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Move to Muskegon, MI (and Bring Your Job With You!)

Here, you can find great resources to work remotely while enjoying lakeside living.

By Brittany Anas on April 26, 2022

The CoLaunch coworking space at Grand Valley State University Muskegon Innovation Hub
Jeff Adkins

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Brook Klingel accepted a job with a San Francisco-based public relations firm. But instead of moving to California, she took advantage of the company’s remote work policy and returned to her hometown of Muskegon – where her dollar stretches further and she gets to enjoy lakeside living at its finest.

“Muskegon has beautiful beaches and a growing social scene for young people, which is something that I was able to explore when pandemic restrictions eased up,” Klingel says.

In the warmer months, Klingel loves to soak up the sun while working on her deck. She’s also found plenty of coffee shops (Aldea Coffee and the Book Nook & Java Shop to name a few) that make for cozy work spots.

For those who can take their career anywhere, the Muskegon Lakeshore region is the perfect place for them to call home. Not only does the region have ample amenities, like coworking spaces humming with creativity, but Muskegon and its environs rank high on a number of quality of life factors that help those who live here nail the work-life balance.

NorthTown 794 in Muskegon, MI

Spaces Create Community

Whether you’re working remotely for a company based elsewhere in the world or you’re an entrepreneur who is growing your own business, the region offers plenty of places that can fuel your productivity.

As an example, Muskegon resident and business owner Annah Crow rents office space with CoLaunch at the Muskegon Innovation Hub at Grand Valley State University. Crow, who stays busy with three businesses, including Crowstead Graphic Design, says renting dedicated space has been one of her best business decisions because it helps her keep her work organized.

Meet the Muskegon Innovation Hub

The Hub is home to roughly 40 companies, some of which are part of the business incubator program and others that work from CoLaunch, the coworking space. Companies range from tech-based firms to solar companies and financial businesses.

The Hub recently added affordable studio space to serve artists who call the Lakeshore region of West Michigan home. Bringing diverse professionals together allows them to bounce ideas off one another and build networks.

“There’s a sense of community and energy here in Muskegon that you do not see everywhere and a lot of that is thanks to the people,” Crow says.

Residents enjoy an evening at NorthTown 794 in Muskegon, MI
Teri Genovese

Work and Play Happen Here

Over at NorthTown 794, work and life blend together wonderfully as those who rent office space in the building can stop in for happy hour at the Rake Beer Project’s brewery and taproom after work or grab a slice from Capone’s Speakeasy & Pizzeria.

The building has a couple dozen private offices plus a shared conference room and break area on the top floor, says Bryan Bench, a partner at Core Realty Partners, which rehabilitated the former furniture store into a lively mixed-use building that retains its historic character with urban brick walls and tin ceilings, plus big windows to infuse the space with natural light. Business owners who maintain offices here range from attorneys to financial advisers and those in real estate.

Enjoy Lakeshore Living

When your career doesn’t tie you to a location, you can base your relocation decision purely on an area’s quality of life, and the Muskegon Lakeshore provides a life that is too great to pass up.

Joshua Kaber, who works for a nonprofit that’s based in California and is launching his own business, Bamboo IT, says the region’s affordability is a plus and the home prices are more competitive than other places he’s lived in the country.

“Your dollar goes a bit further here,” says Kaber, who spends his free time playing hockey or relaxing at Pere Marquette Beach.

It’s true: Lakeshore living is affordable with the median value of homes in Muskegon being around $147,000, well below the national average. Median rent is $934. Plus, there’s a mix of neighborhoods and home types, from traditional subdivisions to downtown lofts and waterfront properties.

Done With the Day? Head Outside!

After shutting down the laptop, there’s plenty of outdoor recreation to enjoy. Located on the shores of postcard-perfect Lake Michigan, Muskegon County has 26 miles of freshwater beaches plus 400 miles of rivers and inland lakes.

During the colder months, the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park is an outdoor lover’s paradise that offers snowshoeing, skiing, ice skating and even an ice luge track.

For Crow, her family spends lots of time at the hockey rink cheering on her son. They also enjoy hiking the region’s trails. Something that remains on their bucket list? Seeing the northern lights illuminate the night sky in West Michigan.

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