Breaking Down Financial Barriers to Homebuying in the Detroit Area

Breaking Down Financial Barriers to Homebuying in the Detroit Area

Breaking Down Financial Barriers to Homebuying in the Detroit Area

ashley-cantley   Ashley Cantley
September 8, 2023   •   Local Market Insights

You've probably heard the tales—nostalgic stories from older generations about snagging their first home, complete with a white picket fence. But let's get real: For us modern-day warriors navigating the Detroit Metro area terrain, that narrative feels more like urban legend than an achievable dream. But it is possible, especially when you know the landscape - the market size in Detroit Metro area is at about $200,844,268. Let's talk about the Detroit area, especially its bustling suburbs—Warren, Troy, and Farmington Hills.

Detroit: More than Just Motor City

Long known as the hub of American automotive manufacturing, Detroit has undergone massive changes over the past few decades. The rebirth of the Motor City has been a tale of resilience. From trendy restaurants in Corktown to vibrant art scenes popping up in previously forgotten districts, Detroit is redefining itself. But with growth and hipster cafes come challenges, especially for the young crowd looking to call this place home.

Warren: From Factories to Families

Ah, Warren. Traditionally an industrial stronghold, it's now buzzing with young families and parks aplenty. But here's the catch: Home prices have shot up as families have flocked and businesses have boomed. And remember those classic bungalows that once seemed within grasp? They're now hot properties with price tags to match.

Troy: The Suburban Dream at a Price

With its swanky shopping districts and top-tier schools, Troy has always been a lure for those seeking the suburban dream. But with the perks come the prices. Troy's desirability has sent home values skyrocketing. That three-bedroom home with a backyard? It's now equivalent to a small treasure chest.

Farmington Hills: Green Spaces & Pricey Places

Farmington Hills, known for its lush parks and community events, is a magnet for those craving a blend of city convenience and serene landscapes. But such ambiance doesn't come cheap. The once affordable spacious homes are now becoming the stuff of bidding wars, leaving many of us reevaluating our budgets.

So, while our parents' tales of homeownership seemed like simple straight roads, our path feels more like navigating the twists and turns of Detroit's labyrinthine streets. It's a game, and in areas like Warren, Troy, and Farmington Hills, the stakes are high and the challenges even higher. But hey, if anyone can level up and beat the boss level, it's us. Game on! Here's how we're going to do it.

Existing Debt

Remember those student loans we took, thinking they were the key to a brighter future? Well, now they feel like that party guest who overstayed their welcome, eating away at what could have been our home savings. The first thing to do is create a budget, consolidate your debt, pay your debts on time, reduce credit card balances, and communicate with lenders.

Down Payment

And then there's the challenge of saving for that down payment. With brunches, Netflix subscriptions, and, stashing away cash feels a tad ambitious. So, here's what you're going to do:

  • Explore local and state first-time homebuyer programs
  • Government-secured loans with lower down payment options
  • Conventional loans with as little as 3% down
  • Utilize cash savings
  • Borrow or ask for gifts from friends and family
  • Withdraw from a 401(k)
  • Seek assistance programs at the state, local, and non-profit levels


Limited Budget for Housing

A city with many houses and treesDescription automatically generated with medium confidenceRent is skyrocketing; every month feels like pouring money into a black hole, making homeownership a distant dream. But building equity is worth it and there are about 847 new listings in the Detroit Metro area up for grabs. Here's how you prepare for homeownership, even with a limited budget: Look at your credit. Why? Because it plays a huge role in obtaining a mortgage and can impact the loan terms and interest rates you qualify for

Credit Woes

Credit scores are like the adult report cards we never asked for. Don't stress because knowledge is power, and you're about to get smarter.


Credit Score Requirements

Lenders have their expectations. Fall short? It's like trying to join an exclusive club where you're not on the list. A credit score, typically ranging from 300 (think of it as "rookie level") to 850 ("boss mode"), is like the adult GPA, showing lenders how on point you are with managing your finances. The higher your score, the better loan terms you get.

