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Old 06-25-2017, 02:58 PM
 
20 posts, read 24,429 times
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Hi All!

We're facing a relocation and Grand Rapids is a strong contender between two- other being Syracuse. My husband would work out of Zeeland.

What suburbs/neighborhoods are optimal for a family with young children? We're looking to spend around $400,00-$525,000 on a home. Lakefront is a huge plus for us and would love to be close enough to neighbors for bonfires and get togethers, but not close enough that we can hear each others daily lives- no smaller than .5 acre. Schools are a huge factor for us as well.

We're originally from Canada, but lived in WI and most recently Denver, so the snow/cold is a big plus for us. Are there many ice fishing areas around? When is your typical first snow (online weather is conflicting)? Are winters pretty long? Is there much crime in surrounding areas? I get a bit worried after reading about so many depressed areas.

Thanks for all your help! We will be out in July to explore the area a bit. We've driven through MI many times but never off the highways. Beautiful state!!
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Old 06-25-2017, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashca View Post
Hi All!

We're facing a relocation and Grand Rapids is a strong contender between two- other being Syracuse. My husband would work out of Zeeland.

What suburbs/neighborhoods are optimal for a family with young children? We're looking to spend around $400,00-$525,000 on a home. Lakefront is a huge plus for us and would love to be close enough to neighbors for bonfires and get togethers, but not close enough that we can hear each others daily lives- no smaller than .5 acre. Schools are a huge factor for us as well.

We're originally from Canada, but lived in WI and most recently Denver, so the snow/cold is a big plus for us. Are there many ice fishing areas around? When is your typical first snow (online weather is conflicting)? Are winters pretty long? Is there much crime in surrounding areas? I get a bit worried after reading about so many depressed areas.

Thanks for all your help! We will be out in July to explore the area a bit. We've driven through MI many times but never off the highways. Beautiful state!!
Hi Ashca, welcome to the forum.

) Most of the suburbs of Grand Rapids and/or Holland have good school systems for young children.
) Not sure where you were reading about depressed areas but West Michigan overall is a pretty safe and low crime region. Pretty typical for what you'll find for a metro of this size, maybe even less crime.
) $400 - $525,000 won't get you much for lakefront in this area unless you're talking about a small non-sports lake (no powerboats allowed). Those can be fun though. In that price range on an all sports lake will be a fixer upper, most likely. Or a nice house on an all sports lake but rural schools which aren't the greatest.
) You can ice fish on pretty much any lake in the area.
) "First" snow, or flakes of snow, may come as early as October. Actual accumulations on the ground that stick around doesn't usually come until mid to late December or sometimes after that. We almost always have a white Christmas at least. Accumulations of snow on the ground lasts until late March/early April. Denver gets snow later in the Spring than we do but they get a lot more sun. Pick your poison.

If your husband is working in Zeeland, then your best bet is the corridor along I-196 and M-6: Hudsonville, Zeeland, Byron Center, Grandville, Jenison, maybe even Allendale and Grand Haven.

Syracuse... upstate New York is so 1990's. j/k
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
9,168 posts, read 17,804,839 times
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I will note that the Great Lakes keep southern Michigan somewhat warmer and definitely cloudier than some of the other places you've lived, so there will be fewer safe ice fishing days than you get in Wisconsin or most of Ontario.

It's not as bad as it used to be, but I still find the I-196 corridor a bit insular (I have family in Jenison) and would opt for a longer commute in the Northview-Plainfield Twp-Belmont-Rockford area instead for bigger wooded lots, inland lakes, and generally good schools. Some of the inland lakes offer deeded access to owners in the development if you don't have the budget for lakefront proper.

The Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo corridor is far different than what the news likes to say about Detroit (and metro Detroit is also far nicer than its national reputation) and I think you'd be pleasantly surprised if you did a visit and look around. There's a lot of positive momentum in the region.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:06 AM
 
10 posts, read 16,406 times
Reputation: 10
I would recommend the Holland Grand Haven area over Grand Rapids. However, you'll need to have a Million dollar budget to live on the big lake. However, Lake Macatawa does have homes that are more affordable. Holland Grand Haven area is awesome, friendly safe. I think the schools in Grand Haven are better. Truly a gorgeous area!
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Wyoming Michigan
57 posts, read 40,105 times
Reputation: 90
There are plenty of lakes to live on South of Grand Rapids that would within that budget and be an easy commute to Zeeland. It might also be a good fit since there are not many lakes between Grand Rapids and Holland/Zeeland that have a bunch of fish. Well not like Canada does. :-)
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