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Old 05-29-2012, 09:19 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,592 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello,
I'm sure a lot of people will read the title and think, huh??? Why would you move FROM Colorado TO Michigan? This is going to be way too long of a post, we'll see if they will accept this. I am going to do bullet points. We are really trying to make the right decision here and need help!:
-Me, 43, Hubby, 45
-no kids
-married 3 years ago, first marriage for both
-2 dogs and 3 horses
-I'm originally from northern New Jersey, moved here in 2008.
-Hubby originally from Warren, MI. Moved to Colorado in 1996 to Denver area and then ended up out here on the Western Slope of Colorado in 2007 after living on the front range and slowly moving to the western slope area.
-Hubby has small roofing company, been in construction his whole life
-I have over 20+ years of very extensive administrative assistant experience from small to large companies, and I worked at 2 small airports for about 7 years total.
-Construction completely dried up for hubby in 2009 and he has very little work, barely making it. Has a diesel truck and if he tried to get a job in Grand Junction or further, would spend approximately $800-$1000 a month in fuel alone.
-There are VERY FEW jobs here for either of us. I have gotten very lucky to have a great job for a forestry management company as an administrator making $40K per year now. But only very expensive health insurance for me, and no bennies for me or hubby.
-Bought a house in very remote area of western Colorado. Anything really important that we need, we have to driver over 1.5 to 2.0 hours to either Grand Junction or Montrose Colorado.
-NO, I REPEAT, NO GOOD restaurants unless we drive 1.5 to 2.0 hours.
-No shopping, no culture, very backwards and strange mentality, terrible healthcare services, NO goods and services period. It is literally like you are stepping back in time 20 years or more.
-No professional services, nobody cares about quality of work, people barely call you back if you call them for something.
-The area is drop dead breathtakingly beautiful, but there is nothing here. We are starting to call this place "ground zero" or "death valley" because it is so strange and remote.
-Literally, the only thing going for us is the natural beauty. And the fact that we achieved our dreams and bought a nice house on 9 acres surrounded by mostly BLM land near the Black Canyon National Park. Million dollar view and privacy galore. But now nervous we won't be able to sell and get out and save ourselves after making a mistake.
-Hubby is major elk hunter and hunter in general so he will be sad to leave, but this place is pushing us out.
-Was a lifelong dream of mine to move to Colorado, but being from northern NJ, 30 miles west of Manhattan, it is proving to be too extreme in other direction!
-Both of us getting older and starting to miss friends and family too much back east. Hubby wants to be closer to family in lower Michigan and I want to be able to drive to NJ/NY/PA area and not have to fly. I am terrified of flying and would make the drive over flying any day of the week. Sounds crazy to some folks, but my fear of flying is dictating a lot these days.
-Hubby said that if he ever moved back to MI it would be up north.
-We are looking into Traverse City surrounding areas, not the city itself. Or anywhere all the way up to Charlevoix.
-We still want a rural feel but need to be near more civilized society and just progressive area in general.
-We both miss being near water TERRIBLY. Mountains are beautiful but we are LANDLOCKED and it is freaky sometimes.
-Looking at how cheap houses are in the outlying areas of TC, if we could sell here and almost buy something outright or have little or no mortgage.
-It seems like we see more job opportunities online for both of us up there than we ever see here. If you are reading this and laughing out loud, then you will understand where we are living and how dead it is.
-I should be able to get some sort of administrative job at an area airport and hubby could get a lower paying job of some sort just to get us on our feet at first? But maybe not true? Please advise!
-Or he has some union roofing contacts and could maybe get in with some company?
-Wants to also try and do snow plowing in the winter for extra income.
-We wouldn't necessarily bring our horses, which will kill us, but we are not sure we could bring them.
-Seems like we are seeing so many houses in this area for like $50-70K? Nice little houses. Is this for real? Houses are so much cheaper there than here, but there is no freakin work here and houses are much more expensive.
-Area we live in is a bedroom community that is either generations of cattle ranchers, millionaires that have retired here and get to travel out of the area 5 or more times per year, so they aren't as deprived as us. We can't afford to ever go anywhere, so we are trapped. Or coal miners that work in the local mines. That is almost the entire demographic around here. And we don't fit into any of these categories.
-Went to Mackinaw last summer and loved that area. I didn't get to see the Lake Michigan side but hubby said it is gorgeous. And pics look great of course.
-Also, I'm trying to convince hubby that we need to try and rent first for at least 6 months since we will be totally green, need to find jobs and be employed for at least a year before we could maybe buy something, depending on cost.
-Our winters here are not totally terrible, weather here is generally gorgeous most of the time, so I know we would be giving this up. Dry cool summer nights, LOTS of sunshine and clean air. This is going to be tough to give up.
-We are both winter people so I think we would be okay up there?
-We know there would be negatives to moving there from here, but with what we are dealing with here, we think this could be the right place for both of us. I would never want to move back to east coast areaand hubby wouldn't come with me anyway, and I feel like northern Michigan could be a good middle ground area between there and here. Like I said, we are working from ground zero here and we kind of feel like "anywhere but here" would have to be better?
If you are reading this post and live in any of those surrounding areas, what would you do in our position?
I am SO SORRY for how long this, a freakin' novel!!! Our entire life story!!! oi vey.... But I need serious advice. I know I will get all sorts of conflicting answers but I need to get some opinions of people living up there.
Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:17 PM
 
