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Old 05-05-2012, 09:24 AM
 
19 posts, read 50,705 times
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Which areas should I avoid buying a house at in Niles and Berrien Springs?

Also does anyone know the average electric, water, sewer, and gas bills for a three bedroom maximum 2,000sq foot house?

Which restaurants are good in the area? I hear there is supposed to be a Korean restaurant there, does anyone know it's name and if it is any good?

Any Highland dance teachers in the area? Piano and/or harp teachers? Any Scottish societies? (I can't find any on google)

Is there a food tax? What does the Michigan state income tax run at?

Which is a better place to live: Berrien Springs or Niles?

What are the cheaper grocery stores? Places to avoid? Where to go for shopping?

Any other advice abt moving there for a single young woman?


Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:27 AM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,159,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreiko View Post
Which areas should I avoid buying a house at in Niles and Berrien Springs?
Also does anyone know the average electric, water, sewer, and gas bills for a three bedroom maximum 2,000sq foot house?

Which restaurants are good in the area? I hear there is supposed to be a Korean restaurant there, does anyone know it's name and if it is any good?
Any Highland dance teachers in the area? Piano and/or harp teachers? Any Scottish societies? (I can't find any on google)
Is there a food tax? What does the Michigan state income tax run at?

Which is a better place to live: Berrien Springs or Niles?
What are the cheaper grocery stores? Places to avoid? Where to go for shopping?
Any other advice abt moving there for a single young woman?

Thank you in advance.
I can't answer all your questions, I just drive through there on occasion.
Niles / Buchanan area has many more options and amenities. The area has something of a Chicago footprint. It is close to South Bend and interesting places like Three Oaks.
Bing Maps - Driving Directions, Traffic and Road Conditions

Berrien Springs is isolated and limited to just a few blocks. This is the extent of it.
Bing Maps - Driving Directions, Traffic and Road Conditions
Neither is a hotbed of crime. I personally wouldn't like the isolation of Berrien Springs, but that's me.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:51 PM
 
85 posts, read 98,108 times
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No sales tax on food. Berrien springs is much smaller, much more unified (big population of Seventh Day Adventist.) I will say Niles spans a bigger geographical area- nice areas on the west side, also nice, more land and closer to Granger/south bend on the far east side. Shopping- there are smaller local stores(expensive) but if you can make the drive to meijers you'll find much lower prices. There is a mall/shopping area about 3 miles south of niles which has all the normal stuff- Macy's, sephora, old navy, penneys, (regular malls/stripmalls, etc) and a whole foods is opening in the fall. If you're in berrien springs, add 25 minutes to your driving time.

I'm not familiar with any Korean restaurants but I mostly go out to eat in the south bend/granger area. Not sure about the dance questions but be aware the south bend/Mishawaka area is very close to those areas and many people go there for those types of things. Feel free to ask me anything specific via private message.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:01 AM
 
19 posts, read 50,705 times
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Thank you so much!
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:42 AM
 
60 posts, read 148,471 times
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It looks like we're moving to SW Michigan, and are also looking for homes in the Berrien Springs, Niles, and St. Joseph area.

One question/argument my wife and I are having is whether or not we should look to buy a place right now or rent. We've only looked online, but it's hard to find many rental options (especially ones that take dogs), and the ones that do seem to be decent are over our budget.

Home buying seems to pay off in the long run in that area with the cost of rent, but my first impressions may be off--please do tell.

Are home values somewhat stable there? They seem to have gone on a negative run. People from the outside seem to have a darker opinion of the economic state of Michigan, although perhaps being in the SW and somewhat tied to Chicago (if so) gives it more stability?
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:19 PM
 
19 posts, read 50,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boroc7 View Post
It looks like we're moving to SW Michigan, and are also looking for homes in the Berrien Springs, Niles, and St. Joseph area.

One question/argument my wife and I are having is whether or not we should look to buy a place right now or rent. We've only looked online, but it's hard to find many rental options (especially ones that take dogs), and the ones that do seem to be decent are over our budget.

Home buying seems to pay off in the long run in that area with the cost of rent, but my first impressions may be off--please do tell.

Are home values somewhat stable there? They seem to have gone on a negative run. People from the outside seem to have a darker opinion of the economic state of Michigan, although perhaps being in the SW and somewhat tied to Chicago (if so) gives it more stability?

I wonder if you are one of my residency colleagues.

I'm in the same boat as you on this one, and I found that buying is cheaper than renting. Those rental prices there are... well, astounding to say the least when compared with the housing prices.

So you need to resale it. Why don't you try a seller financing option: you get the same benefits as purchasing a home, but you can opt out if you don't want to own it in three years.

And seller financing is not a rent-to-own situation.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:36 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 17,174,090 times
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Food for thought. We are on the Michigan/Indiana border. FYI- the locals call it Michiana. Property taxes are higher in Michigan so we bought in Granger, Indiana. We got a lot more bang for the buck. Niles is just up the road. We have good schools, nice neighborhoods and close to a lot of shopping and restaurants in Mishawaka. If you want more info PM me.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:40 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 17,174,090 times
Reputation: 8611
Quote:
Originally Posted by boroc7 View Post
It looks like we're moving to SW Michigan, and are also looking for homes in the Berrien Springs, Niles, and St. Joseph area.

One question/argument my wife and I are having is whether or not we should look to buy a place right now or rent. We've only looked online, but it's hard to find many rental options (especially ones that take dogs), and the ones that do seem to be decent are over our budget.

Home buying seems to pay off in the long run in that area with the cost of rent, but my first impressions may be off--please do tell.

Are home values somewhat stable there? They seem to have gone on a negative run. People from the outside seem to have a darker opinion of the economic state of Michigan, although perhaps being in the SW and somewhat tied to Chicago (if so) gives it more stability?
I am originally from the Detroit area but we relocated to Indiana for my husband's job. We had the option of living in Niles area. We had 2 dogs and 2 cats and finding a rental was really hard. We found a little place that was a dump and decided to buy after about 6 months. Real estate is somewhat stable in Indiana. They did not experience the boom like other places. Property taxes in MI are high and you get a lot more bang for the buck if you cross the border. Niles is just up the road from me. I live in Granger.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,005 posts, read 2,536,747 times
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It seems like you would be better off staying in the safer areas of South Bend and commute to work ( I'm assuming) in Niles. Niles is a small town and all the amenities is south in South Bend. If you are required to stay within the state to for work, try Kalamazoo which is just a hour north.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:31 PM
 
60 posts, read 148,471 times
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Well looks like we are going to get into a house in West Niles. Really looking forward to it. Right smack in between St Joe and and South Bend, which we hope to enjoy the conveniences of both.
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