Homes for Rent in Grand Rapids, MI: What You Need to Know
Grand Rapids, located on the banks of the Grand River in West Michigan, is known as America's Furniture Capital for its legacy in furniture craftsmanship.
Furniture production has been the lifeblood of Grand Rapids since the 19th century, although it has successfully expanded its economic base over the years. At the height of the lumber boom, there were 44 furniture companies in Grand Rapids. Today, Steelcase Inc., a top office furniture company, is based in the city. Major employers in Grand Rapids include Spectrum Health, Meijer Inc., Mercy Health, and Amway.
The Local Culture
President Gerald Ford, the 38th U.S. president, might as well have been a native son; his family moved to Grand Rapids when he was two weeks old. He and his wife, First Lady Betty Ford, grew up in the city. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1941, Ford chose to practice law at home instead of a big city. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 25 years before becoming president. The Fords are buried at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum grounds in the city.
The Cost of Living in Grand Rapids
Moving to Grand Rapids (population: 201,013) can be a budget-friendly strategy. The city’s cost of living rate, food, and housing costs are 3.3%, 32.8%, and 5.3% lower than the national average respectively. The Great Lakes State levies a flat income tax of 4.25%, but some cities charge extra. The state’s 6% sales tax is considered low for the region. The median gross rent in the city is $895 while the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,210.
Know Your Neighborhoods
Living downtown means big-city amenities without the high cost and hassles in a big city. You’ll be able to walk to restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. Families seeking great schools are attracted to the suburban communities of Forest Hills and Byron Center for their proximity to Grand Rapids. Residents praise Byron Center for its safe environment and ample housing options. If you don’t mind the commute, Zeeland Charter Township (26 miles away) has an idyllic landscape and outstanding schools.
Schools and Higher Education
Grand Rapids has seven institutions of higher learning, including Aquinas College (1,758 students), a private university. There are 17 other universities within 50 miles of the city, the biggest of which is Western Michigan University (22,562 students) in Kalamazoo. In primary and secondary education, Grand Rapids School District runs 53 public schools with an enrolment of 15,297 students. John Ball Park Zoo School and Kent Vocational Options are among the top-ranked schools in Grand Rapids.