10 Things you need to know before moving to Michigan

Are you planning a move to Michigan?

There are plenty of beautiful houses for sale in Michigan, and many different scenic environment around Michigan homes. However, before, during, and after purchasing a Michigan home it is important you know a few key things.

At Home Realty – Michigan has put together this list of 10 things you need to know before moving to Michigan. If we missed something, please feel free to add it to the comment section below, or use social media communication. Thanks and … Welcome to Michigan!

1) Review Realtor.com and Moving.com … Especially the Packers survival guide.

There is no shortage of advice on moving. There are books devoted to the subject, ideas on the Internet and most moving companies offer tips. But there’s nothing like benefiting from the wisdom of those who have gone before you. That’s right, people who have made moves and are still coherent enough to talk about it. Get to Packers Survival Guide here.

2) Change of Address Form from where you live now to your new Michigan address.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that on average, Americans move 11 times in their lifetime. Most of those moves are relatively short distances, often in the same state. Michigan law mandates that your driver license have an up-to-date address.

There are two ways to change your address.

  • The Secretary of State makes it easy to comply with the regulation, offering a free change-of-address service. You can bring your license or state-issued ID to any of the Secretary of State’s 152 branch offices. Alternatively, download the change-of-address form, fill it out, and mail it in. In both cases, the office will give you a sticker with the new address for the back of your existing driver license. If you don’t change your address, your license might be suspended.
  • The other option is to simply visit United States Post Office website and filled-out the Change of Address web-form.

3) What do Michigan resident drivers need?

Drivers who move to Michigan must immediately apply for a Michigan license, which is valid for up to four years and expires on the driver’s birthday. You must be at least 21 years old to obtain the required endorsement to drive vehicles carrying hazardous materials. 

More information available at http://Michigan.gov

4) Use HGTV’s to find a top-notch Michigan Real Estate professional

Sure, I want you to work with me ( Francee Foster ), but, not until you here done your homework. The televsion show HGTV has a segment called the Front Door, which offer 10 things to do when selecting a Realtor. Here’s a link to HGTV’s Tips.

5) I am moving to Michigan, where do I go to vote?

You can register to vote for federal, state and local elections by mail, by visiting your county, city or township clerk’s office or by visiting any Secretary of State branch office. In addition, specific agencies providing services through the Department of Human Services, the Department of Community Health and the Department of Career Development offer voter registration services to their clients. Military recruitment centers also provide voter registration services

You are also going to need to fill out one of these: Michigan Voter Application PDF

6) Get your current house sold fast!

If you are moving to Michigan from another state, your out of state home will be considered an investment property, and therefore could be taxed at a higher rate. If you are moving from one Michigan house to another, you do not want to be struck with a double mortgage. Here are some tips designed to help you sell the house you are leaving behind.

  • Stay on top of your lawn mowing and maintenance and tidy up your front landscaping.
  • Plop a new, colorful welcome mat in front of the door.
  • Embellish your door area with a nice, big potted plant to the side of the front door.
  • Slap a fresh coat of paint on your door.
  • Move all the toys, bicycles, and scooters away from the front of the house.
  • Clean all your windows until they’re sparkling.
  • Invest in a new doorknob and lock–this will jazz up your door and provide greater security.
  • Make sure your street numerals are polished and in place. Or, invest in a nice new set that stands out among your neighbors’ standard numerals.
  • Place a seasonal wreath or arrangement on your door.
  • Repair any loose shingles — the last thing a potential buyer wants to worry about is the roof.
  • Paint and repair your gutters.

Once the exterior wows your potential buyers, you’ll need to continue to make an impact on them when they make their way inside. You can almost think of it as preparing for a formal dinner party. For starters, you can:

  • Remove all the clutter – make sure kitchen and bathroom countertops are as clear as possible, try to keep toys organized in closets and shelves, temporarily remove any excess knickknacks or family photos if you tend to have a lot.
  • Hang fresh clean towels in the bathrooms.
  • Touch up your paint if your walls have a few rough spots. You probably already have the extra paint sitting in your garage.
  • Vacuum your floor each morning. You may also want to think about getting your carpets clean before potential buyers view your house.
  • Make sure all your faucets are drip-free.
  • Replace any nonfunctioning bulbs in your light fixtures and vanities.
  • Thoroughly clean all your appliances, including the inside of your oven and microwave.
  • Place a beautiful centerpiece in the center of your dining room table.
  • Eliminate odors as much as possible–place potpourri in the bathrooms, use air freshener and deodorizer, especially if you have indoor pets or there’s a smoker in the house.
  • Let the light in–open all your blinds and curtains. If your house’s natural light leaves some rooms dark during certain portions of the day, turn on the lights if you know your house may be shown that day. If you have any decorative or track lighting, be sure it is on.
  • Clean your fireplace.
  • If you have too much furniture, place some of it in storage.
  • Add some final touches, a couple of fresh bouquets of flowers and some nice potted plants in decorative containers can do wonders.

You can find other great decor ideas on my Pinterest page.

7) Get help moving to Michigan.

Moving day’s around the corner and the friends you depended on to help you load the truck can’t make it. Or maybe you’re on a very tight budget and just can’t afford professional movers. Possibly, you’ve packed everything and are staring at an ocean of moving boxes and realize you need help.

Don’t panic. There are several options to finding paid help, from professional movers looking for side jobs to day laborers. The one you select will likely depend on your comfort level and budget. Remember, the summer months are busy and it may take more work to find help. If you’re moving in the slow winter months, don’t be afraid to bargain on published rates.  Read More >>>



8) Understand Michigan’s Changing Tax Structure

Many of the changes mandated by a major 2011 tax reform package signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder will begin affecting Michigan taxpayers on their 2012 returns, according to an MLive report.

The package included an approximate increase of $1.4 billion in additional income taxes balancing out nearly $1.7 billion in business tax cuts. Major changes include the reduction or elimination of the Homestead Property Tax credit and a significant increase in the taxation of private pension income.Michigan’s base income tax rate for 2012 decreased from 4.35 percent to 4.33 percent as it makes its way down to 4.25 percent in 2013. However, due to loss of exemptions and credits, many taxpayers are expected to pay a higher bill to the state. Read the full report here >>

9) If you are moving from a typically warm state, buy a coat and a well laid out home… Seriously!

Families who move from a warm to a cold climate usually encounter many unexpected challenges. If your family is planning to relocate to a Michigan, here are some practical tips and advice that will minimize the difficulties and make the adjustment easier. 

The very first consideration should be when to move. If at all possible, relocation should be done during the summer months. Getting acclimated to new surroundings and gradually experiencing Michigan’s colder weather is very important. It makes it easier to adjust to the change of temperatures as one season evolves into another. 

Selecting adequate Michigan housing for the family should be the next priority. Having a comfortable home that is adequately insulated and heated during the winter months is essential. When purchasing or renting a home, the layout of the home and its surroundings should be considered. Choose a house with a level driveway that will not be a driving hazard during the winter. Vehicles tend to slide on sloping or inclined driveways and snow removal is difficult. Find out who is responsible for maintaining the roads leading to the house. State maintained roads are usually cared for quickly and efficiently during snowstorms.

10) Review all of Michigan’s New Resident Information

We are going to need to need about boat licenses, fishing and hunting permits, insurance requirements, and other such matter. All this information is available at the Michigan Secretary of State – New Michigan Resident website.