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Old 01-19-2020, 07:49 PM
 
18 posts, read 15,288 times
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Hello everyone,


I have a preliminary job offer from the VA in Saginaw. As long as it all finalizes properly, there is a decent chance that I will take it as it would be a great career move. Pretty much everyone I know just says "it's too cold to go." I lived around Cleveland for the first 10 years of my life and would expect the climate to be fairly similar. Of course, I've lived in California, Hawaii, and Texas since then, so there would be major adjustments, including learning how to drive on ice


What areas would be good for living? I've read enough about Saginaw that has me concerned. Bay City and Midland sound interesting, but I don't want a nightmarish drive in snow/ice. Oh, it's just me and my cat. On another note, I'm impressed with how much lower renting places seems to be than Texas. But I guess I'll make up for that with state income tax, heating, and snow tires, ha ha.
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Old 01-19-2020, 11:33 PM
 
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
9,429 posts, read 10,700,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanLucPicard View Post
Hello everyone,


I have a preliminary job offer from the VA in Saginaw. As long as it all finalizes properly, there is a decent chance that I will take it as it would be a great career move. Pretty much everyone I know just says "it's too cold to go." I lived around Cleveland for the first 10 years of my life and would expect the climate to be fairly similar. Of course, I've lived in California, Hawaii, and Texas since then, so there would be major adjustments, including learning how to drive on ice


What areas would be good for living? I've read enough about Saginaw that has me concerned. Bay City and Midland sound interesting, but I don't want a nightmarish drive in snow/ice. Oh, it's just me and my cat. On another note, I'm impressed with how much lower renting places seems to be than Texas. But I guess I'll make up for that with state income tax, heating, and snow tires, ha ha.
I am an ex Michigan resident and I spent 10 years living in between Saginaw and Flint. I will be very frank with you about the condition of that part of Michigan....it is not a great environment. Flint is likely the worst city in America. Saginaw is not much better. Saginaw is a dying industrial town with a high crime rate and crumbling infrastructure. The low cost of housing is a huge clue to the fact that no one wants to live there. The Flint and Saginaw area is Michigan’s most undesirable region of the state to live in. Many of the people who live there dont want to be there but they cannot leave because they owe money on worthless homes. Western Michigan is the growing and desirable part of Michigan.(Grand Rapids) Suburban Detroit is the other part of Michigan that people like. Just something to think about.

Midland is a much nicer city. Bay city is a nicer city too. If you take the job it is definitely an option to live in these communities in order to avoid living in Saginaw.

Weather?? You say you lived in Ohio at one time but just know that you are talking Michigan NOT Ohio. Michigan is significantly colder than Ohio, especially being that your talking about being halfway up the Michigan peninsula.....it is not Monroe your talking about. Upper Midwest winters are no joke and you will have to prepare yourself for them.
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:27 AM
 
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I lived in Michigan from 1966 to 2014. Yes, winters are brutally cold. There are very few sunny days in winter as well. It is usually gray and dreary. The trees are bare and it's an endless cycle of rain, freezing rain, ice, and snow. You can expect this starting in November and ending sometime in April. You can expect consistent shirtsleeve weather to start in late May and end partway through September. That's only about 4 months. In places like Dallas and Atlanta it's about 7 or 8 months as a comparison. During the cold months you end up sitting at home, waiting... waiting.. for the warm weather to begin. Then it's a quick 4 months and then zap... time for the cold and the grey snowy skies again. You have to love the cold and the snow to really love Michigan.

I live in Texas now (RGV) and enjoy the almost tropical conditions year round. I have friends and acquaintances who have lived in warm climates year round and most of them have said that they would not want to live in a Michigan climate. I would not want to either. I have done my time in ice and snow. I still have ties to Michigan and still visit, but usually only in the summer.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:49 AM
 
915 posts, read 1,491,853 times
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Winters in Cleveland are much more comparable to Michigan than the winters in Southern Ohio.

Personally, I have a relative who uses the VA in Saginaw, so I like the idea of it being well-staffed regardless of whether or not the weather isn't ideal. (So, that's my bias!)

Some people just like living in rural, cold areas and they need health care too. It's not like living in Michigan has to be a permanent thing.

Winter hasn't been that bad this year. We've only had 2 really bad snow storms, one before Thanksgiving and one this weekend. A lot of the snow that has fallen hasn't even stuck to the roadways b/c there's just not that much of it. It's been a lot of rain. Maybe some ice. It's been unusually mild.

