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Old 03-23-2017, 08:05 PM
 
21 posts, read 35,286 times
Reputation: 23

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Hi everyone,
Should have been writing "young-ish" couple ;-) in the title. Couldn't find way to edit.

I have been looking through all the info I could find around Grand rapids. A possible job came up and while I never considered GR, we are warming up to it.
One of the item I am having trouble with is the neighborhoods. I keep reading some conflicting or confusing info.
We are mid-30's couple with no kids. No plans to have any and therefore would like a vibrant, walkable neighborhood with restaurants, etc.. We are not looking for the typical family friendly, cookie cuter neighborhood. Artsy is always good too.

We come from large cities and I don't currently have to drive anywhere. I like being able to walk a few blocks and do grocery shopping or go to a restaurant/bar. although I understand this might need to change in a smaller city.

Would Downtown, Midtown, heritage hills, Eastown (?), Belknap be what I would be looking for?
Would prefer a townhouse/house/duplex/loft than a high rise condo.

Is it correct that some areas close to downtown are less good/safe ? or the south east neighborhoods are not as good?
In Chicago, we definitely have really good neighborhoods right next to pockets that are not as safe. Sometimes a few blocks makes a major difference. What should I be looking at here? Any specific intersection that I should focus on and areas to skip?

Trying to get a feel of housing pricing and what we would be looking at as far as quality of life but it is hard to tell.I see prices all over the place with $1m homes a few blocks away to more regular homes under 200K.
Granted size different but still...Inventory seems very low as well.

Are there specific pockets/street intersection to consider. I seem to be seeing a lot of nice restaurants/coffee shops on cherry st around midtown.
Thanks everyone!

Last edited by kirikara; 03-23-2017 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 17,869,131 times
Reputation: 3875
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirikara View Post
Hi everyone,
Should have been writing "young-ish" couple ;-) in the title. Couldn't find way to edit.

I have been looking through all the info I could find around Grand rapids. A possible job came up and while I never considered GR, we are warming up to it.
One of the item I am having trouble with is the neighborhoods. I keep reading some conflicting or confusing info.
We are mid-30's couple with no kids. No plans to have any and therefore would like a vibrant, walkable neighborhood with restaurants, etc.. We are not looking for the typical family friendly, cookie cuter neighborhood. Artsy is always good too.

We come from large cities and I don't currently have to drive anywhere. I like being able to walk a few blocks and do grocery shopping or go to a restaurant/bar. although I understand this might need to change in a smaller city.

Would Downtown, Midtown, heritage hills, Eastown (?), Belknap be what I would be looking for?
Would prefer a townhouse/house/duplex/loft than a high rise condo.

Is it correct that some areas close to downtown are less good/safe ? or the south east neighborhoods are not as good?
In Chicago, we definitely have really good neighborhoods right next to pockets that are not as safe. Sometimes a few blocks makes a major difference. What should I be looking at here? Any specific intersection that I should focus on and areas to skip?

Trying to get a feel of housing pricing and what we would be looking at as far as quality of life but it is hard to tell.I see prices all over the place with $1m homes a few blocks away to more regular homes under 200K.
Granted size different but still...Inventory seems very low as well.

Are there specific pockets/street intersection to consider. I seem to be seeing a lot of nice restaurants/coffee shops on cherry st around midtown.
Thanks everyone!
Any of those areas are fine but the one thing missing from that equation is a grocery store within walking distance. The only areas with a "good" grocery store is the Midtown area (Fulton near Carlton), soon Michigan Street near Diamond, and soon the West Side along Bridge Street where grocery stores are going in. There aren't really any townhouses to purchase in Midtown and only a handful along Michigan Street (most are apartments). There's a great condo building in Midtown Village but the ones under $200k sell in less than 24 hours when they hit the market.

Union Square on the West Side is probably the only condo project that fits the bill, that I can think of. It's a massive century old school building converted into 240 or so condos. Otherwise you're looking at homes in those other neighborhoods, and they sell quickly.

Here's one in Union Square for just over $200k:

http://www.grar.com/property/mls/17009253

Fairmount Square townhouses near Cherry Street are nice but I don't think you can get one for under $200K, and people aren't budging out of those.

Last edited by magellan; 03-24-2017 at 07:50 AM..
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Old 03-25-2017, 08:08 AM
 
4,213 posts, read 3,933,251 times
Reputation: 7068
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirikara View Post
Hi everyone,
Should have been writing "young-ish" couple ;-) in the title. Couldn't find way to edit.

I have been looking through all the info I could find around Grand rapids. A possible job came up and while I never considered GR, we are warming up to it.
One of the item I am having trouble with is the neighborhoods. I keep reading some conflicting or confusing info.
We are mid-30's couple with no kids. No plans to have any and therefore would like a vibrant, walkable neighborhood with restaurants, etc.. We are not looking for the typical family friendly, cookie cuter neighborhood. Artsy is always good too.

We come from large cities and I don't currently have to drive anywhere. I like being able to walk a few blocks and do grocery shopping or go to a restaurant/bar. although I understand this might need to change in a smaller city.

Would Downtown, Midtown, heritage hills, Eastown (?), Belknap be what I would be looking for?
Would prefer a townhouse/house/duplex/loft than a high rise condo.
I'd focus on Easttown, East Hills, Cherry Hill, maybe Midtown. You might want to consider renting first. From a practical standpoint the Westside is emerging fast and will probably have the most convenient retail options once the super block is finished. You may want to focus a search on the emerging Bridge St. Corridor. Union Square as Magellan mentioned seems to hit all of your points and it's about a block back from all of the investment over taking Bridge. I lived there for a couple of years. It's full of like minded people, plus rooftop pool and hot tub. It's a pretty cool vibe especially in the summer. All of these neighborhoods have high walk scores, but yes you can't really compare it to Chicago.

Quote:
Is it correct that some areas close to downtown are less good/safe ? or the south east neighborhoods are not as good?
In Chicago, we definitely have really good neighborhoods right next to pockets that are not as safe. Sometimes a few blocks makes a major difference. What should I be looking at here? Any specific intersection that I should focus on and areas to skip?
Understand that you could fit the entirety of GR's population within a Chicago neighborhood. This also comes with a different definition of good and bad neighborhoods. Of the neighborhoods mentioned you should feel safe to walk without much issue. Mostly the rougher neighborhoods are centered south of Wealthy St. You can find pockets of sketch in small parts of the West Side and NE side. However if you're used to a major city you probably won't find them very intimidating.

Quote:
Trying to get a feel of housing pricing and what we would be looking at as far as quality of life but it is hard to tell.I see prices all over the place with $1m homes a few blocks away to more regular homes under 200K.
Granted size different but still...Inventory seems very low as well.

Are there specific pockets/street intersection to consider. I seem to be seeing a lot of nice restaurants/coffee shops on cherry st around midtown.
Thanks everyone!
Cherry St Between Eastern and Diamond.
Lake Dr between Fuller and the East Grand Rapids border.
Wealthy St from Madison to the East Grand Rapids border.
Downtown in General, a few streets in specific:
-Ionia Ave between Fulton and the Downtown Market
-Commerce Ave (one block behind Ionia)
-Monroe center
-Jefferson Ave at Fulton
Bridge St. from the131 to around Seward.
Plainfield from Leonard to Ann St. (Creston neighborhood)

There are others i'm forgetting, but this is a pretty good overview. If you have specific questions you can always DM i'd be glad to help

Last edited by mjlo; 03-25-2017 at 08:23 AM..
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