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Old 02-23-2010, 02:38 PM
 
Location: SW Michigan
111 posts, read 312,150 times
Reputation: 68

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My S/O and I are wanting to get a place together sometime around May of this year. She works in St. Joseph and I in South Bend. We were looking for a place in the middle so we could split the commute between us. Buchanan seems like it would do the trick because of its proximity to the 31 bypass and to the state line.

I noticed rentals in Buchanan were extremely cheap, almost suspiciously. Is this town a really bad place to live? Should we consider getting a place there or should I just buck up and commute from St. Joseph everyday?
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:47 AM
 
943 posts, read 2,090,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog_kid86 View Post
My S/O and I are wanting to get a place together sometime around May of this year. She works in St. Joseph and I in South Bend. We were looking for a place in the middle so we could split the commute between us. Buchanan seems like it would do the trick because of its proximity to the 31 bypass and to the state line.

I noticed rentals in Buchanan were extremely cheap, almost suspiciously. Is this town a really bad place to live? Should we consider getting a place there or should I just buck up and commute from St. Joseph everyday?
Buchanan is pretty small town, how about Niles? There is only a few things there, I remember pizza parlor and video rental shop. It is very teeny. You may end up driving into Niles to get everything. Even going to hsopital you will have to go to NIles.

Niles does have some bad parts but it has good parts as well, and I dont think rent is much less expensive there, though NIles seems to be coming more and more a suburb of South Bend. If you do not mind the Seventh Day Adventist predominance [the town shuts down on Sat their day of worship] maybe you could split difference between Berrien Springs, though I do not know how far away the highway is, the people there are friendly. There are other small towns like Three Oaks and Baroda, but I do not know much about them. Buchanan I had a friend grow up there, it is small town, and most people there know each other, it is friendly enough.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:31 PM
 
5,703 posts, read 17,141,843 times
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I recently drove to Buchanan and thought it was a charming little town. I took a friend to the Michigan Works office there. I could understand that rent might be rather low because of a low population. I moved to South Bend area 2 yrs ago and there really is not much choice. We ended up in Granger and like it. I have no clue if that would be too far from St Joesph. What about Edwardsburg?
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
28,404 posts, read 67,494,126 times
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We have an office in Buchanan. You have good access to Indiana and are not too far from Chicago. It seems like a decent town. Our employees there love it.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 12,062,798 times
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Honestly, the commute from St. Joe wouldn't be bad at all. 30-40 minutes max, even factoring in traffic and weather. It is a very nice lakeshore town, a little too big for my tastes, but still nice. Slightly snooty, though, and rents will be more expensive due to the tourist activity.

Buchanan's a nice small town. Crime is extremely low, and rents are cheap. Not much "action" there, but if you like quiet, small-town living, then Buchanan would be great for you.

I live in Niles (thankfully only for a few more days!), and I would not recommend living in Niles. I moved here from a small town in Michigan (Three Rivers), and Niles doesn't even feel like part of Michigan to me, just an extension of South Bend, IN. Congested, high traffic, higher crime (though still much safer than SB), and the economy seems to be based entirely off of SB. Buchanan still feels like a Michigan town. You will also be taken to the cleaners by the city of Niles utilities, which are ridiculously high and charge you all sorts of fees.

Berrien Springs, Baroda, Eau Claire, Dowagiac, New Buffalo, Three Oaks, Galien, and even St. Joseph itself would all be good places to live.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 12,062,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheredoIlive? View Post
Buchanan is pretty small town, how about Niles? There is only a few things there, I remember pizza parlor and video rental shop. It is very teeny. You may end up driving into Niles to get everything. Even going to hsopital you will have to go to NIles.

Niles does have some bad parts but it has good parts as well, and I dont think rent is much less expensive there, though NIles seems to be coming more and more a suburb of South Bend. If you do not mind the Seventh Day Adventist predominance [the town shuts down on Sat their day of worship] maybe you could split difference between Berrien Springs, though I do not know how far away the highway is, the people there are friendly. There are other small towns like Three Oaks and Baroda, but I do not know much about them. Buchanan I had a friend grow up there, it is small town, and most people there know each other, it is friendly enough.
Berrien Springs is right on US 31. It's a very nice, well-kept college town (home of Andrews University). I wish I moved there instead of Niles (or just stayed in Three Rivers).

Baroda is about 10 minutes from the freeway, and Three Oaks is about 20 minutes west on U.S. 12, near New Buffalo. Both are nice, small Michigan towns.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:22 PM
 
Location: SW Michigan
111 posts, read 312,150 times
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I suggested Niles to her, but she promptly shot down the idea. She was born and raised in Berrien county, and I am a southern Indiana migrant so I know much less about the area than her. I guess Niles is a pretty gross place to be. I drove around there and agree with her now.

The St. Joseph commute wouldn't be terrible except that I work on the far south side of SB. Also the winter time drive on the by 31 bypass would just be awful.

