Typically, when you’re reading an article like, “10 Things to Love About Grand Rapids” you can count on seeing the same sort of items over and over again: culture, entertainment, food, and outdoor activities. Sure, these are useful, but it’s pretty commonly-known stuff. After all, any suburb with more than two Applebees has museums, theaters, and a bar where “everybody knows your name.”

Let’s see what professional city-rankers have been saying about Grand Rapids, or GR, for almost a decade now.

1) 10 Big US Cities with the Fastest Growing Economies (Forbes)
A 4.4% growth rate puts GR in the number one spot.

2) Millennials Are Flocking to 10 US Cities to Get a Job, Buy a Home, and Start a Life (Business Insider)
Another first place thanks to over a fifth of GR’s population being under 35. And unlike, say, Los Angeles or New York, you’ll only need a bit more than a fourth of your income to be able to afford a house in Grand Rapids.

3) The Hottest Real Estate Markets to Watch in 2018 (Trulia)
A median home price of $163,750 puts Grand Rapids at the top of yet another list.

4) LendingTree Ranks the Best and Worst Cities for New Small Businesses (Lending Tree)
Even though GR only took the silver with businesses earning an average of $293,495, those same businesses also reported higher profits than the number-one ranked city.

5) 25 U.S. Cities That Millennials Can Afford — and Actually Want to Live In (Penny Hoarder)
Out of the 25 cities reviewed, Grand Rapids ranked second overall and 1st in affordability, 14th in millennial happiness, and 11th in economic health.

6) Americas Most Underrated Cities (Travel + Leisure)
Great restaurants, craft breweries and museums galore helped garner the number six spot.

And lest you think these are just recent blips, GR has been on the upswing for a while now:

  • In 2010, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce named Grand Rapids the “most sustainable midsize city in the U.S.”
  • In 2016, U.S. News and World Report ranked GR at #13 on their annual Best Places to Live.

Of course, it’s not like Grand Rapids can’t hold its head high when it comes to the other stuff, too:

7) Culture? Of course!
Frank Lloyd Wright Meyer May House, the Gerald R. Ford Museum, and the Frederick Meijer Gardens. There’s also the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum, and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts for good measure.

8) Entertainment?
Grand Rapids is packed to the gills. Van Andel Arena, 20 Monroe Live, The Delta Plex, Orbit Room, The Intersection, River City Improv, and more. Plus, Broadway Grand Rapids, Opera Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Symphony, Grand Rapids Civic Theatre, Celebration on the Grand, and ArtPrize.

9) Great Food? Check.
Donkey Taqueria, Bombay Cuisine, Mangiamos, Electric Cheetah, and Twisted Rooster to name a very few. At the yearly Festival of the Arts, you can practically eat your way around the whole world. Not to mention the areas around Grand Rapids are prime apple, peach, and blueberry farming country. And let’s not forget one of Grand Rapids’ nicknames is Beer City. It houses over 80 craft breweries.

10) Outdoor Activities?
365 days and four full seasons are barely enough to hold everything. Want big water? Lake Michigan is just 45 minutes away. From the shore, it’s basically an ocean—complete with surf-able waves—but without the pesky salt. Feel like skiing? Michigan boasts almost 50 ski areas and another 50 terrain parks making it number two in the country for most in-state ski areas. Outside Magazine rated Grand Rapids the Best River Town in 2017 and “Best Town for Mountain Biking in 2010”. There are hundreds of miles of paved trails and loads of mountain biking about 20 minutes from downtown.

“If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Already”

Every home lender will parrot the tried and true, “Location, location, location” when discussing where to put your money. But the best home lenders will also tell you the best locations are made up of more than just an address or a zip code. GR is a city that’s not just strong today, but on track to be even stronger many tomorrows from now.

Thinking of making GR your home? Find a loan expert today to get started.