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Old 08-30-2017, 08:27 AM
 
41 posts, read 59,232 times
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On our hunt to escape Phoenix for a great place to raise our kids, Grand rapids area has come up on our list. Particularly Rockford, seems to have great affordable homes on large lots and good schools. I was born and raised in Oregon so I am familiar with overcast and cold but not so much with the snow. Obviously living in Phoenix metro for 7 years, I haven't dealt with snow at all. Any transplants there who moved from a non-wintry climate to sw Michigan? How do you live in it, what types of equipment do you need to own to be able to leave your driveway for example, especially if living on an acreage lot in rockford? Do you have to drive a pickup truck with a snow plow attached just to get to work everyday? How often is school canceled? I work in healthcare and missing work is not an option. I'm willing to sustain a few months of snow to get that beautiful scenery the rest of the year. How long does the snow truly last and how debilitating is it to daily life? How about any other opinions on the grand rapids area? Crime, wages, cost of living, people, traffic, public schools....is bullying an issue? Give me all you got. Haven't visited yet but jobs are plentiful there for both mine and my husband's (manufacturing engineer)line of work so seriously considering it.
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Old 08-30-2017, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Louisville
4,382 posts, read 4,166,320 times
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You seem to have a somewhat uninformed and caricatured view of the impact of snow. If you have a car with front wheel drive and understand how to drive in it you will be fine. 4 wheel drive is always better, but by no means a requirement. I moved from the East Valley to Grand Rapids in 2009. The adjustment has more to do with the cold than the snow. There will be snow events that require snow clearing and removing. But if you have in your mind winters here looks like some kind of Laura Ingalls Wilder book with 15ft high snow banks along the side of the road you need to do more research.

Winter appropriate clothing (ie gloves, hats, boots) are needed at times. Snow removal equipment (ie snow shovels, maybe snow blower). 4 wheel drive may be more important if you plan on living on a country road that may get cleared slower in the event that snow does fall. If you live in the suburbs on normal suburban roads, the road commisions clear snow very efficiently.

Understand there are usually only about a dozen snowfall events in a typical winter season and in between you have cleared and dry roads sometimes for weeks at a time. During bigger snow events the roads may stay slick for a few days as clearing is constant. Typical snowfall starts mid-December and lasts through Mid-March with patches of snowfall before and after.

This huge focus you have on snow also doesn't at all take into account the 7-8 months a year where there is virtually no snow. You should also spend some time researching the summers in the area, which are quite magical. Along with the ample recreational, festival, and cultural opportunities. Winter's here are definitely cold, snowy, and cloudy. Don't forget there are well over 50 million residents that surround the great lakes that deal with winter. A lot of them have had to adjust to it and survived just fine.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:11 PM
 
41 posts, read 59,232 times
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Yes that's what I am doing by asking this question here, because I have no realistic clue what the snow is like having never experienced that. When we got one inch of snow in the Willamette valley of Oregon, schools closed, the city closed, and there were fatal car accidents because it only happens once or twice a winter. That is my only snow experience, so forgive me for being ignorant. I can only assume the worst because I have never been there and judging by the huge amount of Michiganites that winter in the east valley and clog up our roads from October to April, I can only imagine it must be bad for them to want to come to this hell hole. Thanks for the insight, that seems much more doable than I imagined. The summers spring and fall sound like a dream!
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Old 08-30-2017, 08:08 PM
 
30 posts, read 43,185 times
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Moved here 2 years ago from the south. Was nervous about driving in snow, but after the first 5 minutes I realized it's really not a big deal. You just take your time and don't make any sudden lane changes.
Spring and fall are glorious here. And summers are warm (mostly upper 70s to mid 80s with lows in the 60s) and if you're willing to get out and explore there are festivals every weekend.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:02 PM
 
