Michigan communities are as diverse as the state itself. From big-city vibes in Detroit, to untouched natural wonders in the Upper Peninsula, the Mitten State has something that appeals to everyone. And in the center of it all, is Mt. Pleasant.
The Anishinabek were the first to call Mt. Pleasant home. In 900 C.E. the Anishinabek began the Great Walk to the Great Lakes and established the Three Fires Confederacy; today, Mt. Pleasant is the home of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan.
European settlers arrived in the 19th
century. Initially, agricultural pursuits shaped the local community, but in the 1920s the discovery of large oil reserves brought large numbers of new residents to Mt. Pleasant.
Nowadays, Mt. Pleasant is affectionately called a “college town” by many. The small college founded in 1892 as Central Michigan Normal School and Business Institute has become Central Michigan University, a leading research institution whose more than 15,000 students almost double the size of the city when classes begin each fall. The area is also home to Mid Michigan College and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College. While tailgates, graduation, and campus events are still draws for the entire community, Mt. Pleasant is so much more than just a “college town.”
There’s a lot to love about Mt. Pleasant, shares Greg Hall, managing broker and REALTOR® at Coldwell Banker Mt. Pleasant Realty, as he describes Mt. Pleasant as a vibrant and diverse city.
“Mt. Pleasant offers an ideal combination of rural meets suburban: Small-town charm with great amenities like a top-notch park system, golf courses, shopping centers, museums, restaurants, and of course, the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort,” Hall says.
“The historic downtown district has shops, art galleries, restaurants, bars, and a mix of finance, service, and other small businesses,” he continues. “There are seasonal activities you can do such as floating down the Chippewa River, shopping at the Farmers’ Market, cheering on your favorite sports team, seeing your favorite actor or artist perform on stage, and taking part in community events.”
Aerial view of Downtown Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hall)
With a vast variety of activities and opportunities, last year, 507 homes were sold here, as there’s also a great variety of options for homebuyers.
“Mt. Pleasant isn’t a cookie-cutter suburban-planned community where houses are all the same,” notes Hall. “We have several neighborhoods that were developed as our community changed and grew over the years.”
From one-bedroom starter homes to duplexes that can generate revenue—or stately older homes that harken back to Mt. Pleasant’s days as the Oil Capital of Michigan—there really is something for everyone.
Starter home in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hall)Condo in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hall)
Hall said that knowing the buyer, and what they want in a home, is essential to helping them find the right property.
“If someone wants a historic or older home we would show them the area south of Bellows to Pickard and west of Mission to Main. If they’re looking for a newer build, there are subdivisions such as Mineral Springs, Cornerstone, Copper Estates, The Oaks, Pine Ridge, and the area close to Mt. Pleasant High School,” Hall explains.
Historic home in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hall)Aerial view of a historic home in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hall)Aerial view of Lincoln Road and Remus Road in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Greg Hall)
Mt. Pleasant’s west side has a great variety of smaller homes near parks, while the area close to the McLaren Central Hospital, west of CMU and north of Broomfield features terrific mid-century builds. Bamber Woods and Pill Hill feature unique homes. For those seeking a condo, Eagle Pointe, Orchard Glen, Beau Pre, and Rosewood are all options.
“There are so many neighborhoods available, but truly a neighborhood is made up by the people, not the structures themselves. A lot of buyers concentrate on what they want in their house first and then the location follows,” Hall added.
What does that mean for someone who might be in the market to buy a home in Mt. Pleasant?
“Mt. Pleasant, just like the rest of the country, is experiencing a market that is filled with challenges,” says Hall. “We have low inventory, high interest rates, and a lot of homeowners that are only selling because a life change requires them to change—not because they want to move. Even though interest rates are higher than they have been in the past few years, buyers are still purchasing homes and paying more money for them.”
“Supply and demand are at play and as the need for housing continues, we will still see home values appreciate moderately in the single digits—not double digits like during the pandemic years of 2021 and 2022,” Hall continues.
At the time of this interview, only 37 homes were on the market in the 48858 zip code. However, they represent a range of properties with five homes listed at less than $100,000 and one in excess of $500,000.
According to MiReal Source, from January of this year until now, the average sale price of a home in Mt. Pleasant is just over $202,000.
Hall said his top advice to homebuyers is to take your time and research the area. He recommends visiting if you can and seeing all Mt. Pleasant has to offer. He also suggests identifying what is important to you by making a list of your needs versus your wants.
Hall also stresses that buyers should be aware of their rights and the protections afforded to them. The Fair Housing Act
prohibits housing and housing-related discrimination because of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), familial status, and disability.
For the financial side, Hall encourages buyers to get pre-approved, so you know what your purchasing power is—adding that local lenders and mortgage brokers are important partners to have on your team. Hall additionally recommends finding a local real estate agent to help guide you through the process of buying a home, stating it is important to find one that knows and understands the area.
Keith Feight, one of the original brokers at Mt. Pleasant Realty, has seen big changes in real estate in the community over the years.
“When I started, we just had Polaroid cameras to take photos of the homes,” shares Feight. “We didn’t have home inspections—you just looked it over yourself, and all the paperwork was on one sheet!”
Jack Neyer, who along with Feight started at Mt. Pleasant Realty added, “Warriner Hall and Warriner Auditorium—that was the south end of town. Past that it was all woods and residential, and all the roads were two lanes!”
Noting that buying a home can be intimidating, Neyer says, “Sure, real estate has changed, but it’s still a people-to-people business. You’ve got to meet the people, show them the property, and make sure they want to call it home.”
Becky Pantuso, REALTOR® with Century 21 in Henderson, Nevada just outside Las Vegas, grew up in Michigan. Recently, she began to think about coming home.
“I have always said that if I move back to Michigan I would want to live in Mount Pleasant,” Pantuso says. “I love the young vibe that the city has to offer. You don’t have to be young to live there, but I think it would be nice to think young. It has all the amenities you would want in a city: shopping, dining, not to mention the convenience of a big hospital. I think Central Michigan University is just the icing on that cake.”
Abby Jones, a teacher at Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart Academy, is someone who chose Mt. Pleasant to call home. After graduating high school, Jones moved into a residence hall on the campus of Central Michigan University. While earning her teaching degree, she also made connections with the community through volunteering and her church. When she and her husband married, they chose to live in Mt. Pleasant. They bought a home here in 2023.
Like Jones and her husband, Hall calls Mt. Pleasant home after moving to the area to attend Central Michigan University.
“As a college freshman I never considered this is where I would put down roots, but I am so glad to call Mt. Pleasant my home,” Hall shares. “I have been a real estate agent for six years and since then I would say Mt. Pleasant has changed yet stayed the same.”
There are a lot of stories where a variety of backgrounds led to Mt. Pleasant.
Mt. Pleasant is unique amongst Michigan communities: The small-town feel with big-city entertainment; the culture and exchange of ideas that a major university and local college affords; employers ranging from manufacturing to healthcare and education.
No matter what might bring someone to Mt. Pleasant, there are a lot of reasons to love this community—and a lot of reasons to call Mt. Pleasant home.