Should you move to Michigan? The debate that might sit pretty heavily on your mind, because all you hear about is how much the weather sucks, and that this place is shaped like a mitten. Well, in this video, I am going to break down the question, should you move to Michigan? Oh and stick around until the end because I will break down the BIGGEST complaints about Michigan these days. Let’s get into it.
This blog is a direct transcript from the video below. This comes in 3 versions: You are able to watch the video, read the blog for your convenience or listen to the audio experience (which is linked under the video below).
Before I jump into breaking down this question, I want you to ask yourself why you’re asking the question in the first place. Does your current state not offer enough? Are you looking for a change in scenery? Or is Michigan just the farthest place away from an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend? Let these questions sink in a little bit, and while you’re doing that, I'll give you some reasons why Michigan will take you in with open arms.
Did you let those questions simmer some more? Good, because aside from Michigan’s extraordinary natural landscape, distinct seasons, or ability to call yourself a Michigander, Michiganian or yooper, depending on where you’re planning on going, There’s a lot more that meets the eye, or meets the mitten I should say. It’s time for you to get some REAL insight about living in the state of Michigan, because you typing that question into Google most likely gathers feedback from sources and people not even in this state.
So pop some popcorn and take a seat, as I go over some cool things about Michigan, and be sure you stick around until the end to hear about the biggest and current complaints about living here. Aside from being surrounded by the Great Lakes, did you know Michigan has 65,000 inland lakes and ponds. Which means that any person in this state is roughly six miles from one of those natural water sources. Pretty crazy I know.
The distinction of Michigan seasons is something I really enjoy most about the state. If you’re in the south or out west, you just have a similar temperature year around. I would say you could call it Spring and Summer in those areas, but in Michigan, we have all four committed seasons. By committed I mean Michigan has very hot summers, very cold winters, a fall that makes for a perfect setting for fall festivities, and a spring season that is full of rain and lightning storms that makes the landscape as colorful as ever.
I’ve talked to a lot of real estate professionals across the country just to get more insight about the areas they cover and what the city life is like along with the atmosphere overall, and it seems Michigan has a lot more diversity in terms of city offerings. In a lot of Michigan cities, you can throw a rock and hit a city that is completely different from the one next to it. The plus side to this, is it makes the home search process very fun for you, because you can cater your search based on what atmosphere fits best with your needs. For example, I’m a lake person, so it made a lot of sense to me to take a look at White Lake. It buddies up pretty close with West Bloomfield Twp, which is literally nicknamed the “lake township of Oakland County”. I can drive a few miles down the road and pass 6 all-sports lakes. In the warmer months, I see people wearing bathing suits to gas stations, popping the tops on their jeeps, hauling their jet skis.
It feels like a tourist town, but in reality over 89% of the residents here own their home. I know this example was a little long winded, but that’s a prime real-life experience of someone catering their home search to an atmosphere they enjoy most. It’s honestly something I didn’t think about too much until I was looking at a home myself. Did I want a lake town? City life? Rural suburb? The options are all there and you can find it all in a 20-30 minute radius.
On top of that, Michigan was first for a lot of things, such as the first moving automobile assembly line, and the first police radio system according to the Detroit police, Which makes the history of this state extremely rich. I won’t bore you too much with a history lesson, but whenever you have some time, click the link in the description to see just how amazing the history is in Michigan.
Another big reason why Michigan comes up on people’s radar is due to the cost of living. I have a video I made just on the cost of living in Michigan which I will link in the description in case you want to have it all broken down for you. According to numerous sources, Michigan’s cost of living is roughly 11-12% below the national average.
So when you ask a Michigan resident if you should live here or not, they’ll most likely tell you that we have been gifted with the beauty around each corner of the state, and if you enjoy the views, you’ll appreciate not paying top dollar for the lifestyle as well. Think of when you’re booking a hotel and the one with the best views has a couple more zeros on the end of the nightly stay. Well this state has the views without tacking on those few extra zeros.
So as promised, what are the biggest complaints about living in Michigan right now? And I'm not just going to say because the winters are a little chilly, because you and I know that is what takes people out of the state, but what about the people that are complaining and still living here? Two of the biggest complaints that have been around for a long time have to do with cars and roads. One being how much of a madhouse it is with drivers on the road. In Michigan, the expressways are 75 miles per hour for the most part, but that means somewhere around 80-85, for the most part. There’s no fast lane, slow lane, or passing lane. It’s all fast and if you’re going the speed limit, you’re probably going to be tailgated, flashed with brights or angrily passed.
What’s interesting though, is this is something I notice for some expressways and not others. Some are calm and civil, and others you need to foil up the knuckles for road rage. All jokes aside, it’s like this in a lot of other states, but it seems to be a huge complaint in this state. On top of that, the roads are in need of some help, to put lightly. You can look up memes on Google right now and see how we are referred to as the orange barrel state, due to the constant construction happening.
My perspective might be a little off, but orange barrels just look like improvement to me, and if they’re taking the time to redo roads and sidewalks all over the state, it’s more than some other states who don’t even bother to take care of the issue until bumpers are falling off their cars.
I’d have to say the biggest complaint as of late has to do with Michigan politics. I won’t dive too much into this, because I don’t want this channel to be politics, but with covid causing parties to make certain decisions for a pandemic they couldn’t pinpoint the best plan of action, along with some contradictions here and there, it pushed a lot of people to the edge. This is a given in a lot of states, but like I said, it’s a common complaint.
Another big consumer complaint that has actually been on the top 10 list for numerous years is telemarketing. I don’t know how bad it is for people in other states, or maybe it’s just the fact that my phone number is all over the internet, but I get at least 6-8 robocalls a day. You can block every single one of them but Catherine with some insurance provider still manages to reach me.
The last complaint I'll mention pertains to Michigan car insurance. For the Michigan folks watching this, you already know where I'm going with this, but for you out-of-staters, i’ll let you in on the secret that’s not so secret. Michigan structures their insurance to allow insurers to cover medical expenses even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Michigan also has lifetime medical benefits with personal injury protection. There’s pros and cons to this method of course, less lawsuits, less worry to get medical expense help. The downside to this is Michigan ranks one of the highest, if not the highest state with the most uninsured drivers, which makes sense when it’s much more expensive than most other states. The insurance options have opened up a little bit, but it’s still higher than most states.
I’m on the road all the time, driving between appointments, showings, etc. and I have never been in an accident (knock on wood).
Question of the day: after watching this video, what are your thoughts about Michigan? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.
If you’re still back and forth about making the jump to living in Michigan, feel free to reach out to me anytime. Someone who has lived here for well over 20 years to help with your decision. If you find out it’s somewhere you can’t see yourself living after we have a conversation or two. There’s no harm in just checking.
Andrew McManamon is a Michigan REALTOR® with Signature Sotheby’s International Realty and provides real estate services to Buyers, Sellers and Investors throughout SE Michigan including Livingston County, Oakland County, Washtenaw County, Genesee County & beyond. Andrew has become one of the rising stars of Michigan real estate agents. Prior to his real estate career Andrew was responsible for managing a senior living facility in Brighton, Michigan as a dining supervisor and an activities assistant. Andrew’s passion to help people is unlike any other, and he continues to strive to be best resource he can be. Andrew graduated from Cleary University in Howell, Michigan with a double major and currently resides in White Lake, Michigan.