If there’s one thing residents and visitors can agree on about Michigan, it’s how naturally beautiful the state is. Widely known for its 3,288 miles of freshwater coastline, Michigan is home to many stunning beaches, great winter activities, and small-town charm attracting millions each year. There’s no shortage of things to do in this state, from being a foodie paradise to cheering on your favorite sport. That said, no place is perfect, and there are a few downsides to consider before moving to Michigan. So if you’re looking for homes for sale in New Buffalo, an apartment in Grand Rapids, or just want to learn more about the state – here are ten pros and cons of living in Michigan to give you a little insight into what to expect.
Pros of living in Michigan
1. Michigan has affordable housing
With a median sale price of $233,000, you’ll find relatively affordable housing throughout the state. If you’re renting, you’ll also find more affordable rent compared to popular metros like Seattle, WA. The average rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Kalamazoo is $995. So if you’re looking to settle down in a place with great views and a laid-back atmosphere, this state is one to consider.
2. Home to beautiful natural attractions
Michigan is known as the Great Lake State for a reason. Residents can enjoy the natural lakeside attractions year-round, with four of the Great Lakes bordering Michigan. Although the lakes are a popular attraction between residents and visitors alike, other natural attractions are just as special. Explore the Eben Ice Caves in the winter or wander through the trails in the Canyon Falls and Gorge; there’s an adventure for any occasion.
3. Michigan has many recreational activities
Michigan offers an abundance of recreational activities year-round to its residents. From paddle boarding on Lake Huron and skiing on Mt. Holiday to hiking Iron Belle’s Trail in Detroit and stargazing on the upper peninsula of Michigan, the state’s landscape is perfect for everyone’s favorite activity. You also don’t want to miss fishing on one of the Great Lakes. Home to 177 species of fish, these massive lakes will provide you with endless outdoor opportunities.
4. Sports fans will thrive in this state
If you’re a fan of sports rivals or love watching professional sports teams, Michigan, especially the Detroit area, has it all. Home to the Detroit Lions NFL, Detroit Pistons NBA, Detroit Red Wings NHL, and the Detroit Tigers MLB, you’re sure to find a team to love. There are also a plethora of college sports teams to root for, such as the Michigan Wolverines from the University of Michigan and the Michigan State Spartans.
5. Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are such a big part of Michigan it’s only necessary it has its own section. Four of the Great Lakes surround Michigan; Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Erie. Unlike other landlocked midwestern states, the great lakes surround three sides of Michigan, giving residents plenty of water activities. And come hot summer days, the Great Lakes surrounding Michigan provides the perfect place to cool off.
Cons of living in Michigan
1. The winters can be long and cold
Although the snowy winters make for great activities, they are freezing. The winters include snow, lots of snow, and below-freezing temperatures that can stretch for months. The average daily high temperature is around 41 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you’re relocating to this state, preparing your home for the winter is essential to protect it from the elements.
2. The infrastructure and roads have issues
Every state has infrastructure problems, but Michigan roads are some of the nation’s worst. From potholes to falling concrete, you’ll need to drive carefully and be aware of your surroundings. In this year’s estimates, 40% of statewide pavement remains in poor condition, 35% in fair condition, and 25% in good condition, according to the Michigan transportation planners.
3. The beaches are crowded in the summer
If people visit in the summer, there’s one place they’re sure to hit, the beach. The beaches in Michigan are very populated, and combined with high water levels; it can feel cramped. You’ll find families and friends lining the shores for the perfect spot, and if you don’t get there early, you’ll head straight into long lines or limited parking. Pack your things and head out early if you plan to go to one of Michigan’s lakefronts.
4. Michigan’s weather is unpredictable
f you’re in the upper peninsula, you’ll find one of the most unpredictable cities in the country, Houghton. You’ll need an umbrella in the summer and can get twice as much snow as Buffalo, NY, in the winter. Although the rest of the state is not too unpredictable, you’ll still want to ensure you are prepared for sudden weather changes.
5. Expensive higher education
There’s no denying that higher education in America is expensive. But when comparing the average in-state college tuition in Michigan, you’ll find the cost to be about $374 higher than the U.S. average. Although there are many excellent schools all over the state, it’s essential to know the associated costs and if that fits your budget.
The pros and cons of living in Michigan: Bottom line
From the Great Lakes to the recreational activities, there are a lot of advantages to living in Michigan. There will always be drawbacks to every place you decide to live, and it’s important to consider them. Ultimately, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of living in Michigan before making this state your new home.