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cindi29

Grand Rapids advice

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Hi everyone. I just joined this forum after googling Grand Rapids and getting hits.

I am currently living in SC Indiana and am considering a job offer in the Grand Rapids, MI area.

I don't really know much about the region at all. I will be talking to a real estate person but wanted to get some "real" advice, not just a sales pitch from a house selling pro.

I'm renting currently but may try to buy if the market and my personal finances allow it.

What areas are the best value for the money? My job would be downtown in Grand Rapids if I take it.

I don't want to drive an hour, and I don't want to live in an area where there may be security issues since I am currently living alone.

Thanx in advance for anyone's help!! :-)

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I don't want to drive an hour, and I don't want to live in an area where there may be security issues since I am currently living alone.

http://public.grar.com/public/pubsrch.mac/start. Select your price range. If you want to stay within Grand Rapids, set the School District to Grand Rapids. Remember, this is a pretty small area.. you have your option of urban or suburban. You could live in the middle of a corn field by yourself and be less than 30 mins from downtown.

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I don't know why a real estate agent wouldn't be up front about their opinions on the various parts of GR Metro. A good real estate agent would ask you about your situation (your age, kids, etc.), what you're looking for, and tell you about the different areas. Although they may not be negative about any particular location, they should give you a good idea of the differences between them. For example, my agent mentioned to me that in Hudsonville, mowing the grass on Sunday might be frowned upon. (I don't know how true this is, but it was a factor for me.)

You'd have to live pretty far from downtown before the commute becomes close to an hour.

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From what I know, housing in Grandville, Jenison (not sure about Hudsonville) would be more expensive. You should be able to get more house for the $ in Wyoming, Kentwood (I think) and Walker. Maybe Rockford to the north as well. I've no idea about GR city, East Grand Rapids (I'm guessing expensive), Ada, Caledonia, etc.

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I don't know why a real estate agent wouldn't be up front about their opinions on the various parts of GR Metro. A good real estate agent would ask you about your situation (your age, kids, etc.), what you're looking for, and tell you about the different areas. Although they may not be negative about any particular location, they should give you a good idea of the differences between them. For example, my agent mentioned to me that in Hudsonville, mowing the grass on Sunday might be frowned upon. (I don't know how true this is, but it was a factor for me.)

You'd have to live pretty far from downtown before the commute becomes close to an hour.

Thank you francishu! I'm sure the real estate agents are ethical in Grand Rapids but I've found that getting insider tips usually by word of mouth is more valuable.

The last time I moved, I learned a lot after I had moved in. I wish I would have heard that same advice before moving in!

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Hi everyone. I just joined this forum after googling Grand Rapids and getting hits.

I am currently living in SC Indiana and am considering a job offer in the Grand Rapids, MI area.

I don't really know much about the region at all. I will be talking to a real estate person but wanted to get some "real" advice, not just a sales pitch from a house selling pro.

I'm renting currently but may try to buy if the market and my personal finances allow it.

What areas are the best value for the money? My job would be downtown in Grand Rapids if I take it.

I don't want to drive an hour, and I don't want to live in an area where there may be security issues since I am currently living alone.

Thanx in advance for anyone's help!! :-)

A year ago I bought my daughters a house to live in while they finish college. I worried about all the same things any homebuyer would worry about, and, as a dad, maybe a little more about security. I answered that question by stopping GR Police officers and asking them where they'd let their daughters live. You may consider calling the GR Police department and asking the same question.

Regarding value in a stable neighborhood, I bought a house one block north of Fulton Street north of Aquinas College in the NE side of Grand Rapids. Its a great neighborhood, but there are others. Get a good realtor and fire him/her if you ever sense you're not getting straight answers. Most are honest and will help you find what you need.

Aerial photos of the area at http://ims.gvmc-regis.org:1052/website/pub...lic_Parcel_Find.

Property data at https://www.accesskent.com/Property/

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The last time I moved, I learned a lot after I had moved in. I wish I would have heard that same advice before moving in!

Just curious, but what kinds of things did you discover that you wish you had known about before you moved there?

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If you want to actually live in the city I would suggest the Heritage Hill neighborhood. It is not cheap but it is a beautiful and historic neighborhood. Outside of the city my first suggestion would be East Grand Rapids. It is a more upper class, and again a tad more expensive neighborhood but it is close to the city yet again very beautiful. Any of the other suburbs would be suitable. They are primarily middle class but boast accessibility to all sorts of amenitities and have a variety of housing types to choose from. You may also want to take a look at Caledonia. It is a little farther out from the actual city but is close to the highway and is one of the area's most up and coming areas at the moment. I would highly suggest living within the city though, especially with all the exciting and positive things happening right now.

I myself live in Jenison. It is a great community to grow up and raise a family in but it may not be the type of place one would live in if single.

It all really depends on your lifestyle and taste...for example...art shows or gun shows?

