What makes a great neighborhood? Is it the location, schools, restaurants, or entertainment?
Or is finding the right neighborhood about setting down roots in an area that you can see yourself in for the long-term?
No matter what your definition of a great neighborhood is, getting some help narrowing down prospects before your home search will make the process of finding a home even more manageable. If you’re looking for a new home in Grand Rapids, we’ve got you covered.
These seven family-friendly neighborhoods in Grand Rapids have something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a more urban feel or something more suburban.
East Grand Rapids
If you have a little more to spend, consider suburban East Grand Rapids, which is home to some of the best schools in the Grand Rapids area. East Grand Rapids is known for a sense of community between families, and the area is highly walkable. It’s a great option if you want your children to have people to play with and places to play at any time. While the housing costs are a bit higher here, the resale potential is also higher.
In Eastown, you’ll have Wilcox Park and Aquinas College, as well as proximity to East Grand Rapids. Housing is more affordable than East Grand Rapids, and you get the benefit of the park itself, which is both kid- and dog-friendly. Farmer’s markets, craft breweries, and local venues bring people from all over the city and again, the area is highly walkable. You’ll also have public transit available—three bus lines will get you anywhere in the city.
If you’d like proximity to downtown without the pricier housing, consider Heritage Hill. The Children’s Hospital is located here, and you’ll have access to the main branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library. The Van Andel Arena hosts musical events and shows from mainstream entertainers—and all of this is in walkable distance.
You can access all downtown Grand Rapids has to offer from any of its convenient neighborhoods.
East of Heritage Hill is midtown, where you’ll find lower rents and more young people. Michigan Street is home to plenty of bars, restaurants, and shopping, and cuts right through midtown. Two bus lines quickly connect you with the rest of the city.
For a more suburban feel, Millbrook offers homes for sale and rent below the city average. The Millbrook area is considered to be more diverse, and it has several top-rated public schools. You’ll also find public transit options in this area.
One of the oldest parts of Grand Rapids, Belknap Lookout is today one of its top neighborhoods for families. Sitting on the water, the prices in Belknap Lookout are higher than other parts of the city, but several parks, easy walkability, a number of bus lines, and proximity to downtown make it worth it.
Combine the waterfront with a massive green space, and you have Riverside Park. You’ll find diversity in housing stock in this neighborhood, including some exquisite midcentury gems. You’ll have plenty of access to the outdoors with the nearby park. Riverside Park is perfect if you want a quieter neighborhood that still has proximity to everything Grand Rapids has to offer.
When searching for a home for your family, identifying your preferred neighborhoods will help move your search along quicker. When you get preapproval for a mortgage, you make things even easier by knowing what you can actually spend. Answer a few questions here, and a home lending expert will contact you with loan options.