7 Things to Know Before Moving to Michigan

March 06th, 2023

7 Things to Know Before Moving to Michigan

Living in Michigan

Are you moving to Michigan? Here are seven things to know about life in Michigan and the common reasons people make the move.

Are you thinking about moving to the Great Lakes State? Well, you have come to the perfect place. A great place to live, Michigan has a population of 10.05 million residents and is the 10th largest state by population. Since this is such a large state, you can show someone exactly where you live by quickly laying your palm out and pointing to a spot on your hand, and that will represent where you live since the state looks like a mitten. 

Here in this large state, you can experience sandy shorelines, great arts, friendly people, a low cost of living, and a lot of outdoor exploration. However, you do have to keep in mind the cold weather and humid summers they live in. But, if you want to live somewhere undoubtfully beautiful, this may be the perfect place to relocate. You can not miss out on all the fantastic things this large state offers its residents. Michigan has it all, whether it be the location, the weather, education, housing, or jobs. 

Michigan Skyline During Sunset

So if moving to Michigan suits you, you are certainly in the right place. Moving somewhere new comes with many things you must consider, which can be a lot at once. Since deciding where the perfect home will be for you can be overwhelming, our team has created this moving guide that includes some of the top things you need to know about life in Michigan. Keep reading to learn more about moving to Michigan so you can make this decision easier.

Here are the things you should know about living in Michigan.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Michigan is 10 percent lower than the national average. The housing is 23 percent lower, while the utilities are only 1 percent higher. On the other hand, necessities like food, clothing, and groceries are about 4 percent lower than the national average.

Michigan has the 21st lowest overall cost of living compared to the other states. Usually, metropolitan areas are more expensive; however, Michigan is home to 14 metro areas which are a little higher than the national average but not much higher. The most costly part of this would be the Ann Arbor metro area, where the cost of living would be about 1.2 percent higher than the national average.

Check out some of the everyday expenses from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to get a feel for what the overall cost of living will be like if you decide you want to make a move to Michigan.

Cost of Living Category Average Price
Median Home Price $521,255
Median Rent Price $1,585
Gas Price $3.19/gallon
Gallon of Milk $2.65
Doctor's Visit $158.51

Source: Payscale

Real Estate

The home prices in Michigan were up about 0.6 percent year-over-year in January. The median home price was selling at about $235,649. On average, the median number of days houses would be on the market is about 40 days, up 14 years over the year. Michigan has been known for being a seller's market for the last two years.

On the other hand, homes are selling five days slower than the annual average and are selling for $11,750 more than the yearly average. However, the housing market can be tricky, and Michigan maintains a large inventory. Still, the real estate market appears to be cooling down, and many home values are starting to plateau, so keep an eye out on the market before making this big decision.

Over the past year, the real estate market has steadily grown with rising home prices and vigorous sales activity. The rental market also has been strong, with rising rents and low vacancy rates. The average median rent for an apartment is about $969 a month as of January 2023. Watch for the housing market if you want to move to Michigan.

Birds eye view of neighborhood in MI


The state's southern regions are warmer, with annual temperatures between 18 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, the northern part of the state is colder, with temperatures ranging from 3 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Michigan usually experiences significant seasonal temperature changes, with warm, humid summers and long cold winders. The Great Lakes play an essential role in moderating the climate in the state, causing it to be more temperate and moist compared to other north-central states.

In general, when you think of Michigan, you think of cold. So if you want to move to this great state, you have to realize that the winters are long and cold from about December to March, with lows of 18 degrees Fahrenheit and highs of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are moving here, bring your big snow boots and jackets to be prepared for it all.

Sunset during the winter


The Michigan public school system operates within the districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2022, Michigan schools had about 1,300,144 students enrolled in 2,959 schools in 539 districts. There were about 73,231 teachers in the public school, roughly a ratio of 1 teacher per 18 students. The state's graduation rate is about 81 percent.

This state is also home to two prominent universities, the University of Michigan and Michigan State. The University of Michigan is number three in Top Public Schools, nine in Most Innovation Schools, and 23 in National Universities. This state may be large and full of a lot of schools, but they do rank high when it comes to education. So if you are looking for a place to live where your kids can get a good education, this state will be perfect for you.

Here are some of the best public schools in Michigan:

Here are some of the best colleges in Michigan:

Especially if you are moving somewhere where you have children, plan to have children, or plan on pursuing an education yourself, this would be a perfect place to live since there are so many excellent school opportunities. You must take advantage of an excellent education.

