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Old 03-22-2011, 03:13 PM
13 posts, read 19,503 times
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Hi I'm Joe. I'm trying to move to another state but I'm not sure which one exactly. I just want to get away from Cali. It's just too expensive, full of plastic/materialistic people, extravagant people. Not saying other places don't have this, but Cali has more. I'm more of a chill/laid back kind of person.

I actually lived in the midwest for 10 years and loved it. I don't want to live in a tiny city but I also wouldn't mind living in a nice cozy woodsy area either.

I'm 19. Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:11 PM
192 posts, read 375,686 times
Reputation: 207
Joe, check out Traverse City if you want the up north feeling and Grand Rapids for the more urban setting.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:23 PM
1,490 posts, read 2,911,316 times
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Originally Posted by Joe2112 View Post
Hi I'm Joe. I'm trying to move to another state but I'm not sure which one exactly. I just want to get away from Cali. It's just too expensive, full of plastic/materialistic people, extravagant people. Not saying other places don't have this, but Cali has more. I'm more of a chill/laid back kind of person.

I actually lived in the midwest for 10 years and loved it. I don't want to live in a tiny city but I also wouldn't mind living in a nice cozy woodsy area either.

I'm 19. Thanks!
Try Portland or Seattle. A lot of Midwesterners end up there, and there are a lot more employment opportunities and better outdoors activities.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:08 PM
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,075 posts, read 7,087,982 times
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Im with Fripper....Traverse City is awesome, and the area is fantastic! Grand Traverse county has the third highest population growth in Michigan the last decade...which says a lot. But...if I didnt live in Michigan and want to move to TC also, I would look at Oregon or Portland.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:02 PM
Location: Mile High
284 posts, read 235,631 times
Reputation: 536
Default Daydreaming of Deserts

Hi Joe, I'm from Texas by way of L.A. (lived there 10 years) and moved to MI last June. You didn't mention where in CA you're from, but your mention of "expensive, full of plastic/materialistic people, extravagant people" makes me think you're from one of the major metro areas. I totally understand what you mean by cost of living and the huge discrepancy between the "haves" and the "have-nots." My husband and I are extremely educated (I just finished a PhD), we made an excess of $120,000 a year and pretty much could be lumped into the "have-nots" when you consider all those mansions on the hills.

So yeah, I know what you mean by wanting to look for greener pastures in other states where your money goes a lot further. And MI, from June to October, is stunning. Gorgeous. However, I would caution ANYONE to not underestimate the winters. They are very long, very cold, and most significantly, and very cloudy. By some estimates the small town I live in (Holland) has no sun 209 days out of the year. It's a huge transition for someone coming from CA ... one that I did not see coming. Never would have thought about it. Just a head's up as you think about what states might be a good fit for you.

In the meantime, I'm daydreaming of deserts.

Last edited by ironlady; 03-22-2011 at 08:10 PM..
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:02 PM
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
4,915 posts, read 5,962,118 times
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Michigan is the polar opposite of California. It is a down to earth kind of place, and the cost of living is very very low compared to California. Our big downfall is the hard job market here, but if you can find a job you will be able to support yourself. I agree with the pp that suggested Traverse city. Its woodsey, but not too small just like you requested. Grand Rapids and metro Detroit (suburban) offer the bigger city enviroments in Mi, however both areas would still be considered small by Ca standards. Of the two big cities I prefer Grand Rapids by the way.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:07 PM
528 posts, read 695,512 times
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Originally Posted by AlohaHuey View Post
Try Portland or Seattle. A lot of Midwesterners end up there, and there are a lot more employment opportunities and better outdoors activities.
I would agree with that, though I'd say try Seattle. Portland is still struggling, particularly folks in your age group. Portland attracts a lot of homeless youth due to the extraordinary services they provide, but unless you have a degree and are working in your field, Portland is a tough job market for young folks.

Seattle on the other hand is doing well, and there are always areas with reasonable rents.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:42 PM
Location: southwest michigan
1,061 posts, read 2,969,330 times
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We moved our family from CA to MI back in July and it's been absolutely wonderful. We have home-based businesses, but my husband was also just offered a "regular" job just down the road from our house. So for us, the employment situation hasn't been a problem. Plus, if you're coming from CA, employment is not exactly stellar there either.

