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Old 07-23-2012, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids
235 posts, read 460,243 times
Reputation: 125

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Hi folks. I've been checking out grand rapids suburbs & neighborhoods. I keep coming up with the same threads over and over in my forum searches, and it seems there are a lot of great places to live for various reasons. I was wondering if you would indulge me with your answers to the below questions. If you are no longer living in the area but moved less than 3 years ago, I'd like to hear what you have to say as well. Any responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

What neighborhood or suburb do you live in?

What do you like about it?

What don't you like about it?

If not answered already, what amenities within the neighborhood or suburb do you use the most?

Single family home, apartment, or other? Do you feel you have enough indoor space for the size of your household?

How diverse (or not diverse) is it in regards to race & age?

If you work, how long on average is your commute? Do you ever take public transit?

Do you have school age kids? If yes, do they attend school in a public district or other (private, charter, homeschool)?

Last edited by notdeconcentrate; 07-23-2012 at 09:15 AM.. Reason: Added
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,744,725 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by notdeconcentrate View Post
Hi folks. I've been checking out grand rapids suburbs & neighborhoods. I keep coming up with the same threads over and over in my forum searches, and it seems there are a lot of great places to live for various reasons. I was wondering if you would indulge me with your answers to the below questions. If you are no longer living in the area but moved less than 3 years ago, I'd like to hear what you have to say as well. Any responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

What neighborhood or suburb do you live in?

What do you like about it?

What don't you like about it?

If not answered already, what amenities within the neighborhood or suburb do you use the most?

Single family home, apartment, or other? Do you feel you have enough indoor space for the size of your household?

How diverse (or not diverse) is it in regards to race & age?

If you work, how long on average is your commute? Do you ever take public transit?

Do you have school age kids? If yes, do they attend school in a public district or other (private, charter, homeschool)?
Sure, I'll go first (without giving away my exact location):

Grand Rapids Township, Northeast Side

Relatively low taxes, growing area, stable property values despite recession, great schools (FHE), beautifully wooded and hilly in this area, on the edge of the country but close to a lot of amenities

Not pedestrian or bicycle friendly once you get out our hood, traffic on East Beltline is getting worse every day (which comes with growth, obviously)

Use sidewalks for dog walking; shopping (Meijer), coffee shops and restaurants nearby used on a daily basis

Single family home, adequate space

Neighborhood is somewhat diverse, with a number (10% maybe) of Middle Eastern and Asian households.

Commute to downtown daily, about 15 minutes drive. Transit nearby would take about 35 - 40 minutes to get to downtown.

School aged kids, public schools.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids
235 posts, read 460,243 times
Reputation: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Sure, I'll go first (without giving away my exact location):

Grand Rapids Township, Northeast Side

Relatively low taxes, growing area, stable property values despite recession, great schools (FHE), beautifully wooded and hilly in this area, on the edge of the country but close to a lot of amenities

Not pedestrian or bicycle friendly once you get out our hood, traffic on East Beltline is getting worse every day (which comes with growth, obviously)

Use sidewalks for dog walking; shopping (Meijer), coffee shops and restaurants nearby used on a daily basis

Single family home, adequate space

Neighborhood is somewhat diverse, with a number (10% maybe) of Middle Eastern and Asian households.

Commute to downtown daily, about 15 minutes drive. Transit nearby would take about 35 - 40 minutes to get to downtown.

School aged kids, public schools.
This is exactly the type of information I'm trying to obtain. Thank you so much. It's hard for me to figure out which I value more: space vs. amenities plus all of the other things that are important to me. I think this type of info will help me get a better over all picture. Much appreciated.
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,657 times
Reputation: 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by notdeconcentrate View Post
Hi folks. I've been checking out grand rapids suburbs & neighborhoods. I keep coming up with the same threads over and over in my forum searches, and it seems there are a lot of great places to live for various reasons. I was wondering if you would indulge me with your answers to the below questions. If you are no longer living in the area but moved less than 3 years ago, I'd like to hear what you have to say as well. Any responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you.
A. What neighborhood or suburb do you live in?
East Grand Rapids

B. What do you like about it?
Great schools. Walkable community (kids walk to neighborhood schools, Gaslight Village is walkable from my house). Neighbors that know each other. EGR is close to everything. Lots of families (we have kids).

C. What don't you like about it?
Cost of living is high (small lots, old homes, high prices, high taxes). Reputation for snobbery, while undeserved in my opinion, is frustrating. I wish the beaches of Lake Michigan were closer.

