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Old 09-19-2018, 02:48 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,126 times
Reputation: 15

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My wife and I are looking to relocate from the mid-Atlantic region, and have started to look into the Grand Rapids area as a possibility. We are both nurses. We are tired of the drug problem where we live, namely heroin. It's no longer safe to even drive in the morning as people are overdosing and passing out while driving, crashing into parked cars, school buses, you name it. These aren't singular incidents, I see them all of the time, so we want to live in a place that isn't the heroin capital of the USA or close to it. We also pay high property tax and are taxed for what seems like everything (they even tax you for having a dog). There's no cap for vehicle tax every year, so if you have a couple of nice cars, you'll pay in the thousands for them just in tax. We need a safe place with opportunities and good schools for our daughter who is 18 months, but it's still a consideration for the future, and we plan on having another or two. We feel like we have to get her out of here because of the drugs and crime. So basically we are looking for a reasonably affordable place that isn't overrun with drugs and its associated crime, and that has good schools and employment opportunities.



I have been to Michigan quite a bit (Detroit, Port Huron, Kalamazoo, Marquette) and have always liked what I see (with the exception of Detroit, which to its credit, still has a nice downtown). I haven't been to Grand Rapids, but the reason it's on the map for us is because it appears to have either avoided for recovered from the decay that many Michigan cities have suffered since the industrial downturn. What particularly draws me is the natural beauty of the state, and the Great Lakes. I am ok with cold weather and snow, as I prefer that to the cold rain that is the typical alternative unless you get into the far deep South or Southwest. The biggest thing for my wife is that if it's overcast a lot in the winter, that it actually snows. We love hockey, concerts, baseball, and outdoor activities both summer and winter. Do people seem reasonable friendly there? And can you purchase a nice home for ~$200,000? If you live there, do you feel safe as long as you're minding your business and not involved in activities/going places where you're basically asking for trouble? Is the airport there fairly priced to fly out of, or are you better off flying out of Detroit or Chicago?
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Old 09-19-2018, 07:47 PM
 
4,213 posts, read 3,934,276 times
Reputation: 7068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Icarus View Post
I have been to Michigan quite a bit (Detroit, Port Huron, Kalamazoo, Marquette) and have always liked what I see (with the exception of Detroit, which to its credit, still has a nice downtown). I haven't been to Grand Rapids, but the reason it's on the map for us is because it appears to have either avoided for recovered from the decay that many Michigan cities have suffered since the industrial downturn. What particularly draws me is the natural beauty of the state, and the Great Lakes. I am ok with cold weather and snow, as I prefer that to the cold rain that is the typical alternative unless you get into the far deep South or Southwest. The biggest thing for my wife is that if it's overcast a lot in the winter, that it actually snows. We love hockey, concerts, baseball, and outdoor activities both summer and winter. Do people seem reasonable friendly there? And can you purchase a nice home for ~$200,000? If you live there, do you feel safe as long as you're minding your business and not involved in activities/going places where you're basically asking for trouble? Is the airport there fairly priced to fly out of, or are you better off flying out of Detroit or Chicago?
It sounds like Grand Rapids and the surrounding area would be a good fit for you. You will feel safe, even more so if you're minding your business like you said. There are activities, concerts and sporting events year round that would fill a lot of the interests you mentioned. You can find decent homes for $200k, although the decent homes price point has started to creep up over the last few years. That said $200 is still a decent threshold (a quick zillow search would confirm). The airport isn't going to be as cheap as Detroit or Chicago, though prices have become more competitive over the last several years, and several new routes have been added. GR's airport was the 2nd fastest growing airport in the country in August. A lot of this has to do with the addition of several routes/ airlines, and better fare options. Feel free to ask more pointed questions about areas you're looking for and what your criteria is if you end up with more questions.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 17,869,131 times
Reputation: 3875
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Icarus View Post
My wife and I are looking to relocate from the mid-Atlantic region, and have started to look into the Grand Rapids area as a possibility. We are both nurses. We are tired of the drug problem where we live, namely heroin. It's no longer safe to even drive in the morning as people are overdosing and passing out while driving, crashing into parked cars, school buses, you name it. These aren't singular incidents, I see them all of the time, so we want to live in a place that isn't the heroin capital of the USA or close to it. We also pay high property tax and are taxed for what seems like everything (they even tax you for having a dog). There's no cap for vehicle tax every year, so if you have a couple of nice cars, you'll pay in the thousands for them just in tax. We need a safe place with opportunities and good schools for our daughter who is 18 months, but it's still a consideration for the future, and we plan on having another or two. We feel like we have to get her out of here because of the drugs and crime. So basically we are looking for a reasonably affordable place that isn't overrun with drugs and its associated crime, and that has good schools and employment opportunities.



I have been to Michigan quite a bit (Detroit, Port Huron, Kalamazoo, Marquette) and have always liked what I see (with the exception of Detroit, which to its credit, still has a nice downtown). I haven't been to Grand Rapids, but the reason it's on the map for us is because it appears to have either avoided for recovered from the decay that many Michigan cities have suffered since the industrial downturn. What particularly draws me is the natural beauty of the state, and the Great Lakes. I am ok with cold weather and snow, as I prefer that to the cold rain that is the typical alternative unless you get into the far deep South or Southwest. The biggest thing for my wife is that if it's overcast a lot in the winter, that it actually snows. We love hockey, concerts, baseball, and outdoor activities both summer and winter. Do people seem reasonable friendly there? And can you purchase a nice home for ~$200,000? If you live there, do you feel safe as long as you're minding your business and not involved in activities/going places where you're basically asking for trouble? Is the airport there fairly priced to fly out of, or are you better off flying out of Detroit or Chicago?
I think you'd be quite happy hear with that criteria. There are a ton of openings for nurses at the 3 major healthcare organizations here (Spectrum Health, Saint Mary's, UofM/Metro Health).

