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Old 10-31-2007, 09:40 AM
47 posts, read 147,633 times
Reputation: 20


Just wondering how bad the problem is.
What is your story and why you want to make the move and where?
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:00 AM
159 posts, read 558,205 times
Reputation: 148
I think michigan is the greatest state for summer cottages on the lake. But michigan sucks the rest of the year. It is way too cold and the big cities like Detroit, Flint, and Lansing are getting worse and worse every year because of all the auto plant layoffs. Grand Rapids is ok. I'm headed to Texas where there is hot weather, cheap real estate, and people enjoy going into the big cities.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:08 AM
136 posts, read 467,629 times
Reputation: 50
I'd like to leave primarily due to high property tax rates and aggressive property tax valuations, poor road / infrastructure maintenance, and general hostility of state government to it's residents. Michigan is beautiful and has great resources, but of the 3 states I've lived in, it's the worst managed.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:14 AM
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,884 posts, read 19,065,130 times
Reputation: 3911
Edit. Wrong thread.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:33 AM
9 posts, read 36,790 times
Reputation: 15
I am looking to move..... want to go south . I don't like the weather... I don't like the crime... I don't like the tax increase we just got..... I don't like the high property tax...I don't the fact that you can't find a job
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:01 AM
Location: San Antonio, TX - Displaced Michigander
2,067 posts, read 5,726,818 times
Reputation: 837
I live in Traverse City, and although I think it is a fabulous place to raise kids with lots to do and see, and it is very beautiful, I can't make a livable income here. I have been working pretty much seven days a week year round between my two jobs and what's the point of staying here? Employers here know that people will work for less just to be here. Sad but true.

I hope to come back to visit, it's a wonderful place otherwise.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:37 PM
447 posts, read 1,191,183 times
Reputation: 226
Originally Posted by leaving_mi_soon View Post
I am looking to move..... want to go south . I don't like the weather... I don't like the crime... I don't like the tax increase we just got..... I don't like the high property tax...I don't the fact that you can't find a job
Maybe you should say what city you are from. Many of us are thriving in the West Michigan area despite moronic tax increases and over-regulation from Lansing.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:04 PM
Location: Michigan
264 posts, read 782,158 times
Reputation: 216
I'm from the northwest side of Michigan. I had a decent job, but then it was downsized. Now I'm earning half of my former income, yet taxes and prices, continue to rise. I am planning to move south to find a career position with better pay and benefits. Also, a milder climate will be an added bonus, since I tend to have cold feet for 5 months out of the year!
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:11 PM
Location: Michigan's Gold Coast
34 posts, read 200,263 times
Reputation: 54
Default Sometimes the grass seems greener

Or in our case....there is no grass, unless you irrigate

But seriously....

If you can get a good job elsewhere or you just have always dreamed of living in another area, I say go for it! But before you make the sacrifices needed in order to leave, really take a good look before you leave Michigan.

When construction went down, so did our bread and butter, which was a drywall contracting business. We were able to sell our home and we relocated to Phoenix, Arizona. Our house sold so fast (a miracle, really, as we did not underprice it) that we didn't even have a chance to find work. But we were told not to worry by people who had moved down here, that there were construction jobs and economic expansion, not to mention lots of sunshine and beautiful weather. We were able to rent a house from a relative, so off we went. Goodbye Michigan!!

I'm not saying that Arizona is a horrid place, not at all. There is a lot to like about it and there is a lot of natural beauty. But since Phoenix is where the jobs and action was supposed to be, let me tell you about our experience. The construction job market greatly tightened up between the few months when we researched the area and when we arrived there. Because so many were trying to get in they could be ultra-picky. Things had slowed down, but everyone was saying it was temporary and that so many people were moving to the southwest that any problems would be shortlived. Then the bottom totally fell out. The unsold new home and foreclosure problems here are serious and mounting. Home prices are plummeting, which is good for a buyers market, but they still don't know how this will effect the economy, which expanded right along with the housing boom. Where we are renting, they are predicting double digit drops in home values in the next few months. There are deserted homes all over the city due to overspeculation and foreclosure. I have been hearing that there is about a 16 month supply of new homes and that the number is rapidly growing. A healthy number is no more than 6 months. And that is not taking into consideration the foreclosures.

Cheaper houses mean living so far out that you're looking at a very long commute, like two hours. ("Drive until you qualify", was the saying here) The roads are very crowded and rush hour means crawling bumper to bumper for the two hour drive. The workmanship of the homes really lacks. They were thrown up in a hurry during the boom.

You'd better have a good opinion of HOA's because nearly every housing community has them. Many of them are very strict. You'll also find that the houses look pretty much alike. Brown. Stucco. Not much variety here. Each development has a matching strip mall for your convenience. Someone posted a funny one on the Phoenix board about needing a GPS to find their friends house and then still discovered they were at the wrong back yard pool party. I got a great laugh out of that one, because it was so on target!

