Discover Why These East Grand Rapids Suburbs Are the Best Places to Raise a Family in Michigan

by Ben SanfordDecember 18, 2017

Buy a Home for Your Family in the Best Part of Michigan

It’s no wonder why you and your family may be ready to move to Grand Rapids. With a bustling art scene, tons of craft breweries and amazing food, and notoriously friendly people, this affordable city is moving up in the ranks as a great place for families to thrive. If you aren’t ready to move directly into the city, fear not — many of Grand Rapids’ suburbs are just as charming and family friendly as the city itself. Just make sure you end up in suburb that’s right for your family with this guide to all of the best Grand Rapids suburbs.

When you’re relocating to a new area, there are a million things to think about. Will you rent or buy your home? Will you live right in the city or in a suburb? Which suburbs have the best school districts and family resources? Which neighborhoods have the highest safety ratings? Let us take some of that stress away with this list of suburban Grand Rapids neighborhoods worth considering for your next big move.
Grand Rapids Michigan homes

1) Overall Best Suburb: East Grand Rapids

East Grand Rapids was voted the overall best suburb of Grand Rapids for 2017 by Niche. With almost zero crime to speak of, this is the perfect hood to move to when you’ve decided it’s time for you and your family to upgrade. It boasts a charming downtown area, known as Gaslight Village, where tons of delicious cafes and restaurants, gourmet markets, and quaint shopping make this downtown strip the perfect place for families.

The city of East Grand Rapids also features lots of green space; from Reeds Lake to John Collins Park, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do outdoors with the fam. With a Homes.com school score of a B, this is a neighborhood you don’t want to pass up.

2) Best Public Schools: Forest Hills

An unincorporated city that had a population of 27,000, Forest Hill is a suburb located just over ten miles east of Grand Rapids. The Forest Hills public school system is consistently ranked among the best in the state. According to Movoto, 97% of its residents have a high school diploma, and 25% have college degrees.

With a plethora of various sports teams and community clubs, Forest Hills is a great neighborhood for families who don’t mind being a bit farther from the city. For outdoor lovers, Cascade Park offers 55-acres of land for kids to play frisbee golf, run around, and have picnics. The median family home cost in Forest Hills is $312,000.
Grand Rapids Michigan homes

3) Convenient Suburb With Sleepy Town Feels: Rockford

For families looking for a town with convenient proximity to Grand Rapids, but one that still feels sleepy and quiet, Rockford, Michigan is the perfect location. With a bustling farmers market that was named “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” in 2011, Rockford is perfect for families who value farm to table ideology and general wholesome goodness. Harvest festivals, an intricate trail system, and a charming downtown district make this suburb perfect for families who want to play outside.

With a population of 5,956, Rockford offers families small town vibes despite being so close to Grand Rapids. Niche ranked Rockford number 12 in safest suburbs in Michigan, landing it at a B+ in terms of overall safety.

4) Easiest Commute: Grandville

Grandville is perfect for families who are planning on commuting into Grand Rapids for work. Located just 8 miles north of the city, Grandville is an easy jaunt up I-196. With a population of almost 16,000 in 2014, Grandville feels more like a city than many other Grand Rapids suburbs.

Hello West Michigan cites Grandville as having some of the best shopping in the area, with Rivertown Crossings Mall centrally located there.
Grand Rapids Michigan homes

Find the Best Suburb for You and Your Family in Grand Rapids

Whether you’ve lived in the area for years and are just looking to relocate for a change of scenery, or you’re moving to these Michigan suburbs for work and are looking for the best neighborhood to raise a family, Grand Rapids has amazing family neighborhoods that will make you feel welcome and content with friendly people and plenty of family activities.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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