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Thinking of moving to Michigan
Old 02-20-2020, 10:43 AM   #1
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Thinking of moving to Michigan

I had another thread about vacationing in the U.P. but now we are considering just moving to Michigan.

We have some mountain land in WA state, about 30 acres with a pole barn on it we built ourselves, total value is probably something around $70,000 to $80,000 for land + barn. We have a 2017 Kubota excavator we could either keep or sell.

We have a 34 foot Pacific Seacraft sailboat moored on the coast. Other than that, we really only have the apartment we are renting month to month now and our two vehicles, two snowmobiles, two motorcycles, another trailer sailboat and a snowmobile trailer. Ok, we have a lot of stuff.

Michigan looks as cheap or cheaper than eastern Washington to buy a house or land or house + land, or more expensive house even on the waterfront. There is obviously the opportunity to sail and to snowmobile. As a bonus, if we had our 34 foot sailboat on the Great Lakes, we could take the canals and rivers on an adventure to the Gulf or the Atlantic in a month or two of water travel. This is very different from trying to get to the Atlantic or the Gulf from Seattle by water.

So we would want to have the 10 foot beam boat trailered to Michigan. I don't think you need escort cars for that beam, so maybe it could get done for $5,000 to $7000?

Everything else we could move ourselves.

Michigan does have an income tax. I need to look into things like ACA there and vehicle registrations.

It would be an adventure, but that makes it fun.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:50 AM   #2
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The UP is beautiful. But dang, so is eastern Washington. Tough choices
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:50 AM   #3
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The UP is beautiful, remote and for the adventurous person, maybe just right.
It is also cold and snowy for a good portion of the year. The other times are just filled with mosquitoes. LOL. Just kidding...kind of.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:54 AM   #4
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The UP is beautiful. But dang, so is eastern Washington. Tough choices
The problem with eastern Washington is there is no water and it is a 7 hour drive to get to the Sound.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:07 AM   #5
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Most folks tend to move to warmer climates, so obviously you enjoy the cold more than most. If you think you'll like it you probably will. Snowmobiles seem like a lot of fun. We love our ATVs in the snow here. I'd think the boating season would be extremely short though. The global warming trend might just work in your favor up there.

You can offer an online trading school during the long Winters. I'd sign up in a heartbeat.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:16 AM   #6
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The problem with eastern Washington is there is no water and it is a 7 hour drive to get to the Sound.

Don’t know why. But I guess I was picturing you more in the Cascades area. Maybe nearer the Lake Chelan area. I guess you’re much more Eastern in Washington than that.
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:22 AM   #7
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...moving to Michigan.
I don't understand...
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Old 02-20-2020, 11:37 AM   #8
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Have you considered Beaver island?
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:00 PM   #9
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Were it me, I would select the Traverse City area. It has most of the benefits of a metropolitan area. Tremendous developed and natural recreation areas, good entertainment and shopping areas and excellent hospitals and medical. I love the UP but.........as you get older, it is a nice place to visit but as a permanent address....not.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:11 PM   #10
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You know the helicopters will just follow you there, right ?


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Old 02-20-2020, 12:15 PM   #11
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Michigan has a lot going for it (Great Lakes, 4 actual different seasons, beautiful nature areas & scenery) but also insanely high property taxes (~1.5 - 1.8% of market value yearly in many major population centers - not sure about the boonies like the UP, but you didn't say what part you'd move to) and housing is generally much more expensive than some other states..

New construction in the Traverse City area - which we were also considering is roughly $275 - $325/sq ft for anything decent, and that's just the house - not land, deck, irrigation, landscaping, etc. Existing house prices are also way inflated around TC.

Just something to be aware of..
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:46 PM   #12
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One of my best friends lives in Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario) and spends a lot of time in upstate Michigan. He raves about Petoskey for some reason (and says that Gaylord and Traverse City are good too).

The outdoor sports scene is pretty plentiful and cheap. Some of the prices he tells me about blow me away.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:57 PM   #13
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One of my neighbors is kind of a reverse snowbird. The bulk of the year in the Cincinnati area, but summers (June through October) in the UP. Actually, on an island just off the UP, and has been doing this for a couple of decades.

I love it up there too, but it's a little too much on the empty side for me to spend a lot of time there. As others have stated, if I were ever to move to Michigan it would probably be the Traverse City area. A decent small airport with regular service to Chicago and Detroit, and seasonal service to half a dozen other major cities.
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Old 02-20-2020, 01:36 PM   #14
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Were it me, I would select the Traverse City area. It has most of the benefits of a metropolitan area. Tremendous developed and natural recreation areas, good entertainment and shopping areas and excellent hospitals and medical. I love the UP but.........as you get older, it is a nice place to visit but as a permanent address....not.
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Michigan has a lot going for it (Great Lakes, 4 actual different seasons, beautiful nature areas & scenery) but also insanely high property taxes (~1.5 - 1.8% of market value yearly in many major population centers - not sure about the boonies like the UP, but you didn't say what part you'd move to) and housing is generally much more expensive than some other states..

