Cost of living -

7 Things to Know and do When Moving to Michigan

The state of Michigan is in the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest regions of the United States. Michigan’s name is derived from the native word Michigama, which means large lake. This might not come as a surprise, considering that Michigan is a home to the Great Lakes. 

Michigan is famous for its mesmerizing natural landscape, its active outdoor lifestyle and some of the nation’s leading universities. And how can we forget the lakes. When it comes to water sports, Michigan is a great place to be! In addition to this, Michigan has a reasonable cost of living.

So, if you are considering moving to Michigan, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to know the steps in changing addresses. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Michigan.

Moving to Michigan: Everything to know and do

Featured in this article


1. First steps before moving to Michigan

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Michigan, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Michigan, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Michigan? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Michigan had an unemployment rate of 3.9%, which is the higher from 3.7% in August 2023.

Jobs that are often in high demand are sonographers, teacher assistants, and food service workers.

Finding a job in Michigan is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Nov 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Michigan from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Michigan. Book a flight from your departure city to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, depending on your destination within Michigan.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Michigan cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Michigan may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to Michigan permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Michigan, selling or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell your old household items and personal possessions, and anything that will not be useful. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Michigan, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.

2. Upon your arrival in Michigan

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

You can easily get around in Michigan by bus. There are also several other options available: 

  • The People Mover: a 2.94 mile transportation railway system.
  • The Qline: a 6.6-mile circulating streetcar loop with 12 locations.
  • The MoGo: a bike rental organization allowing you to conveniently and affordably get around Detroit.

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to Michigan and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to MI as soon as possible. There is no grace period provided in Michigan law. If your out-of-state driver’s license has been expired for 4 years or less, or it’s still valid, your written test and driving test might be waived. 

Customers can make an appointment online up to six months in advance or for the next day. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license:

Prepare your out-of-state title, proof of identity, and proof of Michigan no-fault insurance at a Secretary of State branch office. For more information, you can visit the applying for a Driver’s License page.

Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Michigan, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with MI SOS (Secretary of State) as soon as possible. You can meet the requirements of the state by ensuring that your current policy is in line with the state requirements and by purchasing MI no-fault insurance.

Vehicle registration and titling generally occur simultaneously. To register your car, you will have to visit a Michigan SOS office in person as soon as you establish residency in Michigan. For the title, you can fill out the Application for Michigan Vehicle title and submit it to your local office. You can visit the DMV website to check out all the documentation requirements and details.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Michigan, like the DMV

To exercise your right to vote in Michigan, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person by submitting a filled State of Michigan Voter Registration Application (Form ED-121) to your city or township clerk.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Michigan is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Michigan for easy access is Huntington Bank. Michigan’s residents has access to a whopping 316 offices of Huntington Bank in the state.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Michigan proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Michigan as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance




Numbeo (Nov 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Nov 2023)

3. Best places to live in Michigan

Best places to live in Michigan

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Okemos. It offers cost-effective housing, numerous amenities, safety, and some of the best schools. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Birmingham. It ranks as one of the best places to raise a family. Birmingham has some of the best schools in the state, a low crime rate and excellent facilities.

If you are single, you should consider moving to Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan. It has a booming economy, a vibrant atmosphere, a trendy downtown area and affordable housing.

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, gas, and internet in Michigan is a straightforward process. 

  • Michigan Public Service Commission is responsible to make sure that consumers are provided with dependable, safe, and accessible telecommunication and energy services at reasonable rates.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Michigan home value is $236,114, went up by 2.5% from 2022. Michigan’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $95.00.

Finding an apartment for rent in Michigan is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Michigan.

Cost of rent in Michigan


1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Detroit (Outside of Center)



Cost of buying a property in Michigan


Average home price 



Numbeo (Nov 2023)Zillow (Nov 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

Getting home insurance in Michigan is particularly important. It is a kind of financial protection that will cover for your expenses if a natural disaster damages your home. Michigan is not well known for natural disasters, however, some common ones that may damage your home include floods, hail, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.

4. Cost of living in Michigan


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($55.41 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 




Numbeo (Nov 2023)

5. The weather in Michigan

On average, there are 170 sunny days per year in Michigan. The highest temperature in Summers is 81° and the Winter low is 14 degrees. Michigan averages 64 inches of snow per year and 34 inches of rain, on average, per year. People love Michigan’s climate; however, it can be very unpredictable at times. Michigan experiences all four seasons, it’s beautiful in every season. 

From colorful and crisp falls to warm summers, each season brings in a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities. You can cycle in the spring, skate in winter, enjoy the natural landscape in the fall and kayak in summer. Apart from this, the snowfall gives us countless outdoor activities, from winter hikes to skiing and sightseeing. There’s a lot to explore.

6. What to do as a local in Michigan

After you are done settling into your new home in Michigan, you will probably want to familiarize yourself with the state and all its attractions. Some of the most popular activities and locations in Michigan include:

Arch Rock – Scenic and one of the oldest sites, Mackinac Island in northern Michigan.

Mount Bohemia – An ideal place for skiing and snowboarding.

Lake Michigan – The second-largest lake. You can go boating, fishing, sailing and other fun activities here.

The three most popular grocery stores in Michigan are Whole Foods Market, Aldi, and E & L Supermercado

The top big chain stores in Michigan are Walmart and Meijer.

Some iconic places to eat in Michigan include Boathouse Restaurant and Apache Trout Grill.

Visit the popular cities in Michigan: Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

7. Fun facts about Michigan

  • Fun Fact #1: Cereal and Pop-Tarts were invented in Michigan.
  • Fun Fact #2: Michigan has approximately 65,000 ponds and inland lakes.
  • Fun Fact #3: Michigan is home to the nation’s longest freshwater coastline.


Michigan offers a diverse range of natural landscapes, including the Great Lakes, shorelines, forests, rolling hills, and sand dunes, making it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Additionally, it provides affordable housing options, from urban apartments to suburban homes, making it a budget-friendly choice for locals. As of this writing, Michigan’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $95.00.

While moving to Michigan has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Michigan is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Michigan.


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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