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Old 04-15-2015, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, MI
302 posts, read 594,046 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Are downtown Midwest rents much worse than rents in the outlying areas? Would a $300-$400 a month studio be doable there, for example?
It depends on the city. I have a friend who is renting a studio in a nice neighborhood in Grand Rapids within easy walking distance of downtown paying around that, though.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:55 PM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,729,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManoftheNorth View Post
It depends on the city. I have a friend who is renting a studio in a nice neighborhood in Grand Rapids within easy walking distance of downtown paying around that, though.
Excellent! I've heard Michigan has a bad economy, I wonder - is it better than Oregon? It seems like it's impossible to find a job here, and the employers call all the shots, and though our minimum wage is $9.25 which is pretty good most jobs pay just barely above that.
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Old 04-16-2015, 04:23 AM
 
3,972 posts, read 3,508,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Excellent! I've heard Michigan has a bad economy, I wonder - is it better than Oregon? It seems like it's impossible to find a job here, and the employers call all the shots, and though our minimum wage is $9.25 which is pretty good most jobs pay just barely above that.
Michigans economy has been recovering since the auto bailout. Cities like Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo have very strong economies and are very different worlds than the cities of the south east side of the state where Michigan gets its reputation. Depending on what you want to do, you can start in a temp position for around $10-$12 in manufacturing which there are plenty that go direct hire. You can $9.50 is right around where you would start in a services position. Unemployment rates are under 4% in the Grand Rapids/Holland area, and under 5% in Kalamazoo and a big part of the rest of the state.

The stereotype that it has a bad economy is misinformed and dated, but it's pretty easy to figure out that it's incorrect.
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,099 posts, read 1,128,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsteele View Post
Excellent! I've heard Michigan has a bad economy, I wonder - is it better than Oregon? It seems like it's impossible to find a job here, and the employers call all the shots, and though our minimum wage is $9.25 which is pretty good most jobs pay just barely above that.
I do suggest cities in North Carolina, though. North Carolina cities seem to be doing pretty well.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
1,170 posts, read 1,451,221 times
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I'd check out Northwest Arkansas (Fayetteville). Yes, Walmart's HQ is in the area but there's a lot more to it than just that. The rent's not bad ($400-500/mo for studios and 1Br, often with all utils) and is pretty bike friendly.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,379,050 times
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A lot of places like that in Texas. Here in Victoria, I pay $529 for a well-managed one-BR with pool and exercise room, safe and quiet. I don't drive, but it's walking distance to supermarket, library, medical center (< 1 mile). If you bike, it's very flat, with grid street layout, so no hills, no traffic-dodging. Good bus routes every half hour everywhere in town. Population 70K, and two hours from a larger city, so everything you'd need is here in town.

Oil-based regional economy, so job market fluctuates with that industry.
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,332,888 times
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Depending on what you consider "cheap", if I were you I'd strongly consider Madison, or any place like it in the South or Midwest. It's such a neat town that feels bigger than it is, so you get the best of both worlds (small-town charm with big-city feel).
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:08 PM
 
56,792 posts, read 81,149,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManoftheNorth View Post
Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Grand Rapids (Metro Is twice the size of what you are looking for, though)
Kalamazoo
Lansing/East Lansing
Traverse City
Marquette
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti if you rent in Ypsilanti
Perhaps something like this could work: Capitol Manor I | Lansing Downtown

Here are some others in the area: Lofts and Apartments | Lansing Downtown

https://www.walkscore.com/apartments/search/MI/Lansing
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,459 posts, read 11,967,021 times
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I can't think of very many small cities which anchor metros of under 500,000 in the South or Midwest which are what I would call walkable - in the sense that not having a car isn't a gigantic PITA. Those that are tend to be college towns, and college towns aren't cheap.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to look at the Wiki list of Metropolitan areas. I filtered out everything which was over 500,000 people, in the West or Northeast, or with a shrinking population (since those would be liable to be bad job markets).

Then the remainder I looked up on Walkscore. I filtered out every city which had a Walkscore of under 50. Also took out a few expensive college towns. Here's what I had left.

LaCrosse, WI
Morgantown, WV
Winchester, VA

IMHO you should expand your search to include portions of Pennsylvania and Upstate NY. The weather is no worse (often better) than the Midwest, and the walkability is far better. Lancaster PA, for example, has a Walkscore of 80. This is more walkable than any large cities in the country except NYC and San Francisco. And you can get apartments near Downtown for under $600 a month if you're not incredibly picky.

Last edited by eschaton; 04-16-2015 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 04-16-2015, 03:16 PM
 
3,751 posts, read 3,729,486 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
And you can get apartments near Downtown for under $600 a month if you're not incredibly picky.
That sounds pretty pricey actually, like only slightly cheaper than what you'd pay here in Portland.

Damn, I'm starting to think I have no choice but to just stay in Portland.
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