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Old 08-29-2019, 01:03 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
1,359 posts, read 1,359,712 times
Reputation: 3449

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My family wants to move to Michigan and after reading about Grand Rapids, I thought it was a good contender for our final destination (with the other being the Detroit suburbs).

I've been doing some research and I have a few questions about the area. I will also list budget, needs and what we are looking for in the area.

My husband works from home, but I work outside the home in accounting/admin type work - how is the job market in the area?

We have a child who is almost 3 so schools are a huge priority. What are the best schools in the area?

We would be renting at first and then want to buy. Our budget isn't extremely high - would love to stay under $1500 for rent (2br) and around 250k for housing. Less is always better as long as the schools are good and the neighborhood is safe. It would be nice to be within a reasonable distance of fun things to do with my child, but otherwise I'm not really too concerned with things like that. I would prefer suburban to urban areas - I don't need to live really close to the city. However, due to the winter weather, I don't want to live more than 20 miles outside of it. Is the traffic bad?

Thanks!
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,145,651 times
Reputation: 3888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melodica View Post
My family wants to move to Michigan and after reading about Grand Rapids, I thought it was a good contender for our final destination (with the other being the Detroit suburbs).

I've been doing some research and I have a few questions about the area. I will also list budget, needs and what we are looking for in the area.

My husband works from home, but I work outside the home in accounting/admin type work - how is the job market in the area?

We have a child who is almost 3 so schools are a huge priority. What are the best schools in the area?

We would be renting at first and then want to buy. Our budget isn't extremely high - would love to stay under $1500 for rent (2br) and around 250k for housing. Less is always better as long as the schools are good and the neighborhood is safe. It would be nice to be within a reasonable distance of fun things to do with my child, but otherwise I'm not really too concerned with things like that. I would prefer suburban to urban areas - I don't need to live really close to the city. However, due to the winter weather, I don't want to live more than 20 miles outside of it. Is the traffic bad?

Thanks!
$250,000 range you're going to be pretty limited but you could try homes in the Kenowa Hills, Northview or Caledonia Schools areas. Maybe Hudsonville/Jenison and Allendale too.

Under $1500/month for a house in a good area is going to be your tough one.

The Grand Rapids metro area is so big now I wouldn't even begin to know where to narrow down specific neighborhoods. A lot of people start off by picking a quadrant (NE side, NW side, SE side, etc) and then go from there.

Job market is pretty good.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:17 AM
 
127 posts, read 143,845 times
Reputation: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Under $1500/month for a house in a good area is going to be your tough one.
For a house maybe but if she's willing to start out in an apartment, you can live in a castle for $1500:

https://www.grandcastle.com/brochure.aspx
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
9,157 posts, read 17,793,231 times
Reputation: 10715
For Kenowa Hills, that's the city of Walker and parts of Tallmadge Township and a few slivers of adjacent areas. It will never be a trendy area but it's safe and pleasant, has above average schools, and is an easier commute into downtown than a number of more popular areas.

Also possibly parts of Grandville might work for you.

Even today, I find the Hudsonville/Jension area a little insular. Allendale doesn't seem to have that same ethnic/denominational clanishness because a somewhat more diverse crowd lives there to be close to jobs at GVSU.
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Detroit
680 posts, read 293,319 times
Reputation: 1410
Have you experienced a winter up there yet? Or visited?
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Old 08-30-2019, 01:34 PM
 
127 posts, read 143,845 times
Reputation: 194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew_MI View Post
Have you experienced a winter up there yet? Or visited?
Because if you haven't here is how magical it is:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBL5_Mf1xaw

then again some people just like to complain:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcZOJd3e3-Y

He has a flat relatively short driveway. I wouldn't even bother to use a snow blower for the snow he has. I'd use just a shovel and my driveway is long and wide and goes up a steep hill to the street and I'm an old man. I don't know what the deal is with plugging his vehicles in unless they're electrics. I've never had to do that in all my life even when my cars were outside all night and his spent the night in a garage. Likely he is just trying to scare people off and keep Michigan all to himself. And why not have keyless ignition if keys are such a big problem with him. Apparently he just likes to complain about anything. Likely he wouldn't like Alabama either.
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Old 08-30-2019, 04:25 PM
 
Location: Detroit
680 posts, read 293,319 times
Reputation: 1410
This last winter was awful. How could anyone want to continue to live in MI after experiencing that. -20, ice everywhere, snowing every other day. People falling, breaking bones, can’t feel your face, can’t turn the house door knob because it’s frozen shut, no mail delivery, no sunshine for 9 months, teeth jarring pot holes, constantly cold. Glad I left. 33 years born and raised in MI, I’m only going back to visit my parents, hopefully not during winter.
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Old 09-01-2019, 11:05 PM
 
Location: The Heart of Dixie
1,359 posts, read 1,359,712 times
Reputation: 3449
Thanks to all for the suggestions! I am open to renting an apartment/townhouse/condo to begin with and I'm not opposed to a condo or townhouse when buying, especially if outside maintenance and snow removal are included.
In regards to the area... I am mainly looking for good schools, safety and proximity to jobs. Anything else is just a bonus. I will definitely be looking into all the suggestions here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walker46 View Post
For a house maybe but if she's willing to start out in an apartment, you can live in a castle for $1500:

https://www.grandcastle.com/brochure.aspx
Very interesting looking exterior. Prices and interiors aren't bad either. We want our own place eventually but we'll have to rent until we can buy so I'm certainly open to apartments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew_MI View Post
Have you experienced a winter up there yet? Or visited?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew_MI View Post
This last winter was awful. How could anyone want to continue to live in MI after experiencing that. -20, ice everywhere, snowing every other day. People falling, breaking bones, can’t feel your face, can’t turn the house door knob because it’s frozen shut, no mail delivery, no sunshine for 9 months, teeth jarring pot holes, constantly cold. Glad I left. 33 years born and raised in MI, I’m only going back to visit my parents, hopefully not during winter.
I lived in Illinois for a couple of years, so I am familiar with winter weather. I'm sure it's much worse in the Grand Rapids area due to the proximity to the Lake, but I'm okay with that. I can't deal with the near constant heat here. I'm a shut in from about April until late October because it's so hot and miserable. I also prefer cloudy weather and shorter days, so none of that would be a problem.

Are there any areas of the metro/suburbs that you would suggest staying away from?
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:21 AM
 
229 posts, read 86,743 times
Reputation: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew_MI View Post
This last winter was awful. How could anyone want to continue to live in MI after experiencing that. -20, ice everywhere, snowing every other day. People falling, breaking bones, can’t feel your face, can’t turn the house door knob because it’s frozen shut, no mail delivery, no sunshine for 9 months, teeth jarring pot holes, constantly cold. Glad I left. 33 years born and raised in MI, I’m only going back to visit my parents, hopefully not during winter.
Half the country got hit by the polar vortex last winter. Many states--including midwestern states, getting hit significantly worse than the lower peninsula of Michigan. (I won't say anything about the UP, because you might as well be in Canada up there.)
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