Metro Detroit

New Homes In Royal Oak

October 04, 2023

Located in the heart of the Woodward Corridor, Royal Oak remains one of the more popular suburbs in Metro Detroit. However, finding new homes in Royal Oak – or a vacant parcel to build a house – can be challenging. In this post, we look at new neighborhoods for single-family homes, individual builds, and the condominium market.

New Homes In Royal Oak – Neighborhoods

With most of the land in Royal Oak already consumed, finding a new single-family neighborhood is really difficult; essentially, it takes a builder/developer purchasing an old school no longer in use, or a former commercial/industrial site (which often requires re-zoning and a potential clean up or remediation). But… it does happen; recent examples include:

Longfellow Elementary – Demolished in 2009 (90 years after opening), Town Building Co., began building gorgeous new homes in 2011, up and down the west side of Maxwell Ave., just south of Sherman, and then along the south side of Sherman as well (pictured above). Adjacent/nearby lots were purchased by various other builders as well, leading to an almost total transformation of the surrounding blocks.

Whittier Elementary – After being torn down in 2008, Roberston Brothers Homes began building single-family homes in 2012 on the site near Farum and N. Alexander (pictured below); the homes sold at an impressive pace, with a similar pattern of adjacent development experienced by the Longfellow site. Today, the neighborhood looks transformed, and the construction of new homes + renovations of existing homes in the area continues.

New Homes in Royal Oak; Alexander Place

Normandy Oaks Golf Course – Unlike the previous examples, the former 9-hole golf course near Normandy and Crooks took development away from an existing neighborhood, and into a transition zone featuring a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational. As a condition of the purchase, Robertson Brothers Homes was required to leave 75% of the parcel accessible as park and recreation space. When completed in 2022, the residential component of the development featured a dense mix of single-family homes AND townhomes, near the southwest corner of the parcel.

The question becomes, how will you know what’s in the works and when will the next NEW neighborhood begin pre-sales? Well, that’s why you have us – we keep watch, so you don’t have to. Sign up for our newsletter or contact us directly, so that you can be at the front of the line when one of these extremely popular neighborhoods becomes available – our November 2023 newsletter focused directly on the Royal Oak market!

New Homes in Royal Oak – Individual Builds

The quickest way to a new home in Royal Oak, is finding a vacant lot or tear-down and building on it, or even quicker, finding a spec home already under construction. With the former, you get to have your fingerprint on everything, from start to finish; with the latter, you’re likely getting a home that already has most (if not all) of the design options selected, but it’s a new home that’s never been lived in. Some people prefer not having the pressure of having to make selections, but of course, for many, the opportunity to personalize the home is what makes it worthwhile.

New homes in Royal Oak; 622 E University by builder Bruce Gooel

Finding a single lot in Royal Oak is not nearly as hard as finding a new neighborhood, but it is likely going to be more expensive. Part of that is the difference between building many homes at once (cheaper) versus one on its own, but it is also the elevated cost of land right now. With homes even in the worst condition typically selling for at least $150K, you are likely looking at a minimum of $650K all in. The good news is, unlike a rural build, your costs in the city will likely be lighter with sewer and water hookups readily available, fewer trees to clear, etc. To demo a home, figure +/-$35K.

It’s also worth noting that many of our clients will look to Berkley instead of Royal Oak for individual builds; while the neighbor to the west has the less recognizable name and social draw, Berkley Schools are among the best in Metro Detroit and there is less competition when lots become available. The prices can also be slightly less than Royal Oak.

Not sure what to look for in a lot? How to price out a build? Where to find a builder? We can help you with that as well.

New Homes In Royal Oak – Condominiums

For the past 20 years, there has almost always been a new condominium development or project available in Royal Oak, or coming soon. Currently, with developers seemingly going the rental route more often than not, new condos have become a bit of a challenge as well; with interest rates at their highest levels in a decade, construction financing for condos is more difficult than for apartments. That said, we know there are several projects in the preliminary stages of development, so stay tuned – we will release any new info as we receive it!

The Harrison Collection in Royal Oak, new construction townhomes

Currently, The Harrison Collection (pictured above) is the only active development in Royal Oak; located on Harrison (and across the street from one of our current listings/former projects, 33 on Harrison), these multi-level townhomes are within walking distance of the southern section of Downtown Royal Oak. Priced from the $600s and upwards, they feature high-end finishes, rooftop patios, and attached garages. This neighborhood is on the back end of the development; we expect it to be sold out in 2024.

If you’re looking for a new home or condo and you aren’t working with a Realtor (or specifically, a Realtor who specializes in new construction), let’s chat. Remember, we are with you from search, to build, and then beyond the closing and into the warranty period. The best part, our service is FREE as long as we start working with you before you start visiting the builders. So CALL US FIRST!

By the way…for both single-family homes and condos, there is always the option to go “new-ish” as well; something built within the past 5 years or so, giving you the option to own something with the flow, modern amenities, and energy efficiency of a brand new home, but with a better chance at affordability and availability.

Whether it’s building your home, finding a new or “newish” home that’s already built, or simply finding the right home for you, our team is here to help. Connect today and let’s get your search started!

The owners of The New Home Experts®, have over 40 years of combined experience in real estate, much of that with builders like Pulte & Toll Brothers.  They also provide market research for area builders, developers, and national firms.  If you’re considering a new home, remember: the builders’ rep represents the builder, not you.  Work with the only local agents in Metro Detroit to specialize in new homes, and save money in the process – ask us how!

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