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Another relocation

indy
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17 posts
11 reviews
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Another relocation

Hi!

We are getting ready to relocate to Grand Rapids, and I too am wondering about where is a good area to live. I have never been to Michigan so I don't have a clue!! We have a school age child so school is VERY important. Also we come from Indy where houses don't cost much so the max we could pay for a house would be about $170,000. Can you help with ideas??

Also what types of entertainment things are there in Grand Rapids??

Thanks for the help!!!

Livonia, Michigan
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1,564 posts
98 reviews
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1. Re: Another relocation

Wow! a lot of people relocating to Grand Rapids these past few months. Sounds like the place to be.

Check out this previous posting:

tripadvisor.com/…318548

I myslef have only been to Grand Rapids once about 8 years ago. We drive past it all the time going camping. You're not far from Lake Michigan and some nice Lake Michigan towns like Grand Haven, Saugatuck and South Haven for day trips or weekends.

To check on Michigan school scores check out this site:

https://oeaa.state.mi.us/ayp/

Here's a real estate site I stumbled upon that might give you some ideas:

grhomebroker.idxmedia.net/results.php…

Grand Rapids, MI
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111 posts
31 reviews
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2. Re: Another relocation

want2travel,

Picking a good place to live is very subjective at best, what I might think is a good place, someone else might say otherwise. So rather than getting into a competition with other posters in the area, I will provide you with some website links that will assist you in picking the area around Grand Rapids that meets YOUR criteria.

Most school districts around the area are very good, some are to be avoided, but using the link provided in the above post should help you decide on a quality school district.

I live SW of Grand Rapids and have for many years, if you have any questions about that area, I could provide you with a plethera of information. For now I will provide you with some links so you can learn about the Grand Rapids area and try to narrow your search.

Kent County website

http://www.accesskent.com/

Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau

http://www.grcvb.org/

Grand Rapids area housing search

public.grar.com/public/pubsrch.mac/start

West Michigan Tourist Association

http://www.wmta.org/

GRNow (entertainment)

http://www.grnow.com/

Good luck.

Montgomery Village...
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53 posts
58 reviews
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3. Re: Another relocation

I grew-up and went to school in Jenison, and most of my family still lives in the area. The schools and community was and still is very good. On the plus side, the area tends to be fairly family-oriented with solid values, making it a good, safe place to raise kids. On the negative, it can be fairly myopic -- integration and tolerance are not high points. So, a good place to raise kids, just make sure you get to Chicago, New York, etc. occaisonally!

Grand Rapids, MI
2 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Another relocation

Well, while the links you've gotten so far are certainly helpful, conventional wisdom on "good places to live" in town is pretty much as follows: (1) Look for a SE address (the nicer communities tend to be on the SE side); (2) East Grand Rapids; (3) Forest Hills; (5) Ottawa Hills; (6) Ada; (7) Grand Rapids Township; (8) Cascade; and (9) Rockford. Of these communities, the only one not on the SE side is Rockford (which is north of town). These communities are ranked in this order, more or less, as a result of their respective affluence and quality of public school district (East GR and Forest Hills are widely considered two of the best school districts in the state and certainly the best ones in town).

In that price range, there are a number of newer (last 10 years or so) subdivisions all over town (although not in East Grand Rapids or Ottawa Hills -- which are older, more established neighborhoods), you'd be alright with.

Good luck!

Grand Rapids, MI
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111 posts
31 reviews
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5. Re: Another relocation

GRFoodie

Thanks for contributing to this topic, but you may have overlooked that the max they could pay would be $170000. Your list may be accurate, but would generally exclude these areas for a home at that price point.

Additionally, I would challange your statement that:

(East GR and Forest Hills are widely considered two of the best school districts in the state and certainly the best ones in town) This simply is not true.

https:/…

And, "conventional wisdom on "good places to live" in town is pretty much as follows:(1) Look for a SE address (the nicer communities tend to be on the SE side); " ...as a result of their respective affluence.

I'm not sure what conventional wisdom that is, but major parts of SE addresses I would avoid, in my opinion.

And while it may be true that these cities are affluent, does that really make them better places to live and raise a family? I'm sure you didn't intend for that to sound arrogant and elitist.