Crime Rates

Crime is less common in Michigan than it is on average nationwide. Comparing them, the national crime rate of 2,489 per 100,000 is 23 percent higher. Of all the states in the United States, 34 have higher crime rates than Michigan. However, the crime rates do depend on the specific location you are in. Michigan had a total of 216,479 reported incidents of crime, including violent and property crimes.

The violent crime rate in Michigan was 278.7 incidents per 100,000 people, while the property crime rate was 1,919.8 incidents per 1000,000. Making sure you live in a safe place where you do not have to be scared is very important. However, crime rates can vary depending on where you are located and changes in social and economic conditions. Some cities and neighborhoods may have higher rates than others, so ensure you find the perfect area.

Hamburg is one of the safest towns in Michigan. It is located in Livingston County and has only 880 violent crimes and 1,200 properties per 100,000 residents. Overall, depending on where you are located will change whether or not the area is safe. Sadly, Michigan has higher violent crime rates than the national average, and only half of its residents feel safe daily since the crime rates have been a daily high concern. Make sure to check out specific cities and towns to determine whether it is a place for you or not.

Job Market

The job market in this large state is very diverse and varies depending on the industry. The job market comprises many sectors, primarily manufacturing, healthcare, technology, and automotive. As of January 2023, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, below the national average, while the job growth rate is about 1.6 percent since they have gained many jobs. Overall, the job market here is relatively strong, offering its residents many opportunities that range through many industries and depend on your location.

While job growth should continue in 2023 and 2024, it is predicted to be slower than usual. It is predicted that employment in Michigan will recover after the pandemic lowered the levels of opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic devasted the local job market, causing many businesses to close temporarily or permanently. However, the job market has risen due to reopenings and workers not returning to work. The labor shortages have affected this area primarily, but it is on the move, so if you are looking to move here, you will have many opportunities.

Automotive Industry in MI


Michigan is home to very diverse and thriving dining. The dining here ranges widely and has options for every taste and budget. This state is famous primarily for Mackinac Island fudge, Coney Island Hot Dogs, and Cornish Pasties. You can not miss these exciting food options and great local favorite restaurants. Below are some of the most popular places to eat here.

Local Favorite Restaurants: 

  • Plank's Tavern: This American restaurant at the Inn at Harbor Shores with river views and an outdoor bar with cocktails.
  • MeXo Tequila and Mezcal Bar and Restaurant: Modern takes on traditional Mexican cooking, plus tequila and mezcal, amid an arty, industrial vibe.
  • Daddy Pete's BBQ: Looking for an award-winning slow-smoked BBQ? Check out this place to experience great food, outstanding service, and fantastic hospitality.
  • Sindbad's Restaurant and Marina: This is a nautically themed marina mainstay featuring seafood and steaks and plays occasional live music.
  • Sibley Gardens: This Italian restaurant is a longtime eatery that offers traditional Italian and American fare in a wooden interior with leather booths.
  • The M-29 Diner: This family dining restaurant offers a positive and friendly dining experience while enjoying great homemade food.

Coney dog in MI

Moving to Michigan Pros and Cons:


  • Great outdoor recreation
  • Affordable housing market
  • Low cost of living
  • Midwestern hospitality
  • Lack of natural disasters
  • Small-town living
  • Surrounded by the Great Lakes


  • Long, cold winters
  • Terrible road infrastructre
  • High cost of education
  • High taxes
  • Unpredictable weather

Moving to Michigan - The Bottom Line

Michigan is home to the automobile industry, beautiful Great Lake shorelines, and a bustling college town atmosphere. The state is known for its agriculture, with many popular crops like cherries and apples. On the other hand, this large state offers its residents a beautiful outdoor environment, low cost of living, friendly residents, and so much more.

Michigan has the 13th largest economy, with the University of Michigan, the fourth-best public university, and many good-paying jobs throughout the state. No matter what location you choose, throughout the state, you will enjoy all the opportunities it offers its residents, and it is something you should take advantage of. Finding the perfect place to live can be difficult, but hopefully, this guide helped you determine whether or not Michigan is for you.

If you or anyone you know is interested in searching for homes for sale in Michigan, please get in touch with us here so we can connect you with one of our Realty Specialists to help make this transition for you go smoothly. No matter the location, price, or preferences, we are here to help you through every step of the home-buying process to ensure we can find the perfect home that meets your needs and lifestyle perfectly. Please feel free to contact us here today for any questions or help. Also, if you are interested in moving to Michigan, you should check out our other local guide for this area, like the best places to live in Michigan and the cost of living in Michigan

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

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