Are people moving to Metro Detroit and REGRETTING it?
Here are some of the thread titles I'll touch on:
→What disappointed you about moving to Michigan?
→What has your experience been like moving to Michigan?
→Why does it suck to live in Michigan?
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).
I did a poll on YouTube a few days ago asking everyone if they regretted the move they made to Michigan, or if it was simply the best decision they ever made. Granted the results weren’t large by any means, but it gives you a general idea of where people are coming from. The results showed that about 24% of the voters regret making the move to Michigan.
So with that being said, I’m going to touch on why people might regret moving to Michigan, specifically the Metro Detroit area. I know what you’re thinking. “Andrew aren’t you supposed to be trying to sell Michigan since you’re a Realtor in the state” and of course that’s the immediate thought, but like a lot of my videos about living in certain areas, pros and cons, cost of living, etc. It’s important to be honest and set a better expectation instead of someone making the move over here thinking it’s always 100% sunshine and rainbows. And that’s exactly why I do these videos.
Aside from the conversations I’ve had with people, and the comments on some of my videos, I thought it would be good to take you on an adventure into the Reddit forum space where you and I both know, there is absolutely no filter in there. So let’s get to it.
This thread is labeled “What disappointed you about moving to Michigan?” and after reading the top comment by Mary, I'd have to agree and disagree about her statement. She started off by saying that there is little to do especially in the winter. I may be assuming by looking at her education from Michigan State, that she lived or lives around the East Lansing area, but I wouldn’t say there’s a shortage of things to do in the area, especially since East Lansing is known for their annual Winter Glow event, that’s an outdoor winter festival with live entertainment, farmers market, ice carving and so much more. Outside the festival there’s numerous parks for skiing and sledding, along with access to Lake Lansing, and other events available in the heart of Lansing.
This next thread is titled “What has your experience been like moving to Michigan?” where Xena wrote a novel about the good and bad experiences. Since we are talking about regret, I'll skip through the good and touch on the few not so good points they mention. Point #1, the long winters. Winters in Michigan average 3-4 months between early December to early March, sometimes the snow comes mid-late November and sometimes it spills later into March. Point #2, the traffic in and around Metro Detroit. I would agree with this statement in and around the city of Detroit, but Metro Detroit as a whole, not so much, which I'll expand on in their next couple points. Metro Detroit is referred to as Southeast Michigan which covers the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, St. Clair, and Lapeer. Of course, everyone’s opinion on area coverage may be a little different, but for the most part this is the metropolitan area.
The next few points touch on the city of Detroit specifically, from crime, slums, homeless and abandoned buildings. There’s a big misconception that this perspective is what defines the city of Detroit, and outsiders look at it as a “no-go” zone, but the reality couldn’t be any farther from that statement. Take a look at the University District, West Village, North Rosedale Park, or the Gold Coast neighborhoods to get an idea of Detroit's pure beauty, culture and community.
Are there homes that lack upkeep? Are there abandoned homes? Yes of course, just like there is in any city or state in the country. The city has over 670,000 people who call Detroit their home. The city has advanced and grown a tremendous amount over the years with entrepreneur and Philanthropist Dan Gilbert throwing millions of dollars into the city and investors coming in to refurbish some of the neighborhoods, there’s two HGTV shows that do just that in the city of Detroit.
As far as homelessness, it’s understandable. If you make a trip out to the D and you see trash, and homelessness, it can definitely impact the feeling of the city, and most people probably wouldn’t like that. But in an article published last year by the Detroit News, it showed that homelessness was up in Michigan overall, but down in Detroit prior to the pandemic. Of course, post-pandemic, there could most certainly be a few adjustments in that statement, but looking at some long term statistics, The U.S Housing and Urban Development Department reported homelessness is down nearly 70% since 2007, and showed that over 88% of homeless people in Michigan were in emergency shelters or in transitional housing programs.
On top of that, late last year, groundbreaking was announced for a new healthy housing center for the homeless. It will offer services to help people transition into new housing options, a health care clinic, job-readiness training, dental services and so much more. This is simply one step toward decreasing homelessness in Detroit, and I’d say it’s a large step in the right direction.
The last point touches on traffic again and road rage. As far as road rage, I haven’t encountered it personally and I drive all over southeast Michigan every single day, but I can say some of the routes to get to Detroit are a little faster paced than some of the expressways you may be used to. I-696 tends to be a little quicker than most highways in Metro Detroit, and I-75 tends to be the busiest, and two-way congestion definitely isn’t uncommon, so it’s important to start your commute early to get an idea of how you navigate the roads. Fortunately enough, there’s numerous routes you can take to get into the city.
Hopping over to this next thread labeled “Why does it suck to live in Michigan?” where we have Fred sharing some pros and cons about living in Metro Detroit. Point #1, he talks about the condition of the roads. Michigan could be in the top 10 or so states with the worst roads in the nation. I would have to say the majority of the time, the potholes are a few inches deep and not sizeable enough to swallow your tires. I would have to say Wayne county is home to some of the worst potholes in the state.
The biggest question from an outsider is what’s wrong with Michigan Roads? Well, with Michigan winters melting on our roads, seeping into the pavement, freezing again and expanding, it causes gaps which weakens and eventually breaks down the pavement.
The next point Fred touches on is the terrible weather, specifically in Metro Detroit. Based on my experience, I’d say this is the biggest reason why people don’t move to Michigan or regret moving to Michigan. It takes a certain person to be okay with living a few months during the winter, but another misconception about this statement is people think ALL winters throughout Michigan are bad, and again, that’s far from the truth. Michigan overall averages 60 inches of snowfall a year. IN the Upper Peninsula near Houghton and Copper Harbor, they are hit with 150-180 inches of snowfall in a year. Whereas, some of the areas in southeast Michigan such as: Novi, Ann Arbor, Farmington Hills, and Detroit average about 35-60 inches of snowfall a year.
The last point in this thread I'll touch on is car insurance. I have tackled this point in numerous videos, so I will link those videos in the description if you want to learn more.
Another point I've come across in a few threads and comments, that I wanted to touch on is the people being closed minded. I don’t know if this comes from people from areas that are a little faster paced or not, but just like any city there are good people and there are not so good people. I enjoy Michigan because each city offers a different sense of community and culture. People making a comment like that may have never ventured out too far to see what community was a good fit for them or just didn’t hang around the best people. The culture in Brighton is different than the culture in Howell and they are just a few short miles away from each other. The culture in Ann Arbor is different than the culture in Novi.
As far as any state or city you move to, always be sure to do your due diligence and educate yourself about the crime stats, cost of living, pros and cons, culture, and any other factors that may keep you from making a move to an area. And that’s exactly what I try to do in my videos so you don’t have to, and I know what a few of you might say, “you’re leaving out the crime stats”, and that’s one of things I, as a Realtor, can’t talk about. As it can be a violation to the fair housing act, which is something I must abide by as a Realtor, which in simple terms is all about discrimination. So that is why I tell my clients to do their due diligence. Look at websites such as crimemapping.com, neighborhoodscout.com to get an idea of where crime is happening so you aren’t faced with any surprises.
MENTIONED VIDEO LINKS: →Cost of Living In Michigan: https://youtu.be/qWeDltOla58
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.