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Hello! Yup, ask ask ask. When we were moving up here from Toledo 6 years ago I made a list of what was ideal and started looking at the realty websites to find out what area had what I wanted. For me it was 2+ acres and a house that wasn't older than 5 years old and fit certain size and price parameters. We found the exact right match in the Cedar Springs area (23 mins north of GR). Haven't had any regret in the decisions. I work right smack downtown and except when we went for a spell of construction on 131 the commute has be reasonable the majority of the time. I adore working downtown and love living at the edge of the woods perfect.

Interestingly enough you never know where you will hear important info though so pay attention, about 1 month before I started my search I was standing in an icecream line at Cedar Point (Sandusky Ohio) when I kicked up a conversation about special education programs with a couple of teachers who turned out to be from Cedar Springs. They had just the type of educational programs our son needed. Information can turn up in the strangest of places :)

I worked with a realtor that specialized in relocation and I appreciated their extra knowledge and understanding that I didn't know much about the area. If you are looking for referrals to a couple of relocation experts let me know and I'll get ya some info.

Good luck and hopefully we can welcome you to West Michigan.

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No matter where you choose to live within the GR metro, you are just minutes away from the greatest beachers in 800 miles! Enjoy! :)

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I've found Lisa Baars of Greenridge (formerly Village Belles) to be a very helpful and very straight foward / ethical realtor. She's savvy, but not 'slick'.

You can look her up on grar.com

I bought my first house through her and I'm still completely pleased. I've been shopping around for investment houses with her lately.

Good luck.

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Hi everyone. I just joined this forum after googling Grand Rapids and getting hits.

I am currently living in SC Indiana and am considering a job offer in the Grand Rapids, MI area.

I don't really know much about the region at all. I will be talking to a real estate person but wanted to get some "real" advice, not just a sales pitch from a house selling pro.

I'm renting currently but may try to buy if the market and my personal finances allow it.

What areas are the best value for the money? My job would be downtown in Grand Rapids if I take it.

I don't want to drive an hour, and I don't want to live in an area where there may be security issues since I am currently living alone.

Thanx in advance for anyone's help!! :-)

Here's my opinion. I live in the Alger Heights area. GREAT area for singles/young couples/young families. BUT it's a buyers market in this whole area. TONS of homes for sale and it may be this way for a while, so if you plan on staying in one house for a while this might be a good place. It's safe, nice walkable neighborhoods, good local economy, and 3 minutes from d/t. I rent from my roomie, but homes are in the "starter" range for purchase.

If I move from here, I will definately move to "Heritage Hill" and rent (finances aren't where I want them to be right now to purchase). There are some absolutely BEAUTIFUL homes there, and rentals are VERY reasonable for what you get. Check this http://www.heritagehillweb.org/ or http://www.rentgr.com/ for more information. GR is a great small city in my opinion. I'd check the "City Profile" topic posted at the top of the forum. If you want more information on your potential employer, or any specifics, PM me I've lived here 27 years :D

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It's more like 10 minutes from downtown.

you just drive slow :rofl:

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It's more like 10 minutes from downtown.

This is a lot of terrific information!

Thanks to everyone!

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Also check out the community research institute to get a little flavor for different neighborhoods. Don't hang your hat on it, as I think the data is outdated by a few years, but it might give you a basic idea.

http://www.cridata.org

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This is a lot of terrific information!

Thanks to everyone!

Cindi - I grew up in Speedway/Indianapolis, IN - so from 1 Hoosier to another - Welcome to Beautiful West Michigan!

Trust me - you will be blown away by this region when you get up here! Downtown is awesome and getting better everyday and during the summer - your friends won't believe you when you say "yea, I was at the beach all day"!

Take a good look at all of the condo's going in right downtown! It would probably be a great investment for the future as well as just a neat place to live.

Good luck!

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Hi everyone. I just joined this forum after googling Grand Rapids and getting hits.

I am currently living in SC Indiana and am considering a job offer in the Grand Rapids, MI area.

I don't really know much about the region at all. I will be talking to a real estate person but wanted to get some "real" advice, not just a sales pitch from a house selling pro.

I'm renting currently but may try to buy if the market and my personal finances allow it.

What areas are the best value for the money? My job would be downtown in Grand Rapids if I take it.

I don't want to drive an hour, and I don't want to live in an area where there may be security issues since I am currently living alone.

Thanx in advance for anyone's help!! :-)

Cindi, I've done the single female relocation thing several times while following jobs (like you I refuse to spend my weekday life on a commute, and you can guess what my preferred transportation mode is).

Right now I live in a lower flat in what's called the East Hills neighborhood, near Fulton and Eastern. It's much less expensive than Heritage Hill, with properties that are pretty but not spectacular. (Much of HH could give the Mackinac Island bluff "cottages" some stiff competition.) Takes about 20 minutes to walk downtown. Preferred trans mode is about 10. The Eastown area (similar to Indy's Broad Ripple) is about that far in the other direction.

