Moving to Michigan

Are you ready to embark on a thrilling new adventure filled with awe-inspiring natural wonders, friendly folks, and an endless array of opportunities? Welcome to the magic of Michigan! Whether you're drawn to the bustling urban marvels of Detroit, the serene beauty of the Upper Peninsula, or the charming small-town vibes that span the state, moving to Michigan promises to be a life-changing experience. Our comprehensive Michigan relocation guide is here to ensure your move is seamless, enjoyable, and as delightful as the newfound treasures you'll uncover in this captivating region!

Moving to Michigan landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Michigan

1. The Great Lakes State welcomes you with open arms (and water!)

Michigan is famously known as the Great Lakes State, and for good reason! Four out of five Great Lakes border the state (Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Superior), making it a freshwater haven. Whether you're into boating, fishing, or just splashing around at the beach, life in Michigan is never too far from the water's edge. Prepare to be dazzled by the beauty of these majestic bodies of water and the numerous recreational opportunities they provide, and don't worry about running out of fresh water anytime soon!

2. A change of seasons unlike any other

One of the most attractive features of Michigan is the state's vibrant, distinct seasons. This means that life in Michigan is a constant cycle of change, ensuring there's always something new to look forward to. From a winter wonderland with plenty of snow for skiing and sledding to the burst of colors in spring, temperate summers by the lake, and the jaw-dropping beauty of fall foliage, Michigan truly offers a little something for everyone, no matter the time of year.

3. Pack your bags and appetite for the best regional eats

Moving to Michigan means getting a taste of some of the most fascinating culinary traditions in America. For those with a soft spot for sweets, the Traverse City area is known as the "Cherry Capital of the World," producing more tart cherries than any other place in the United States. Don't miss out on the annual National Cherry Festival! Meanwhile, Detroit invites you to indulge in its iconic square pizza, characteristic of the Motor City. Or satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to Mackinac Island, where fudge shops can be found on every corner. Your tastebuds will thank you for making the move to Michigan!

4. Embrace both the urban and the great outdoors

While cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor offer fantastic urban experiences, Michigan also provides plenty of opportunities to embrace your inner adventurer. No matter where you live in the state, you're never far from parks, trails, and state forests to explore. Two peninsulas (Upper and Lower) offer diverse landscapes, from the popular sand dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to the rugged beauty of the Upper Peninsula's Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, and camping — name an outdoor activity, and Michigan's vast natural beauty provides the perfect setting for it!

5. Michigan Left: A driving experience like no other

One unique aspect of Michigan driving is the infamous "Michigan Left." These quirky traffic rules dictate that instead of making a direct left turn at an intersection, motorists must first pass through the intersection, then make a U-turn on the divided roadway, followed by a right turn to complete the maneuver. Though it may take some getting used to, the Michigan Left is designed to reduce accidents and keep traffic flowing more smoothly. So before hitting the road in your new home state, make sure you're familiar with this distinctive traffic pattern!

6. Your new favorite sports teams are waiting for you

Michigan is home to four major professional sports teams: the Detroit Lions in NFL football, the Detroit Pistons in NBA basketball, the Detroit Red Wings in NHL hockey, and the Detroit Tigers in MLB baseball. The state's passionate sports culture extends beyond just the pros; college sports, particularly football and basketball, are also a huge part of Michigan's identity. With the heated rivalry between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, it's never a dull moment when it comes to sports. Moving to Michigan, it's time to pick a side and join in on the excitement!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Michigan

Pros of Living in Michigan

Affordable Cost of Living

Michigan offers a lower cost of living compared to its neighboring states and for the country as a whole. Housing costs, groceries, utilities, and transportation are generally less expensive, making it attractive for those looking to stretch their dollars further.

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

Michigan is home to abundant natural beauty, from the Great Lakes to countless inland lakes, rivers, and forests. Residents can enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking, and skiing, depending on the season.

Automotive History and Culture

As the birthplace of the American automotive industry, Michigan has a rich history and culture centered around cars. Automotive enthusiasts can visit historical sites, attend car shows, and celebrate the annual Woodward Dream Cruise, the world's largest one-day automotive event.

College and Professional Sports

Michigan is home to several major universities with strong athletic programs, as well as professional sports teams in football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. Sports fans can attend games, enjoy tailgating, and root for their favorite teams throughout the year.

World-Class Museums and Cultural Institutions

Michigan boasts a number of internationally-renowned museums and cultural institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, the Motown Museum, and the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Residents and visitors alike can explore and learn from these iconic institutions.

Cons of Living in Michigan

Harsh Winters and Unpredictable Weather

Michigan's winters can be quite harsh, with heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures, and icy roads. In addition, the state's weather can be unpredictable, with sudden changes, powerful storm systems, and the challenge of lake-effect snow in some areas.

Economic Challenges and Job Availability

While the state has seen some economic improvement in recent years, Michigan still faces challenges in job availability, particularly in areas that rely heavily on the manufacturing and automotive industries. Some regions experience higher-than-average unemployment rates and ongoing fiscal issues.

