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Old 05-13-2017, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
18 posts, read 21,144 times
Reputation: 57

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Hi,

I'm going to be turning 50 in a couple years and I want to move to someplace that's a little remote, laid back, naturally beautiful, has cool summers and long winters, and is relatively inexpensive. I'd want to buy a fairly nice, relatively secluded home either on water or in a wooded area. I want to live in the kind of place where deer, geese, and whatnot can hang out on my property and my neighbors wouldn't even know, much less complain about it (I'm a big animal lover). I'd prefer to spend $400K or less.

I actually would prefer to move to Northern Ontario (Sudbury or Sault Ste. Marie) because I'm pretty familiar with it and I know that I could get exactly what I want, but immigration is harder than you might think, so I'm looking at northern MI. I always figured that Marquette would be for me because, as far as I understand, getting the kind of home I want could be done pretty cheaply, but now I'm getting a bit scared about some of its limitations. I recently realized that it lacks a lot of what I would call basic amenities, things like a Home Depot, Sears, etc. and I'm also kind of worried about a redneck component. I'm a vegan, and though I'm pretty sure that the (few) grocery stores carry those things, my guess is that it's pretty limited. I also don't want to live in a place where people are riding around with dead animals strapped to their cars. I've spent my adult life in Boston and Chicago (though I grew up on the like the MI/OH border) so I'm looking to get away from anything resembling a big city feel, but I'm now worried that moving to Marquette might be going too far in this regard. (Though I would be super pumped to be able to see the northern lights.)

Traverse City is also beautiful, with cool temps, and I know I'd have no problems being a vegan and animal lover there, but I've been reading some things that say that it's becoming too "fancified" and is drawing in a lot of people kind of like myself who have put together a decent nest egg and want to get away from it all, but in that process, are not only substantially driving up the cost of real estate, but are kind of transforming the town to be something less genuine and more upscale and superficial.

As far as work, I'd probably be moving there without a job, but I'm not super worried about employment. I can now afford to become either semi-retired or just take a job that doesn't pay super well but is something that I'd actually like to do.

So, anyone got any opinions on the matter? Should I be considering somewhere else? Is Marquette actually more civilized than I'm giving it credit for? Would I be able to go to an actual department store that's not Walmart? Is TC not really as expensive and gentrified as I think? I'd be interested in any opinions on the matter. I haven't actually visited either of these places in decades.

Thanks!
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Old 05-14-2017, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
18 posts, read 21,144 times
Reputation: 57
Btw, by "nice house" I mean modern amenities/design. I don't need big. A two or three bedroom ranch would be awesome, but I want it to have a nice kitchen, bathroom, good insulation and windows, etc. I actually found the following home a few towns over from Marquette, and it would be great (and it's so cheap), but I don't want to be that disconnected from society. Not having any family, I'm going to want to meet people in my new forever home, and I don't want to become a hermit. I"m pretty lazy and I know that I'd just never bother going into town if I'm more than 20-30 minutes away.

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/N...06218150_zpid/

Btw, anyone know anything about building your own home? I've always figured that it would be incredibly expensive, but I have no real idea.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:06 AM
 
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 8,116,043 times
Reputation: 3906
There is no big city feel in any of those you mentioned. Sounds like Marquette would fit you well actually. Not sure about all the food side of it, but it is a kinda trendy town so I imagine you'll find what you need. Not sure on Home Depot, but their is a Lowes and Menards, plus tons of other stores normally found in the bigger towns. Marquette is one of the coolest towns you will find, and the beauty of it and the surrounding area is almost unmatched. Traverse city of course is right up there, but Winters are not quite as bad or long and it is MUCH busier in Summer and Fall.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:30 AM
 
21 posts, read 19,276 times
Reputation: 33
I would greatly prefer Traverse City just to have more "civilization" around. The UP is naturally beautiful but if you like to have things like Sears and Home Depot around, you're much better off in Traverse City.

I can't speak to TC becoming overly fancy but there are plenty of smaller neighboring towns that would give you more or a small-town atmosphere while not being too far from Traverse City. Leelanau Peninsula (Glen Arbor, Suttons Bay, Northport, Leland), Elk Rapids, Bellaire would be good places to look. Petoskey and Charlevoix are nice as well.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Marquette, Mich
1,316 posts, read 572,106 times
Reputation: 2813
We have plenty of vegans up in Marquette! They even have a website: Northern Vegans

The Marquette Food Coop is a terrific resource for foodstuffs of any kind, and we have quite an active Farmer's Market scene come late spring. In addition, we have a several nice grocery stores and a WalMart & Target with groceries.

No Home Depot, but we have Lowe's and Menard's, which is a regional do-it-yourself big box. We have a mini Sears--one with appliances & lawn equipment.

I've lived in Traverse City (well, Sutton's Bay & Interlochen), and I absolutely prefer Marquette. It's a little quieter, but does get a bit congested in the summer, and Northern Michigan University contributes 8000+ young people during the school year.

You can easily get away from it all here, but it is hard for some people that we don't have ALL the amenities.

