Anyone From Michigan?

Lounge By tastyart Updated 9 Feb 2009 , 4:47am by mkolmar

tastyart Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 11:02pm
post #1 of 21

My husband is applying for a job in Michigan and I'm curious to know a little about what Michigan is like. We live in Texas now and I'm sure things are much different there. My question is what things do you like about Michigan and what do you not like? I know there will be more snow icon_surprised.gif but that is about it.

20 replies
TheCakerator Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 12:44am
post #2 of 21

well first off I have to say I'm surprised anyone is coming INTO Michigan for work .. everyone that I know of is LEAVING Michigan to FIND work!! Congrats to your husband for being able to get a job here .. do you know what city his job might be located in?

tastyart Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 2:15am
post #3 of 21

Probably Grand Rapids.

TheCakerator Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:05pm
post #4 of 21

That is on the other side of the state from where I live, but I do have relatives that live close to the city. I know it's a pretty bustling town but I don't have any hands on experience myself. You'll only be a short drive to lake Michigan if you want to spend a day at the beach, and a short drive from towns like Traverse City, a popular tourist town also known for its cherries and cherry festivals ... if you have small children, or even you yourself, you will be close to Muskegon, which has a great water park/amusement park and there are tons of state parks over there that are great for camping at if that is your thing. Unfortunately you will be close enough to the lakes to get the nasty lake effect snow. I hope someone else can pipe in here as well, maybe someone who lives closer! It's almost a two and a half hour drive from me.

Callyssa Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:36pm
post #5 of 21

Well, we live in Michigan and are trying to find a job in Texas!!! My husband was in the jobs banks with Chrysler for the past year. Our unemplyment rate was at 10% last week I think. I wouldn't encourage anyone to move here right now! That said, I hate the snow, I hate the cold, and we have lots and lots of cloudy, dismal days. I've heard we have more cloudy days than Seattle. Michigan is beautiful in all the seasons, I will give it that.

Coming from the south you will probably think people aren't as friendly. At least when I'm in Texas I notice how much more friendly people there are (actually most of the south is like that). It seems faster paced than in the south also; everybody's always in a hurry it seems.

You are coming to a good area though; Grand Rapids is a nice city and there are many things to do. You will definitely have to deal with lake effect snow unfortunately, but if you've never dealt with that it may be an adventure for you!

Lake Michigan is great to spend time at in the summer, as are so many of the lakes Michigan has.

Housing costs have been declining for several years here, so if you're looking to buy a home right away you'll be making a good financial move because it's definitely a buyers market. I believe MI will recover from this, just will take years.

We have very good schools, that's a huge plus if you have school aged kids.

My SIL lives in Holland (MI), but has been in the GR area for 25 yrs. so if you have any specific questions I can ask her.

I hope at least some of this helps. Oh, should I mention we had a super cold snap a few weeks ago where the wind chill hit -25? The kids all got a snow day because it was too cold to keep the buses running, and the risk of frostbite was so high.

Can you tell I'm ready to move on???!!!

tastyart Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 3:55pm
post #6 of 21

Thank you for sharing info on MI. I'm glad to hear about the schools, I do have school aged children. Christine, I hope your husband can find a job here in Texas. We have not been immune to the economic downturn here but it is by no means severe. One thing I would look forward to in MI is the wetter climate. We don't get nearly enough moisture to suite me here. Snow is very rare. With all the snow in MI I wonder how traveling is. Is it hard to get around during the winter? Would a 30 min. commute to work be a nightmare?

Callyssa Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 4:23pm
post #7 of 21

Traveling can be treacherous in bad weather here, definitely. My DH commute was 1 hr. 15 min. one way in good weather; in bad weather he would just get a cheap hotel for the night because there were times it took him over four hours to get home. You do get used to driving in the snow and if you drive carefully and defensively you should be okay, but we get black ice sometimes too and no one is safe on that. You don't even know it's there.

If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle make certain you put some weight in the back during the winter; lots of people use bags of salt. Because the economy here is so bad and the state has no money our roads haven't been salted during snowstorms like we're used to. Mostly the trucks don't even come out until well after the snow stops. That's made it much harder. We've gotten a ton more snow this year than normal, so it's been a bad year for that.

It's definitely a wetter climate here than Texas! We get lots of storms, and in the GR area they get even more because of the lakes. We get tornadoes too. I LOVE thunderstorms, but I don't think you get many there do you? Just hurricanes, huh?!

What part of Texas are you coming from? We may both be able to help each other out!

tastyart Posted 6 Feb 2009 , 5:29pm
post #8 of 21

I'm actually up in west Texas. Here it is VERY flat and often terribly windy. I have lived in Houston too. Sometimes they do get hurricanes. I'm not terribly worried about driving on snow sometimes in MI. I grew up in the mountains of New Mexico. Snow can pile up there so I've had practice driving in it. When it snows her in Texas people don't know what to do. We helped a lady get un-stuck from 3" here one time. I didn't know that was possible. Out here in flat Texas we get tornados too and thunderstorms are our only rain. There is really no such thing as a rainy day here. What part of Texas are you looking at? Texas is so big that the climate varies widely from one side to the other.

