Moving to Michigan: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re considering a move to Michigan, you’re not alone. Thousands of people have been discovering just how much the state has to offer, everywhere from the more rural and suburban areas to the urban centers. At McKinley, we want to do more than just provide housing for our tenants around the country. We want to be a resource you can turn to in order to answer questions about one of the most important decisions in your life— where to live.

With that in mind, we’ve created this guide for people considering relocating to Michigan. This guide to moving to Michigan is designed to give you a general overview of what you can expect from the state, as well as reasons why you might want to consider the move. We’ll also cover:

  • Michigan Facts
  • Reasons to Live in Michigan
  • The Best Places to Live in Michigan
  • Cost of Living in Michigan
  • Things to Do in Michigan
  • …and a Whole Lot More!

We want everyone who visits our site to leave feeling more informed about their living situation than before they arrived. If you’re moving to Michigan, we want you to feel like you have all the resources and information necessary to feel confident in your choice. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into our guide for anyone relocating to Michigan.

Michigan Facts

Let’s start with the basics. Michigan gets its name from the Indian word Michigama, which means large lake. This should come as no surprise, considering much of Michigan’s borders are made up by coastline along the Great Lakes.

Michigan’s population is roughly 10 million, making it the 10th most populated state in the U.S. The largest cities are Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Warren. Speaking of Detroit, Michigan’s cultural and ethnic diversity has grown so much in recent years that the city celebrates a range of cultural festivals from May clear through September each and every year. These festivals bring together music, dancing, culture, and food from these various places around the world in colorful displays that residents and visitors alike truly love.

Michigan is also known as the automotive capital of the country, and to this day it plays a large role in the American auto industry. Other major industries in Michigan include tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture.

Reasons to Live in Michigan

If you’re considering whether moving to Michigan is right for you, you’re probably wondering why other people have decided to live in the state. After all, it’s difficult to know whether a place is right for you before you’ve actually spent a long time living there. With that in mind, we’ve gathered 5 of the most common reasons people list for why they like living in Michigan. Your reasons may be different, and you may find something totally unique to love about the state— but these are simply the most popular reasons to live in Michigan.

Stunning Natural Landscape

Michigan is known for its gorgeous natural scenery throughout the state. From the freshwater beaches made up from the Great Lakes along the state’s inner borders to the lush greenery of the state’s many forests, Michigan is famous around the country for its natural beauty. If you’re looking for a land that will continually surprise you with its diverse landscapes, Michigan is one of the best spots in the state. Moving to Michigan will certainly provide you with plenty of opportunities to get outdoors.

Distinct, Enjoyable Seasons

Speaking of the great outdoors, another thing that many people love about Michigan is its climate. While some people prefer year-round summer and weather than never changes, Michigan is beloved by locals for its four distinct seasons. You get warm, sunny summers followed by cool, brisk and colorful autumns. Cold, snowy and crips winters are followed by beautiful, wet springs. If you love the diversity of climates that cycle with the seasons, Michigan is the place for you. Moving to Michigan will bring you all of the unique weather patterns that will help keep your outdoor life varied and unique.

Nation-Leading Universities

Michigan is home to some of the nation’s most respected colleges, and it makes for not only an awesome collegiate environment but also a rich environment for sports rivalries. Both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University call the state home, as well as liberal arts colleges like Hope College and Hillsdale College. In addition to their great educational programs, these schools also boast respected sports teams that will give you the chance to get in on whichever fandom calls to you the most.

Active Outdoor Lifestyle

Thanks to its beautiful landscape and climate, Michigan is known for being a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and sportspeople. Hikers will find tons of world-class hiking trails, anglers will love the state’s countless lakes and streams, bicyclists will enjoy hundreds of miles of bike paths, and beachgoers will love the many miles of public access beaches along the lakes. Whatever your favorite way to enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll find it in Michigan.

Lakes, Lakes, Lakes

Speaking of the great outdoors— Michigan is a paradise when it comes to water sports. Ask any Michigan resident and they’ll know somebody with a lake house right on the water. That’s the kind of friend you want to have. From swimming and boating to more extreme sports like tubing or riding jet skis, Michigan natives love getting out on the water when the weather is warm. It’s one of the biggest factors that makes moving to Michigan so downright attractive.

But now that we’ve talked about why you may want to consider moving to Michigan, what about where you should live in Michigan?

Best Places to Live in Michigan

Now that we’ve touched on some of the things that make Michigan great, let’s talk about some of the places that make Michigan such a great place to live. But first, a disclaimer— Michigan is a large state, and there is something for everyone across its beautiful landscape. From more rural areas to suburban, up-and-coming neighborhoods, there is plenty to find and love outside of the urban centers. That said, we’re going to focus on just a few of the most popular spots in the state— the cities that help make Michigan a great place to live. Here are four of the best cities to live in when it comes to moving to Michigan.


