Moving to kalamazoo. Which neighborood? (Battle Creek, Portage: low income, for sale, apartment complex)
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My husband will be working in Kalamazoo in the spring and we're looking to buy a house and settle there. I went to Western yrs ago, so I'm somewhat familiar with the area. But living there as a student is different that living there as a family with small children. I wanted to get the opinion of others who have lived there in some capacity other than in their student yrs.
We want to live an area without a ton of students, low income housing, and crime. We'll most likely send our kids to private school as I remember KPS to be pretty bad. The houses we've been interested in so far have been in Westnedge Hill and West Main Hill/K College neighborhoods. How are these areas? I am a bit nervous of West Main Hill as it seems close to the northside and eastside, where I remember it to be pretty shady with high crime. So what Kzoo neighborood would you recommed and why?
We've also considered living in Texas Corners, Portage, Mattawan, or Richland. How are the public schools in these areas? My hesitations have been he fact that (except for Portage) they are pretty rural. With 2 kids under 2 yrs old, it takes enough time to get them out the door, I can't imagine having to drive at least 20 min to go the gym, shopping, ballet class, etc. I hestitate with Portage b/c it seems to be just houses and strip malls. At least kzoo is more unique.
How about Portage in the lakes area. The strip malls are mostly along Westnedge and other cattle runs like Sprinkle. Southward the congestion thins out. The Indian Lake area is quite laid back yet convenient to Portage shopping, but your description sounds like you need Kalamazoo's west side. The library area of Portage looked quite nice last I checked. Same with most areas south of Centre.
Crime stats seem to favor the southwest area if you want to be close in, but to me, no commute seems especially difficult.
The Westnedge hill area is very nice with older homes which are well kept. The Bronson Blvd. area running south all the way to I-94 is very nice. Most of Oakwood and Milwood are decent areas. Most of Westwood is nice and the Eastwood area has nice pockets further out. The K College hill area south of West Main St. has some beautiful homes. That's just in the city of Kalamazoo. The townships of Oshtemo, Texas, Cooper, and Comstock which all surround the city all have a lot of very nice areas. Areas to avoid are the Northside, Near Eastside, Edison neighboorhods. Although there are areas even in these neighborhoods which aren't bad. I know because I'm in these areas weekly on a delivery job and I meet a lot of nice folks that may be a little poorer but still try to keep up their houses. But like all urban areas there are some real dumps too. Good luck on your move. Kalamazoo has a lot to offer.
Westnedge Hill is a nice area, with a range of housing prices. It's also convenient to downtown, the rest of Kalamazoo, and the mall in Portage. And IMO the area does have character.
Richland is nice although more expensive. A drawback is that you'd have to drive 10-20+ minutes whenever you wanted to go to Kzoo. Also, the highway between Richland and Kzoo is known for being icy in the winter, depending on the weather conditions. I know people who drive it regularly, so it isn't all bad. But after I was one of a dozen or so drivers stuck in snowbanks along Gull after a fresh snowfall with ice under the snow, I found out that Gull Road has a reputation for being like this. OTOH, that's only an occasional problem in the winter, not a daily one.
Westnedge Hill gives you the fun of hills in the snow, but they're sometimes plowed even before the main roads are, and they're usually manageable. Because they're kept plowed, they're usually better to drive on than the flat side roads where I used to live.
I don't know a lot about the schools here, but friends of ours sent their daughter to Kalamazoo Christian School for elementary and middle school, and I think they were happy with that.
I lived in the Milwood area for 4-5 years. I lived in the Madeira Apartments, which I don't recommend, but the houses in the area are nice. They are somewhat small, but they are also cuter and more interesting than the prefab, McMansion type. I would recommend Milwood in K'Zoo more than I would the surrounding smaller towns because it puts you closer to shopping, dining, 94 and the airport.
Milwood has a reputation as being "your grandma's neighborhood," but there are lots of families with small children. Also, people take care of their homes and neighborhoods. It has been a few years since I lived there, but I never saw a yard that was unkempt. If I had bought a house there, I would have chosen that neighborhood. As a matter of fact, I looked at houses in the area when I was house shopping and the one I really liked was near my former apartment complex.
I lived in a house on Miles in Milwood. I liked the neighborhood, it was quiet and once one learns the surface streets, K'zoo is easy to get around in, I enjoyed the entertainment that WMU and K-College drew to the area.
I would suggest the Winchell area or Westnedge Hill. I live off Bronson Blvd. between Kilgore and Whites Rd. and I love my neighborhood. My kids attended Winchell (Blue Ribbon) for elementary and it is a tight knit community (you will be involved/ PTO driven). My middle school girls attend Maple St. and it is a diverse school but I would recommend one of the private schools if you do not want the Promise; however, when your kids reach high school the schools will probably be improved. Dr. Rice, the superintendent, is currently changing the standards of KPS and it is for the better. I would suggest 49006 (west main hill), or 49008 (oakland/winchell/s.westnedge/bronson rd.) area because it is a safe, maintained, family-friendly community with a golf course and biking/running trails. I am close to 94, Portage and downtown.
Hello, I currently live in Battle Creek and moved here three years ago so we could raise our daughter near family. I am used to living in large cities and we are finding ourselves pretty bored with the amenities & culture of the Lakeview area. I have been scouting out houses in K-zoo & Portage, and it looks like the Westnedge Hill area offers a lot of character and more urban feel. My question is about sending our sweet, shy, innocent kindergarten daughter to the K-zoo Public Schools. The elementary schools like Winchell & Parkwood-Upjohn seem to perform well academically until middle school, and then things take a big dive. Are most of the higher socio-economic families pulling their children from KPS and paying for private schools during the middle school & high school years? A free college education from the Promise would be fantastic, but I am more concerned with my daughter having a positive experience for the 12 years until high school graduation. Private school seems far too expensive for us. I know Portage has excellent schools, I just am not too thrilled with any of the neighborhoods there. Any advice?
we have a home up for sale in Parkview Hills, a planned community within the Kazoo city limits, the homes are all custom built for the most part and nestled in a forest like environment, great for kids having grown up there, and with security patrol, community clubhouse, hiking trails, fishing lakes and so on, there are condominiums, apartments townhouses and other places
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