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Posted: 9/25/2013 8:07:28 AM EST
I've been asked by a large employer in western Michigan (Allegan County) to apply for a job. I'm pretty decided against it, but thought I'd ask about the area.

I grew up in the Detroit area (Downriver), am an EMU grad ('91), and lived in Alpena ('91-'92) for 18 months. I've lived in either Chicago or the suburbs here since '96 (I fled the auto industry).

I recently bought my first pistol, and I know there is some weird stuff in MI about bringing in guns.

The one one major negative about. the whole thing is that I'd have to drive to GRR for church (Orthodox).

What are rents like? I'm single with no pets so I'm fine with a one bedroom.

What are you currently paying for gas?

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Link Posted: 9/25/2013 8:38:46 AM EST
Michigan is a small government Utopia compared to Illinois, you have to register handguns, but otherwise its not bad. Allegan is an an amazing area, with a very reasonable cost of living. Plainwell usually has the best gas prices in the area, and that is a very short drive from the city of Allegan. So gas prices will depend on where you are but Gasbuddy is a good resource, and usually pretty up to date. Allegan and Plainwell

I can't speak to the church issue, as there are more Churches in west Michigan than I could even begin to count, so I find it odd that you would have to drive so far. Admittedly, I don't know much about Orthodox (Christian, Greek, Russian).

The West Side is the Best Side.
Link Posted: 9/25/2013 9:14:40 AM EST
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Originally Posted By DB0351:
The West Side is the Best Side.
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Yep
Link Posted: 9/25/2013 11:22:03 AM EST
My niece and her husband recently moved halfway between GR and Kzoo. She works in Kzoo and he in GR. I will be seeing them this weekend and can ask for info on what their rent is etc. Gas here ( north of Lansing ) has been $3.20 for the last week or so.
We are not perfect in the firearms world, but we seem to be moving in the right direction. (slowly) Pistols are registered, no more purchase permit crap though. I have lots of family in GR and it seems to be nice over there whenever we visit. There is no comparison to the S.E. corner of the state. CPL are shall issue. My wife turned her application in on a Friday and had her approval letter in the mail on the following Thursday. It would be a huge step up for you from IL, and we could really use you here.

Lots of outdoor activities in the state. Only a short trip to Lake MI. GR seems to have lots of concerts/big city type events. A short drive north puts you in some very beautiful country.
Link Posted: 9/25/2013 1:11:25 PM EST
You reminded me I have to go get gas for my car last I saw it was 3.40ish

Apartments in Kalamazoo are because it's a college town, prices are high even in the trashy areas.

Allegan county for the most part is GTG
Link Posted: 9/25/2013 1:21:45 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Engel12626:

Yep
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Originally Posted By Engel12626:
Originally Posted By DB0351:
The West Side is the Best Side.

Yep


No argument here, and I'm on the other side of the state.

I went to school at WMU in Kalamazoo. When I had time on a weekend, I'd drive all the back roads. Name one between Indiana and Grand Rapids and I've been down it. Allegan's a nice area. Illinois has nothing over that area.
Link Posted: 9/25/2013 8:34:55 PM EST
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Originally Posted By subvet707:
My niece and her husband recently moved halfway between GR and Kzoo. She works in Kzoo and he in GR. I will be seeing them this weekend and can ask for info on what their rent is etc. Gas here ( north of Lansing ) has been $3.20 for the last week or so.
We are not perfect in the firearms world, but we seem to be moving in the right direction. (slowly) Pistols are registered, no more purchase permit crap though. I have lots of family in GR and it seems to be nice over there whenever we visit. There is no comparison to the S.E. corner of the state. CPL are shall issue. My wife turned her application in on a Friday and had her approval letter in the mail on the following Thursday. It would be a huge step up for you from IL, and we could really use you here.

Lots of outdoor activities in the state. Only a short trip to Lake MI. GR seems to have lots of concerts/big city type events. A short drive north puts you in some very beautiful country.
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Did decide to apply for job. I'm paying about $3.60 for gas. Yes, please ask your niece about rents and such. I suspect I'd probably.live closer to GR.Understand there's a.nice mall up tjat way.

How much lake.effect snow do you get? I drive a little.Ford.

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Link Posted: 9/26/2013 6:28:41 AM EST
You talking about Perrigo or Haworth?