No shortage of outdoor activities with a slew of lakes, rivers, state and national forests only 30 minutes away, Lake Michigan beaches and dunes only 25 - 30 minutes away.

There are opioid addiction problems everywhere, it's pretty sad. But really Grand Rapids is having one of its lowest murder rates right now in about 20 years. For a city of 200,000 (1.1 Million in the metro) I think there have been 2 murders this year so far. We're at full employment right now (3% unemployment) with employers begging for workers so that helps keep crime down. And the area keeps adding about 15,000 new jobs a year.

$200,000 will still get you a pretty decent home in a decent neighborhood with good schools. You should plan a visit here this Fall and see what you think. Fall colors will start to really take off Mid-October and the weather is in the 50's-60's still (although it can drop in temps too in October and even light snow sometimes).

Good luck let us know if you have any other questions.

Last edited by magellan; 09-20-2018 at 05:22 PM..
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Old 09-23-2018, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Wyoming Michigan
52 posts, read 32,675 times
Reputation: 70
I agree with the other responses. Grand Rapids has many opportunities for people in your profession. I have lived here for 43 years and have felt safe the whole time I have lived here. There are many recreational activities in the area. We have a little bit of everything here: minor league hockey, basketball and baseball. Many biking trails both road and single track dirt/mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, hiking and camping, golf at many great courses and a ton of great public parks. Downhill skiing and snowboarding. Cross country skiing, ice fishing and skating in the winter. Concert venues are pretty great here too! Fredrick Meijer Gardens in the Summer is a great place to catch a smaller sized artist. 20 monroe and Van Andel arena downtown are fantastic also.
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Old 09-24-2018, 12:39 PM
 
1,079 posts, read 983,364 times
Reputation: 1717
What part of the mid-atlantic?

I moved to Grand Rapids from Virginia and found it to be quite different.

Only stayed 2 years because the winters are absolute hell and my taxes were increasing at an alarming rate. 7'+ of snow a year is not something us mid-atlanticans are used to.

Considered moving back a couple years back but quickly shot that idea down when I saw how much house prices have increased. $200k used to get a nice house. Probably still does in neighborhoods outside of East Grand Rapids.
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Old 09-28-2018, 02:25 PM
 
356 posts, read 938,955 times
Reputation: 201
You might also want to look at the Muskegon area, from Grand Haven to Whitehall. Housing prices tend to be lower in west Muskegon and you can live a mile or so from Lake Michigan beaches. The shoreline area is extremely beautiful with a lot of public access.
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Old 09-30-2018, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Midwest transplant
2,046 posts, read 5,198,024 times
Reputation: 1613
Grand Rapids would be a good fit~there are plenty of opportunities for nurses.

If you want to avoid some of the lake effect snow, check out Okemos or Haslett outside of Lansing/East Lansing. Lansing has the Capital City airport, but is also within 1 hour of Grand Rapids, 45 minutes of Flint or 1 1/2 hours to Detroit. With the option of four airports, you can pretty much get wherever you need if you're flexible and price shop.

There are as many options for outdoor activities, performing arts (Wharton Center at MSU and several regional theatres, athletic events (MSU sports plus Lansing Lugnuts baseball team), and you're never more than 90 miles from a beach town or 10 miles from a lake. Being in the center of the state is sometimes it's own little oasis, we do get snow, but when GR is getting feet, we are often getting inches. Yes, it is gray for long periods of time during the winter and even without snow it can be cold.

However, Sparrow Hospital and all of it's annexes and off hospital facilities and McLaren Health is building a new hospital near MSU campus, so opportunities in the health care industry and plentiful. Okemos has a terrific school system, and Haslett is not far behind. With Michigan State University, the hospitals, State government and the insurance industry we are well recovered from the financial straits we experienced 10 years ago.

Your $200K will get you a home in either area, taxes will be less than in many areas of the mid-Atlantic. Be warned though, that you will have sticker shock for car registration and auto insurance. (Having moved here from NJ and PA we were quite surprised at what our premiums were here compared to those areas).

Unfortunately, the opiate problem is everywhere, but like Grand Rapids, Lansing has a low murder rate and crime seems to be considerably less prevalent than we were experiencing in south central PA.
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:51 AM
 
136 posts, read 53,854 times
Reputation: 326
So, I live on the actual lakeshore (as opposed to GR claiming they are on the lakeshore), and I've got to question what a problem lake effect snow really has on Grand Rapids. I know you guys occasionally get pounded by snow bands, but I would say it's far from all of the time. From commuting back and forth, I've noticed there is a definite difference in snow fall west of Nunica, and another around Coopersville. If shoveling really bugs you, you can always hire a service to plow your driveway over the winter. I'd rather not pinpoint exactly where I live, but I can tell you it's a municipality that does an excellent job of clearing snow off the roads in the winter. In 11 years, I've been snowed in exactly twice, for about a half a day each (and I had a little Honda Civic!). So, my advice is to examine the specific municipality and the services they provide closely, and also try to live fairly close to work.
You may get more lake effect snow closer to the lake, but the temperatures are going to be less extreme as well. The winters are slightly warmer than inland, and the summers cooler. And for folks that think Buffalo NY type of lake effect, it's nothing like that. It's usually a gently falling 1-4" during the day, and maybe another few overnight. The worst part of that is visibility on the highway, if you have to commute.
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