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Old 04-06-2017, 04:55 PM
 
6 posts, read 5,213 times
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I was lucky enough to catch some snowfall while I was there!

From my time visiting, I found the landscape beautiful, people friendly, and pace pleasantly slower than Vegas. So much to do outside!

Overall I think it may be a contender for places to move Now I just have to get my man to make a visit and see what he thinks. (Snow still freaks him out haha)

Thanks everyone for your input
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Telecommutes from Northern AZ
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As someone who grew up in the South West (15 years in various places in AZ, 25+ years earlier in California) and then lived in Michigan (Detroit metro) for five years I will say this.

- Snow isn't bad, it's the cold that sucks. When the snow comes down it is beautiful. You even look forward to it in the beginning of Winter. After the snow is laying out for about a week and gets all dirty it gets to be kind of a bummer (I called it white dirt). As to the cold after a year or two you are used to it (I'd go to work with gloves, a cap, a thermal shirt, and then standard casual work clothes...seemed to be good for above 15 degrees as long as it wasn't windy). Cold and wind combined though aren't so fun. Those are the days you hunker down. Where I was there weren't too many of those as to make things unbearable.

- People are different. From my experience is people were more extreme. They were either more nice or more douche, with most trending towards more nice. It seems in the Southwest a lot of people are neither, just kinda blah (like me ). I did enjoy having more down to earth nice people around though while I was in Michigan.

- The green is beautiful until you have a yard. In Phoenix you worry about weeds in the rocks. In Michigan you worry about trees in the grass. It seems like I was mowing the yard twice a week or so and saplings sprouted up everywhere in planters and any areas that weren't mowed grass. Driving around it though is nice.

- Things are more spread out. I can't speak to Grand Rapids but from what I've seen of most of Michigan if you want to go to say a Target you are driving 30 minutes, unlike in say Phoenix where you can pick between one of three targets within 15 minutes.

- There is way more cool unique stuff in Michigan. Buildings, festivals, shops. Chains dominate less, which is a good thing. Some areas have almost a slightly magical feel to them. I dug it.

- A mountain in Michigan would be considered a small hill anywhere else.

- Summer storms can be pretty fun but at times scary when you get tornado like conditions. Maybe Grand Rapids is mostly out of the Tornado belt but I bet not completely. It is kind of trippy the clouds always seemed closer to the ground in Michigan to me than they appear to be in the Southwest. So if there is some serious weather it feels like it is right on top of you. We have monsoons in the Southwest that dump rain hard but they generally stop after five or ten minutes. Sometimes in Michigan you can get stuck in the same type of rain and it last a lot longer and makes driving...interesting.

- Taxes. Be very careful when looking at real estate to check what the tax bills are. In some areas it is astronomical compared to the Southwest. The place I rent now I looked up the taxes on and they are like 400 bucks a year. When I previously had a house in Michigan it was like 4000+ a year! Over all taxes are higher but it can very widely between townships and cities. If you aren't used to that it might catch you by surprise (my experience might be a bad example as that was on the extreme high end area and a big house, most aren't that high, but be careful).

I'm in the same boat as the OP. I'm looking at Grand Rapids and flying out with my wife as she has an interview next week (wish us luck). Unless I want to live in a manufactured home in scrub brush the Southwest has priced us out of real estate. We are looking to buy in a few years and hopefully there will still be affordable housing (like there is now) in the Grand Rapids metro. I checked out the meetups in the area too and it seems there is a lot going on and a lot of openings to meet people with similar interest. A big plus.

To the OP I say your boyfriend will not like the cold, will ***** about and constantly monitor the weather (it is fun), but if you both fall into a decent groove work and life wise (again lots of nice people around to befriend and hang out with) I think you two can make a decent life together there. From what I've seen of Vegas is blah (no offense). The good parts of Michigan have character (the houses, the people, the land). Also it seems like the tech scene in Grand Rapids is above average so maybe as a Graphic Designer you can find your niche.

I wish you luck, wish us luck as well.