Nothing compares to the West Side of Michigan. The people are really friendly and give the whole area a welcoming small town feel. GR is big enough to have a lot of the big city entertainment and amenities you're probably used to. The whole lake shore is absolutely gorgeous, you just can't appreciate Lake Michigan in Chicago. Cost of living is pretty decent, can't speak to Allegan County specifically, but I know you can get some decent apartments in $600 range in the Zeeland/Hudsonville area (probably cheaper if you're just looking for a one bedroom). Regardless the cost of living should be lower than Chicagoland. Gas prices I've seen have been in the $3.40 range which should be significantly lower than anything you'll find in Cook County. Also, the Greater Holland area is in the top ten most religious areas in the entire country which should be another plus for you since you're talking about church, it was kind of a culture shock to me. Like another poster said, there is a church every two feet in West Michigan I'm sure you can find a close church. I love West Michigan, but I could see where it's not for everyone.
Link Posted: 9/26/2013 8:24:13 AM EST
Perrigo

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Link Posted: 9/26/2013 1:11:17 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Marie:
How much lake.effect snow do you get? I drive a little.Ford.

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Best to be prepared for lots of snow, because it will happen. You'll have an interesting time in a small car, although I did just fine with a 2WD Chevy S-10. Granted, there was about 300 lbs. in the bed.
Link Posted: 9/26/2013 11:33:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/26/2013 11:35:48 PM EST by S-28]
If you're 15 miles or so inland from the lake, it's not as heavy, and more predictable.

Grand Rapids newscasters like to snivel about 6" of snow snotting up the roads, and causing problems, while those of us on the lake are getting that much in an hour and just accepting it as normal.
You will adapt, and start making fun of newscasters just like everyone else in no time.

Front wheel drive econo boxes do OK on the main roads for 90% of driving. It's more of a ground clearance issue most times.
Just stay off the backroads for a couple days after a storm, and off the roads before 8am during a big dump.
Give the plow crews time, they do a good job of keeping the main state and county roads clear in GR.

If you take the job, consider a smaller AWD or SUV in the future though.
Your drive to church might be sporty now and then, thanks to plow crews OT restrictions on weekends and all that.



Link Posted: 9/27/2013 2:53:09 AM EST
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Originally Posted By S-28:
If you're 15 miles or so inland from the lake, it's not as heavy, and more predictable.

Grand Rapids newscasters like to snivel about 6" of snow snotting up the roads, and causing problems, while those of us on the lake are getting that much in an hour and just accepting it as normal.
You will adapt, and start making fun of newscasters just like everyone else in no time.

Front wheel drive econo boxes do OK on the main roads for 90% of driving. It's more of a ground clearance issue most times.
Just stay off the backroads for a couple days after a storm, and off the roads before 8am during a big dump.
Give the plow crews time, they do a good job of keeping the main state and county roads clear in GR.

If you take the job, consider a smaller AWD or SUV in the future though.
Your drive to church might be sporty now and then, thanks to plow crews OT restrictions on weekends and all that.

View Quote


Well, I might end up living closer to GRR than Allegan, I'm not sure on that point. A small Ford SUV has been on my wishlist for when my current car (a 2005 which has almost 93K miles on it) bites the dust, but I choke at new prices. I only buy Ford, I'm from the Detroit area and close family worked for Ford. I cannot buy something made by a foreign-owned company, even if made in the USA.
Link Posted: 9/27/2013 3:02:41 AM EST
I grew up in South Haven, and Moved to Kzoo when I was 14 or so. Been in and around W michigan most of my life, at least the parts the Army hasn't kept me away for. I love it. Tons of great outdoor activities for all seasons of the year, and if city life is more your thing, there's enough of a collection of Decently sized cities dotting the map that you never have to go too far to get what you need or want 'from town'. Like others have said Apt and housing rent in Kzoo can be pretty painful because of all the colleges, price to buy isn't bad, but, you're looking at an hour + commute from there esp in the winter. Plainwell/Otsego, Holland, and the towns on the southern edge of GR, Shelbyville, etc, are all pretty nice and won't leave you too far out in the boonies. Summer time offer a great number of good times to be had on the lakes in the area, Lake Michigan / Gun etc. Always a bonus.
Link Posted: 9/27/2013 4:42:25 PM EST
It's looking like living south of Grand Rapids would be something to seriously look at, if this all works out.
Link Posted: 9/27/2013 5:07:58 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Marie:
It's looking like living south of Grand Rapids would be something to seriously look at, if this all works out.
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You can do far worse in this country than that area.
Link Posted: 9/28/2013 7:39:55 AM EST
Well, I applied for the job online last night. Will see what happens.
Link Posted: 9/28/2013 2:07:03 PM EST
Talked to my niece today and she told me while they didn't look at any one bedroom apts, she thought $500/mo would get you into one. They live in Wayland and she is happy there so far. Says there are lots of police patrols there and close to restaurants/sights. I know they do get lake effect snow, but they are used to it and a front wheel drive car should be fine, as was stated above.

