A Small Town in Michigan Houses the U.S.’ Most Millennial Millionaires

Of the United States’ 618,000 millennial millionaires, most have settled on a zip code in a small town in Michigan four hours from Detriot, called Traverse City. Coldwell Banker Global Luxury together with WealthEngine conducted a study to analyze the lifestyles of America’s wealthies millennials: anyone age 23 to 37 with a net worth of $1 million or more. Of the top 10 zip codes researched in the study, 49685 was found to house the most millennial millionaires.

Delving into the area of Traverse City and its surrounding communities, it’s easy to see why so many wealthy young professionals have flocked there. The community offers an abundance of recreational and cultural activities and a location along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. There are several options for diverse dining and drinking brought about by the city’s professional chefs trained at Northwestern Michigan College. It’s also experiencing an uptick in start-up companies.

Four distinct seasons define Traverse City’s climate, typically ranging between 14 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit from winter into the summer months. An array of seasonal activities keep tourists and locals entertained, from wine tasting or microbrewery hopping in the fall, to a host of winter sports including skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing through the national park. In the warmer months, there are 16 championship golf courses to try out, marathons to run and festivals to attend.

The wide range of readily-available entertainment, activities, dining and drinking lends itself to a manageable work-life balance that millennial millionaires are attracted to. “It’s a small town where you’re never more than 10 minutes from a body of water, which makes it easy to get outside — whether it’s SUPing, boating, mountain biking or hiking,” says Shawn Schmidt Smith, associate broker/owner for Traverse City-based Coldwell Banker Schmidt. “We’re a four-season town with amazing recreational opportunities year-round. On a Tuesday when you’re done with work, you can be on the bay SUPing or in a river fly-fishing within 20 minutes.”

Luxury homes in Traverse City start at $500,000, and while California is the state where most millennial millionaires have taken up residence – 44% to be exact – the Traverse City zip code allows their dollar to stretch a bit further. High-end homes in California typically start around $2 million, whereas the relatively more affordable market in Traverse City allows for homeowners to purchase a primary residence in the city or a vacation property enabling visits to the area at their leisure.

Many millennials who purchase homes in Traverse City have a connection to the area, whether their families own property there or vacationed there throughout their childhoods. When it came time to settle on a city to call home, it only made sense to return. Alternatively, Smith speaks to the “adventurous spirit” of the millennial generation, which lends itself well to the city’s second home market. When looking to invest in real estate, millennials are looking to buy in more nontraditional areas where their dollars can stretch and still provide the lifestyle they are looking for.

The return of many young millionaires has led to the launches of several new companies in the area in recent years. As a number of millennials work in industries such as marketing, graphic design or IT, which can all be done remotely, a renaissance of new businesses has emerged. The U.S. Census names Traverse City the fourth-most popular micropolitan area for start-up companies. A community of freelancers has also materialized who have developed networking groups and support systems.

For those who choose Traverse City as their primary residence, Smith notes its strong schools and accessible airport offering flights to more than 300 domestic and international destinations. The city also offers public transportation through the Bay Area Transportation Authority and shuttle companies, which allow for easy travel to shops, eateries, wine tours, microbreweries, beaches, park attractions and more. As an area to call home, full-time or part-time, Traverse City has what wealthy young Americans are looking for.

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6467 Peninsula Drive, Traverse City, Michigan 49686
Offered by Mark D Hagan of Coldwell Banker Schmidt
231-929-7985 | markhagan.com

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3888 Swaney Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686
Offered by Shawn Schmidt Smith of Coldwell Banker Schmidt
231-499-1990 | shawn@shawnschmidtsmith.com

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696 Old Incochee Farm Trail, Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Offered by Ryan Craig of Coldwell Banker Schmidt
231-409-4219 | ryan.craig@cbgreatlakes.com

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9940 Edgewood Avenue, Traverse City, Michigan 49685
Offered by Mark D Hagan of Coldwell Banker Schmidt
231-929-7985 | markhagan.com

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