How long does winter usually last there? Here in TX it is suposed to get to 70 degrees today. Are there areas where we chould definately not look for houses in? In Houston there are neighborhoods that are deffinately not safe. I lived in one. We had a shooting just across the street. Didn't know when we signed the lease that the neighborhood was so rough.

laura1029 Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 4:18am
post #9 of 21

Winter (or cold weather) usually lasts from late Oct thru late April. In the summer it gets pretty warm and humid....usually in the 80s and some days have 80% humidity.

Gas prices here are generally one of the highest in the nation (we have no idea why!!) - right now it's at 1.89 which isn't too bad. As for the neighborhoods, it would be best to talk to a good realtor. As in any area, there are good parts/bad parts to any city/town, sometimes all that separates them is one street!

You will love spring/summer - especially being on the west side of the state which is beautiful. Fall is nice too but winter comes early and stays too late (IMO).

Mike1394 Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 1:12pm
post #10 of 21

Mich pretty much sucks, and that's when the econ is in good shape. The humidity will rival TX, but the sky will never be blue. It's always sort of a grayish blue, when there aren't any clouds.


Callyssa Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 2:26pm
post #11 of 21

Well I was trying to be nice about describing MI Mike! icon_wink.gif But I feel exactly the same as you; that's why we're trying to leave; I need some sunshine and warm weather!

mkolmar Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 8:48pm
post #12 of 21

I love the schools in MI (at least the ones where I live).
The weather is crazy here. It's always flip-flopping from warm to cold to super cold to warm again. BLAH!
The economy here stinks. It was built on the auto industry and we all know what that's like right now. Lots of people out of work and moving out of state.

If it wasn't for my DH's business (which luckily is going well) and the kids school, I would move out of MI in a heart beat.

tastyart Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 9:24pm
post #13 of 21

Many of you have commented on the state of the economy in MI. Just from the national news i'm aware of the problems with the car industry as of late. What else has been affected by the economy there? Are there a lot of businesses closing down?

mkolmar Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 9:44pm
post #14 of 21

A lot of business are closing down, with more hanging on by a thread.

Callyssa Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 10:12pm
post #15 of 21

My husband used to work at Gordon Food Service and ran into an old boss a few weeks ago. He said they are losing 10-15 accounts a day (or a week, he can't remember which! But either way they are losing accounts.) Lots and lots of businesses are closing down all the time. I hate to see what's going to happen next.......

Mike1394 Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 10:37pm
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by tastyart

Many of you have commented on the state of the economy in MI. Just from the national news i'm aware of the problems with the car industry as of late. What else has been affected by the economy there? Are there a lot of businesses closing down?

The Auto industry drives the economy in almost every state. It is felt deeply here though. The families that used to make 100K a year are very few, and far between now, before they used to be more common. These aren't the ones that worked at the big 3 either. The supplier shops are the ones that are hurting the most from all of this. There is no longer the disposable income it's now spent on trying to heat your house, or feed the kids. It's been like this for about four yrs now. The rest of the country is just now feeling it.


tastyart Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 11:25pm
post #17 of 21

At this point the auto industry trouble has not really affected Texas. There aren't many here who are employed that way. Is the economic downturn causing an increase in crime there?

TheCakerator Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 3:07pm
post #18 of 21

I don't think our crime rate has increased so much it has made the news every day ... I am sure it has gone up as some families will do anything to survive ... this state is in such bad shape due to how large the big three are up here, and it dwindles down to almost every job here ... you can barely find a family that hasn't felt the effect of how bad the big three are doing ... when I was telling my husband about this thread and how you were actually coming into michigan to look for work he laughed and asked if your husband worked for the unemployment agency, were they calling in back up .. I laughed as well, but sadly, that is what they will most likely be doing before to long .... they keep giving extensions for unemployment and the state just cannot afford to keep doing it, but they won't stop .. and that hurts the small business's that are trying to stay afloat because then their unemployment taxes they have to pay go up higher then what they can afford so they have to close their doors then there is more unemployment the state has to pay for, but one less business handing money back into the state's unemployment fund .... it is a horrible cycle!

tastyart Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 8:24pm
post #19 of 21

Thank you all for your very candid information. It is always hard to know if a potential employer is giving you straight answers or if they are putting rose colored glasses on. Your info from the trenches, so to speak, is so very valuable. You have given my husband and I a lot to think about before taking this job. Rest assured he is not back up for the unemployment agency. He is actually in academia. The universities have been taking a hit recently too. State funding is being reduced pretty much nation wide. Enrollment is also down in many places.

Thank you very much for your help. If any of you would like additional information about TX let me know if I can help.

Callyssa Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 3:58am
post #20 of 21

I don't understand exactly what your husband does, but I will tell you it's almost impossible for anyone with a teaching degree to get a teaching job here. I have a friend who graduated with just under a 4 point and the only job she was offered was from a charter school (and they pay a lot less). I'm from a family of teachers and hear about things like this all the time. I don't know if this information will have any impact on you at all, just letting you know.

You are definitely doing the best thing by talking to other people who live here instead of completely trusting in the employer.

mkolmar Posted 9 Feb 2009 , 4:47am
post #21 of 21

There's very little teachers being hired in right now in MI. However, at University levels that could be another story. Since your DH works at college level he has more opportunity.

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