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Old 03-21-2009, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Old west side, Ann Arbor, MI
689 posts, read 2,074,902 times
Reputation: 279

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Hello All,

As much as I hate to say it, my wife lost her job last week, we live here in the Ann Arbor area and have most of our lives. Her job supported our entire family, and now we are desperately trying to figure our next move. Initially we were considering Chicago, I had multiple interviews within a few days, my wife also, however I don't know if throwing 3000 down on a apartment is a mistake right now. We can afford a house, but wish to rent until we are settled for good (my daughter is not of school age yet).

We have been to GR many times, but all you nice folks probably know where a young family would do best there, and if there is any employment in our fields. I have a B.S in Counseling/Criminal Justice, she has a B.S. in hospitality and has primarily worked for banquet centers controlling their planning and administrative tasks. So my question is, would it be a mistake to shift our job search to GR? I feel silly asking these questions living in Michigan all my life, we just have not had any reason to travel to west Michigan. We enjoy the amenities of Ann Arbor, there is always something to do, and I refuse to move to a rural area (I'd go nuts in 2 days).

We have seriously considered staying here, but the job search is truly depressing, not to mention I've only have a 6 month cushion of funds to rely on before things get really nasty. I've only been applying for Bachelors jobs, and every interview I go to I learn most of the leading candidates here are M.S. PhD's looking for work also....so my resume probably gets put through the shredder. Would I face the same thing In GR? I'm starting to get tired of the "over achiever" aspect of this town, nearly every person has a Bachelor's degree and it gets them a bar-tending position.

With all my ranting I better get to the real questions: I need some serious considerations for neighborhoods, ( I need public trans to work), and also some info about schools. I don't wish to be in a high crime area, and close to a pre-school for my daughter. I'd like to stay within the 1000-12000/mo for a 2bdr apt which is pretty standard here. I suppose this is my last breath for Michigan, if nothing materializes in the next few weeks, we may be the next Uhaul on I94 out of Michigan. Any informative thoughts would be appreciated!


Last edited by MittenDweller82; 03-21-2009 at 02:23 PM.. Reason: addition.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,859,913 times
Reputation: 3264
Maybe the Forest Hills or Cascade area would be good for you guys. Unfortunately, I don't know if GR's economy is any better than A2's.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,744,725 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by MittenDweller82 View Post
Hello All,

As much as I hate to say it, my wife lost her job last week, we live here in the Ann Arbor area and have most of our lives. Her job supported our entire family, and now we are desperately trying to figure our next move. Initially we were considering Chicago, I had multiple interviews within a few days, my wife also, however I don't know if throwing 3000 down on a apartment is a mistake right now. We can afford a house, but wish to rent until we are settled for good (my daughter is not of school age yet).

We have been to GR many times, but all you nice folks probably know where a young family would do best there, and if there is any employment in our fields. I have a B.S in Counseling/Criminal Justice, she has a B.S. in hospitality and has primarily worked for banquet centers controlling their planning and administrative tasks. So my question is, would it be a mistake to shift our job search to GR? I feel silly asking these questions living in Michigan all my life, we just have not had any reason to travel to west Michigan. We enjoy the amenities of Ann Arbor, there is always something to do, and I refuse to move to a rural area (I'd go nuts in 2 days).

We have seriously considered staying here, but the job search is truly depressing, not to mention I've only have a 6 month cushion of funds to rely on before things get really nasty. I've only been applying for Bachelors jobs, and every interview I go to I learn most of the leading candidates here are M.S. PhD's looking for work also....so my resume probably gets put through the shredder. Would I face the same thing In GR? I'm starting to get tired of the "over achiever" aspect of this town, nearly every person has a Bachelor's degree and it gets them a bar-tending position.

With all my ranting I better get to the real questions: I need some serious considerations for neighborhoods, ( I need public trans to work), and also some info about schools. I don't wish to be in a high crime area, and close to a pre-school for my daughter. I'd like to stay within the 1000-12000/mo for a 2bdr apt which is pretty standard here. I suppose this is my last breath for Michigan, if nothing materializes in the next few weeks, we may be the next Uhaul on I94 out of Michigan. Any informative thoughts would be appreciated!

$1000 - $1200 a month will get you a pretty decent apartment here, maybe even a rental home in a decent area.

Here are the Rapid route maps:

Routes & Maps | www.ridetherapid.org (http://www.ridetherapid.org/ride/routes - broken link)

As far as jobs go, all I can suggest is checking sites like indeed.com. There are a ton of banquet facilities in GR, but the economy is getting hit here too. The plus sides are that housing and cost of living expenses are a LOT less expensive here to weather the storm.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:37 AM
 
484 posts, read 1,106,093 times
Reputation: 439
Default GR considerations

I know Ann Arbor, having been a student there, but I am a resident of GR so hopefully I can shed some light.

GR doesn't have nearly the educated populace that A2 has. With that said, the economy the way it is, I'm not sure if you would have much better luck finding a job. I would venture to guess that of the jobs you do apply for, you would be competing against a much smaller pool of candidates with the same or higher education. Generally, people with a Masters or above move here for a particular job. People with Bachelors degrees are becoming more plentiful but not in the numbers seen in A2. You may find the statistics on this website but I believe may 27% of the GR population has a Bachelors+ as compared to A2 where that number might be closer to 40-50%.

I do know for a fact that there is a juvenile counselor position open in Kent County (Grand Rapids) as I stumbled upon the listing in my own job search. Check out accesskent.com.

I don't think anyone will be able to tell you definitively if you would have more luck in Chicago or GR. I can tell you that the cost of living is much cheaper in GR than Chicago or even A2. For your price range, you will easily find a VERY nice apartment and plenty of houses to chose from. The figures you gave are near the upper tier of rental prices.

Admittedly, public transportation is not as convenient in GR as in A2 but it is improving. You can still get around quite nicely with the bus and a bike. One thing to consider is that parking isn't nearly as scarce nor expensive as in A2 so having a car isn't too tough. Transportation may be a non-issue though because the rent you are able to pay would get you a place downtown.

As for your wife, we have some great hotels but I'm not sure if they are hiring. We have a JW Mariott, which I'm told is one of only 27 or 28 in the world. Very upscale and nice. The Amway Grand is here as well that might provide some opportunities for the wife.

Last edited by enigmaingr; 03-24-2009 at 08:44 AM.. Reason: spelling
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