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Old 05-31-2011, 07:09 AM
15 posts, read 36,145 times
Reputation: 15


There is a job opportunity for my husband in Midland. We currently live in the Northern VA suburbs of DC, having moved here from Oxford/Lake Orion (LOVED it there!) when the company my husband works for relocated here. We want to go home and my husband has been looking for a job in the Detroit area for over a year.

We were in Michigan over the weekend and drove up to Midland for a look-see. We've been hearing how great Midland is but we just didn't see it when we were there. The area looked run-down and shabby. I know that it's an older area but I've seen older areas that were well kept and this wasn't it. We drove past a few schools and from the outside, they looked pretty scary. Now, I know it's what goes on inside the school that matters but as an outsider looking around to potentially move there, those buildings were not anyplace I'd want to send my kids into.

We were also not impressed with the downtown area. We were expecting something like the downtown areas of Oxford, Clarkston or Holly: restaurants and shops. Well, there were 2 restaurants (1 bar and 1 upscale place in the hotel) and a take-out pizza place and a take-out deli. We didn't see much in terms of shops that one would actually want to go into and look around.

My brother-in-law was with us to show us around (he lives 30 minutes away from Midland) so my husband and I didn't discuss our observations until later. We didn't know what the other was thinking while looking around only to find out later that we were both very underwhelmed with the area.

On the positive side, we did drive through a couple of neighborhoods that looked okay.

There just seems to be such a disconnect with what we hear about Midland and what we saw. Based on what we saw, I just don't know if moving to Midland is worth it. It really amounts to a second choice and would just get us back to MI, 1.5 hours away from friends/family instead of the 9 hours we have now. It would also mean uprooting our kids to go somewhere new again. We had to move our oldest right before middle school and this would mean moving somewhere new again right before he starts high school. We're about ready to ditch the whole thing and hold out for something that will allow us to move back to Lake Orion, but who knows how long that will take? We've already been trying to get back for over a year.

So, what are we missing?
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:25 AM
362 posts, read 620,447 times
Reputation: 200
Different strokes for different folks. My self you couldn't pay me enough to live in Lake Orion, or Oxford for even a week compaired to Midland.
Got to remember Michigan has went thru a parlizing resession and Midland was able to do OK because of DOW.

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Old 05-31-2011, 10:45 AM
528 posts, read 785,040 times
Reputation: 151
I don't know much about Midland other than my horses were boarded there, so I was there several times a week during our move. But it's a nice, solidly working class area as far as I can tell. Seems like there's a fair amount of newer money moving in and building. I expect they have the tax base now that as things improve infrastructure will be addressed. If you're uncomfortable with the schools, is a private school something you could consider in the short term during this period of recovery?

As Al said, it's been tough here. My husband and I were a bit taken aback by some of the poverty, it's not something we've seen in a while, but we've been overwhelmed with how incredible folks are. I'm on the west side in a very impoverished county, but I'd rather live here than some of the more well-heeled places I've lived. There are downsides, sure, but that's true everywhere. For our family, the downsides were minimal, the benefits extraordinary.

Examine your priorities. If access to city life is important for you, Midland might not be a great choice, because getting closer to those opportunities means living in less desirable areas. But if you want a safe, quiet place to raise a family and are happy with day trips to the city, Midland has a lot to offer.
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Old 05-31-2011, 01:28 PM
362 posts, read 620,447 times
Reputation: 200
I find Midland a nice mix of some city refinement and pure country.
Midland has the Dow gardens,
Lake Orion has M24 traffic plus Clarkston Orion road traffic. Narry a public garden to be found.
Midland has The Great Lake Loons a minor leage base ball team.
Oxford has M24 traffic and a Mejiers store, A long drive to see a minor leage team, just a bunch pro loosers who play at the palace, and that is Alburn Hills not Oxford.
Midland has a county fair every summer.
Orion and Oxford may have a weekend festivile to compeate with the M24 traffic.
Personally if you think Midland is run down compaired to Orion and Oxford I truely believe your brother in law doesn't want you living there. I never thought it was a run down area unless you compair it to the new early 2000 mantions on Lake Orions West side which I don't even think is still lake Orion, or the new north west end of Oxford.

Did I forget to mention Midland has a mall?
Is 30 miniutes from Bay City with a river and bay for water recation.

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Old 05-31-2011, 07:50 PM
6,052 posts, read 7,382,694 times
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Midland is 60 minutes from "up north". What more do you want?
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:57 PM
1,490 posts, read 3,260,485 times
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Originally Posted by ram2 View Post
Midland is 60 minutes from "up north". What more do you want?
0 minutes to Up North. Not in Midland.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:48 PM
Location: Somewhere below Mason/Dixon
7,177 posts, read 7,970,599 times
Reputation: 11945
Lake Orion is one of those south east Michigan yuppie towns. Midland is a prosperous city but NOT yuppish. The two towns are so completely different, hard to compare them. Midland is a regular Michigan city, and it is nothing like the northern suburbs of Detroit. I like Midland it is a nice clean town, I have never seen it as shabby. Nearby Saginaw could be described as run down, but not Midland. Midland has all the amenties of a small city, and its close to the outdoorsey stuff like fishing/hunting and camping. I live in mid Michigan and Midland is considered the best city in this whole part of the state. Compared to Bay city, Saginaw and Flint, Midland is a very very nice place. If your looking for the suburban Detroit atmosphere there is nothing I can say that will make Midland look any better for you. Sounds like your more interested in suburban living so maybe you should keep looking for a job in the area you WANT to be in.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:17 AM
Location: Loving life in Gaylord!
4,121 posts, read 7,958,424 times
Reputation: 3900
Midland has won some nice awards as far as places to live and stuff like that. If it was run down I'm not sure it would get awards. Are you sure you werent in Saginaw?
Awards-Recognition Received by the City of Midland
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:35 AM
1,648 posts, read 2,747,176 times
Reputation: 1438
Make the move to Midland. It will get you back in Michigan and then your husband will have an easier job trying to get a job in SE Michigan. There's no guarantee holding out for that job in Lake Orion will even materailize in a year or two- and if it did - you'd hear about it faster in Michigan than in VA.

Northern VA is nice - but the traffic is horrendous and you pay 500K for a home there that you could easily get here for 100K here. Why work your entire life just to pay off a mortgage? There are plenty of nice places around town that you would be able to afford with a 15 mile radius of Midland (or even greater as you won't have to deal with the crazy commute). Relationships matter more than things - and if family and friends are here - that should be your priority.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:13 AM
1,090 posts, read 1,289,414 times
Reputation: 1183
Midland? Shabby and dangerous? Are we talking Midland, MI? It's WASP central, good old ultra-conservative Evanglical Republican town. It sounds more like you were talking about...well.anywhere other than Midland. Midland is boring as all get-out, and the traffic will drive you nuts (way too heavy for such a small town, and the drivers are terrible), but it's definitely a clean, beatific town that's ultra-safe.
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