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Old 03-23-2020, 11:00 AM
 
105 posts, read 60,682 times
Reputation: 147

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I read through some of the threads I found regarding Dowagiac, but most of them were older so I thought I'd start one specific to my situation.


Currently I live in the South in a major metro area but have lived in the midwest. My reasons for moving are a few, but the main one is that rental/home prices where I live are through the roof. I am basically starting over in life from scratch and am looking into the future once I get things going again and where I live now, I'm probably gonna be priced out of ever buying a decent home for the rest of my life unless there is a massive real estate correction. Where as in Dowagiac, property is crazy cheap compared to where I live now. I couldnt believe some of the prices I saw....$265k for a 3500 sq foot Victorian etc.



I already know some of the negatives of living in the midwest in general...the weather in the winter being the main one. I've lived through midwest winters so I know all about that. However, where I live now, the winters arent all that great either. Sure, there maybe only 1 snow per winter and the lows are usually in the 20's or 30's, but it's not exactly balmy here either as you cant really do activiities here except for those few and far warm weather days. On the flip side, summer weather in the Dowagiac area is just about perfect IMO. But yeah, winters would not be enjoyable and am debating whether I could stand the months on end of cold and snow.


Another downfall of the Dowagiac area is the lack of hiking. Although I could see myself getting into bicycling and you do have the Kai-Haven Trail just north of Dowagiac. But there are positives like being close to Lake Michigan.


Another positive of Dowagiac is Amtrak goes to Chicago in I think under 2 hours. So if I ever want to take a trip into a city, that is available.


So I guess my question is pretty simple.....should I consider Dowagiac? I looked at several other small towns in the area ie Berrien Springs, Niles, Cassopolis, etc. but Dowagiac seemed to have the best downtown area. I am looking at small towns, so I already know about moving from a huge city to a city with a population of about 5,000, but I think that is what I want. Not sure what I would be doing job wise other than the fact unless I get lucky, I'll have to take a low paying job. However, to counteract that, I already saw some apts that are almost half price of what I'm paying now for an equivalent living space.

Last edited by Thedude404; 03-23-2020 at 11:13 AM..
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Ann Arbor MI
2,139 posts, read 1,522,403 times
Reputation: 2991
I don't have an opinion about Dowagiac but I have an observation about this forum. There are what I might call Regurgitation Experts who will Google up some stuff then pontificate like they know something more than what they Googled. So unless somebody rolls in who actually lives in Dowagiac I think you should rely on your own research.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,926 posts, read 68,900,807 times
Reputation: 35341
I have never heard of this place. You might get more response if you identify a region rather than a specific town.
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Old 03-24-2020, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Ann Arbor MI
2,139 posts, read 1,522,403 times
Reputation: 2991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I have never heard of this place. You might get more response if you identify a region rather than a specific town.
Its toward the west side of the state. The Amtrak Wolverine line makes a stop there I think on its run from Pontiac to Chicago. Maybe 30 miles west south west of Kalamazoo.
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
9,248 posts, read 17,876,121 times
Reputation: 10883
Kalamazoo is in reasonably good shape and you'll probably have more job luck if you're willing to commute to there than staying hyper-local.
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Michigan
2,588 posts, read 1,975,805 times
Reputation: 6191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I have never heard of this place. You might get more response if you identify a region rather than a specific town.
It's close to Benton Harbor.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,169 times
Reputation: 10
I would say if you're looking into that area checkout Indiana, near Elkhart. Lots of factories along the Indiana/ Michigan border. I work in Indiana but live in Michigan and pass about 5 hiring signs omw to work. House prices are really varied so that makes it nice, you can get a older house in the city for $130+ or a brand new build for $220+.
Some things to think about:
1. Look into car insurance, 10 years ago when i move from Indiana to Michigan my car Insurance went from $300/6 months to $1600/6 months, now as i've gotten older it has gone down. But if you are a male under 27 you might be in for sticker shock.
2. The winter is cold and feels long, although the last few have been mild. But also the spring/summer there is high humidity. It can be 93 degrees with 80% humidity and 100% miserable lol.
3. If you are handy and can stand stress the rv companies are going to pay the best in terms of factories. Try Jayco, Forest River, Thor, Keystone, ect, but they are all just across the border in Indiana. If you're leaning towards something else off the bat ik of the meijers warehouse hiring outside of Middlebury, In. They start out at $14. or i'm sure you can find something in Kalamazoo if you're set on Michigan.
4. Ps trees look pretty but they are a lot of work buy a house with less trees lol.
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Old 03-28-2020, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Michigan
748 posts, read 2,050,442 times
Reputation: 804
Southwest Michigan Community College is there.
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Old 03-30-2020, 01:25 PM
 
Location: East Lansing, MI
18,038 posts, read 10,348,873 times
Reputation: 6753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thedude404 View Post
I read through some of the threads I found regarding Dowagiac, but most of them were older so I thought I'd start one specific to my situation.


