Moving to Michigan From California – MiHomesByAndrew

Moving to Michigan From California

So you’re thinking about making the move from California to the great state of Michigan? Well, in this blog post I am going to break down why you should, and a few reasons why REAL people are doing it based on the clients I have helped. Let’s get to it.

I want to talk about the top reasons why you should move from California to MIchigan as soon as possible. I wasn’t planning on making a video touching on this topic until I was getting so many emails and text messages from residents in California who were trying to find an out and move somewhere else with a different pace and atmosphere. Places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois and Texas were all potential candidates to go for most of the people, but it ultimately came down to finding a new home in Michigan. Before the pandemic, the New York TImes noted 180,000 people left California. Just last year, that number increased to 275,000 and continues to increase year over year.

After listening to the countless stories from current California residents, the biggest touch point was the quality of life. Some of these residents have lived in California their whole life, while others have been in and out of many metro areas throughout the country, and they all see the changes that are happening, while noticing people moving in droves. 

QUALITY OF LIFE

It’s no secret either, in 2018, headlines were coming out in truckloads saying California was ranked last in the nation of quality of life. According to a USA today article touching on just that, they say these rankings are based on having a healthy environment, a good sense of community, along with taking in account each state’s urban air quality, pollution and voter participation. The state also ranked last in urban air quality and 45th in “low pollution health risk” but the state does in fact rank relatively low at 13th with drinking water quality. Which is another topic a lot of people don’t seem to be talking about too much, and that’s California’s water problem. It was mind blowing hearing some of the stories from current residents and how they have to ration their water, and be extremely cautious about their water usage throughout the day. Michigan, on the other hand, according to Michigan’s economic development corporation has the Perfect Balance with an Affordable Cost of Living and High Quality of Life. The state of Michigan has a cost of living that is 10% lower than the national average, making it  among the top 10 most affordable states in the country, according to U.S news.

There’s a record breaking drought in California, and it’s not just due to low precipitation. There’s a couple factors brought up by UCLA, the institute of environment and sustainability. Three factors to be exact – rising temperatures, groundwater depletion, and a shrinking Colorado River – this means the most populated  U.S. state will face decades of water shortages and must adapt accordingly, hence the restrictions on water usage. The governor asked California residents to cut their water usage by 15-20%, and according to drought.ca.gov, the average cut sits at about 3.7%. In terms of rankings, USA Today also said the state also found itself second-to-last in voter participation, 44th in community engagement and 38th in social support. 

TRAFFIC

On top of that, the other biggest complaint from residents I have chatted with after showing them around southeast Michigan, is how much better the traffic scene is. After a survey was done of over 30,000 people Drivers in and around the bigger cities of Cali, they spent 102 hours battling traffic congestion during peak hours annually. Imagine losing almost 4.5 days to sitting in traffic, I couldn’t. In Michigan however, you’ll spend less than 42.07 hours a year in traffic. The average commute in Michigan has increased 4.7%, even though the state dropped 10 spots on think tank’s Annual Highway Report, and even landed among the bottom 10 states in several categories. Cities throughout California have ranked continuously for the worst traffic congestion in the nation among other places such as: New York City, Miami, and Atlanta. 

WATCH VIDEO TO SEE VIDEO OF BEN SHAPIRO

The last piece I want to touch on in the quality of life section is litter and homelessness. There’s of course litter and homelessness in any large metro area you live in, mainly on the outskirts of town, but as the founder of The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro said in a video about him moving out of the state California.

COST OF LIVING

Switching gears to another reason why people are leaving California and coming to Michigan and that’s simply the overall cost of living. The best way to shed light on the difference is by taking a look at this graph provided by bestplaces.net that breaks down the cost of living differences between Ann Arbor, Michigan and San Francisco, California, which are two areas that are commonly compared. Taking a look at this overall index, Ann Arbor comes in at 110.7 and San Francisco is sitting at 244, which is 120.4% more as you can see from that third column. Looking down this graph you can see how San Francisco blows Ann Arbor out of the water in every category. Just look at the home cost for example, it’s literally an over million dollar difference, and when I meet with California residents here in Michigan, they are in awh as to how far their dollar stretches here. At that price point in California, you’re probably in a 1200 square foot space and sharing walls on either side, whereas in Michigan, in the majority of any of the cities, but in Birmingham, Mi for example, which is one of the more luxurious areas of southeast Michigan. You could get your hands on a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home with 4200 square feet on .30 acres and most likely in a gated community. 

