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Old 11-29-2012, 04:24 PM
 
13 posts, read 19,229 times
Reputation: 12

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Hi, everyone...

I'm fairly new to the forum, and trying to get some information about living in the Southwestern part of the state (Grand Haven, Holland, maybe a bit east toward Grand Rapids).

Some questions:

Is this a good area for "empty nesters" who are still pretty active but wanting to avoid a large city environment--looking for a pleasant, reasonably quiet neighborhood in a nice town (or small city) not too far from the Lakeshore. (We expect during the summer things would get more hectic with the tourists and activities going on...no problem--we can deal with that, ) We're just looking for a change from the heavy population congestion, noise, traffic, and frequent "unfriendly" feeling you often get in the Chicago suburbs where we're from.

* In general what is the feeling in the area communities regarding newcomers? Fairly welcoming? Or does it take some time to get acquainted? We don't mind that, but would like a "heads up" before making a final decision on which town we'd head for.

*We both have some health concerns...How's the emergency response (police, fire, ambulance), and the quality of medical care (doctors/hospitals)? Any recommendations would be appreciated.

* (for the future): What programs are in place for seniors, such as activities, transportation, financial assistance, etc.?

Thanks for your help!

JN
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Mile High
325 posts, read 369,477 times
Reputation: 722
Hi JN,

I live in Holland. My husband and I moved here from the Southwest (Texas/L.A./Denver) for work. Some thoughts:

1. We are urbanites who enjoy the city, and moving here was a big adjustment for us. I would think this area ideal for empty nesters who want to escape the crowdedness of city life. There are several people who live in my building (I live in a condo complex--a retrofitted furniture warehouse) who are retirees and empty nesters. Tourists do flock in the summer, but it's manageable and a nice change of pace.

2. In all the places I've lived in, I've found that welcoming is as welcoming does. Meaning, you're more apt to find people welcoming when you put out a welcoming spirit first. I've never found people snobbish or cliquish or mean to outsiders. And with my accent, I do stick out in a crowd. If I happen to meet a rude person, I usually just chalk it up to that person being rude and not extrapolate that to a whole population in any given area. Get involved in church, civic activities, clubs, associations, and you'll make friends in no time.

3. Holland has one of the top hospitals in the nation. You can read more about the awards and recs here: Awards & Recognition | About Us. I delivered my first child in at a Kaiser facility in Los Angeles and my second here in Holland. Let me tell you what. What a world of difference in care.

4. I don't know a lot about senior citizen activities. I know this area tends to draw seniors. Perhaps this website can help: Evergreen Commons.

Good luck deciding where to land!
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:43 AM
 
210 posts, read 496,349 times
Reputation: 88
Quote:
I delivered my first child in at a Kaiser facility in Los Angeles and my second here in Holland. Let me tell you what. What a world of difference in care.


this is why Michiganders are friendly!!!! What a baby see first few minutes matters
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:58 AM
 
13 posts, read 19,229 times
Reputation: 12
Default Thank you IRONLADY

Hi...

I really appreciate the great info in your reply to my questions!


I couldn't agree more about what you said regarding getting acquainted and making friends in a new area, and although there are several Western MI towns I'm researching, the more I hear about Holland the more it sounds like what we're looking for.

Thanks again!

JN
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:11 PM
 
447 posts, read 1,240,371 times
Reputation: 226
Yay Ironlady! What a great response.

I too live in Holand and love it. We're both coming from the in-town, somewhat urban environment though. Living on the north side for example is a whole other thing. More like subdivisions and 50 mile per hour streets.

The city itself, even though challenged by some of the same issues other small towns deal with, is a walkable, well-cared-for, friendly place to live with farmers markets, parks, a wonderful downtown (one of the best in the US), theatre, arts, sports, and so much more.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:28 PM
 
Location: New Hudson, MI
9 posts, read 21,724 times
Reputation: 11
I would go to South Haven, MI. We own a cottage there and it is a nice town on Lake Michigan with lots of things to do. Not much in winter though...
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