Move From California to Michigan

Move From California To Michigan

Michigan is a state built on innovation and downright stubbornness. The Great Lakes State was home to Henry Ford and Motown Records. For a state with such an innovative past, it’s no wonder the people there have found ways to flourish despite economic hardships. While it may have been hit harder by the recession than some others, it has been slowly crawling back to economic security.

Are you ready to Move From California to Michigan?

60 Second Relocation Assessment

Moving Advice

  • You do not need a moving permit when moving to Michigan, but it is a good idea to contact your city to find out what parking restrictions apply.
  • Many of the roads in the state are poorly maintained, so check with the Michigan Department of Transportation and plan your route carefully.
  • Summers are hot and winters are very cold and often see heavy snowfall. If possible, plan on moving to Michigan in spring or early fall.

Change your address online. To make your move from California to Michigan easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.

Cities and Metro Areas

No other state lays claim to such a wide stretch of freshwater shoreline as Michigan and its 3,000 miles of shore, with million-and-one family-friendly attractions naturally built to encourage an active, outdoor lifestyle. Everyone lives within six miles of either a stream or a lake, but this should come as no surprise given the state has an astounding 11,000 inland lakes.

Ann Arbor boasts a vibrant economy, low crime, a progressive culture, regular festivals, and free outdoor music. East Grand Rapids has some of the best schools in the state, a steady, high-paying job market, a low crime rate, and a high quality of life. Farmington Hills is one of the most naturally striking places in Michigan, and that is quite a statement in a state largely famed for its sheer, immaculate beauty.

Other notable cities/towns include Okemos, Birmingham, Novi, and Midland.

Cost of Living

Due to differences in state taxes, transportation, and production costs, prices vary significantly from state to state. Despite the fact that the state of Michigan ranks fifteenth among the country’s highest property taxes, the cost of living in Michigan is 8.1% lower than the country’s average.

It is important to consider the fact that many of the cities and towns in Michigan (Detroit and Flint, for example) are still in economic decline, and the jobless rate is 9.1%, which is higher than the US average of 8.5%. This is primarily due to the recession and its repercussions for the automotive and related industries.

Home prices in Michigan have appreciated 18.0% lower than the national level from last year. Looking back three years at the median price in October 2019 compared to October 2022, prices have increased 25.8% in Michigan VS 35.8% nationwide.

As of October 2022, the median price for a home in the state was $233,300, which is up 4.1% above last year’s median price. Comparing prices over the last three years, we can see they have decreased -9.3% from the peak of $257,200 in Jun-2022.

Highways and Public Transport

Michigan’s roads offer easy access to all parts of the Upper and Lower Peninsula but are not very well-maintained.

When moving to Michigan and planning your route, be sure to check with the Michigan Department of Transportation for current road conditions.

  • Roads in Michigan are overall in bad repair, so be wary of potholes, crumbling road surfaces or rocks flying up off the road. Whether you’re driving a moving truck or your own car, double-check your insurance policy for comprehensive coverage.
  • A number of interstate routes cross Michigan from north to south and east to west. Due to the large areas dedicated to National Forests, the Upper Peninsula has fewer roads than the Lower.
  • Amtrak provides passenger rail service from many Michigan cities to the center of Chicago. There’s also a plan to construct a commuter rail system between Detroit and the suburbs.
  • If you’re moving to Michigan and want to fly in, you’ll probably land at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. It’s the largest in the state and one of the busiest in the entire country for passenger air traffic.


When moving to Michigan, bring plenty of rain gear since the state gets an average of between 30 and 40 inches of precipitation each year. Typically, summers are hot and winters are cold. The Lower Peninsula has slightly longer summers and milder winters.

In the winter months, heavy snowfall can be expected due to the proximity of the Great Lakes. Storms are common throughout the state, but keep in mind that tornadoes are frequent during the spring and summer months in the Lower Peninsula.


Families with children of school-going age, as well as students, can benefit from the excellent educational opportunities after moving to Michigan. The state traditionally supports a high-quality public school system for students of all ages. Current school rankings (elementary, middle, and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information, and reviews are available online for parents moving to Michigan.

  • Elementary Schools: The top three elementary schools are Edgewood Public Montessori in Okemos, Hemmeter Elementary School in Saginaw and Howe Trainable Center, and Montessori in Dearborn.
  • High Schools: Three of the top-ranked high schools are the International Academy of Macomb in Clinton Township, City Middle/High School in Grand Rapids, and Community High School in Ann Arbor.
  • Higher Education: The most notable universities include the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. There are also a number of excellent community colleges.


Michigan’s state government maintains a comprehensive website with useful information for people moving to Michigan.

  • Michigan doesn’t have an excise tax. It does levy a 6% sales tax on new vehicles, but if you buy a new vehicle out of state before moving to Michigan, only the sales taxes in the state of the transaction apply.
  • Michigan does not have any toll roads.
  • You can register to vote when you apply for your Michigan driver’s license or you can register online through the Michigan Voter Information Center.
  • Trash and recycling are handled by each metro area individually. Contact your local Department of Public Works or the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for more information.
  • You are expected to apply for a driver’s license upon becoming a resident (securing employment or a place to live). Get more information about vehicle registration and obtaining a Michigan driver’s license at Michigan’s Department of State . Fees for a title are $15 and there are no costs for recording a lien after moving to Michigan.