Still Saginaw has more snow than we do in SE Michigan - especially because it's by the lake and that's just how the weather pattern moves.

Most the time, the winter driving problems come because the roads haven't been plowed or treated yet. However, once everything gets cleared out, it's not as bad as you are probably imagining it to be.

It's the grey that gets to you. A lot of people get SAD in the fall/winter. Still, you learn to deal with it. Vitamin D supplements, exercise, going out, eating healthy, light lamps, vacations south, enjoying the sunlight when it does come out and makes an appearance. There are a lot of winter festivals, etc. Having a pet will be very helpful too!

Personally, I wouldn't live that far north. I don't love winter that much, but there are always trade offs. If you've got the right work situation and think it could work out, then why not?
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Summerfield FL
514 posts, read 856,294 times
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If its just you and the cat Saginaw twp north would be a good area to look. You'll be close to a mall and restaurants. Midland is ok for families, but nothing there for you but a further ride to work, more expensive housing. Pretty much the same thing with Bay City except maybe the housing costs. But in my opinion I wouldn't leave Texas for MI
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Central Mass
4,524 posts, read 4,780,453 times
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Do you prefer rural, suburban, or "city" life?

I've got a friend who lives on Sanford lake and she loves it. She commutes to Midland though, the whole way to Saginaw might be tough in the snow.
IMHO Tittabawasee twp is pretty OK.
Frakenmuth and Vassar aren't TOO far
Auburn is kinda nice, but Bay City schools.

Midland, to me, is the best big "city" in the area - but it's been a while since I've been to Bay City.

There are some nicer areas in NW Saginaw too when you don't have to worry about schools.
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Michigan
2,741 posts, read 2,955,416 times
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Midland is also getting a brand new Costco store complex this year. Completely approved, and they are in the process of getting ready to build off Bay City rd, right across the street from Valley Plaza. Housing costs are VERY high though, compared to Saginaw. I've lived in Bridgeport (though I was raised in Frankenmuth) and I've not lived in Saginaw (though I was born at St Mary's Hospital in Saginaw). There are a lot of different areas in Saginaw that are quite nice to live in.

Most of the people living there are various levels middle-class working people, and not bad to deal with as neighbors. You are not likely to be dodging bullets, or anything like that anyway. IF you live or work in Saginaw city (Va Hospital?) you will be paying a city tax, just as a state and federal tax.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:49 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,119 posts, read 6,561,116 times
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Cleveland and Saginaw have very similar weather. Saginaw is slightly colder but Cleveland gets a little more snow due to being east of Lake Erie. The number of cloudy, dreary days is pretty much identical between the two.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:55 PM
 
18 posts, read 15,288 times
Reputation: 26
Thanks for all the responses. I guess a big part of it will come down to the final pay offer. I didn't know about the city tax. Ugh. I'd probably just pay the 1.5% and live in the the city to avoid driving more miles in crappy weather, especially if there are parts that are reasonably safe. I think a lot of it will come down to the final pay offer. I have a range now and am waiting for the final in a few weeks or so. These taxes really add up. There's the state 4.5% plus the city 0.75% to 1.5% plus the 4.4% pulled for retirement. I'd get that retirement in 20 years, but I'm looking at now - student loans and such. I'd need like 10% more money to keep the same lifestyle that I have in Texas.


Part of me is hoping that they make a decent offer and that I can recreate a life something like when I was a kid. I have fond memories of the snow. But I know I have rose-tinted glasses. Worst case, it's a good career move in the long term and maybe I can transfer to another VA down the road. I'm very burned out on Texas. I've lived in pretty much all areas, and I'm ready to leave.



Ok, I'm rambling. I guess my new question is: where in Saginaw can I live without fear of constant break ins or assaults on my cat? The northern side of town? The township is another city? This is kind of confusing. Will I have to pay taxes to both Saginaw and Saginaw Township? ha ha
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:30 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,119 posts, read 6,561,116 times
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The City of Saginaw and Saginaw Township are separate. If you live in Saginaw Township but work in Saginaw, you will be considered a non-resident of Saginaw and will only pay the 0.75% city income tax rate.

I wouldn’t be too concerned about how far your money goes in MI vs TX. Both states are very affordable places to live, regardless of whether there is an income tax or not. For example, groceries in MI are cheaper than a lot of other places.
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