U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Michigan > Grand Rapids metro area
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-02-2018, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,023 posts, read 12,168,417 times
Reputation: 10960

Advertisements

Please humor me a bit.

We are a family of three, all Canadian, currently having lived in Houston for the last decade or so. There may be a potential opportunity to relocate to the Grand Rapids area.

Why would I want to do this? Personally I was hoping to be done with the cold. I'm sure there are infinite wonderful reasons to relocate to the mid-Michigan peninsula. I was hoping to hear some...

Thanks in advance.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-03-2018, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
9,169 posts, read 17,801,318 times
Reputation: 10735
It's a pleasant mid-sized metro area with reasonable housing costs by Can-Am standards. (Yes, it's not as cheap as five years ago, but there's still value to be found) There are a lot of entertainment, food, and recreational amenities in the area, and the core of the metro is compact enough that you can manage not to spend an insane amount of driving time to get there. Summers are generally lovely and mild compared to what you get in Houston. Winters are kind of gloomy and snowy but at least somewhat warmer than what you'd get in Minneapolis or Chicago.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2018, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
Reputation: 3888
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
Please humor me a bit.

We are a family of three, all Canadian, currently having lived in Houston for the last decade or so. There may be a potential opportunity to relocate to the Grand Rapids area.

Why would I want to do this? Personally I was hoping to be done with the cold. I'm sure there are infinite wonderful reasons to relocate to the mid-Michigan peninsula. I was hoping to hear some...

Thanks in advance.
Without knowing what your interests are, West Michigan is an outdoor enthusiast's heaven which you can enjoy year-round. And everything like Beachmouse said is very accessible and within an easy drive or bike ride.

Housing is still relatively affordable, but actually somewhat hard to obtain due to the influx of residents and the booming economy. Patience and timing is key.

Great selection of public schools with neighborhoods that won't set you back an arm and a leg.

Growth but not insane growth like Texas sized growth. There's only one 8 - 10 lane freeway through the city (131) if that gives you an idea of traffic.

A huge explosion of locally owned restaurants and breweries throughout the city and metro area.

Easy to get involved in the city or your community/local politics if you're into that kind of thing.

Hope that helps.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2018, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,023 posts, read 12,168,417 times
Reputation: 10960
That helps a great deal. Thank you. I purposely am being a bit vague, as I don't really want to salt the answers. I want to know what people think and love who are there every day, not what someone thinks I like, but what they really love about the place. If that makes any sense?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-03-2018, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Louisville
4,382 posts, read 4,166,320 times
Reputation: 7513
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyyc View Post
That helps a great deal. Thank you. I purposely am being a bit vague, as I don't really want to salt the answers. I want to know what people think and love who are there every day, not what someone thinks I like, but what they really love about the place. If that makes any sense?
What I love about Grand Rapids is how it's always changing. By rights it has all of the ingredients to be a post industrial city that's struggling to find it's footing in a knowledge based economy. Instead new things are being built everywhere, and old buildings are being renovated, once almost abandoned neighborhoods are surging into some of the hippest in Michigan. Watching a place change and grow, and in a small way being a part of it is intoxicating. I've yet to have out of town friends come here and not be impressed.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-04-2018, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
9,169 posts, read 17,801,318 times
Reputation: 10735
Grand Rapids has really improved in terms of livability over the past 20 years- the true downtown housing and entertainment revival, the development of the beer culture and broader national interest in better food has led to a far improved restaurant scene, what was always a strong parks and interest in personal health and fitness has continued to thrive.

And it's all very accessible. Every city and metro area has their big list of things you can do and see in theory in the area, but the question is how often a typical middle class family can realistically hit items on the list, whether from a money or time perspective. Want to see live professional sports? Griffins hockey is not the NHL, but neither are the ticket prices and you see a lot of good players going on the I-96 shuttle run back and forth to Detroit. The pro baseball may only be Single A, but tickets are cheap, and it's still a fun way to spend a summer afternoon or evening hanging out with a group of friends. The beach season is not year-round, but I'll take Grand Haven or Holland over Galveston any day. And you can eat well on a reasonable budget. Health care is very good.

Housing is a little rough right now, but you can still find sweet spots in terms of nice house, good schools, reasonable commute for $300K or less if you don't need HGTV perfect out of the box.

Local leadership is pretty pragmatic, and typically more interested in solving problems and improving quality of life for residents than making a political point. Public-private partnerships are strong and one of the big reasons why the area does well. They try to buffer some of the Lansing stupidity with varying levels of success.

I couldn't wait to get out of GR in the 90s, but every time I go back to visit family there's something new and interesting happening there, and I'd gladly move back if the right opportunity came along.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-04-2018, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
9,023 posts, read 12,168,417 times
Reputation: 10960
Thanks. This is exactly what I'm searching for. Now if there was only a way to ship out five months of winter...
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-04-2018, 08:24 PM
 
1,082 posts, read 1,048,445 times
Reputation: 1753
FWIW: I moved there, then turned around and moved out a couple of years later.

My main reason for moving was the weather and the break-neck speed COL increase.

Housing costs have skyrocketed in the past few years.

Taxes are out of control in the "nice" places to live. My taxes were ~$4k/year in 2013. In 2018, they're well over $7k/year. The house has also gone up in value $120k in 5 years, so if you're entering the market today, good luck.

It used to have a great cost of living that made the 5 months of winter tolerable.

Now, I can't really see the draw.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2018, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
Reputation: 3888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lockdev View Post
FWIW: I moved there, then turned around and moved out a couple of years later.

My main reason for moving was the weather and the break-neck speed COL increase.

Housing costs have skyrocketed in the past few years.

Taxes are out of control in the "nice" places to live. My taxes were ~$4k/year in 2013. In 2018, they're well over $7k/year. The house has also gone up in value $120k in 5 years, so if you're entering the market today, good luck.

It used to have a great cost of living that made the 5 months of winter tolerable.

Now, I can't really see the draw.
Your property taxes couldn't possibly have gone up that fast. Michigan has a cap on property tax increases from Proposal A back in the 1990's. Rate of inflation or 5%, whichever is less, is all they can increase your assessed value while you're living there and claiming it as your primary household.

For our home, in 2011 we were $3396/year. In 2017 we were $4231. Part of that increase was for a millage request for upgrades to all of the schools, and an expansion of the high school where our kids go.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-05-2018, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,149,713 times
Reputation: 3888
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjlo View Post
What I love about Grand Rapids is how it's always changing. By rights it has all of the ingredients to be a post industrial city that's struggling to find it's footing in a knowledge based economy. Instead new things are being built everywhere, and old buildings are being renovated, once almost abandoned neighborhoods are surging into some of the hippest in Michigan. Watching a place change and grow, and in a small way being a part of it is intoxicating. I've yet to have out of town friends come here and not be impressed.
I agree with this wholeheartedly. Every day it seems like there's something new being built or being renovated (which is really exciting).

The weather only bothers me for parts of the year, but I really hate hot weather and sweat (unless I'm working out). I bike a ton outdoors, probably 2000 miles a year on the road and mountain biking trails, and if it's over 80 degrees, it's pretty much unbearable for me.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Michigan > Grand Rapids metro area
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:09 AM.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top