Currently I live in the South in a major metro area but have lived in the midwest. My reasons for moving are a few, but the main one is that rental/home prices where I live are through the roof. I am basically starting over in life from scratch and am looking into the future once I get things going again and where I live now, I'm probably gonna be priced out of ever buying a decent home for the rest of my life unless there is a massive real estate correction. Where as in Dowagiac, property is crazy cheap compared to where I live now. I couldnt believe some of the prices I saw....$265k for a 3500 sq foot Victorian etc.



I already know some of the negatives of living in the midwest in general...the weather in the winter being the main one. I've lived through midwest winters so I know all about that. However, where I live now, the winters arent all that great either. Sure, there maybe only 1 snow per winter and the lows are usually in the 20's or 30's, but it's not exactly balmy here either as you cant really do activiities here except for those few and far warm weather days. On the flip side, summer weather in the Dowagiac area is just about perfect IMO. But yeah, winters would not be enjoyable and am debating whether I could stand the months on end of cold and snow.


Another downfall of the Dowagiac area is the lack of hiking. Although I could see myself getting into bicycling and you do have the Kai-Haven Trail just north of Dowagiac. But there are positives like being close to Lake Michigan.


Another positive of Dowagiac is Amtrak goes to Chicago in I think under 2 hours. So if I ever want to take a trip into a city, that is available.


So I guess my question is pretty simple.....should I consider Dowagiac? I looked at several other small towns in the area ie Berrien Springs, Niles, Cassopolis, etc. but Dowagiac seemed to have the best downtown area. I am looking at small towns, so I already know about moving from a huge city to a city with a population of about 5,000, but I think that is what I want. Not sure what I would be doing job wise other than the fact unless I get lucky, I'll have to take a low paying job. However, to counteract that, I already saw some apts that are almost half price of what I'm paying now for an equivalent living space.

What is drawing you to Dowagiac in the first place, other than housing costs? Let's start there...
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Old 04-15-2020, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Michigan
2 posts, read 861 times
Reputation: 37
Default Re: Dowagiac

Quote:
Not sure what I would be doing job wise other than the fact unless I get lucky, I'll have to take a low paying job.
I don't know what line of work you're in, or what you would consider low-paying in an area where you can buy a 3500 sq foot Victorian for $264k, but if you do move to Dowagiac or anywhere else in SW Michigan, you might want to consider Four Winds Casino.

I work for Four Winds, and have helped out at the Dowagiac location several times. I have not lived in Dowagiac, nor visited any of the other businesses in Dowagiac, but I can give you first-hand information on what I do know.

Although Michigan's minimum wage is $9.45/hr, Four Winds has their own minimum wage of $12/hour for non-tipped employees, and raises are based on yearly reviews and/or promotions. I don't recall the minimum for tipped employees, but I have heard that dealer tips are very good, especially at the smaller Dowagiac location. My first promotion was after about 6 months, which included a $5/hr raise.

We get quarterly and yearly bonuses, incentives for perfect attendance, a gift every 3 months, and if we get 100% on a secret shop, we get $1000 plus a nice luncheon where the COO presents us with an award. I have been an honoree at two of these luncheons and a guest at a third, and they definitely don't skimp on those things.

They offer free classes for career advancement, some of which are required depending on our position, and they pay us at our hourly wage for attending the ones that are required.

Hot food in the employee dining room is only $1, taken out of our paycheck, and there are a lot of things like salads, deserts, and beverages, that are free. The hot food is also free on some holidays, as well as employee appreciation days, when they'll serve something special. My personal favorite is probably the prime rib. Dowagiac is so small that they don't have a hot food buffet like the other three properties, but all four properties will cook food to order, and you can place your order in advance so it can be ready when you start your break.

Break times vary based on department and number of hours worked, but they are paid.

I'm not sure if they have an on-site health clinic in Dowagiac like Hartford has, but Hartford usually has one there once a week, New Buffalo has one 5 days/week (I think?), and if Dowagiac doesn't have a health clinic when you need one, you can go to the one in New Buffalo. Visits to these health clinics are $10 per visit, which is taken out of our paycheck. They also offer things like flu shots and mammograms for free.

I have only used the insurance for one walk-in visit at a doctor's office. That was when I got bronchitis last summer, and I did not have to pay anything for the visit, which included a nebulizer and adrenaline shot that I also didn't have to pay for. However, I was later billed $40 (IIRC) for the doctor who looked at my chest X-rays.

Although we have been closed since March 17 due to the pandemic, we were all paid our full rate as though we had worked through April 12, and HR sent us all information to help with our unemployment claims for our furlough.

Due to the crowds we attract, I doubt we will be part of phase 1 when nonessential businesses start reopening. However, when we do reopen, you can apply online at fourwindscasino.com/employment
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