While Detroit made news in recent years for experiencing some serious financial struggles, its recovery has been nothing short of astonishing. Neighborhoods that were once barren have become thriving areas, and the entire city has pulled itself up to return to its former glory. If you’re considering moving to Michigan, you should give Detroit some serious consideration.

Ann Arbor

We love Ann Arbor. Like, love love it. And we’re not alone. Many lists place Ann Arbor as the number-one best place to live in not only Michigan, but the entire country—and it’s not hard to see why. Aside from being home to the respected University of Michigan, Ann Arbor also boasts proximity to the Huron River, top-quality schools, beautiful architecture and neighborhoods, a thriving and historic downtown, and a relatively low cost of living. It’s received top honors in just about every category you can think of— best place to live for singles, best place to live for families, most educated citizens, you name it.

McKinley also offers a range of apartments in Ann Arbor, so check out our listings to find the perfect home for you when you decide you’re moving to Michigan.


Taylor may not be very well known, but it’s a truly great place to live and is being discovered more and more by people moving to Michigan. The city features some beautiful neighborhoods, gorgeous parks, solid schools, and a laid-back suburban vibe that many residents love.

Looking for apartments in Taylor? McKinley has you covered. Check out our listings for apartments in Taylor when you’re planning your big move to Michigan.


Despite it’s hard-to-pronounce name (it’s ‘ipp-sill-anty’), there’s nothing hard about understanding why Ypsilanti is such a beloved place to live. This suburb of Ann Arbor has a whole lot to love— it’s affordable, the residents are laid back and down-to-earth, and the community is tight knit in a way that only small suburbs can be. This young city is on its way up, and if you’re moving to Michigan you definitely want to consider getting in there.

Plus, did you know that you can rent McKinley apartments in Ypsilanti when you finally make the move? Check out all of the options and locations we have available for your big move.

Cost of Living in Michigan

One thing we love about Michigan— it has an incredibly low cost of living relative to other states in the U.S. The average cost of living rating of the U.S. is rated as 100, and the cost of living in Michigan is clear down at 89. That means less money spent on groceries, health, housing, utilities and more compared to the national average. Home costs are particularly affordable, with the median American spending $231,200 on a home while the median Michigan resident spends just $151,000. If you want to live somewhere with lots of appeal but without a lot of spending on essentials, Michigan is the place for you.

Things to Do in Michigan

So, it’s decided— you’re moving to Michigan. How are you going to spend your time once you get there? While everyone’s experience in this beautiful state is unique, there are some go-to favorite activities that many residents of Michigan enjoy. Here are 5 great things to do in Michigan.

Explore the Rich History

The state of Michigan is richly steeped in American history, from the auto industry to Native American history and more. There are countless world-class museums throughout the state’s urban centers, and exploring them is one of the things that makes living in Michigan such a rewarding experience.

Hit the Water

If you love being out on the water, we have good news for you— Michigan has a lot of water. Its position along the great lakes means that you’re never too far from a beach and sparking, crystal-clear waters. Whether you love fishing and boating or simply enjoying the sunshine along the waterline, Michigan is the spot for you.

Get Out in Nature

It’s not just lakes— people in Michigan love being outdoors no matter where they are. Fortunately, city governments have taken notice and loaded up every city with more parks than you’ll know what to do with. What’s great about that is that while weekend trips to more remote areas are great, you don’t have to escape the cities to get out and feel like you’re one with nature.

Get Your Sports Fix

Michigan’s collegiate sports teams are famous around the country, both in football and basketball (plus other, less noisy sports). Meanwhile, the city of Detroit has its own NBA team (Detroit Pistons) as well as its NFL team (Detroit Lions). Even baseball fans get to root for the pro team, the Detroit Tigers. If you love rooting for your favorite team in a crowd of thousands of roaring fans, Michigan will give you plenty of chances to do just that.

Take in World-Class Art

Did you know that Michigan is home to some of the nation’s most respected art museums? Many people from outside the state aren’t aware of Michigan’s thriving art scene, but it’s one of the more lesser-known reasons that moving to Michigan will improve your life.

Find Apartments to Live in Michigan

Are you convinced that moving to Michigan is the right move for you? If you are, you’re probably wondering about your next step— Where am I going to live? McKinley has you covered there, too. We own a range of high-quality, affordable properties to help you find apartments for rent in Michigan. Browse our listings, search based on the area where you want to live, and find your next home without the stress of a long apartment-shopping process! At McKinley, we make it all simple and straightforward from front to finish. Plus, you can reach out to us directly anytime for questions, or to learn more about a specific property or unit.

After all, living the laid-back life of a Michigan native shouldn’t have to wait until you actually move here. We want to simplify your experience from the moment you decide that moving to Michigan is right for you. Contact our team at McKinley today to learn more about this amazing state and our quality apartments for rent in Michigan.