The one category I’ll touch on that is a little higher in Ann Arbor than it is in San Francisco, is utilities. This category is based on the average cost of heating or cooling a typical residence for the area, including electricity, natural gas and other fuels. With that being said, it’s no secret that Michigan weather is quite a bit different than in California, which I’ll touch on a little later, but for the sake of this expense, we use furnaces much more here, hence the higher expense. You can expect to pay more in sales tax in California, coming in at a base rate of 7.25%, whereas Michigan’s is at 6%. In the income tax department graduated rates can be up to 13.3% in California, whereas Michigan has a 4.25% flat rate.

HOMELESSNESS

With that being said, jumping back to Ben Shapiro’s reasons for leaving California, touching on the increasing homelessness , the cities turning into “tent cities” and all the litter, needles, and unsanitary living conditions, he can’t quite understand why all these tax dollars aren’t allocated to help these people in serious need and bring the cities back to what they once were. I can’t imagine it is a good feeling knowing you’re paying a ton of money in taxes just to see the quality of life in your city deteriorate. In Michigan however, the bigger complaint has to do with road repair, but construction and repair is happening constantly, which is a great thing despite the inconvenience it may cause you throughout your daily commute.  

BUSINESS

Another point I want to tackle is business. CEO Magazine surveyed 700 CEO’s and has ranked California year after year, one of the worst places to do business in the United States. Many CEO’s say California is very unfavorable to businesses and the state taxes are not survivable. In Michigan, the state has ranked #1 for fastest growing foreign direct investment or FDI jobs according to Global Business Alliance, Michigan ranked #2 for most recovered economy from Covid-19 according to credible.com. They ranked #3 for sustainable development and are among site selections in the top 10 prosperity cup for business climate. I will also link a few more of Michigan’s many state acclaimed recognitions in the description below.

WEATHER

Next point I want to touch on is weather. It’s no secret Michigan gets snow and California doesn’t. But I would say there’s a MASSIVE misconception about Michigan weather. After talking to a few of my California clients, they made it sound like they were gearing up for an apocalypse when it came to Michigan snowfall, and I promise you it’s not as bad as you think. Of course, it depends on where you are in the state. As I have mentioned in a lot of my other videos, the upper peninsula can get anywhere from 80 to 150 inches of snowfall a year. Whereas if you’re in my area in the southeast side of Michigan, you’ll see anywhere from 35-45 inches of snowfall a year. 

Bestplaces.net breaks down the comparison of Detroit, Michigan and San Diego, California’s climate situation. On average, Detroit has 183 sunny days, whereas San Diego has about 266. Detroit’’s rainfall is roughly 33 inches a year, whereas San Diego’s is about 11 inches. The summer high temp in Detroit averages 83 degrees, whereas San Diego averages 78.5. The winter low in Detroit comes in at 18.5 degrees and San Diegos is at 45.6. Of course, I’m aware that the weather statistics in California differ from city to city especially when comparing Norcal and Socal. 

Most of the clients I am working with and have worked with are coming from the Sacramento area. So taking a look at the weather forecast for the week, it shows it will be over 97 degrees on average with 65% humidity. The city averages about 67%. In Metro Detroit’s weekly weather forecast, we see a low of 77 and a high of 87 with the humidity being 95%. This is a terrible example, because it just rained a crazy amount the night and morning of this forecast, so that’s why the humidity is as high as it is. Michigan averages a 72% humidity level, with an average wind speed of 25 MPH in Michigan and 24 MPH in California.

OUTDOOR RECREATION & NATURE

With those temperatures in mind, it gives you some perspective on the next point, outdoor recreation and nature. Every time I’ve asked a client of mine coming from California, why they chose Michigan over any other state, it always came down to the natural beauty of the state. A lot of states nearby have a similar cost of living and great amenities, but Michigan is one of a kind in the natural beauty department. Most people coming this way from Cali (or anywhere really) are looking for a waterfront home or something with a view that offers a little bit of acreage or seclusion, as something like that in California would be a price point not even achievable by the majority of the population. In California, you’re faced with droughts, restricted water usage, forest fires, and extremely hot temperatures. With that in mind, most of my California clients don’t think twice about Michigan weather, because they’d rather deal with the inconvenience of snow and colder weather than to have another summer in 100+ degree weather with the heat index. With such a HUGE range of recreational, cultural, and educational resources, and low cost of living, Moneyrates.com named Michigan the fourth-best state to live in nation-wide. 

For those of you that have made the move to Michigan from California or are simply riding it out in California still, What have your experiences been like? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.

If you have any more questions about making the move to Michigan, don’t hesitate to reach out anytime!

Cheers,

Andrew McManamon is a licensed Real Estate Professional in the great state of Michigan. His philosophy to put people first has paved the way to his extraordinary real estate career. Born and raised in Brighton, MI, Andrew acquired a bachelors degree in business management and marketing from Cleary University in Howell, MI. The combination of his experience and education allows him to take a strategic approach towards every transaction and help his clients make more informed and confident decisions.

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