Grand Rapids, MI
2 posts
1 review
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6. Re: Another relocation

Drew,

While I noted that these communities are widely considered the nicer areas in town, I also mentioned that in that price range, they should probaby look at the newer subs (which don't exist in East or Ottawa Hills -- the only two places that they're almost necessarily excluded from in that price range) on the SE side. I also neglected to mention Alger Heights. AH is an interesting part of town in that it has some questionable parts, but also large portions that are very safe, very friendly, and largely inhabited by young professional couples with small children. I really like that neighborhood and it's well within their price range (although I'm not sure of the school district).

I'm not sure what you're driving at with the link to EGR and FH school district since EGR was A's down the board and FH was A's down the board and one B (note: the link didn't work, and I couldn't find a ranking at the site, so I am just basing this on looking at the individual school stats). Seems alright with me.

As for the conventional wisdom favoring the SE side, that's absolutely true. Sure there are substandard areas (after all, where wouldn't that be true?), but they are smaller in number on the SE side than they are in other parts of town. I'm just trying to help this person (who, like I was, is looking at GR and knowing absolutely nothing about the city or its areas) out by giving some large brushstroke ideas of where and how to start. How is someone from out-of-town to know the difference between San Lu Rae and Division?

As for arrogance and elitist, I don't think I'm being that at all. The OP said schools were very important; hard to argue with FH and EGR. And, for better or worse, the better schools and the safer neighborhoods tend to be in the more affluent parts of town which exist, by and large, on the SE side of town. Does that suck? Absolutely, but I'm not trying to make a social statement about its rightness or wrongness, I'm just trying to tell her what those areas are. At that price point, she can afford a home in one of the many, many new subs on the SE side, or an older home in Alger Heights, or a home in that area south of East GR sort of west and southwest of Calvin, or most of the towns I listed, or anywhere else for that matter. The good thing about GR is that it's relatively inexpensive to live here.

At any rate, I apologize if I offended you. I was simply trying to help him/her out without having to get into too much depth.

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43 posts
117 reviews
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7. Re: Another relocation

Hey:

Thought I'd throw my two cents in as well.

Want2, the Grand Rapids public schools are really struggling right now. They have good teachers and a great superintendent (my opinion, of course) but the money just isn't there. While I graduated from a GRPS myself and would actually prefer to live within the city (I grew up in the Ottawa Hills area), I don't think I would send my kids to the GR public schools if I had a choice.

I agree that this view might sound 'elitest', but when you have kids I think you tend to get very pragmatic about where you live. If I didn't have school-aged children, I would move into Heritage Hill or the Ottawa Hills district without a second thought.

Some of the areas in the aforementioned posts (Forest Hills, Rockford, Cascade, EGR) are more expensive than the inner city. Taxes are also tend to be higher, especially in East Grand Rapids. The trade off for the better schools will be a smaller house...but I still think you can find something in your price range in the suburbs.

There is a ton of stuff to do in GR now. The lakeshore is superb and the city has put a lot of money into the local park system in the past few years. The Grand Rapids Children's Museum, Meijer Garden and VanAndel Museum are all first rate. Not quite Chicago :) but a really nice area to raise a family!

Best of luck on your move!

Level Contributor
43 posts
117 reviews
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8. Re: Another relocation

PS: Another great (and free) website for school comparisons is www.greatschools.net. You can check out test scores individually or see them alongside other area schools.

Grand Rapids, MI
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111 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: Another relocation

GRFoodie

Thanks for your response, but I still don't see how you can make the claim that EGR and FH are two of the best school districts in the state, or for that matter, this region. They are very good, I'll agree with that, but so are many other districts around the Grand Rapids area. The link is provided so others can do their own research and discover what districts are performing well in an unbiased manner.

I will not get into a debate about what parts of town are "better" based on your criteria, people need to do their own research and visit the areas first. Thanks for your opinion, but I'll just simply disagree with your picks and suggest a good relocation specialist or realtor.

Here is a link to the 2006 Grand Rapids Answer Book

…harvestadsdepot.com/grnrappresmi/ss/046013/

10. Re: Another relocation

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