I would recommend renting for a few months and doing hands-on investigation. When I was first moving here, I called about a rental, and the landlord loftily informed me that the property was in an area in which I would not want to live (socioeconomic slur). He's wrong; I live a few blocks away, and I feel perfectly safe.

You might get better advice by mentioning what you'd like. Huge backyard? Dark starry nights? Garage? Cool urban 'hood with sidewalks and front porches? Unlocked doors? Near the bike trails?

I should mention that I have met several neighbors while moving large furniture pieces in and out! One fellow was driving past, noticed my struggles with a large entertainment center, stopped to help. You likely won't find that in the 'burbs.

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Out of curiousity, what type of work are you going to be doing?

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If you are looking to buy, I would recommend the North Park area, east of Riverside Park, a/k/a Riverside Gardens. If I were not buying a condo, that's where I'd be. My son lives over there now. It is very safe and there are houses of every shape and size. The neighbors are friendly, you are close to downtown, there's great grocery shopping at Kingma's, and it's quiet. And if you are into cycling, you can ride from Riverside Park all the way out to Rockford. Wait, why AM I moving to a condo?

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"... And if you are into cycling, ..."

That would be me. Dunno if the OP is.

East Hills is convenient to Kent Trails too, and I find downtown drivers to be especially courteous. (But then I moveed here from the 313/248/734/810.)

(everything is about the bike!)

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A year ago I bought my daughters a house to live in while they finish college. I worried about all the same things any homebuyer would worry about, and, as a dad, maybe a little more about security. I answered that question by stopping GR Police officers and asking them where they'd let their daughters live. You may consider calling the GR Police department and asking the same question.

Regarding value in a stable neighborhood, I bought a house one block north of Fulton Street north of Aquinas College in the NE side of Grand Rapids. Its a great neighborhood, but there are others. Get a good realtor and fire him/her if you ever sense you're not getting straight answers. Most are honest and will help you find what you need.

Aerial photos of the area at http://ims.gvmc-regis.org:1052/website/pub...lic_Parcel_Find.

Property data at https://www.accesskent.com/Property/

Cindi, I'm a GR police officer and if I would pick two areas in the city to live it would be in Alger Heights on the south east side and Riverside Park area on the North east side. I work in the southeast district of the city and can't remember the last time I ran a radio call in Alger Heights. If we do get one it's usually a barking dog :). I for one live 5 minutes from Lake Michigan, my wifes a beach freak, so I would always recommend the Holland/Zeeland area. Pretty much all the suburbs are pretty safe. If you do come up here and start looking for a home just Private message me the street name and I'll give you my opinion.

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I work in the southeast district of the city and can't remember the last time I ran a radio call in Alger Heights. If we do get one it's usually a barking dog :) .

That dog (actually theres about 8 of them) wouldn't live on madison near 28th would it? :rofl: Man I hate them.

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Got to throw in my plug for Belknap Lookout:

Unique neighborhood history as live/work community near downtown (5 minute walk)

Parks and recreation: with over 5 parks with tennis, basketball, hockey, and baseball fields and great views of downtown

Walking distance to Creston Corridor and North Monroe Business District (art galleries, restaurants& bars, computer store, home improvement stores)

Walking distance to the Medical Mile (Spectrum Health, GVSU Cook/DeVos Center, VanAndel Research Institute) and downtown jobs

Close to Major Bus Routes

Easy access to US 131 and I-196 for easy car commuting

Economically and racially diverse neighborhood

Local elementary school (Coit Elementary & Vandenberg Creative Arts Academy)

Neighborhood Enterprise Zone for reduced property taxes

10% increase in property values last year (you can still pick up a nice little place for under 100k)

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It may just be that I lived in Grand Rapids for so long, and that it's my favorite place in the world, But there are very few places in town that I wouldn't want to live. For an apartment downtown, that's gated, and provides security, Check out college hill. If you are looking to buy a home, I'd check out the NW side, by Richmond/Tamarack, Homes are older, but generally well kept, alot of the older folks are either moving, or as morbid as this sounds dying, there have been alot of younger singles/ profesionals buying homes in that area. You'd be three minutes from the amenities of Alpine Ave, and five minutes from the vibrance of downtown. If you don't want to live in the city, Check out homes in Comstock Parks Westgate neighborhood. Safe, within 10 of downtown, and again right next to everything you need on Alpine. If you're looking for an area where the home market is still somewhat competitive check out Gaines Twp. anywhere along the Henry Freeway, is much newer, and home prices appreciate, more than in the rest of the metro area, you would be very safe, and still only 15 minutes from downtown. Off of Kalamazoo Ave at the Henry I recomend the crossings apts. They have the amenities you need, security, close to all the retail on Kalamazoo, and a hop on the freeway gets you downtown in 15 minutes, or 25 depending on how bad the morning commute is.

welcome to Grand Rapids, it's a great place to be.

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