New construction in the Traverse City area - which we were also considering is roughly $275 - $325/sq ft for anything decent, and that's just the house - not land, deck, irrigation, landscaping, etc. Existing house prices are also way inflated around TC.

Just something to be aware of..
And the lakes are fickle. Five years ago they were so low people were dredging and cargo ships had to lower their weight. Right now, the lakes are at record heights and the shoreline is being eroded to the point where houses are falling in.

The TC area is sweet and basically anywhere up or down the Lake Michigan side is very nice. Look at Holland and Saugatuck. Glen Arbor is nice too. Good luck.

ETA:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/on-risi...d=hp_lead_pos9

Article about the lake levels.
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Old 02-20-2020, 02:08 PM   #15
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Lived near Chicago until last summer, spent a lot of time on Lake Michigan and the west coast of MI - mostly between New Buffalo and Saugatuck but I’ve seen it all including Mackinac Island about a dozen times. It is beautiful in summer and fall, brutal in winter - the U.P. is much harsher than WA from what I’ve read and heard but the OP has to know that.

I’ve also kept a boat on Lake Erie and Tampa Bay and sailed all over the left and right coasts many, many times - Lake Michigan is about as good as it gets for sailing IME. In Chicago the boating season is mid-May to mid-Oct, no idea about the U.P. Best of luck!
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:37 PM   #16
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A dear friend and cow*rker just broke ground on some property on mid Lake Huron. He has retired and is waiting for his DW to hit 65 so they can ride off in their sailboat.
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Old 02-20-2020, 06:48 PM   #17
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Maybe I was looking at the more rural parts of Michigan but I thought home prices were pretty cheap...a LOT cheaper than Seattle and even some that were cheaper than eastern Washington.

It doesn't have to be Michigan either....really any states that are bordering the great Lakes and have winter activities too would be ok.

The income tax bugs me, because even though supposed to be poor and retired, I keep making a lot of money in the market trading and it has been nice having 0% WA income tax.
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:51 PM   #18
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Housing in Michigan is reasonable. Yes, there are pricey areas...... In what state are there not pricey areas? However, there are many areas that are very nice, have water, and are reasonable. Sailing is BIG in Michigan. There are large inland lakes that are great and have sailing clubs for racing, etc. Marinas for the Great Lakes are in abundance.

As for snow - there are snowmobiling clubs and the state of Michigan grooms snowmobile trails through some of the most beautiful state parks. And then --- there is skiing, both cross country and downhill. Yes it can be cold. However, put on appropriate clothing and enjoy the nice crisp air. Fact is, the clean, white, cold snow is beautiful.

The taxes aren't bad and there are some breaks for Srs. I am not a travel agent but do love MI. We lived there most of our lives and do not now. Why, because of a health issue we needed to be near our kids, and their jobs are elsewhere. However, our all of our family's idea of the perfect vacation is...........Michigan.

Don't know MI off your list too soon.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:22 PM   #19
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Maybe I was looking at the more rural parts of Michigan but I thought home prices were pretty cheap...a LOT cheaper than Seattle and even some that were cheaper than eastern Washington.

It doesn't have to be Michigan either....really any states that are bordering the great Lakes and have winter activities too would be ok.

The income tax bugs me, because even though supposed to be poor and retired, I keep making a lot of money in the market trading and it has been nice having 0% WA income tax.
I sail out of (and live in) Milwaukee. Sailing is indeed great on Lake Michigan. There are pros and cons of the WI side vs. the MI side of Lake Michigan.

For whatever reason, the shoreline is much better on the MI side. More interesting and more accessible anchorages, and plenty of ports. On the WI side, it it tough to anchor, and so you need to go to Green Bay/Door County, Sheboygan, Port Washington, Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, or Waukegan, with little in between. Another pro for MI is that the water tends to be much warmer, as the prevailing winds push the surface water over to MI.

On the flip side, the WI side gets much more sun and much less snow in the winter. Living on the "wrong" side gets you gray days and lots of snow. Here, it is cold, but sunny and dry. I walked to w*rk today in sunny, dry, 10ºF weather and didn't even feel the need for my hat or winter coat.

The southern shore of the UP might be a suitable compromise. It is very beautiful and affordable, albeit remote. You could then be in the range of sailing to the lower-peninsula MI side of Lake Michigan, or through the straits to Lake Huron. Some of the UP is in the lake-effect zone of the BIG lake, Lake Superior, so you do need to watch out for that. (Fun trivia fact: Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are really just two lobes of the same lake, so Lake Michigan/Huron *IS* the Big Lake, bigger than Superior.)

I gather you are very attached to your boat. Otherwise, I would suggest selling it where it is, and acquiring a boat here that hasn't seen salt, and saving the money and hassle of trailering it here.
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Old 02-21-2020, 12:59 AM   #20
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The UP is beautiful, remote and for the adventurous person, maybe just right.
It is also cold and snowy for a good portion of the year. The other times are just filled with mosquitoes. LOL. Just kidding...kind of.
if the skeeters don’t getcha the black flies will.
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