No Credit

What happens when you have no credit? For those who avoided credit cards, fearing they'd spiral out of control? Now we're like outsiders peeking into the homeowners' club, wishing we had some credit history to show. Starting from scratch with no credit and eyeing that dream house? Time to level up:

  • Consider getting a starter credit card
  • Pay bills on time
  • Become an authorized user on a trusted person's account to build that credit score like a pro gamer racks up points

Low Credit

For the bounce-back squad, those trying to clean up past mistakes, it's tough out there. Redemption stories are great, but the housing market? Not a big fan. Do you have low-credit vibes? No sweat! Time to grind:

  • Review your credit report for any mistakes
  • Pay down those debts
  • Keep those bills in check

Think of building your credit score as leveling up in the financial game to unlock that dream home achievement.

Poor Credit History

Old mistakes have this nasty habit of haunting us, making each home application feel like a hopeful swipe on a dating app. If you're facing poor credit:

  • Dive into that credit report
  • Tackle any errors
  • Strategize debt payments
  • Stay consistent

Building your credit score up will be like a comeback story in your favorite game.

Detroit Metro Area Housing Scene: A Rollercoaster Ride

A house with a driveway and treesDescription automatically generated

Ever felt like you needed a Ph.D. to understand the homebuying process? Mortgages, inspections, legalese—it's all a bit much. But here's what you need to know about the Detroit Metro Area so you can win the game.






A house with a few houses and a car parked in front of itDescription automatically generatedInventory Challenges

When you're ready to join in the hunt for that perfect Detroit Metro area home, heads-up: they're selling pretty quickly, like popular concert tickets that flew off the shelves. The median sale price in 2023 is at about $302,500 and about 50.5% are sold above listing price. Here's one thing you can do though - find an experienced local real estate agent with access to unlisted homes or up-and-coming areas.



Interest Rates and Their Mood Swings

And when you think you've got a grip, interest rates decide to play hard to get. Slight increases? Big impact. The best thing to do is:

  • Work on increasing your credit score
  • Seek out government-secured loans
  • Explore homebuyer programs

The Ever-Increasing Price Tag

Like everything else we love (avocado toast, anyone?), homes in the Detroit area are getting pricier by the day. With median new listing prices at about $312,362. , here's how to handle it:[BL1] 

  • Educate yourself on homebuying
  • Work with an experienced real estate agent who can connect you to first-time homebuyer programs and knows hidden gems

The Taxing Finale

When you finally snag that dream home, the next thing to watch out for is the property taxes – the unexpected plot twist. What can you do now? Start saving for it.

Finding the Homeowners' Hack

You can take other steps to become a homeowner even when it feels impossible.

Homebuying 101

Want the good news? There are courses to decode this homeownership enigma in the Detroit Metro area, including sessions and resources from:

  • Detroit Home Mortgage Program
  • Detroit Land Bank Authority

Think of these sessions and resources as a "how-to" guide for one of life's biggest decisions.

Financial Boosters

Plenty of programs like the Detroit Home Mortgage Program offering low-interest rates and the Detroit Land Bank Authority with affordable property options are throwing life rafts to us, potential homeowners.

Get Yourself a Home Whisperer at NAF Homes

An experienced real estate agent is your guru, guiding light, and insider to the housing market's hidden gems. NAF Homes is your local Detroit area resource for pairing you with an experienced real estate agent who can navigate all the ins and outs of buying there. They have years of experience and will negotiate on your behalf and even guide you to the right programs. Contact NAF Homes today to start your journey!

Quick Q&A

Why's minority homeownership more difficult?

Discrimination, past financial hurdles, and socio-economic challenges are just some challenges. NAF Homes will pair you with a real estate agent who has experience with these challenges.

Why aren't more people buying homes?

Blame it on student loans, evolving priorities, economic curveballs, and our love for city life (and its rents). Investing in your own home and building equity is smart, though. Match with a local agent who can guide you to a house whose mortgage payment is potentially lower than paying rent!

How does housing inequality play a part in the market?

It's a messy mix of economic divides, dark historical practices like redlining, and deep-rooted discrimination. The hopeful side is that when you work with an experienced real estate agent, they will handle these challenges on your behalf, helping ensure your homebuying journey is smooth.

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