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Old 06-16-2012, 12:13 PM
 
1 posts, read 827 times
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From a school district perspective, how do Forest Hills, Rockford, and Caledonia rank? Are they comparable? Do any of them have a reputation for being a better place to meet other young families? Looking for houses in the $400- $450k range, prefer new(er) construction. Any recommendations?

For comparison's sake, I'm looking for something similar to Troy, Rochester, or Northville if any are familiar with the Detroit suburbs.

Thanks in advance...this forum is a great resource.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:11 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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I don't know enough to compare the quality of the school districts, other than all have great, modern facilities, and Forest Hills would generally be considered the best, with Rockford close behind, and Caledonia in third. (Caledonia has BEAUTIFUL new facilities though, maybe the best of the three. Just not the same academic reputation as Forest Hills).

Rockford has more of a community feel than the other two towns. The city of Rockford has a nice downtown with shops, restaurants, a Riverwalk, etc. The surrounded area is wooded and hilly, with lots of attractive wooded lots and subdivisions. Forest Hills is a similar area, only it is lacking a central downtown like Rockford has. There is the tiny village of Ada within the Forest Hills boundaries, and it is nice, but very small.

Up until 10-15 years ago, Caledonia was mostly a farming community. Since most of the growth is recent, it has lots of newer houses that were built during the housing boom. It is generally more of a flat area with development that has occurred on former farm land. It has more of a sprawly appearance. The exception would be the areas along the Thornapple River, which runs through the school district. Those areas are wooded and hilly, and very nice. The actual village of Caledonia has a small downtown, but it doesn't offer a whole lot. Most of the population in Caledonia lives in newer subdivisions. I think the village population is only 1,000 or so, and most people who live there are the "old guard" who lived there before it ever became suburbia.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
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I personally would not spend $400 - $500 in Rockford or Caledonia. You're on the high end in home value at that price, a place you don't want to be for resale value. Forest Hills or EGR you'd be fine in that price range.

In addition, both Rockford and Caledonia have horrible commute times (by Grand Rapids standards) to most of the rest of the area.

Here's a school ranking article from last August:

Kent County schools ranked from top to bottom | MLive.com
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