We live just outside of Kalamazoo, not too far from Grand Rapids in a "cozy woodsy area" and we love it. Good luck in your search!
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:27 AM
2,987 posts, read 5,735,751 times
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I grew up and lived about 28 years in MI and then lived in Ventura for about 2 years. The cost of living in MI even in the most upscale areas is much cheaper plus you get more for your money.
I found in CA though the people to be very friendly and more so then the area of MI I was from. So I think a lot depends on the city. I lived in Oakland County and around there I would suggest Royal Oak for you or in a different area Ann Arbor. Both young areas,safe,and lots to do.
The spring and summer are great in MI and even most of the fall. There is a lot of seasonal outside weather thngs to do. Winter is ruff that is for sure. If you like to ski or other winter sports it may be easier.
Do you plan on going to school or what will you do for a job because that may help direct you to a city?
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Old 03-23-2011, 09:24 AM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
20,567 posts, read 53,353,072 times
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I grew up in Michigan and then moved to Orange County after college. I lived in OC for 19 years and then back to Michigan in 2005. It is very different in many ways. If what you are trying to escape is the Irvine/Newport Beach phoneyness, materialism, competitveness, etc. Then you will find what you are looking for in parts of Michigan. I suggest that you avoid the trendy north Oakland County suburbs which are very nice, but also very much like the Irvine/Newport Beach atmosphere. Away from the "trendy" cities, there are a lot of terrific places that you will love. Definitely visit Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and even downtown Detroit. These are the major cities that are likely to attract younger people. Royal Oak and Ferndale also have quite a bit of life to them, but they are much smaller and somewhat ont he comeback from being awful.

Choose an area or at least a type of lifestyle (urban, suburban, rural, wilderness, small town, tiny town, Western Mi, Detroit area, northen LP or the UP. Then people can help you select specific towns to consider. Michigan is a major vacation destination for a reason and it is not just that people like to kill things.

We found Michigan people to be a bit uptight suspicious and unwelcoming at first. You do not find much of the casual openness prevelant in the west, but you do not find much of the shallowness and phonyness that goes with it. People here build fewer but more permanent relationships. It is hard to become accepted. When you are accepted, that is it. People do not tend to move around change friends constantly based on who can provide better social status or whatever. A great many people here would love nothing more than to help someone out, if youahve a problem, they will almost thank you for the opportunty to help soemone.

To give yuo an example: Shortly after we moved, we had a major problem with a loan on our house. We had to come up with $32,000 in two weeks or they were going to put us into default. We had no way of doing that. Someone from our community learned of this and suddenly there were a bunch of people offering $1000 to $2000 loans (and a couple of larger loans). Most with no expectation of interest, no deadline "pay it back when you can" Some of these people we barely knew. Some of these people have lower income than we do, but they had some savnigs that they were not using at the time. The helped us cover the $32,000 and we eventually paid them back.

If your car breaks down, or you get a flat tire, you may have to put up a sign "No, I do not need help. Thank you." Otherwise you will spend all of your time talking to people who stop to help you.
On the other hand, you are nto going to be very popular if you drive by someone in trouble without at least stopping to ask if they are OK. Also you never drop someone off and leave before their car is started or they inside their house. It is beyond rude and it can be dangerous in the winter.

Driving is different too. People here drive very aggressively. Tailgating is an art form. However they are more aware of what is going on, more able to control their vehicles. Less pure idiocy (although there is still some). If you are being an idiot(ie driving slow inthe fast lane), you may be treated badly, but if you are obviously in trouble, you are much more likely to be offered help. One time I was pulled over becuase I had a headlight out. Instead of writing me a ticket, the policman fixed it for me because he was familiar with my type of car and knew that a certain wire tends to come loose. Somethings will amaze you.

People drive fast. I sometimes get honked at for driving 85 in the fast lane. Sure you can get tickets, but I have not been stoped for speeding on a freeway. In the towns, they will nail you, especially Romulus and Troy in my experience.

