Sterling Heights

Sterling Heights: 5 unique homes you wished you owned

Whether they are steeped in vintage history, French flair or modern music gossip, Sterling Heights has some trendy houses worth showing off.

Upton House

Built in the 1860s by William and Sarah Aldrich Upton, this is one of a few surviving 19th century homes in the city, and is a Michigan Historic Landmark. The farming and merchant family clearly had contemporary taste, building the Dodge Park Roadd house in an example of the Italianate style of architecture popular at the time.

Wide eaves, narrow first floor windows and bay windows stand testament to the design style while the back stairs to the hired help quarters gives you a glimpse of what life might have been like for the original owners. The preserved detail of the home’s Victorian features and furniture doesn’t just make you want to live there, but then.

A Builder's Dream

American Tradition Custom Builders owner Joe Nahas knows a thing or two about houses. So when he and his wife built their own, it was always going to be about getting the little details right. Built in 2007 over eight months, the home’s large, open floor plan is topped only by its views of the nearby golf course and the Clinton River.

But what Nahas treasures most in his Wanda Park neighborhood—an old cottage community established in 1926—is the varied style and architecture around him.

“I have built and restored several homes in this neighborhood and a handful of them I have built to resemble the style of the 1920s,” he says.

“I feel privileged to have been able to put my architecture along this magical corner.”

Farmhouse for Sale

This abode is actually a historic farmhouse and converted barn, built in 1900. The unique home has many of its original features intact, like a claw-foot bath tub, lending a country charm to the house.

Some serious vintage class is added by the wood-beamed ceilings, original hardwood floors and stained-glass windows, not to mention a touch of adorable wallpaper. Age clearly has its benefits, with mature trees adding to the privacy of the half-acre lot. Best of all, this property is currently for sale.

Eminem's Crib

It’s a modern history that steeps this Tudor-style home, with the former owner being Detroit rapper Marshall Bruce Mathers III (Eminem to the rest of us). The infamous songwriter owned the home with his wife Kim Scott during a tumultuous, and rather public, year for the couple. Thankfully, it didn't leave any permanent scars on the stunning residence.

Now owned by the Leonard's family (of the bright rainbow Leonard's Syrup vans you see around metro Detroit), this home has 'legacy' written all over it.

Clinton River Residence

The owners of this striking home worked with a local architect to design and build their dwelling in the heart of Sterling Heights. High ceilings that, from the outside, give the impression of a third floor, capture as much sunlight as possible in the Michigan winters, and seem like a wise investment in this current season. The owners hail from France, so they brought with them their appreciation of color in external architecture, explaining that houses by the French coast are often shades of blue.

“There is no sea here,” says the owner [name suppressed], “but Michigan is the state of 10,000 lakes, and because there is lots of brown and gray houses, we wanted something drastically different.”

The owners love the natural elements and parkland in Sterling Heights, and the improvements being made to city amenities.

“The city is getting to where it should be, with lots to offer to its residents."

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Kate Roff.

Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at