10 for best places for home ownership in a study done by NerdWallet, a consumer finance advocacy Website.
When choosing a home, Oesterle-Smith and her husband wanted to purchase a place in their price range that they wouldn’t have to put a lot of money into fixing. “We got the best house our money could afford,” said Oesterle-Smith.
According to Rachel Warren, Holt real estate agent, a lot of her clients are initially attracted to Holt because of the price of owning a home.
“Renting a home here is currently lower in price than almost 50 percent of Michigan neighborhoods,” said Warren.
According to the city data website, the median price asked for vacant for-sale homes and condos was $30,873 in 2013.
According to the Michigan Market Overview on Zillow, the median sale price in Michigan overall is $155,450.
Location is also a large part of why Warren believes that people are inclined to home ownership in Holt.
“Some neighborhoods are physically located so that many residents have to drive in their own car, others are set up so many walk to work, or can take a train, bus, or bike,” said Warren. “Regardless of what their mode of transportation is, residents can usually get to services that they want easily.”
Oesterle-Smith agrees. She recalled one of her biggest attractions to Holt being its proximity to everything.
“I liked that grocery shopping was only a few minutes away,” said Oesterle-Smith. “Major chain restaurants, movie theaters and both malls are within 10 miles. As is MSU.”
Holt is in relatively close distance to many destinations such as schools and retail. The CATA bus system runs through Holt to nearby cities such as Lansing and Okemos for residents to have access to these things. Though according to Oesterle-Smith, “It doesn’t seem like it’s utilized as much as it could be.”
Zachary Rhodes has almost 20 years experience in the housing and urban development field as a consultant for redevelopment firms. He believes that a desirable place to live should be located within walking or biking distance to different services and should provide a reliable transportation service.
“Proximity is an important factor when choosing a place to live or to build homes,” said Rhodes. “Part of being a good neighborhood is having that accessibility to multiple destinations and accommodating multi-modal transportation.”
Heather Patterson is also a homeowner in Holt. According to her, choosing this community was one of the best decisions that she could have made for her family and herself.
“I often find that people have a lot of negative things to say about Holt,” said Patterson. “But Holt is home for my family because it is a community of people who care about each other and help one another.”
Patterson cites the impact that growing up in Holt has had on her three children as a substantial reason for why she loves the community.
According to Patterson, Holt has a significant amount of activities that keep her children involved and out of trouble.
“I am thankful to Delhi Township parks and recreation,” said Patterson. “Where I’m from they didn’t have such a variety of sports and activities for children. And their partnership with Holt Public Schools really keeps the costs down.”
Rhodes believes that having these kinds of activities can be essential for families and largely contributes to the desirability of a community.
“A great neighborhood has a lot of community involvement and maintains a secure environment, especially when looking for an ideal place to raise children,” said Rhodes