How do you pick a neighborhood when new to the Grand Rapids area?
As a real estate agent, I often get questions from people who are relocating to the Grand Rapids area and have questions about what community would be the best for their needs. How do you choose when you’re not familiar with the neighborhoods and different suburban areas?
Of course the first thing is the same as what it would be with someone who grew up here: what’s important to you in a home? How much can you spend? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want land or lots of neighbors? Determining these basics helps us to start the process of what area helps you fill those needs.
School district is often a very important issue as well. There are many websites that allow you to see how different districts do for test scoring. You can read a blog post on school districts that I did previously by clicking here.
And the most important thing that you can do is just come to the area and drive around. Is it important to you to be close to a grocery store? Or a lake? Once you are able to get a feel for a few communities by driving you may want to take a walk at different times of the day to see who are the people and houses and schools and parks around you. There are many wonderful communities here in West Michigan to fit all kinds of different needs for you and your family.
Of course, I would always work with an experienced REALTOR® to find out if I am in an area that is going up or down. The cost of living here is relatively low compared to other metropolitan areas so the most common mistake that I see out of town buyers make is overpaying for the home because it feels inexpensive compared to what they’re used to. You can’t replace good professional advice!