- 1 - 2 BedsBds
- 1 - 2 BathsBa
- 640 - 900 SqftSqft
Nicknamed Furniture City, Grand Rapids was recognized as the #1 city for raising a family by Forbes and was ranked as one of AARP’s best places to retire for less money. It was also ranked 13th on the US News & World Report list of the best places to live in the country, based on factors such as safety, cost of living, employment opportunities and schooling.
Despite being the second-largest city in the state of Michigan, Grand Rapids is still tiny when compared to Detroit. In fact, it’s approximately one-third of the size of the largest city in the state.
The city is located 50 miles from Kalamazoo, 68 miles from Lansing, 157 miles from Detroit and 177 miles from Chicago. The latter can be reached in just a few short hours.
Grand Rapids is known for its abundant snowfall — experiencing about 75 inches annually, on average — thanks to the Lake Effect snow over Lake Michigan. January features 30°F average temperatures, while July’s averages can reach up to 83°F.
Major diversity, affordable housing options and a comparatively low cost of living are some of the strong suits of Grand Rapids.
Living in Grand Rapids costs 26% less than living in other places of the country.
A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant costs $47.50, on average, while a regular cappuccino is generally priced at $3.98.
Monthly basic utilities — including water, heating, cooling, electricity and garbage — cost $139.44, on average, for a 915-square-foot apartment, which is approximately $20 less than the national average.
Local public transportation is ensured by the Rapid, the city’s main bus line. Adult ticket prices are set at $1.75, while seniors and disabled passengers pay a reduced fare of $.85 and children ride for free. Unlimited weekly, monthly and day passes are also available.
The average rent for an apartment in Grand Rapids is $1,324 per month.
The average apartment size in Grand Rapids is 870 sq. ft.
Rent for a studio apartment in Grand Rapids ranges between $800 and $3,400 per month.
Rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in Grand Rapids ranges between $665 and $3,057 per month.
Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Grand Rapids ranges between $785 and $4,348 per month.
Rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in Grand Rapids ranges between $710 and $4,318 per month.
Grand Rapids is known as “Furniture City”, which refers to the massive furniture production during the early 20th century, a tradition that is still alive today. Five different office furniture manufacturers still call the city home, with American Seating, Herman Miller and Steelcase among them. The automobile and aviation manufacturing industries have a similarly strong presence in the city. Job growth in Grand Rapids is projected to rise an impressive 43% in the next decade or so.
Spectrum Health employs more people in West Michigan than any other local company, while Amway, Bissell, Meijer Grocery, Wolverine Road World Wide and MC Sports, Inc. are other large corporations based in Grand Rapids.
|Not for Profit Companies||16,072|
The city has an excellent public school system with City Middle/High School leading the pack as the third-best high school in the state and the 47th-best in the U.S., according to US News & World Report. East Grand Rapids High School is the third-best in the state of Michigan and 99th best nationally, while Forest Hills Central High School is the 13th-best in the state and the 271st-best in the U.S., according to Newsweek.
Calvin College, Aquinas College, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, ITT Technical Institute, Davenport University and Grand Rapids Community College are some of the largest higher education institutions in Grand Rapids. Ferris State University is situated in the downtown core, while Western Michigan University’s graduate programs are also held in Grand Rapids.
Numerous events and festivals are held in Grand Rapids yearly, including the Celebration on the Grand, GrandJazzFest, Valent-Ice, Beer Week, LaughFest, the Festival of the Arts and more.
Millennium Park is a fantastic place for a low-key outing. The city offers an outdoor oasis with more than 1,400 acres of nature trails, a beach, boat rentals and picnic shelters. Richmond Park is the ideal destination for swimming and playing, while Johnson Park features fantastic fishing options on the Grand River, along with disc golf, ball fields, playgrounds and sledding during the winter months.
John Ball Zoo is the ideal destination for the entire family to enjoy, offering ziplining, a ropes course, a petting zoo and numerous animals on display.
Despite not having any professional sports teams, you’ll still find a few impressive local minor league teams that feed into Detroit. Numerous players move on to play with the Red Wings, but the Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team also draws its fair share of sports fans. The Grand Rapids Whitecaps have won a total of five championships since 1996. College football games are another popular attraction in the city.
Grand Rapids is home to an impressive artistic community, as well as a fun craft beer and music scene, also offering affordability and easy access to nature. As a healthy breeding ground for visual artists and boasting several museums and festivals where they can display their work, it’s no wonder that Grand Rapids was named one of the “Best American Cities for Creatives” by Thrillst.
The city is home to a handful of museums and galleries, such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum — with the works of local and international artists on display — or the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, which exhibits artifacts from the president’s life, complete with fun activities and lectures for the entire family to enjoy. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is one of the oldest history museums in the U.S., while the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts is home to modern art.
Those looking to relocate to Grand Rapids need to know that landlords cannot legally charge more than 1.5 months’ rent as a security deposit in the state of Michigan. By filling out a move-in checklist and detailing any damages that you see before signing the lease, you can make sure that you’ll get your security deposit back. Don’t forget to give a copy of this list to your landlord so they’re aware of the state that the rental was in before you moved in.