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Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

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Old 01-07-2005, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

Formula1. I might have missed this but what are the names of the towns where the family members are living, that you want to be close to. Does your wife want to be close enough that she can drive over and a have lunch with her mom and sis or whoever on a regular basis. I am assuming you have shown her this thread, what are her thoughts now that so many of us locals want out of here.

I attached a few pictures of our place, we live in a far north suburb of Oakland County, and on one of the small inland lakes mentioned above (our offshore does not go on this lake). You can see what it looks like for most of the winter. and 4 months boating can be optimistic, unfortunately summer seems to be arriving later and later each year.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

Wow, from where i sit in Rockford, Mi.(West Side). Things are looking good. Economy is picking up, equity in our realestate has done quite well and still along way to go. Other than factory rats there are still good jobs out-there. As far as the weather goes sure we have some bad times but man we also have a spring and fall that kick butt if you like a little change. I have visited alot of this country and feel bang for the buck West. Michigan is tops.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

formula1,

I lived in Michigan for six years. I grew up in California. I decided working for the auto industry was more important than weather, and moved to Ann Arbor to get my Masters degree, and then Troy and Rochester while I worked for GM (just north of Detroit). I'm now back in California.

My recommendation is to think this through. Unless you have some great job lined up that you just can't live without, I don't think you'll be happy.

The winters are so cold, even my Dad was cold when he visited. He's the type of guy that will wear short sleeves, when everyone else has a jacket on. It is a humid cold that goes right through you. It actually hurts to be outside.

They don't get much sun in the winter. A statistic I saw from the National Weather Service showed the Detroit area got less sun than Seattle. A friend of mine who still lives there, emailed me in December, and said they were "entering the dark days". I remember going an entire week without one bit of sunshine. Depressing.

It costs a lot to heat a house in Michigan. So that cuts into the cost of living.

The summers are very humid and hot. You'll sweat like a pig outside. It rains all summer. You can't plan outdoor activities without a weather clause, because it rains all summer.

It costs a lot to air condition the house in Michigan, because of the humidity. More cost of living expense.

The mosquitos will attack you like the birds in Alfred Hitchcock's movie.

You better think about a winter car, because anything nice is completely beat up during the winter. Salt trucks will throw rock salt on it just driving down the street. They rarely plow. They just use salt. You can't keep your car clean during the summer either, because it rains all the time. The bugs will be plastered all over the front. Everyone owns a winter beater. Factor that into your cost of living.

It's too flat for any decent skiing. My first and last ski venture in Michigan consisted of pointing my skis straight down the hill. It was so flat I never needed to turn to slow down.

The terrain is boring. You have the winter snow, with no mountains. All the hiking is boring, because it is so flat.

It's too cold to exercise outside during the winter. Snow starts in about mid-November, and ends in May. That's a long time to be indoors. The people are fat, because they get no exercise. There is nothing to do.

About the only season I liked was Fall - low rainfall, and decent temperatures. Do you want to live in a place with one usable season, though?

Housing is not as cheap as it was when I was there either, so that attraction is gone.

I heard the roads were in excellent condition in the early 70's. I wouldn't know. They weren't when I was there. Add thirty five years and you'll get the idea of the condition.

The great lakes are nice, but they can be VERY rough, so again not usable many times. You don't want to be out there in a thunderstorm either, which is what you get during any months worth boating.

Don't forget the time you'll spend in the basement during the tornado alerts.

There are lots of nice places to live, where the life is easier, and cost of living is still low. I would look elsewhere. Life's hard enough.

Michael
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Old 01-07-2005, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

wow Michael you really make it sound bad, like I said it is not the greatest but not THAT
bad
the humidity can sometimes be bad, but nothing like DC, I even have a lot of friends that have new houses without ac

mosquitoes come out primarily after dark and with daylight savings that is close to 10:00 PM in July & August.

The Great Lakes can be rough but we have seen lots of flat and mildly rough waters as well. The best part of the GL is they are HUGE, clean and not much floating debris like in so many of the rivers and lakes in the south. Plus fresh water makes for much nicer boating. Between Lake St Clair, Lake Erie, Lake MI, and Lake Huron there are 100's of harbor towns with marinas, resturants and parks. Most will say this area is one of the most fun places to boat (of course when the weather is good) because of all the places to visit. In Souteast MI you can easily trailer to all the differnt lakes, which is what we do. It will be years until we hit all the places we want to visit by boat.