We do have: An amazing food scene; a vibrant downtown; a lot of live music; a beautiful multi-screen movie theater; a ski hill within 10 mins of downtown; all the beach you could want; several microbreweries; and the list goes on. We have become a bit of a hipster enclave (we specialize in the "lumbersexual" here--elaborate and copious facial hair, nerd glasses, & flannel shirts), but the younger entrepreneurs have brought us some terrific restaurants, shops, services, music, etc. Most of them have been innovative in finding ways to stay in Marquette after graduating NMU.

We do not have: A huge mall (we have two mostly-empty buildings); a Panera, Chipotle, or Arby's;every mass-retail option; a Middle Eastern or Indian restaurant. There's more we don't have. It can be difficult to find good food after 10:00 pm. Our airport service is limited. The closest "city" is Green Bay, WI, which is fairly small (but offers most of what Marquette doesn't have).
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Michigan
2,584 posts, read 1,957,336 times
Reputation: 6181
NO Arby's!!!

That's a pretty odd omission in fast-food restaurants. I agree they are kinda pricey, but I love their Beef and Cheddar sandwiches. I used to love their original "Turkey Deluxe" sandwich with Horsey Sauce, but they got rid of it a long time ago.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Marquette, Mich
1,316 posts, read 572,106 times
Reputation: 2813
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBear View Post
NO Arby's!!!

That's a pretty odd omission in fast-food restaurants. I agree they are kinda pricey, but I love their Beef and Cheddar sandwiches. I used to love their original "Turkey Deluxe" sandwich with Horsey Sauce, but they got rid of it a long time ago.
It's not an omission so much as a failure. We had one, it closed. It was in a not great location, but it just failed to thrive. We have a very high number of small, locally owned eating establishments. A lot of our fast food is local (and really, really good). We also have a thriving food truck scene (it's fun to get food truck tacos when it's 15 degrees outside!). I think we're poised for some pretty significant growth, and all of this may change. For now, though, it's nice to be quirky & homegrown.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
18 posts, read 21,144 times
Reputation: 57
Thanks for the responses, especially you, leebeemi! That was pretty informative. I'm actually not a big shopper, but I don't want to live in a place where I would have really limited options for seeing what's new (especially in terms of electronics, appliances, and home goods), and having some options out there. I don't want to be bartering for textiles over a pickle barrel. (I recently watched "Escanaba in da Moonlight", and though I know it's farcical, it did kind of put the fear of god into me about what I might be getting into.)

I would very much miss having a mall though, especially in winter. I like to walk a lot and I'd be bummed not having somewhere to do that. I'd be most concerned about old age because keeping active is incredibly important to keeping both physically and mentally fit. While I have my snowshoes ready to go right now, in a couple decades or less that won't be so much of an option.

Thanks also for the tip about vegans up there! I'll have to contact them to see what's what. I don't need anything special, just a grocery store that sells veggie burgers and the like. I currently can't cook, but I hope to learn how to do that when I have time.

Kind of a bummer about no Indian food. I really like it and much of it is vegan.

Can you get around with a normal car up there? I was planning to buy a Ford Fusion Hybrid if I lived in Sudbury or SSM (Ontario) because I know regular cars are fine to get around in the winter, but I don't know about Marquette.

Speaking of the Soo, I never really considered it on the US side, but I kind of am now. Know anything about it? It seems to be smaller, but have more amenities, perhaps because of the Ontario side. The hospital isn't as good, and I do worry about that as someone who's looking for a place to spend the rest of his life. On the flip side, MQT has a ridiculous cancer rate and my family gets that in spades. Virtually everyone I was related to is long dead, so I do worry about that. I think my vegan lifestyle has helped me avoid most of the pitfalls that kill so many in my family so early.

Know any good realty agents up there? I'd like to ask them about availability of the kind of places I like. I just found a great one in SSM that nearly has me ready to buy it sight unseen (https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sal...14_rect/9_zm/?). So great, but so cheap. It's not even remote to the city so it probably has really good high speed internet and such. I'd really like to find something like that in MQT, or build one if building is less expensive than I think.

Anyway, thanks again for the help. I'm sure I'll have more questions but it's hard to fit this in during the week. I work a ton and only get probably 45-60 collective minutes to myself a day. This is part of why I'm SO looking forward to leaving this lifestyle behind.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Marquette, Mich
1,316 posts, read 572,106 times
Reputation: 2813
Well, we have some stores with the latest thing! Just not in the same volume as some place like Traverse City. It's not really outpost-like any more. In fact, there's been the rumor of a high-end retail development swirling for a year. Plus, we do get FedEx & UPS deliveries! You'll see the same general fashions, furniture, and appliances that you'd find elsewhere, though.

As far as walking, we have the Superior Dome at the University, which is open to the community for walking.

The Food Coop is offering more Indian & Mediterranean flavors in their deli foods.

I actually grew up near Sault Ste. Marie. Its becoming more & more interesting, but I like Marquette better. Houses will be much cheaper over there. No question. Food offerings are bit moire limited. They have a lovely little natural food store and a growing Amish community farming locally.

Any car you would consider for Traverse City or the Soo will be fine in Marquette.

However, I would recommend you visit each location. That way, you actually see what you have or don't have.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
9,159 posts, read 17,797,438 times
Reputation: 10730
It's actually not a huge deal for people who live in small towns near the Can-Am border to cross it for dinner or to do some grocery shopping, provided there aren't currently any issues with pests and fresh meat/produce. Get a NEXUS card, and it goes even quicker.
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