Last edited by infocyde; 04-06-2017 at 06:02 PM..
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:08 PM
 
57 posts, read 89,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infocyde View Post
- Things are more spread out. I can't speak to Grand Rapids but from what I've seen of most of Michigan if you want to go to say a Target you are driving 30 minutes, unlike in say Phoenix where you can pick between one of three targets within 15 minutes.
Great post and I concur with everything you said but since you weren't speaking for GR in this particular case I just want to point out that it's pretty compact. You can cover most of the metro area in 30 minutes. And you can pick between three or more Meijers within 15 minutes of wherever you are.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Telecommutes from Northern AZ
1,173 posts, read 1,504,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegalTDP View Post
Great post and I concur with everything you said but since you weren't speaking for GR in this particular case I just want to point out that it's pretty compact. You can cover most of the metro area in 30 minutes. And you can pick between three or more Meijers within 15 minutes of wherever you are.
I do miss me some Meijers! (For out of towners it is like a big chain food store / kmart combo ...but have some slightly different stuff). Glad to hear Grand Rapids is a little more compact, that makes getting around a little easier.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Louisville
4,382 posts, read 4,166,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infocyde View Post
I do miss me some Meijers! (For out of towners it is like a big chain food store / kmart combo ...but have some slightly different stuff). Glad to hear Grand Rapids is a little more compact, that makes getting around a little easier.
Well it is more compact, but i think the Meijer reference is due to the fact that Meijer is headquartered here so it dominates the box store scene. Which is why Targets and Walmarts tend to be more spread out. Neither of them can hold a can to Meijers grocery scene.

Also good luck! If you need any pointers or have any specific questions we'll be more than happy to help!
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Telecommutes from Northern AZ
1,173 posts, read 1,504,455 times
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Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
Well it is more compact, but i think the Meijer reference is due to the fact that Meijer is headquartered here so it dominates the box store scene. Which is why Targets and Walmarts tend to be more spread out. Neither of them can hold a can to Meijers grocery scene.

Also good luck! If you need any pointers or have any specific questions we'll be more than happy to help!
Appreciate it. I expect I will have more questions. I'd give you a rep boost but apparently I did somewhere else already. Thanks.
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:36 AM
 
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You need to visit during the winter to see if you will like it or not. GR gets TONS of snow due to Lake effect
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Louisville
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Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
You need to visit during the winter to see if you will like it or not. GR gets TONS of snow due to Lake effect
Just depends on the season. This February we only had 2.5 inches of snow, January and March weren't heavy with snow either.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:47 AM
 
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I agree that Real true snowfall needs to be witnessed before a final decision. I would love to see the area during all seasons to get a feel for it, so maybe thats what we will try to do.

The drive times seemed pretty good to me, even with driving from Middleville to GR every day. I didn't experience insane traffic either (not that I know if it exists at all, just did not encounter it). Vegas traffic has it taking about an hour to drive from the sw side to the east side of town without gridlock. Granted it is a larger population and urban area, but still!

My boyfriend and I both hugely prefer the cold to the heat, plan our vacations in the destination's winter (I recommend New Zealand during their winter!!), stay indoors cranky all summer with killer energy bills from the AC haha.

I just know living in a wintery wonderland is much different than vacationing in it, and maintaining the house in those conditions is completely foreign to us. In Vegas we wrap up our outdoor pipes once and home maintenance is basically over for us. Oh and ripping out dead plants that fried in the heat while you were at work and forgot to water them haha. From what my Michigander relatives said, there you must maintain your roof and gutters, pay a snow plow man for the season, mow your yard often, pull up saplings and other unwanted growth.
I suppose a helpful question would be What other type of maintenace (home, yard, vehicles) is normal/expected for the area?

Thanks again!!
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:33 PM
 
2,616 posts, read 2,077,774 times
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Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
Just depends on the season. This February we only had 2.5 inches of snow, January and March weren't heavy with snow either.
This year is abnormally warm. Try the 2014 season, more than 100 inches.
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