Pros and Cons of investing in Port Huron, Michigan?

5 Replies

I noticed a number of members from Port Huron, Michigan and I'm throwing this post out to any Port Huron or Michigan investors. I recently purchased a small seasonal rental in Lexington, Michigan (a beach town), and have been seeing alot of very good-looking deals in two-family homes near the Hospital and College campus in Port Huron: two-flats for under $70K, (average rents for 1/1 $550; for a 2/1 $650-750) low taxes, recent capital improvements,  BUT, I've also read alot of negative forums regarding crime, and the crime statistics for Port Huron are WAY higher (in certain parts of the City) than either the Michigan or the national average.

Anybody have any insight into what's going on in Port Huron, Michigan?  I spent alot of time driving around over the summer and it appears that it's experiencing a mini-boom, lots of old downtown storefronts, formerly vacant, now open with new businesses, a California company purchasing the local hospital (presumably for expansion), a very large community college, etc. 

Is it too good to be true?  Why all the landlords unloading property so cheaply? 

Yay my market is up for discussion :) 

I will answer your question when I have more time tonight.

Great, Richard.  I'm looking forward to the discussion

@Linda Reynolds  

For the sake of time I am going to recommend that if you would like to find 2/1 duplexes around 70k that rents for 600-650 per month per unit in Port Huron that you look in the Holland Woods Middle School area. This is a B neighborhood and should offer you stability while almost getting you the 2% rule. 

The area you are asking about could go either way in the next 5-10 years. If you were in the area or if you have someone that really knows the market in the area you could take that gamble and it may pay off but just as easily it could leave you selling for half of what you purchased it for in 5 years.

Now my final disclosure, BEFORE YOU BUY ANYTHING in Port Huron you need to go read the new zoning rules that the local government has passed that no longer allows rentals in certain neighborhoods as well as the landlording regulations that require rental certificates and inspections.

I do want to let you know that when I started investing in Port Huron in '09 I had hoped to buy bad houses in the Hospital / College area, fix them up and rent them to stabilize that community. I have 3 SFH in that area and I do not regret it however I no longer invest in Port Huron due to the new zoning laws and I would not recommend anyone else invest in Port Huron. If you like St Clair County please take another look at Fort Gratiot, Kimball, St Clair or maybe even Marysville. Lately my bet has been on Fort Gratiot as that area is expanding with new businesses and housing.

BTW are you from Port Huron area? I am only asking because I have some relatives with your last name :D

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and complete answer!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate the inside point of view and the suggestions.  The old adage that, "if it seems too good to be true, IT IS" holds true every time. I'm going to take a good long look at the new regulations/inspections/certification requirements. Before I even sent my post out there, I had a bad feeling about Port Huron, and started looking at Marysville and Fort Gratiot, based primarily on the low crime rates, and other demographics. 

No, not originally from Port Huron, I grew up in Plymouth (near Ann Arbor) but live in NYC now, and have a little summer place in Lexington. 

@Linda Reynolds Hi Linda. I think Richard got the Port Huron market pegged pretty squarely. Fort Gratiot and Lakeport have had a lot of houses moving recently. I just wanted to say hello since I'm in Lexington too. 

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