Most popular lakes to live on in Grand Rapids and West Michigan

Curious about what lakes are best to live on in West Michigan and the Greater Grand Rapids area? We are going to break it down for you.

Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids

We have to start with one of the most iconic waterfront living spots in West Michigan, Reeds Lake, right downtown East Grand Rapids. There are many things to love about this lake, but we have to start with the location. What makes this lake so unique is you are right in the heart of downtown East Grand Rapids, just a few miles from downtown Grand Rapids, with a beautiful 283-acre all-sports lake that features some of the most highly sought-after real estate in West Michigan.

There are not a ton of sales that become available every single year so we’re probably looking at anywhere between five to eight transactions on this lake each year but the average sale over the past few years is about $2.2 million, so it’s a very exclusive, highly sought after lake, and there’s a lot of reasons for that. One of the biggest reasons is the overall size, and the amount of activities, like canoeing and fishing that are available here. You can pull your boat right up to Rose’s and enjoy a nice breakfast or brunch on a Sunday afternoon. You can park your boat at the marina and walk down to Gaslight Village. The other cool thing about living on this lake is all of the activities around the lake. This is a very active community with active lifestyles so you will always see people walking or running the approximately 4.5-mile loop around the lake, and that’s why people absolutely want to live on the highly sought-after Reeds Lake.

Silver Lake in Rockford

Next on our Waterfront Living in Greater Grand Rapids, we’re going to head a little bit north to the northeast side of Grand Rapids, to Rockford, to focus on Silver Lake right off of Belding Road. This is actually the smallest lake we’re going to chat about today. The lake size is about 83 acres, and it’s a very exclusive lake. While Reeds Lake is open to the public, Silver Lake is a private lake with no public access. It’s a small, quaint community in Rockford where people may be looking to be a little bit more out of town in Rockford. You still have all the great features of it being an all-sports lake so you’re going to see a lot of water skiing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing. Overall, Silver Lake is an incredible lake to live on.

From a value perspective, you’ll find homes right in that $900,000 range. With all of these lakes, of course, you’re going to have lower sales and higher sales but overall on Silver Lake, you can expect right around that $900,000 to be in the Rockford community on this beautiful, all-sports lake.

Murray Lake in Lowell

Now we’re heading over to Murray Lake in Lowell, one of our bigger lakes at 315 acres, and situated in a little bit more of a rural community. You can expect to be surrounded by farmland, but the lake itself is a unique lake with tons of little pockets. There is a peninsula that heads right down the middle of the lake with many houses right down that peninsula. You’ll find a lot of newer houses and some new construction homes as well. The average value of Murray Lake over the past couple of years is roughly about $800,000. 

This lake is open to the public and it’s going to be a busier lake in the summer but of course, you can find your quiet spots, fishing hole, places to wake up and do some incredible paddleboarding in the morning, or wake surfing. Murray Lake really has it all and is coming in as another one of our top waterfront living lakes in West Michigan.

Thornapple River

Okay, it’s not a lake, but we have to mention this favorite waterfront living opportunity in West Michigan and the State of Michigan coming in at about 100 miles long, it’s the Thornapple River. It’s a tributary of the Grand River, which is one of the largest rivers in the State of Michigan. The Thornapple River stretches all the way up to Ada on the north side, well far below Caledonia, Middleville, and Thornapple on the south side.

Focusing on the north side of the river, we believe that is the most beautiful place to live in general. There are parts of the North Thornapple River that open up into Ada and really feel like a lake-type setting right on the north side of the river. Some people who live on the Thornapple River are within walking distance to Ada and Cascade, some great entertainment and restaurants, making it an incredible place to live. You get your sanctuary at home with the beautiful views, and the proximity to all of your major amenities to make this a highly desirable waterfront living situation.

There are going to be plenty of opportunities for boating on the Thornapple River and there’s even a water ski course out there. This is a very active place, but it also has some great fishing. Some of the housing on the Thornapple River is some of the most beautiful settings that you will ever see. In this area, the average home sale is right around $1.2 million. Some of these homes have beautiful elevated bluffs looking up and down the river. People love living in this location because they truly get the natural beauty, the unbelievable views, and the access to the water.

Lake Michigan

This next lake is not technically in Greater Grand Rapids, but it’s only 30 miles away, and of course, we have to talk about Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes, and one of the biggest hidden gems in the world. Sometimes people don’t understand the proximity of Lake Michigan to Grand Rapids, but we actually work with a lot of people who will buy a home on Lake Michigan, and commute into Grand Rapids. There are places on Lake Michigan in the West Olive area, Holland area, and in the Grand Haven area, that are a straight 30 to 35-minute drive from Grand Rapids.

Obviously, one reason people love Lake Michigan is the sweeping views as it feels like you’re looking over the Pacific Ocean, and the sunsets are absolutely amazing. There are incredible sandy beaches up and down the lake shore and there are great water sports and boating opportunities. With proximity to Grand Rapids, people can have access to downtown while also having access to the smaller communities on the lake shore. 

When it comes to pricing on Lake Michigan, this is going to be our widest range of pricing options by far, and of course, that’s going to be determined by the location and overall size of the house. On Lake Michigan, you’ll find homes that are worth $10, $12, $15, and even $20 million with a mix of beautiful complexes and homes, brand-new construction, and older estates. On the low end, you may be able to find a very small house, maybe in a more remote area landing in the $600,000-$800,000 range to be on the waterfront. Obviously, Lake Michigan is a massive lake, so you can really find a lot of what you may be looking for at that larger price point on Lake Michigan.

These are only five incredible waterfront living opportunities in the Greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan area. If you have been curious about lakes to live on in Greater Grand Rapids, we’d love to help you make that dream a reality so be sure to connect with our team to start the conversation