D. If not answered already, what amenities within the neighborhood or suburb do you use the most?
Schools. Sidewalks (every street has them for the most part). Brush pickup is nice, though it's only a big deal a few times a year. Sidewalks are plowed by the city during winter. City parks are great, though there are too few with developed lakefrontage (mostly Collins Park is what we use).

E. Single family home, apartment, or other? Do you feel you have enough indoor space for the size of your household?
Single family home. Yes, we have enough space.

F. How diverse (or not diverse) is it in regards to race & age?
EGR is not very diverse.

G. If you work, how long on average is your commute? Do you ever take public transit?
My job is further out in the burbs than it used to be. Commute is about 12 minutes. Bus routes don't run to my office, so no. If I worked downtown, I could but would prefer to ride a bike on nice days.

H. Do you have school age kids? If yes, do they attend school in a public district or other (private, charter, homeschool)?
Yes. Public in-district.
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:18 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,736,249 times
Reputation: 641
I moved 2 years ago, but still spend a lot of time up in GR.

A. What neighborhood or suburb do you live in?
Downtown, bordering on Heritage Hill.

B. What do you like about it?
Very walkable, can walk anywhere downtown. Good access to weekend festivals etc. Easy access to highway for work commute, close to other nice/fun areas (EGR, Eastown etc). Central location made for a good social life. People came by our place all the time due to proximity etc.


C. What don't you like about it?
Rent was relatively expensive for what we got. Our 2 bedroom apartment was pretty small while and a rehab, still old. We could have gotten a much larger place elsewhere. We had people taking our parking spots a lot whenever there were events downtown.

D. If not answered already, what amenities within the neighborhood or suburb do you use the most?
Sidewalks...Riverwalk. Ahnabwhatever Park.

E. Single family home, apartment, or other? Do you feel you have enough indoor space for the size of your household?
Apartment, it was small but enough space for two singles guys in their 20s.

F. How diverse (or not diverse) is it in regards to race & age?
Fair open. I wouldn't call it diverse but we had some non-white individuals that lived in our complex.

G. If you work, how long on average is your commute? Do you ever take public transit?
I worked on the NW side most of the time and my commute was 15-20 minutes. For the last few months I worked on the SE side on 28th street, that was 20-30 depending on traffic/weather. Both by car. I took public transit once in the 7 years I lived in Grand Rapids.

H. Do you have school age kids? If yes, do they attend school in a public district or other (private, charter, homeschool)?
Negative ghostrider.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids
235 posts, read 460,243 times
Reputation: 125
Thanks alot, guys. This IS really helpful.

Jandur--do you feel like the small place made it worth being close to so many things?
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:16 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,736,249 times
Reputation: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by notdeconcentrate View Post
Thanks alot, guys. This IS really helpful.

Jandur--do you feel like the small place made it worth being close to so many things?

For me absolutely. It never really bothered me at all. I could have moved out to say, Kentwood at anytime and gotten a much bigger/nicer place...but it's Kentwood. I'm always a location first person.

Now living in close proximity to downtown is great if you're going to take advantage of it. I went out for dinner a lot, drinks on weekends, concerts, Griffins games etc etc. My life was extremely convenient. I rarely even touched my car on the weekends.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:42 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,657 times
Reputation: 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
For me absolutely. It never really bothered me at all. I could have moved out to say, Kentwood at anytime and gotten a much bigger/nicer place...but it's Kentwood. I'm always a location first person.

Now living in close proximity to downtown is great if you're going to take advantage of it. I went out for dinner a lot, drinks on weekends, concerts, Griffins games etc etc. My life was extremely convenient. I rarely even touched my car on the weekends.
I agree... location trumps almost everything else for me too. Downtown is pretty sweet, if I didn't have kids, we'd love to live there (or very close nearby like Heritage Hill).
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids
235 posts, read 460,243 times
Reputation: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by suydam View Post
I agree... location trumps almost everything else for me too. Downtown is pretty sweet, if I didn't have kids, we'd love to live there (or very close nearby like Heritage Hill).
So I take it you wouldn't live in Heritage Hill (or another nice and near downtown area) with kids due to the GRPS issue?
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,744,725 times
Reputation: 3833
Quote:
Originally Posted by notdeconcentrate View Post
So I take it you wouldn't live in Heritage Hill (or another nice and near downtown area) with kids due to the GRPS issue?
Just to interject here, I wouldn't live downtown or near downtown with 3 kids. In addition to the school issues, the homes are older and built in a different time period: ie closets and baths are small, kitchens are small, usually no family room, old basements that aren't conducive to finishing off, etc.. It's unusual to find one that has been "modernized" to today's standards, that doesn't cost a small fortune. All "in my experience" obviously.
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