1,082 posts, read 1,493,369 times
Reputation: 1366
Your post validates what I've said all my life that unless you want to live like a complete recluse anything over an hour's drive to a decent size city is just too far. If you grew up only 30 minutes from Manhattan and now live with no shopping, restaurants, culture or social events it's no wonder you're suffering. Traverse City is wonderful and any of the surrounding area outside the city is also beautiful. One thing for sure is anywhere up here will solve one of your issues which is not being near any water. You'll have plenty in northern Michigan either with Lake Michigan or any of the many nice smaller lakes around. If you can manage this move I'd say we've got much here that sounds totally different from what you describe in Colorado. Food here is great with tons of choices in Traverse. Check out places like Leland and Suttons Bay too. Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:42 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,120 posts, read 6,005,686 times
Reputation: 4514
I wouldn't be so sure that you won't like the change in weather. If you like snowy winters... winter is beautiful in northern Michigan. Summers will have more humidity than Colorado, but it is still very pleasant. And the fall weather + fall colors can match anything that Colorado has to offer.

The worst months of Michigan weather, in my opinion, are March and early April. And maybe November. Deep winter can be beautiful. Summer, late spring, and fall are pretty much guaranteed to be wonderful.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:54 AM
 
47,528 posts, read 65,187,428 times
Reputation: 22376
Michigan, especially northern Michigan sounds like a good fit. Michigan can be drop dead gorgeous but without the mountains, and it's got everything you're missing there.
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,564,317 times
Reputation: 3902
Michigan gets such a bad rap. I don't think it's all that unusual to move from Colorado to Michigan. I meet people here all the time who moved from California, Arizona, Georgia, New York, Texas, etc.. Many either seeking job opportunities, low cost of living, or to get back closer to family after being away for years.

Colorado is gorgeous, but so is Northwest Michigan (in different ways). The sheer difference in amount of water (moisture in the air, rain, lakes, wetlands) will probably be an adjustment from dry Colorado. Whenever I go to Colorado, I have to bathe myself in moisturizing lotion, lol.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:24 AM
 
3 posts, read 15,592 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks so much for all of your replies. It's making me think already we are headed in the right direction. Just so paranoid about making another mistake. Any thoughts about jobs up there? How bad (or improving?) is it? As I said, I can't imagine it could be worse than here? I know that I would not make $40K up there, I'm thinking if I could get an admin. asst. job making around $25K and hubby try and make that doing some roofing and snow plowing, something else, we would be okay at least in the short term to start over there, if we had little or no mortgage.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:08 AM
 
1,082 posts, read 1,493,369 times
Reputation: 1366
Only thing about snow plowing is that last winter was really on the mild side with not anywhere near the usual amount of snow. Folks who count on extra money in plowing would have come up short. Who knows what next winter will be because last year was not the norm. Just a heads up though that while usual northern Michigan winters are pretty snowy it can be this odd season so it's not a sure bet that plowing will add needed income. The person who usually plows me out never did it once last year. My neighbor told me the little bit we had he would just clear me out when he did his own. My regular plow person lost money last winter.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,564,317 times
Reputation: 3902
Quote:
Originally Posted by hcarroll View Post
Thanks so much for all of your replies. It's making me think already we are headed in the right direction. Just so paranoid about making another mistake. Any thoughts about jobs up there? How bad (or improving?) is it? As I said, I can't imagine it could be worse than here? I know that I would not make $40K up there, I'm thinking if I could get an admin. asst. job making around $25K and hubby try and make that doing some roofing and snow plowing, something else, we would be okay at least in the short term to start over there, if we had little or no mortgage.
If your hubby does construction and handyman work, the second home real estate market in that area is improving.

Time to Snag a Lakefront Bargain Home in Up North Michigan | LoanSafe
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:12 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,592 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luzette View Post
Only thing about snow plowing is that last winter was really on the mild side with not anywhere near the usual amount of snow. Folks who count on extra money in plowing would have come up short. Who knows what next winter will be because last year was not the norm. Just a heads up though that while usual northern Michigan winters are pretty snowy it can be this odd season so it's not a sure bet that plowing will add needed income. The person who usually plows me out never did it once last year. My neighbor told me the little bit we had he would just clear me out when he did his own. My regular plow person lost money last winter.
I understand, yeah, you can only count on that for like extra money, not to pay the bills. Thanks!
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:17 PM
 
14 posts, read 35,254 times
Reputation: 45
Default Heres the deal

From my perspective Traverse City is not very alive. Fiml fest cool and Cherry fest etc but year round living is much different. I have lived in Michigan, Oregon and California. The water is to die for here and by far the best in the entire United States. I just feel Michigan has lost the "it" factor it once had. As far as employment you will get jobs for sure but not at the high end possibly. My wife and I make $13 and $10 per hour. Housing is a nightmare in Traverse City for rentals unless you want to pay $1200 per month which you may. Based on your info outlying areas like Kingsley, Kalkaska or most places are much cheaper and realistic especially with horses. Traverse city is by far the LEAST pet friendly city for renters. Your situation is different due to the horses. Be prepared as many Michiganders appear to have a negative attitude and this wares on you.. I love the water but the pay and housing are way out of wack in Traverse City. I think the restaurants are overrated. If you want to pay alot for meals then I guess you will find places. Maybee I am too cheap or used to great food in California that costs less than food in Traverse City. At any rate good luck.
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