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Old 09-01-2012, 08:52 PM
2 posts, read 6,295 times
Reputation: 10


Forgive me if I have somehow missed pages of information on the very question I am asking (I looked around a bit), but I'm curious about what people have to say about East Grand Rapids.

My wife and I moved to the Jenison area last year from out of state, and while we love the GR area, we are not really thrilled with Jenison. We just don't fit in culturally, I think it's safe to say. (We are a mixed race couple--my wife is Asian--we lean liberal, and aren't particularly religious.) However, we love what we have seen of East Grand Rapids, and we're always over there dining or just having a walk around the lake. The few blocks along Wealthy to the north and west of the high school are just wonderful.

A couple people in Jenison made the remark that EGR is "snooty," but I have the feeling that says more about Jenison than EGR.

So my question is this--are there many houses for $150,000-$200,000 near that Wealthy St. area, and more importantly, given the little I've said about myself, how comfortable might we feel in EGR? Thanks very much.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:26 PM
Location: Niceville, FL
8,236 posts, read 16,839,941 times
Reputation: 8908
IMO, the key to fitting in as a middle class person in EGR is to be passionate about something. Maybe it's playing in a band, or running the River Bank Run every year, or volunteering regularly to help the homeless. It's not necessarily about money, though that can be a useful marker of sorts; it's about being driven to do something beneficial or artistic in the community, or even just having a really interesting-sounding hobby.

If you think it's cool that your neighbors took the kids to Prague last spring break instead of taking them to Disneyworld (which would have actually cost them more) or who like to spend their Saturdays biking 50 miles on the White Pine Trail, then you'll fit in.
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:13 PM
Location: between three Great Lakes.
1,966 posts, read 2,133,535 times
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Many, if not most, of my dog-walking clients live in EGR. They are not "snooty." Maybe that word is Jenison-speak for "well educated."
You would love EGR.
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:09 PM
2 posts, read 6,295 times
Reputation: 10
Wow! I appreciate the two comments I have received so far--thanks. I feel encouraged about EGR. Any other thoughts from anyone?
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:13 PM
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,019,270 times
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We've lived in EGR for 8 years. You would fit in great, I'm thinking.

My observations have been well documented over the past few years, so you can search them out on this forum.

To summarize them however, living in EGR means:
  1. Giving up land for neighbors. For the same price elsewhere you'd have a bigger house with more land. This is a compromise you have to conciously make to live in EGRl.
  2. Knowing your neighbors and actively socializing with them (depending on kids/age/etc. this might mean block parties, BBQs, nights at restaurants). This was a huge adjustment for us from our old city neighborhood where "knowing your neighbors" meant waving and picking up mail.
  3. Higher taxes than elsewhere in Kent County
  4. Great schools
  5. Walkable community (due in large part to smaller lots on narrower streets with sidewalks)

I would suggest that if you enjoy walking around Gaslight Village for a meal you'd fit right in. We walk down there all the time, live in the neighborhood closest to Lakeside Elementary (Breton & Hall) and in that area there are many houses within your price range.
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