41 posts, read 59,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RitaTome View Post
Moved here 2 years ago from the south. Was nervous about driving in snow, but after the first 5 minutes I realized it's really not a big deal. You just take your time and don't make any sudden lane changes.
Spring and fall are glorious here. And summers are warm (mostly upper 70s to mid 80s with lows in the 60s) and if you're willing to get out and explore there are festivals every weekend.
Cool, thanks!!!
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:22 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,120 posts, read 5,809,293 times
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If you live on a large lot with a longer driveway, hiring a snow plowing service is always an option. A snowblower works great for shorter "suburban" driveway. You'll want a good snow shovel regardless. Having good winter gear can make a huge difference in how manageable it is. Invest in a pair of tall, insulated rubber "muck boots" that you can slip on to go out in the snow. You won't regret it. Since I've started wearing them I magically started enjoying winter.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cibyl View Post
On our hunt to escape Phoenix for a great place to raise our kids, Grand rapids area has come up on our list. Particularly Rockford, seems to have great affordable homes on large lots and good schools. I was born and raised in Oregon so I am familiar with overcast and cold but not so much with the snow. Obviously living in Phoenix metro for 7 years, I haven't dealt with snow at all. Any transplants there who moved from a non-wintry climate to sw Michigan? How do you live in it, what types of equipment do you need to own to be able to leave your driveway for example, especially if living on an acreage lot in rockford? Do you have to drive a pickup truck with a snow plow attached just to get to work everyday? How often is school canceled? I work in healthcare and missing work is not an option. I'm willing to sustain a few months of snow to get that beautiful scenery the rest of the year. How long does the snow truly last and how debilitating is it to daily life? How about any other opinions on the grand rapids area? Crime, wages, cost of living, people, traffic, public schools....is bullying an issue? Give me all you got. Haven't visited yet but jobs are plentiful there for both mine and my husband's (manufacturing engineer)line of work so seriously considering it.
Vast and varied questions.

We probably get 6 - 7 snow days a season, where school is cancelled. As the kids get older it gets less frustrating.

You definitely don't need a pickup truck with a snowplow. It's not like Idaho or Iowa, GR is a pretty populated metro area and Kent County has full-time snowplow drivers in the winter.

Crime is extremely low in the area. Murder is pretty much non-existent unless you get messed up in gangs in certain inner city neighborhoods in Grand Rapids proper.

Rockford is a very large district with only one high school. They should have added a second or third high school years ago. That might be challenging for some kids because the student body is so large (700 - 900 kids per grade I believe) but not all kids, obviously. By comparison, Forest Hills Public Schools is a tiny bit larger and now has 3 high schools.

Quality of life here is pretty special though, especially if you're an "outdoorsy" person.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:25 AM
 
41 posts, read 59,232 times
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Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Vast and varied questions.

We probably get 6 - 7 snow days a season, where school is cancelled. As the kids get older it gets less frustrating.

You definitely don't need a pickup truck with a snowplow. It's not like Idaho or Iowa, GR is a pretty populated metro area and Kent County has full-time snowplow drivers in the winter.

Crime is extremely low in the area. Murder is pretty much non-existent unless you get messed up in gangs in certain inner city neighborhoods in Grand Rapids proper.

Rockford is a very large district with only one high school. They should have added a second or third high school years ago. That might be challenging for some kids because the student body is so large (700 - 900 kids per grade I believe) but not all kids, obviously. By comparison, Forest Hills Public Schools is a tiny bit larger and now has 3 high schools.

Quality of life here is pretty special though, especially if you're an "outdoorsy" person.
Thank you
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:26 AM
 
41 posts, read 59,232 times
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Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
If you live on a large lot with a longer driveway, hiring a snow plowing service is always an option. A snowblower works great for shorter "suburban" driveway. You'll want a good snow shovel regardless. Having good winter gear can make a huge difference in how manageable it is. Invest in a pair of tall, insulated rubber "muck boots" that you can slip on to go out in the snow. You won't regret it. Since I've started wearing them I magically started enjoying winter.
Ooh I had no idea that was even a thing....hiring a snow plowing service. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:54 AM
 
41 posts, read 59,232 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
If you live on a large lot with a longer driveway, hiring a snow plowing service is always an option. A snowblower works great for shorter "suburban" driveway. You'll want a good snow shovel regardless. Having good winter gear can make a huge difference in how manageable it is. Invest in a pair of tall, insulated rubber "muck boots" that you can slip on to go out in the snow. You won't regret it. Since I've started wearing them I magically started enjoying winter.
Any idea what a service like that typically costs, like if you live on property with a long driveway?
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