10 Pros and Cons of Living in Michigan

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 wondering if Michigan is a good place to live – Redfin has ten pros and cons of living in Michigan to give you a little insight into what to expect.

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Quick Facts about Michigan

Population 10,077,331
Median home sale price $273,000
Average rent in Michigan $1,185
Largest cities in Michigan Detroit, Grand Rapids, Warren

1. Pro: Michigan has affordable housing

Michigan stands out as a state offering affordable housing options to its residents. With a median sale price of $273,000, significantly lower than the national median of $439,716, Michigan’s real estate market presents an  opportunity for homeownership at a more affordable price. This lower housing cost allows individuals and families to find housing that better fits their budgets and financial goals. Whether in large cities like Detroit or smaller towns throughout the state, Michigan provides a range of affordable housing options, making it an appealing choice for those seeking more budget-friendly living arrangements.

2. Con: 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.

Michigan lakes

3. Pro: 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.

4. Con: 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. 

Unpredictable weather in Michigan

5. Pro: 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.

6. Con: 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.

7. Pro: 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.

Michigan stadium

8. Con: 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.

9. Pro: 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. 

10. Con: 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. 


MethodologyThe population data is from the United States Census Bureau and the median home sale price and average rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. 

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