Infrastructure Issues

Many parts of Michigan face aging and deteriorating infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and water systems. These issues may lead to potholes, water main breaks, and other ongoing problems that can be frustrating for residents.

High Car Insurance Rates

Michigan is known for having some of the highest car insurance rates in the country due to its unique no-fault auto insurance system. Depending on where you live in the state, rates can be significantly more expensive than neighboring states and contribute to a higher cost of living.

Urban Decay in Some Cities

While some cities in Michigan like Detroit and Flint have begun to see revitalization efforts, many areas still face urban decay, with vacant buildings, high crime rates, and a general lack of investment. This can make certain areas less appealing for residents and contribute to a less cohesive sense of community.

Nighttime picture of Michigan highlighting pros and cons of living in Michigan

Is Michigan a Good State to Live In?

Michigan is a great place to live because of its natural beauty, including its stunning beaches, picturesque Great Lakes, and numerous parks. Additionally, the state offers a low cost of living, diverse cultural experiences, and plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities for all ages to enjoy.

What Is Michigan Famous For?

Automotive Industry

Michigan is home to the birthplace of the American automotive industry, with Detroit earning the nickname of "Motor City." Several big names in the industry such as Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler have their headquarters here, making the state a hub for car enthusiasts and manufacturing alike.

Great Lakes and Beaches

Surrounded by four of the magnificent Great Lakes, Michigan boasts over 3,000 miles of stunning freshwater coastline. The mitten-shaped state is a haven for beach lovers, with charming coastal towns, sandy shores, and beautiful islands like Mackinac Island offering a picturesque setting for vacationers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Cherry Capital of the World

Traverse City, Michigan, is proudly known as the "Cherry Capital of the World." Michigan produces over 70% of the nation's tart cherry supply, and every summer, Traverse City hosts the National Cherry Festival, a week-long celebration featuring cherry-related activities, parades, and lots of delicious cherry treats to enjoy.

University of Michigan and Michigan State Rivalry

The longstanding rivalry between the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans excites sports fans across the state. Particularly in college football, the two Big Ten Conference teams fiercely compete and generate an electric atmosphere that displays the pride of both students and residents alike.

Capital building of Michigan in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

Michigan's average property tax rate is 1.62%, placing it in the top 20 states with the highest property tax rates. Michigan property owners pay about $2,830 annually in property taxes when living in higher taxed areas within the state.

Sales Tax

Michigan has a statewide sales tax rate of 6%. This rate is relatively moderate compared to other states, with 23 states having a higher combined state and local sales tax rate and 26 states having a lower rate.

Income Tax

Michigan has a flat state income tax rate of 4.25%. This places Michigan approximately in the middle for income tax rates among all states, with some states having higher progressive rates and others having a lower flat rate or no income tax at all.

Housing Market

Michigan's housing market offers relatively affordable options compared to many other states. As of September 2021, the median home value in Michigan is $196,000, which is lower than the national average of $303,500. Renters in Michigan also enjoy reasonable accommodation prices, with an average monthly rent of $1,135, against the US average of $1,400. Low property taxes and appreciating home values make Michigan an attractive option for both buyers and renters seeking affordability and investment opportunities.

Housing market analysis of Michigan

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Michigan is comparatively lower than many other U.S. states, with affordable housing playing a significant role in this difference. As of 2021, the overall cost of living index for Michigan is 89.6, below the national average of 100. Moderate utility costs, transportation, and healthcare expenses contribute to this favorable outlook. However, while Michigan offers a budget-friendly lifestyle, prospective residents should consider factors like job market prospects and climate when making a decision about relocating to the Great Lakes State.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Michigan, situated in the Great Lakes region of the United States, experiences a continental climate with distinct seasonal variations. The climate of Michigan can be described as generally temperate, with cold winters and warm, humid summers. Due to its proximity to the Great Lakes, Michigan's weather can be influenced by lake-effect processes, leading to high levels of precipitation, particularly in the western parts of the state. The state typically receives 30-40 inches of precipitation annually, with snowfall being more common in the Upper Peninsula.

Michigan is relatively less prone to severe natural disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes. However, it can be affected by tornadoes, especially during the tornado season, which usually occurs between April and October. The state has also experienced occasional flooding events due to heavy rainfall and elevated lake levels. Furthermore, Michigan is susceptible to other weather-related events like severe thunderstorms, hail, and ice storms. Despite these challenges, Michigan boasts a strikingly beautiful landscape characterized by forests, lakes, and diverse wildlife, making it an alluring destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Economy & Job Market

Automotive Industry

Healthcare and Life Sciences

Defense and Homeland Security

Information Technology

Agribusiness and Food Processing

Michigan's economy has long been associated with the automotive industry, home to the "Big Three" of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. This industry still plays a significant role in the state, but Michigan's economy has diversified over the years. In addition to automobiles, healthcare and life sciences have made their mark, with Detroit becoming a hub for innovative medical research and top-ranking hospitals. Defense and homeland security also contribute to the job market, with active military installations and a strong engineering presence. Information technology is another growing sector, attracting tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Google to establish roots in the state. Finally, Michigan's rich agricultural resources make agribusiness and food processing integral components of the economy.

