Historic homes in Milford range from large, grand old Victorians of 2000 Sq Ft or more that were built by the wealthy merchants of Milford to the small 800-900 Sq Ft bungalows and cottages that were built by workers. Most of these old homes have been preserved and updated over time. There are still some bargains to be had, but many of those need work. Most are within easy walking distance to downtown. Generally, we include houses built before WWII in this historic category. Standard “Village lots” were 66’ wide and 132’ deep. There were lots of cases of bigger houses being built on double lots. For more on our historic homes see out About Historic Homes page
Milford was settled in the 1830’s by pioneers who wanted to tap the streams feeding the Huron River for power to run mills - saw mills, grist mills and various other mills. The first settlers built log cabins and then houses and stores on the south side of the river and the Village initially sprang up there. In the mid-1800’s the business moved across the river to the area that is now the main downtown district and the neighborhoods followed. The Milford Historical Society was successful in getting the historic district neighborhoods of the north-side neighborhoods declared a National Historic District. You can read more about that on the MHS site and about all of the historical buildings and homes that make up the Historic District. There are several hundred historical homes in the Historic District and many more in the area that didn’t make it into the district.
Following WWII homebuilding took a turn towards providing affordable housing for the post-war boom. The housing industry moved away from wet-plaster walls, which took too long to do and standardized on dry-wall or plasterboard sheets, which were introduced during the war.The Bonnie Highlands neighborhood in Milford was a post-war exception to that movement and all the houses there still were built with wet plaster walls and hardwood floors everywhere. You;ll find coved ceilings and arched doorways in many of the homes of this era. Houses built in Milford between 1940 and 1960 fall into this category. Other neighborhoods that sprang up in Milford during this time frame include the Fairview Heights sub, the Peach Hill Sub and Needles Oak Park. Single level, ranch style houses were very popular, as were raised ranches or bi-levels.
The 60’s and 70’s saw a movement in the Milford area that reflected what the rest of the country was doing - moving out of town. Much of the building was taking place in subs that were developed on farm land at the edges of town. In Milford that meant Oakland Orchards (literally built on what was an orchard) Kensington Hills and Castle Heights.
The raised ranch style was still around and a new variation on the multi-level house, called a tri-level or quad level (depending upon the number of levels) became popular. Of course single level ranch style houses were still popular as where 2-story colonials. Many houses built in this era tended to have more land - ½ acre or more, since they were being built out in the countryside. Large 2-story colonials were also popular.
Much of the building in the 80’s, 90’s and the new millennium has taken place out side the Village limits, either in Milford Township or the areas in Commerce Township to the east and Highland Township top the north that border Milford. The trend has been towards ever bigger homes. The introduction of the site condo method of development (such as Milford Bluffs), where the homeowner owns his house and the land immediately surrounding it (his lot) did lead to many developments where the homes are on fairly small lots and close together; however, there were also some big-lot subs like Heritage Hills that went in during this timeframe. Again, more building was taking place out in the Township than in the Village; however, smaller, “in-fill” developments like Milford Glen and Stonewood Estates were also built. There are 2-3 new-build developments still being built within the Village limits, but space is getting scare for developments like that.
The trend towards bigger houses with continued, with the new twist of putting everything for the owners (bedroom, laundry and gourmet kitchens) on the first floor. Two story and story and a half houses prevail, with one-story ranches still being built, also.
To get a feel for current housing costs in Milford, click on the “What have homes in this area sold for?” choice on the home page.