Are you interested in buying a house in Marquette? Join the club! The Marquette, MI housing market is hotter than ever, and housing inventory is tight. In fact, many sources claim Marquette is enduring a “housing crisis” with a newly formed Ad-Hoc Housing Committee working to address the growing need for affordable lodging in the area.

So, what do you do when you want to be close to all that Marquette has to offer, but you don’t want to break the bank doing it?

For an increasing number of people, the answer is simple: move to Negaunee!

Located approximately 11 miles west of Marquette, the City of Negaunee is a historic mining town that has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of buying a home in Negaunee vs Marquette.

Why are So Many People Moving to Marquette?

Marquette is often hailed as an ideal landing place for those looking to escape the big city rat race. With a relatively small population of roughly 20,000, Marquette boasts an incredible selection of amenities while still retaining the ambiance of a small town that’s focused on community.

The Marquette area is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. According to Northern Michigan University’s admissions department, Marquette features:

  • A whopping 96 miles of cross country ski trails
  • 500 miles of snowmobile trails
  • 11 waterfalls
  • 11 exciting hiking trails
  • and over 10 miles of pristine bike paths

According to local media, more people than ever are looking to relocate to Marquette due to the flexibility at-home work provides. Additionally, many families are fleeing wildfire, flood, and hurricane-ravaged areas on the west coast and southeast – and communities like Marquette are precisely what they’re looking for.

Aside from the stunning natural beauty, endless shoreline, and untouched forests, Marquette is a cultural beacon in the U.P. Amongst other attractions, the city features a world-class university; outstanding K-12 programs; a vibrant art scene; numerous community sporting events; and a bustling downtown dotted with unique eateries, charming shops, and more than a few welcoming watering holes.

What’s not to like? Well, the price! Marquette, MI real estate has appreciated over 100% since 2000 – one of the highest rates of appreciation in Michigan. And the trend shows no signs of slowing.

If the dollars and cents don’t make sense, it may be time to consider a neighboring community like Negaunee when planning your move to the Great North of Michigan.

Why is Buying a House in Negaunee A Smart Move?

The secret is out – Negaunee is the “next Marquette,” attracting price-savvy home buyers looking to get more bang for their buck. Let’s look at some statistics that break down the differences between buying a house in Negaunee Vs. Marquette, according to

 Marquette, MINegaunee, MI
 Median Resident Income$35,719$45,856
 Median Resident Age28.739.2
 Average Home Price$235,000$167,200
 Unemployment Rate5.9%5.9%
 Average Commute to Work11.92 minutes19.18 minutes

As you can see, the price of a home in Marquette is roughly 70% more than a home in Negaunee. If a longer commute to work is okay with you, you could be looking at attractive mortgage payments (an average of only $599.22 per month!). That’s 40% lower than the national average.

More reasons to buy a house in Negaunee:

A person biking on a trail in the woods, such as the Iron Ore Heritage Trail that buying a house in Negaunee provides easy access to.
  • Schools. The Negaunee Public School System enjoys a long-standing reputation for being an excellent district, with engaged parents, patient teachers, and enthusiastic staff. Additionally, Michigan’s school of choice program allows your child to attend school in nearby districts if Negaunee isn’t right for you.
  • Farmers Markets. Every Wednesday from 4-7 pm from June 9th through September 29th, a lovely farmer’s market welcomes locals looking to take advantage of the season’s best produce.
  • Trails. Bikers, walkers, bird watchers, skiers, and more can easily hop on to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, which passes through the heart of downtown Negaunee and connects the city with Marquette and neighboring Ishpeming. This 47-mile, multi-use, interpretive trail allows the whole family to exercise the body and the mind.
  • Safety. Negaunee is reported as being safer than 55% of cities in Michigan.
  • Healthcare. Bell Hospital, near Negaunee, has been recognized as a 2021 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the United States by The Chartis Group.
  • Commerce. Negaunee is home to some exciting businesses. Aside from mainstays like North Yoga and Fitness, Midtown Bakery and Cafe, Grand Effex Hair Salon, Lowenstein’s Antique Marketplace, Negaunee Ice Arena, and several restaurants like Jackson’s Pit and Border Grill, newcomers like Love and Bicycles and Campfire Coffee prove Negaunee is a desirable place to set up shop.  
  • Saunas. From the 1860s through the 1930s, people of Finnish heritage flocked to the Negaunee area to work in the iron ore mines. Because of this, many of the vintage homes in the area come equipped with your very own sauna!  

For more information on buying a house in Negaunee, please click here

Things to Consider Before Buying a House in Negaunee

When considering buying a house in Negaunee, there are a few issues that may or may not be deal-breakers for you.

Here are some of the major concerns I have with homes in the Negaunee area as a professional home inspector:

  1. Radon. Homes in the Negaunee area are known to be at risk for elevated levels of radon. To learn more about the risks associated with radon, please read my blog, Do You Really Need A Radon Inspection in the UP?
  2. Wet basements. Water intrusion is a significant problem in any home. It can be a precursor to mold, mildew, the deterioration of your foundation, and the destruction of precious family heirlooms. Because the bedrock is relatively close to the surface in Negaunee, you could be faced with issues related to water intrusion. It’s best to schedule a professional home inspection if you suspect your basement has a flooding or water intrusion issue.  
  3. Cracked plaster. Before I met my wife, she lived in Negaunee in the 1990s. Back then, the nearby mine would set off a “noon blast” every day. Because of this, many older homes in Negaunee have cracks in the plaster (newer homes use drywall, so cracking isn’t a big issue) from the small daily earthquakes.
  4. Out-of-date electrical wiring. If you’re buying a home in Negaunee, keep an eye out for electrical hazards. Vintage homes often feature out-of-date tube and knob electrical wiring, which can be a fire hazard. A home inspector can confirm the shape of your electrical system and let you know if any updates appear to be professionally done or if they’re just another D.I.Y. disaster.
  5. Foundation issues. Many homes in the Negaunee area are over 100 years old! With vintage homes come tons of charm but remember – the materials used to build your potential home’s foundation may not be up to modern industry standards. To learn about some of the top foundation problems I find when inspecting older homes in Negaunee, please read my blog,Common Foundation Issues in Older UP Homes.

As I said, these issues may or may not be a deal-breaker for you – but luckily, a professional home inspection can provide you the leverage you need to negotiate down the price of your home if any of these situations come to light.

What Else Should You Consider Before Buying a House in Negaunee, MI?

Because Negaunee is in a high-snowfall area, it’s essential to consider how you will deal with winter-related issues like:

  • Commuting in inclement weather – many people who live in Negaunee commute to Marquette for work. In the winter, you may have to get up early to account for snowy conditions.
  • Where to park your car – Unlike Marquette homes, many older Negaunee houses don’t have adequate off street parking for winter. This is because when the homes were built in the 1800s, most residents worked in the mines nearby and simply walked to work.
  • Whether or not you will need to pay for a snow removal service – Negaunee often gets several more feet of snow than Marquette. And with parking tight, there’s not much room left to put big piles of snow.

Schedule Your Negaunee Home Inspection Today

Choosing the right home inspector isn’t a task that you should take lightly. You can be assured that I will always adhere to InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics, avoiding any conflicts of interest along the way.

If you’re looking to make the smart move of buying a house in Negaunee, I encourage you to reach out to U.P. Home Inspection LLC. right away to schedule your professional home inspection. We are a company by Yoopers for Yoopers – our extensive knowledge of the local area will prove to be invaluable in your home buying experience.

Schedule Your Negaunee Home Inspection Today