If you're planning on moving to Michigan and seeking employment, rest assured that the job market offers a variety of opportunities across major industries. Michigan's unemployment rate currently sits below the national average, and the state has continuously been adding jobs in recent years. Be sure to explore opportunities in the thriving fields of healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing, as these sectors boast some of the best job prospects. You might also want to look for work in prominent cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor, where industries are concentrated and job growth is strong. So pack your bags and bring your talents to the Great Lakes State – you'll find a vibrant job market waiting to welcome you!

Traffic and Transportation

Welcome to Michigan! Where the average commute time in our larger cities like Detroit (24.4 minutes) and Grand Rapids (21 minutes) is relatively quick, leaving folks with more time for leisurely activities. In fact, it seems like you can practically cross our state faster than you can say "The Great Lakes State"! Well, maybe not - but we are so well connected that it sure feels like it.

If you're looking for public transportation options, you'll have more than enough to choose from in our biggest cities! With convenient buses, vans and streetcars like Detroit's People Mover and the QLINE, you can quickly zip through town, one stop at a time. Need to venture further out? Hop on the Amtrak for a smoother-than-butter train ride.

Oh, and just in case you're in a rush to leave our lovely state (although why would you want to?), you're in good hands with popular airports in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and other cities to provide you the best air travel options. Just remember to grab an extra Pasty and Vernors ginger ale for your flight!

What is the traffic like in Michigan?

Things to Do

Michigan, the Great Lakes State, is known for its natural beauty, picturesque landscapes, and friendly locals. Whether you are a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply looking for someplace new to explore, Michigan is brimming with unique experiences and unforgettable adventures. If you're new to the state or looking for new things to do, check out these top 7 experiences that Michigan offers.

1. Explore the world-famous Henry Ford Museum

This incredible museum houses an unparalleled collection of American innovation and history. From the Wright Brothers' first airplane to the 1961 Lincoln Continental that President Kennedy was assassinated in, there are numerous extraordinary exhibits that will leave you in awe. Walk through time and marvel at the history of the automobile, aviation, and even the evolution of the American home.

2. Experience the beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Located on the shores of Lake Superior, Pictured Rocks offers breathtaking views of sandstone cliffs, pristine beaches, and dense forests. Visitors can hike, kayak, or take a scenic boat tour to admire the stunning formations and colors that give the area its name. With over 100 miles of trails to explore, you'll never run out of new vistas to discover.

3. Step back in time on Mackinac Island

Travel to a simpler time when you visit Mackinac Island. With no cars allowed on the island, residents and visitors alike get around by horse and carriage, bicycle, or on foot. With historic architecture, beautiful Victorian-era homes, and an abundance of fudge shops, the island offers a relaxing retreat where you can indulge your sweet tooth and enjoy the charming views.

4. Venture to the off-the-beaten-path Kitch-iti-kipi

Located in the Upper Peninsula, Kitch-iti-kipi (The Big Spring) is Michigan's largest natural freshwater spring. This hidden gem is truly a sight to behold with its crystal-clear, emerald waters, and mesmerizing underwater sand formations. For a unique perspective, hop on the self-operated observation raft and glide across the spring, peering into the depths through the viewing windows below.

5. Get a taste of the state's craft beer scene

Michigan is home to some of the best craft breweries in the country, and beer-lovers won't want to miss this opportunity to sample local brews. Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Detroit all offer a wide variety of tapping rooms and brewery tours, where you can indulge in unique beer creations while learning about the brewing process. Cheers!

6. Visit the Leelanau Peninsula for wine tasting

If beer isn't your thing, fear not — Michigan also offers incredible wineries set against stunning scenery. The Leelanau Peninsula is home to over 25 wineries, producing award-winning wines that will delight your taste buds. With a variety of tasting rooms, picturesque vineyards, and friendly staff, you'll experience the beauty of Michigan's Wine Country as you sip, swirl, and savor each glass.

7. Discover the hidden art of Detroit

While Detroit is known for its automotive history, it's also becoming a hub of artistic expression. Go on a treasure hunt throughout the city to discover countless murals and street art installations. You can even learn about the history and inspiration behind the pieces on organized tours, like the Murals in the Market walking tour. Be sure to snap some photos and share the beauty with your friends!

In conclusion, Michigan offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty that provides endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. From the picturesque landscapes of Pictured Rocks to the hidden art of Detroit, there's something for everyone in the Great Lakes State. So, get out there and experience the best that Michigan has to offer!

Things to do in Michigan?

Find Movers for Your Michigan Relocation

Now that you're equipped with essential information and valuable tips in this comprehensive Michigan relocation guide, it's time to take the next step in making your move as smooth as possible. By requesting a free moving quote from Great Guys Moving, you'll be connected with the best moving companies, known for their excellent service and competitive pricing. All movers in the Great Guys network are licensed and insured, providing you peace of mind as you settle into your new Michigan home. Don't wait any longer – let us help you make your Michigan move seamless and stress-free!

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