I spent a few years living in So Cal. and I can remember being at the beach thinking I must have swallowed a bunch of water until I realized it was the smog and it was making breathing hard. I also remember the Santa Anna winds and the GRID lock on just about every expressway, and of course housing costs anywhere close to the coast is out of site for most . Anyway most places have good and bad, I even think some aspecs of FL living is weird. A lot of my Fl friends have their whole backyard screened in because of the bugs and spend the majority of the summer months indoors.

I often wonder if I won the lottery where I would want to live, so far I can't come up with one place that would offer everything.
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Old 01-07-2005, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

I'm not much of a outdoorsman and neither are any of the members of my family, at least to the extent of hiking etc... I'm more into boating and the watersports that go with it and cars (which means I'll most likely be in the heated garage tinkering with one of my 5.0's or the boat!). The family also enjoys sporting events. The kids are very active in school athletics. That alone soaks up most of our time between practices and games.

That's a sweet place Ms Patriyacht!

I hope it doesn't rain as much as ya'll say. That would be a bummer. But, DC weather in the summer is usually a scorcher...100+ degrees (heat index) for days on end without a hint of rain. Sometimes it almost seems too hot to even go boating!

It would be a HUGE relief not to dodge a bunch of JUNK in the waterways like I have to do now, especially after a big rain and high tide. All the crap from the shoreline always seems to make its way into the middle of the river making it a slalom course. Most of the time, after a big rain, I wait a couple of days before I go out to make sure the crap floats farther down the river!
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Old 01-07-2005, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dockrocker
I'd have to agree with Mitch. We're north of Detroit (Macomb Twp), and if I could find the right position we'd move to the west side in a heartbeat. Better boating, better sledding, housing is cheaper, less crime, and it is a generally more conservative area.

Detroit proper is a sh*thole with no redeeming qualities (and I say this as a life long resident). If you *must* live in the SE area, I would definitely stay as far away from Detroit as you can, the suburbs generally get nicer the farther away you are.

The area south of Detroit is known as the "Downriver" area. Mostly older areas (40's, 50's, 60's) built when Detroit was the Auto Capital of the World. Some of these cities are experiencing a revival, notably Wyandotte. If I had to live down there, I'd look at Gross Isle (pronounced "Grohz Eel"); it's an island community with some very nice homes. Fair amount of $$$ down there.

What kind of interests do you and the family have? How old are the kids?
Zug Island is a must see as well.
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Old 01-07-2005, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms PatriYacht
wow Michael you really make it sound bad, like I said it is not the greatest but not THAT
bad
Well, if he can get a place that looks like yours (see pictures above), maybe it would be pretty good.

I just think anyone that moves to an area should know what they are getting into. It's easy to visit an area, and it looks great. Living there can be an entirely different matter, especially after a few years. It's a huge change going from DC to Michigan. If I HAD to move to Michigan again, I would try to get something outside the city, where you could get some affordable land. That to me is the attraction of Michigan.

SoCal definitely has it problems, too (smog, traffic, expensive housing, high taxes, small lots, a legislature that doesn't know when to quit, etc.), but there is more variety, so you can tailor the negatives a little better to what you especially don't like. I drive further, but have virtually no smog where I live.

Formula1, now listen closely, because this is going to be the deal breaker for Michigan. MICHIGAN HAS A 55 MPH SPEED LIMIT ON ALL INLAND LAKES!

Michael
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Old 01-08-2005, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

Thats right Woogie, that was my Avtive Thunder. We will have to meet some time, maybe at the itty bitty bar.
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Old 01-08-2005, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

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Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?
Good luck!!!!

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Old 01-08-2005, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: Headed to MI, any suggestions or comments?

First I'm a lifelong resident of Michigan. I think the late J.P. McCarthy said it best "Michigan is a great state, just avoid it during the "R" months".
We live in a Bloomfield Hills, 20 miles north of Detroit. Beautiful area, great schools. Cost of living here much lower than many other areas of the country. Great boating. We avoid the crowds on Lake St. Clair and spend our time on Lake Huron mostly. Northern part of the state is a big playground, though a bit congested on summer weekends. During the winter we keep the boat in Florida to preserve our sanity.
Michigan - it's an acquired taste!
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