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 05-12-2006, 12:16 Post: 129283
Iowafun

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May have to move boys. New owners says you move to SW Michigan (Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area). So I may have to move. Anyone on here from that area that could render an opinion? Talk about what to look for, what not to look for?

If we go (wife, kid), the tractor is going too. I don't want to end up in a suburb, but if I do, I'm going to have the biggest lawnmower in town with the 72" mmm. Sigh... good opportunity but moving just plain sucks.






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 05-12-2006, 12:51 Post: 129285
Peters

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 SW Michigan Relocation

I have been in that area and is it fairly nice, a bit flat for my tastes. I am not sure what land prices are like. They are fairly reasonable in northern Indiana, but I am not sure in that area.
I know what you mean about moving. I am looking at a position in Toronto next week. It is right down town at U of T so open land is a scare, for about 60 miles in all directions.






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 05-12-2006, 13:07 Post: 129287
yooperpete



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Iowafun
Were/are you a Maytag employee from the Newton area?

Southwestern Michigan is doing much better than other areas of the State with regard to employment, etc. On our East side, lots of (to many) homes are for sale. Waterfront property is high anywhere in the State.

You should be able to find some property with nice rolling hills out in the country. You don't want to live directly in Benton Harbor from what I'm told.

You will be close to Sand Dunes along the Lake Michigan shoreline and not far from PawPaw wineries. I like Michigan! Our state has some beautiful areas but is mostly flat.

You should be able to find some property listings online by region or from national realtors. At google under "Southwestern Michigan Real Estate" you can find quite a listing.






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 05-12-2006, 13:51 Post: 129289
Murf



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Michiganfun, (kidding!) congatulations, here's your opportunity....

"But, Honey, we NEED this much land, and I already have the tractor!" Rolling on the floor laughingMAO .....

Eric, if you need any help with the looking drop me a note, or if you're coming up, let me know, I know all the places with extra cold beer. Laughing out loud.

Best of luck.






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 05-12-2006, 16:54 Post: 129291
ksmmoto



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I have been down in that area at Red Bud Track & Trail for Motocross. Great country, lots of vineyards. Nice rolling hills. Soil is clay. I think it must be milder winters there than here in Central Michigan, near Mt. Pleasant.

My cousin lives down there and she says not to live in town either. You won't be far from South Bend or La Porte Indiana. Lake Michigan is great, lots of high sand dunes. Don't buy too close to the lake without checking about erosion, when I was there several years ago several houses washed into Lake Michigan from the high banks on the south side of Benton Harbor.

ksmmoto






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 05-12-2006, 20:47 Post: 129294
earthwrks

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I'm a native of SE Mich. and a contractor. And guess where I have been working for the past 7 months---Mississippi. And I can't tell you how many fellow Michiganders I have met down here working al for the same reason. There is just not enough work there. The economy is different on the west shore than the east for sure but Michigan's economy in general is the worst in the nation (google Michigan State of the economy). There is no predicted hope for a rebound---if anything it will get much worse. And the taxes are by far the worst in the nation (we have many on the welfare roles and Benton Harbor has its share too). And high union wages in our area drive high housing costs. And if you're into snow you'll love it---the lake-effect snow is measured in feet. Seriously think my friend about moving there. By the way I have no plans on moving back and yet I have my base operations still there. (I'm not living the high life down here by any means---in a 29' camper that went through the hurricane flooded in 33' of water)---but it beats not having much work back home.

And yooperpete, lower Michigan is not mostly flat and that's coming from a mislabled "flatlander" as you "UP-ers, eh?" like to call us.






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 05-14-2006, 07:53 Post: 129329
Iowafun

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Thanks guys. Yoop - I is/was a Maytag'er. I left clues over the years, but try to keep my employers name out of the conversation so my opinions don't reflectback on them. Just my personnal choice.

I've been out there once last week and there is no way I'm living in Benton Harbor. I'm not stupid. But the surrounding communities look nice. I didn't know if there was anything weird I needed to worry about. Some areas have special issues reagrding land, homes, people, etc that you don't know about but the locals do. So I asked.

Thinking hard about it. But no matter the decision, someone has to lose a job. Either me or my wife. So it's not an easy decision to make.






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 05-14-2006, 09:07 Post: 129331
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Not sure what your wife does but in some careers it is often much easier for women to find a job. In High Tech some companies are desperate to find female engineers. When we moved to the pacific northwest it was much easier for my wife to find a job for this reason. Too bad about Benton Harbor. I have fond memories of it as the place where Heathkit was located. I loved Heathkit back in the day.






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 05-15-2006, 07:38 Post: 129371
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Iowafun:
I didn't put things together about your employment until this post. I've done some tooling work for them a few years ago when they set up the Reynosa plant.

Switching jobs is bad enough, but relocation is much more difficult to think through. It is a tough decision! Michigan does have the worst economy in the States, but some of us just keep hanging in there. So much of our State's employment comes/came from auto factories indirectly. Since few people want American made anything it is tough.

If you are with a good employer it shouldn't matter. If your wive is in the heathcare field you should be good to go. If she is a teacher, that is a problem since most school districts are downsizing. Southwestern Michigan may be different. You don't want to relocate here and then get laid off.

If you don't accept the move, what will you do? Are jobs plentiful in your area at the same pay scale?

Flat land is a relative term. Where I live it is totally flat. People from Colorado would consider the rolling hills of SW Michigan flat. They also consider our ski hills in NW Michigan hills or bumps.

If you are into outdoor activities, we have it all. Not to many bugs and poisonous snakes and no hurricanes,floods or gators. An occasional Tornado rips through but that is also seldom.






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 05-15-2006, 12:17 Post: 129381
Iowafun

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My wife is an engineer and accounts for about 50% of our income. I left engineering about 1.5 years ago. So as you can imagine, one of us losing a job has an impact. We're still evaluating and will just have to see. I'm within 30 miles of Des Moines, so I should be able to find a job if I stay here.

We'll go to Michigan next week and check it out. After that, they'll be wanting a decision.






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