Good Luck
Link Posted: 9/28/2013 3:57:37 PM EST
Subvet, thank you for checking. I appreciate it!
Link Posted: 9/28/2013 4:13:49 PM EST
Bell's Brewery...
Link Posted: 9/28/2013 7:02:47 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Marie:
Well, I applied for the job online last night. Will see what happens.
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Link Posted: 9/29/2013 7:23:29 AM EST
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Originally Posted By Duratuss:
Bell's Brewery...
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One thing Michigan does not lack is fantastic breweries, Bell's being one.
Link Posted: 9/29/2013 4:04:30 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/4/2013 8:08:46 AM EST
Emailed company yesterday. Got response back they want to do a 30 minute phone screen on Monday or Tuesday. Will do it on my lunch

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Link Posted: 10/5/2013 10:29:24 AM EST
Best of luck man!
Link Posted: 10/5/2013 11:40:41 AM EST
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Originally Posted By H60ADriver:
Best of luck man gal!
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FIFY

Thank you.
Link Posted: 10/5/2013 1:08:26 PM EST
I stand corrected
Link Posted: 10/6/2013 10:26:45 AM EST
I've emailed the company and canceled the phone interview scheduled for tomorrow. I've had Very Bad Vibes throughout the entire process. Very bad juju. It's like it would be disastrous if I went through with it. I think it would be disrespectful, in my book, to continue with the process when I have no intention of accepting the job, if offered.
Link Posted: 10/6/2013 12:41:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2013 12:42:36 PM EST by TylerF]
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Originally Posted By Marie:
I've emailed the company and canceled the phone interview scheduled for tomorrow. I've had Very Bad Vibes throughout the entire process. Very bad juju. It's like it would be disastrous if I went through with it. I think it would be disrespectful, in my book, to continue with the process when I have no intention of accepting the job, if offered.
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That's too bad, but you know what's best.

FWIW, we Western Michiganders will always welcome you back if another opportunity presents itself.
Link Posted: 10/6/2013 3:35:01 PM EST
Always trust your gut feeling. Good luck with the job search
Link Posted: 10/6/2013 3:35:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/6/2013 3:35:41 PM EST by subvet707]
Double tap
Link Posted: 10/6/2013 3:43:41 PM EST
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Originally Posted By subvet707:
Always trust your gut feeling. Good luck with the job search
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Actually, I'm going to stay put for the time being. I wasn't actively looking when this company contacted me.
Link Posted: 10/6/2013 8:26:56 PM EST
Classy move Marie.

If they knew why you backed out, I am sure they would appreciate it.

Supposed to be a nasty winter anyway.
Link Posted: 10/7/2013 2:47:14 AM EST
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Originally Posted By S-28:
Classy move Marie.

If they knew why you backed out, I am sure they would appreciate it.

Supposed to be a nasty winter anyway.
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I simply told them I'd.accepted a promotion at.current company late on Friday, and that it would be disrespectful to go through with phone interview.when I would be staying with current company. Since it look like that will likely happen, it was.true enough.



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Link Posted: 10/17/2013 5:57:21 AM EST
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Originally Posted By DB0351:
Michigan is a small government Utopia compared to Illinois, you have to register handguns, but otherwise its not bad. Allegan is an an amazing area, with a very reasonable cost of living. Plainwell usually has the best gas prices in the area, and that is a very short drive from the city of Allegan. So gas prices will depend on where you are but Gasbuddy is a good resource, and usually pretty up to date. Allegan and Plainwell

I can't speak to the church issue, as there are more Churches in west Michigan than I could even begin to count, so I find it odd that you would have to drive so far. Admittedly, I don't know much about Orthodox (Christian, Greek, Russian).

The West Side is the Best Side.
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West is best for sure. GR isn't that far to go running down 131. I'm in Hastings which is nice because GR, Battle Creek or K-Zoo are all within 45 minutes.
Link Posted: 10/28/2013 10:33:03 AM EST
Do any of the gun stores in GR have Gunbroker seller accounts? Can someone post their links please?
Link Posted: 10/28/2013 5:31:30 PM EST
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Originally Posted By samoth:
Do any of the gun stores in GR have Gunbroker seller accounts? Can someone post their links please?
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I don't have a link from my iPad but I know Grayson at the Outdoorsmen Pro Shop in Jenison sells on gunbroker. He is good people.
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