You will not find a lot of Hispanics or signs in spanish. You do not hear people constantly complaining about "illegals" unless they are speaking of Canadians ; ). You will find a lot of segregation between blacks and whites. We do not run into a lot of rednecks or crackers. We do not get dirty looks for going into a store in a black area (like we did in the south). But people do tend to live seperately. Our local High school has one black student. HE does get hassled occaisionally, but the school cracks down on it like you wold nto believe if they can catch the perpetrators. Further many other kids stand up for the black student and even get in fights over things that he says that he did not even care about. There certianly is prejudice, but it is slowly falling away.

Real estate is dirt cheap. Yes, you really can buy a decent house for under $100,000. resturuants are scattered. Forget having the cuisine of every nation within a mile of your house. You may have to drive 40 miles to get to a good resturaunt, however it will only take you 40 minutes (not three hours). Things are a lot more spread out and open. Spring is amazing with all of the emerald green trees, grass, flowers etc. Fall is abosultely incredible. Winter takes some getting used to. It is fun at first, but it just goes on and on and on. Still I would rather have winter than not, just wish it was shorter.

Schools are generally better, but of course there are better and less good school systems. Detroit schools are mostly horrid.

Roads are often in terrible condition and will probably get worse. winter beats them up and the State has no money for repairs. Plus they allow way too heavy trucks to use the roads and break them up quickly. Just get used to dodging holes and paying for repairs.

Nearly everything is cheaper. Gasoline, groceries, dining, entertainment, used cars. Housing is incredibly cheap by comparison. More expensive is car insurance, winter heating bills, snow removal equipment or services, I cannot remember what all else.

We found medical care options to be far better. Typical insurance from employers is also generally much better. It is great to drive along a road and buy fresh produce from the farmer who grew it (or his kids).

People tend to be fiercely proud in Michigan.* We buy Michigan milk, drink Vernors, and eat Lays potatoe chips. Persoanlly I woudl nto drive anything but a big 3 automobile here. Oh and never ask for "soda" It is "Pop" If you say soda, you may get some flavorless dry fizzy water that they use for some bar drinks. (* There is a significant group that absolutely hate everything about Michigan and especially Detroit, and if you say anything good about it, they will attack your statement and you. Avoid these people, they are like a cancer on your life and will make you miserable, hopefully they will move to Califlrnia and join the hordes soon.)

Northn Michigan and Western Michigan are especially beautiful. Lake Michigan Beaches are far prettier than pacific Ocean beaches. Rivers, lakes (not just the great lakes, hundreds of smaller lakes), and forests are everywhere. There are no mountains, not even a lot of substnatial hills. Skiing (downhill) is a joke, but sledding, snowmobiling, skating, fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and many other opportunities abound. THere are some fabulous bike trails where old train tracks were converted to bike paths and are miles and miles long.

Western and Northern Michigan are prettier, more open with small towns scattered about. Southeastern Michigan has more going on it is pretty suburban, but there are still a lot of open spaces and rural areas. The upper Peninsula is pretty empty. It is also pretty because it is empty. SOme of the UP towns remind me of the TV show Northern Exposure. Not quite that isolated, but still somewhat simlar.

Traverse City is one of the most beautiful areas in Michigan. The Leelanau peninsula is really amazing. There are nice small towns scattered all along the West side of Michigan. Many of them rely heavily on tourism. A lot of people from Chicago vacation here.

What you will not find here that you will find in many more common California alternatives are millions of people who moved from California.

You will have to learn to drive here. You will hve to buy a lot of new clothing. You will laso need to prepare emergency kits for your cars(food, water, batteries, a wind up flashlight and radio, blankets, hats, gloves, handwarmers, matches) You really need to carry this stuff with oyu in the winter. Even in suburban areas you can get stranded in places where no one is around. Recently some people got stranded nearby in Canada for several days. It can happen. It is very very rare, but it is not worth the risk, when a major catostrophe can so easily be avoided.

Oh and you should probably find a job here before you move here. Finding a job can be very difficult, especially for unskilled workers. But then you are used to worse conditions by now, so that may not be much of a shock.

Our short version comparison: Michigan is more pleasant; California is more fun.
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