Thanks for your input everyone. I thought this thread was long dead.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:39 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in the valley
14,001 posts, read 2,469,946 times
Reputation: 12190
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog_kid86 View Post
I suggested Niles to her, but she promptly shot down the idea. She was born and raised in Berrien county, and I am a southern Indiana migrant so I know much less about the area than her. I guess Niles is a pretty gross place to be. I drove around there and agree with her now.

The St. Joseph commute wouldn't be terrible except that I work on the far south side of SB. Also the winter time drive on the by 31 bypass would just be awful.

Thanks for your input everyone. I thought this thread was long dead.

GROSS

 [groʊs] [grohs] adjective,-er, -est, noun,pluralgross for 11, gross·es for 12, 13; verb
–adjective 1. without deductions; total, as the amount of sales, salary, profit, etc., before taking deductions for expenses, taxes, or the like (opposed to net): gross earnings; gross sales.

2. unqualified; complete; rank: a gross scoundrel.

3. flagrant and extreme: gross injustice.

4. indelicate, indecent, obscene, or vulgar: gross remarks.

5. lacking in refinement, good manners, education, etc.; unrefined.

6. large, big, or bulky.

7. extremely or excessively fat.

8. thick; dense; heavy: gross vegetation.

9. of or concerning only the broadest or most general considerations, aspects, etc.

10. Slang. extremely objectionable, offensive, or disgusting: He wore an outfit that was absolutely gross.

–noun 11. a group of 12 dozen, or 144, things. Abbreviation: gro.

12. total income from sales, salary, etc., before any deductions (opposed to net).

13. Obsolete. the main body, bulk, or mass.


–verb (used with object) 14. to have, make, or earn as a total before any deductions, as of taxes, expenses, etc.: The company grossed over three million dollars last year.


—Verb phrase 15. gross out, Slang. a. to disgust or offend, esp. by crude language or behavior.

b. to shock or horrify.
Origin:
1350–1400; ME < OF gros large (as n., grosse twelve dozen) < LL gross(us) thick, coarse

—Related forms
grossly, adverb
grossness, noun
outgross, verb (used with object)
o·ver·gross, adjective
o·ver·gross·ly, adverb
o·ver·gross·ness, noun
un·gross, adjective


—Synonyms
3.shameful, outrageous, heinous, grievous. See flagrant. 4.low, animal, sensual, broad. 6. massive, great.


—Antonyms
4.decent. 6. delicate, small.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:31 PM
 
60 posts, read 148,246 times
Reputation: 25
Did you settle on a place? I'd be very curious to know where you ended up and how it's worked out for you both. I also have some slight interest in those areas--buchanan, baroda, st. joseph, stevensville, berrien springs.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:24 PM
 
60 posts, read 148,246 times
Reputation: 25
I thought I'd put an update here, but I ended up in Niles, after looking very seriously at St. Joseph, Stevensville, Berrien Springs, and Buchanan. There were a lot of factors, but we got a great home in an excellent neighborhood in Niles Township (different than the city of Niles).

People who are looking at these small towns and small cities to live in Michigan need to understand that they all have different parts of the town that make it both good and bad. St. Joseph has higher cost of living and has some great neighborhoods, but there are also some areas that aren't anything special. Same with Stevensville.

As far as Niles go, I could see why people don't think much of it if they are judging it by its main retail area which includes Walmart and Lowes, among other stores. That area is unappealing to me, although I do go there on occasion and it's no different to me than living in St. Joseph and going a few minutes over to the only place in Benton Harbor where there is Target, Walmart, Home Depot, typical big box stores.

But Niles is actually very large geographically, and there is also a distinction between the city of Niles and Niles Township. Niles Township is very lovely, has a good governance structure (it's one of the few charter townships), and the people are friendly. It's fairly rural and quiet, and also very affordable.

Regarding Buchanan, we're very close to it being on the west of Niles. I have to say that I really like the shops area of Buchanan a lot. I recently visited Union cafe, which is fairly new, and it has that urban coffee shop that I really love and miss. The owner is fantastic, too, leaving me with another great vibe about folks in Buchanan. Buchanan seems to have some decent Chicago influence, which to me is a good thing. However, I'm not as fond of the older homes around Buchanan, I like living in Niles Township and getting the best of both worlds.

In Niles you'll find homes from $20k all the way to $1.5 million in The Reserve, so there's a lot of variation in such a wide geographic area.

Also, while I have the smaller town feel, coming from a big city, I'm only 20 minutes away from decent shopping in Granger. I'd say the biggest downside to Niles for me personally is that I'm a good 30 minutes away or more from the Lakeshore, which I would enjoy being closer to--as St. Joseph and Stevensville are.

Additionally, and this is for anyone to comes to this thread looking for information, I'd say that Berrien Springs itself has very few desirable homes, unless you don't mind the typical 30+ year old stuff that hasn't been touched. Yet it's a little pricier being next to the University there. The people there, however, are incredibly friendly and there is very little crime. The areas just west of Berrien proper and east of it, however, are very nice, although you will be paying more for a home.
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