Property taxes are lower here, but there is lots of talk about raising them in order to pay for the needed infrastructure. They whipped all those houses up in a big hurry, but they are still catching up to expand roadways and build medical facilities and schools. With the construction boom over down here, someone has to pay for these things.

License plates are much higher here than in Michigan. It's based on the year and worth of your car. My husbands new truck cost us over 400 dollars to plate for the year. I have heard of RV's costing $3000 a year for an Arizona plate.

Sales tax is almost the same, but add to that city or county sales tax. Some areas have tax on food.

Gas is cheaper, but you're going to drive so much that you end up buying more. It costs a couple hundred dollars a week for the workday drive.

Illegal immigration is a huge problem. I had no idea why the border states were so up in arms before I got here and figured it was racism. That is not the problem at all, although I'm sure there are racist people here just like anywhere. The trouble is that businesses love to hire illegals because they are cheap and expendable, and they don't have to offer them any kind of health insurance. They are a real drain on the tax system, because they have no health insurance but still need to have medical care. Many of them drive uninsured. And they have all the labor jobs in construction, landscaping, etc. If you want to be a foreman, you will need to speak Spanish in order to talk to your workers.

There are what they call "drop houses", even in the nicest neighborhoods, which are houses that are a place for the illegal workers to stay until they get established. You can have 30 people or more living in a house. Sadly, there is also a human trafficking problem as well. People are kidnapped over the border to be cheap labor here in the U.S. On the west side of the city there seems to be big busts every week.

Yes, the sun shines over 300 days a year here and right now the weather is awesome: mid 80's, no humidity. But just like you are feeling stuck in the house all winter in Michigan, you will feel the same way here in the summer. When the temperature soars over 110, it is not only hot, it is dangerous heat. You can die in it if you are not smart. There won't be a cloud in the sky, so that sun just bakes everything. The neighborhoods are quiet all day because everyone stays in the air conditioning. At 10:00 at night it will still be 101 degrees. During monsoon, there are big dirt storms, followed by major storms that cause flash flooding. You might end up waiting a long time to cross a roadway until the water clears. And if you get caught in a big dust storm you just pull over and turn out your lights so no one follows you.

And though we complain about the humidity in Michigan, after awhile you wish you had some here! When the humidity level is 3-5%, your skin stays dry, your sinuses hurt, and when you go grocery shopping you get big shocks everytime you touch a freezer door.

Phoenix has a lot of crime, actually. Yes, there are nice neighborhoods in the city and just outside, but they are higher priced. Or you live very far out and have that 2 hour commute to work. Car theft is very high. Identity theft is sky high, too. There are street businesses that arrange fake drivers licenses and social security numbers for illegal immigrants. Your number could be used no matter where you live.

Moving out of state isn't easy because of what you leave behind. We have met some nice people here, but we also left behind a lot of great friends and our families. It's something else to consider.

If you are in the medical or teaching fields, there is work for you in Phoenix. But wages are lower here. They like to point out that this is a right to work state, but those evil unions that are so popular to b*tch about right now really do keep wages more even. Add to that the illegal labor force being paid so much less, which drags everyones wages way down in many areas of work. I read this Sunday in the Arizona Republic that the states biggest employer is Walmart.

We're working, but it's not all that great. If we are going to just have to scratch out a living for awhile, we'd rather do it where we wish we were living and near those who mean so much to us. We came out here thinking we'd better ourselves. It has made us tougher, so I guess that's a good thing, lol!

I don't mean this as some anti-Phoenix rant, I'm illustrating that the grass might seem greener on the other side, no matter where you want to live, but it might not be the answer that you think it is. Don't jump as fast as we did. Do your homework thoroughly. We had a monkey wrench thrown into our plans because our house sold so shockingly fast: in one week! Our original plan was for my husband to stay with some friends in Phoenix and look for work, leaving me to hold things up in Michigan. Had he learned what we know now we would have found another way and saved Arizona for a possible winter retirement area one day. For everything we left Michigan for, there is something equally as frustrating or more in our new area.

Anyway.....we have been able to get a mortgage on an inexpensive older home on the west side of the state, where we always wanted to live anyway. We'll be there before the serious snow flies! We might not get rich, but we're pretty sure we'll be happy once we get ourselves up and working. I miss grass. And trees. And water. There are some serious water problems going on both south and southwest.....don't take Michigan's abundant resource for granted!

So...sorry so long, but that's our story.

Northernguys Other Half

Last edited by northernguy1960; 10-31-2007 at 03:16 PM.. Reason: left out a needed word
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:13 PM
136 posts, read 467,629 times
Reputation: 50
Originally Posted by northernguy1960 View Post
.... There are some serious water problems going on both south and southwest.....don't take Michigan's abundant resource for granted! ...
I don't. Although I enjoyed the time I lived in the southwest, owning a home without a viable water source scares me. If I ever do go back I'll just rent.
Nice post BTW. Having lived in SanDiego and Denver I think you captured the essence of living in the southwestern quite well in one page.
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