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Old 04-12-2014, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Eastern UP of Michigan
1,202 posts, read 638,011 times
Reputation: 1271

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looking for a place to retire to. We have thought about returning to the Soo, but not really sure we can handle the length of the winter-severity not a big deal. Once March starts to hit, the stuff better start melting and pretty well be gone by April. So, this is having us thinking about the Lake Michigan shoreline from Saugatuck up to Ludington area. Gives us a winter but just not quite as long.

Summer entertainment for us is sitting on the porch, drinking a beer, listening to some tunes and maybe enjoying a bit of mother natures finest herb as we watch the world go by. Bike paths and walking trails would be wonderful. We really want to be as car independent as possible, at least for groceries and places to eat out. Having a great lake near by is really important for a relaxing stroll. We are thinking in town vs anything rural.

We may hang a rainbow flag out front, but are not activists. We support universal healthcare and environmental causes but if you want to own a gun or go to church 5 days a week that's fine. Basically you try to respect us we will try to respect you. We will be friendly, chatty and wave etc., but won't necessarily invite you over unless you happen to like Rock and Roll, beer and the occasional bit of herb.

I don't think we can afford Saugatuck or Douglas so we are thinking Grand Haven or Ludington. We don't want to do TC as even though I love my brother and sister-in-law, don't want to get to close. Partner is retired and I figure on working 2 more years. Our income will be about 60-70K so we will be comfortable.

Hope this gives an idea of who we are and what we are looking for.
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:47 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,750,692 times
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Do you think that moving with four dogs will be a bigger impediment than acceptance as a gay couple?

No snarkieness intended! But when I bought another house to move to in 2011 I encountered extreme inflexibility from the township, even though I was VP of a 501c(3) registered rescue, in regards to the number of animals I was allowed to keep at my house. I got in trouble for housing four dogs; the township limit is three. I quit fostering dogs rather than jump through the hoops of obtaining and maintaining a kennel license.

Mount Morris Township, just north of Flint, So probably not under your radar, but just saying.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:14 PM
 
Location: Eastern UP of Michigan
1,202 posts, read 638,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Do you think that moving with four dogs will be a bigger impediment than acceptance as a gay couple?

No snarkieness intended! But when I bought another house to move to in 2011 I encountered extreme inflexibility from the township, even though I was VP of a 501c(3) registered rescue, in regards to the number of animals I was allowed to keep at my house. I got in trouble for housing four dogs; the township limit is three. I quit fostering dogs rather than jump through the hoops of obtaining and maintaining a kennel license.

Mount Morris Township, just north of Flint, So probably not under your radar, but just saying.

Absolutely the dog issue is one that we have to consider. The Soo actually allows up to 4 dogs. We really have 5 right know, but the oldest is 13 this year with some body functions that are beginning to fail him.

Not horribly concerned about the gay thing, but hoping to get some additional info. And it is probably less a gay thing and more of a lib vs conservative thing.
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:31 PM
 
176 posts, read 100,515 times
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The larger the town, the more liberal it is pretty much goes for Michigan. However, friendliness goes a long way. For instance--keeping your dogs from barking if your neighbors are close, saying hello to them, give a smile.

Ludington is going to have a longer winter, and then there's lake effect snow, and there will be a lot of it anywhere on the west shoreline. Saugatuck is your town, but Grand Haven might work. Problem is having that many dogs close to other neighbors, yet still wanting to be able to walk to restaurants. Those dogs need a good sized yard. Outskirts of town, more driving into town than walking, might be your best bet with costs considered.
You might also consider the east side, St. Clair Shores area.
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:49 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,740 posts, read 5,664,099 times
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Gays and gay-friendly businesses are branching out from Saugatuck/Douglas to Fennville which is probably cheaper, with more isolation, and without the stringent city ordinances. I would certainly consider visiting and networking the local businesspeople downtown, such as the galleries and coffee shops.
Gay owned bed and breakfast in Fennville, Michigan - Kingsley House B&B Inn

Even Allegan seems to have openly gay-friendly businesses.
http://www.purpleroofs.com/usa/michigan.html

My point is you might check out Fennville. Of course Saugatuck gays and especially business owners could certainly advise you about the entire coastal area. I have no doubt that places like this would be prime resources.
Dunes Resort | Gay and Lesbian Resorts, Vacation Hotel | Saugatuck MI

The coastal area west of US-131 is also the lake-effect snow belt.

Last edited by detwahDJ; 04-12-2014 at 11:21 PM..
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Old 04-13-2014, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Eastern UP of Michigan
1,202 posts, read 638,011 times
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We are spoiled with our present house. Its in the business district of a small SE Mi village, so eateries, a hardware, meat market are within just a few hundred feet. It also has approx. 3 acres of property with +15K fenced in back yard for the doggers. Absolutely the right setup has to be available for the dogs and the neighbors. At present the 4 "youngsters" are 3,4,5 and 6.

Really don't want to do SE MI or even the east side of the state anymore. We've been in the area most of our lives, have cared for aging parents with one left who is in a dementia care home. Once she has passed on it will be time to move.

We like winter. It was great this year for us. But we just want a slightly shortened year than they get in the UP.

When we have been in Grand Haven and Ludington, we liked the looks and the outdoorsy amenities that they have.

Detwah---thanks for the links.

Last edited by JIMANDTHOM; 04-13-2014 at 07:30 AM.. Reason: oops wanted to say Thanks
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:23 AM
 
6,361 posts, read 7,351,780 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMANDTHOM View Post
Four dogs and two gay men
Sorry, I thought you were describing a new sitcom.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:34 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,750,692 times
Reputation: 10227
Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMANDTHOM View Post
We are spoiled with our present house. Its in the business district of a small SE Mi village, so eateries, a hardware, meat market are within just a few hundred feet. It also has approx. 3 acres of property with +15K fenced in back yard for the doggers. Absolutely the right setup has to be available for the dogs and the neighbors. At present the 4 "youngsters" are 3,4,5 and 6.

Really don't want to do SE MI or even the east side of the state anymore. We've been in the area most of our lives, have cared for aging parents with one left who is in a dementia care home. Once she has passed on it will be time to move.

We like winter. It was great this year for us. But we just want a slightly shortened year than they get in the UP.

When we have been in Grand Haven and Ludington, we liked the looks and the outdoorsy amenities that they have.

Detwah---thanks for the links.
Wow, sounds like you have a great set up now!

Grand Haven is a lovely town (as are most on the "west coast"), but I think fairly conservative, isn't it?
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Eastern UP of Michigan
1,202 posts, read 638,011 times
Reputation: 1271
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Wow, sounds like you have a great set up now!

Grand Haven is a lovely town (as are most on the "west coast"), but I think fairly conservative, isn't it?

It is a perfect retirement house --- 3 bedroom, brick ranch with 3 car attached garage. If we could pick the whole parcel/house and move it wonderful.
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,750,692 times
Reputation: 10227
It really does sound nice. My dogs have about 5,000 square feet of fenced yard which is large but I'm sure they'd LOVE 15,000 square feet!

Just curious, would you consider other states? Not that Michigan isn't great, but it seems you guys will have decent retirement income and could presumably have a choice of many different locales.
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