Should you move to West Michigan?

Are you considering a move to Michigan? Great! We’re going to help you answer the question, “Should you move to West Michigan?”

People are relocating to West Michigan. Grand Rapids as a whole is continuously one of the hottest spots in the Midwest for people to relocate. We certainly have more people coming into town than going out but one of the questions we often get is, “What should we be researching when we’re thinking about relocating across the country? Or, we’re thinking about coming from the east side of the state to the west side of the state, what are the high-level things that we should be researching?” Today, we’re going to break that down for you. We’re going to give you a little roadmap of things to research, Google, and dive into. 

We understand this is how these conversations typically go: You’re hanging out with some friends or family. You’re sitting there, talking about where you’re going to move, thinking about West Michigan, about Grand Rapids, and then you’re asking yourself again, “Where do I start?” 

Job Opportunities in West Michigan

Let’s start with job opportunities. One of the most common conversations we have with people relocating to West Michigan is, “Hey, how are the jobs? How are the opportunities? Who is actually in Grand Rapids? What are the businesses that are thriving in West Michigan? And how does the employment look?” We get that a lot. So number one thing you want to dive into when you’re doing your research is, what job opportunities are in West Michigan? How stable are these companies? Are there more people coming into West Michigan than leaving West Michigan? The job opportunity needs to be an important part of your research phase of relocating to West Michigan. 

Cost of Living in West Michigan

The next thing you want to type into that computer is your cost of living or affordability index. Let’s do some research on this. I can tell you, West Michigan as a whole rank in a great position as we’re more affordable than the average as far as the US population goes. But there are some things you want to look into like housing costs, transportation, grocery costs, and healthcare. Just do some research on, does West Michigan make sense from an affordability standpoint, from your current living situation. 

Home Values

Moving into number three and we want to look into average home values in the area, median home values, actual inventory levels, current inventory levels, options, and price ranges in a particular location. You can do so much research online as far as housing and housing availability in your new city, specifically West Michigan. If you’re relocating to West Michigan, of course, we can answer any questions. But that’s going to be another big thing you want to look into is, what is going to be your next living situation? Are you comfortable with that price range? Housing values, availability, and price ranges are going to be an important part of your search here. 

Take a look at taxes

Another thing you to think about, and honestly many people do not think about this in our experiences, is looking at the changes in their taxes. Now, there are multiple levels here. There is the state income tax, in many cases, a city income tax you need to be aware of, and then you also want to look into property taxes. Property taxes as a whole are going to vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, township to township, and city to city. But look at those three different levels. State income taxes are going to vary a lot throughout the country. As far as city income taxes, some cities have them in West Michigan, while some cities don’t. And then property taxes are certainly going to vary on location. 

Schools and Education  

If you are moving a family with children, you’re certainly going to want to understand the schools in West Michigan. You can do all your research online as far as West Michigan schools go as there are plenty of resources but that is going to be a big piece of this. You’ll want to consider things like the size of the school, the location of the school, school rankings, and what is going to make the most sense for your family. Check out the schools while you’re thinking about relocating.

Healthcare Availability

Another thing we want you to think about in general is overall healthcare, the quality of the healthcare, the number of hospitals, the proximity of hospitals, and just the ease of family physicians. And generally for the area, is it known for being a great healthcare-driven community? We can tell you specifically, of course, West Michigan is. But if you are doing your research on relocating to a new community, you want to be researching healthcare just to make sure there are going to be plenty of opportunities to take care of your family. 

The Community

One of the other things I want you to think about in relocating across the city or the state is the cultural community, the aspects of the culture of a community, community groups, and things that you’re going to be drawn towards in your new community in West Michigan. That can mean a lot of different things for a lot of different people, but there’s plenty of research you should do on how you’re going to thrive in the culture of a community. It could be the entertainment aspect, it could be the food, it could be the friendship opportunities. There are so many different things that you can look into as far as the culture of a community. 

Transportation Availability

Transportation is another thing to be aware of. If you are relocating across the country, you want to understand that you are not going to have to sit in your car. Your research may be helping you answer questions like, how are the commute times and the traffic getting in and around the city? These are all things that I’m researching. This is one of the reasons we love Grand Rapids and West Michigan because we are never stuck in traffic and it’s so easy to get around the city. It’s quality of life thing. You want to understand your commute and the transportation options of your new community, and this is certainly something that you can research. 

Recreational Opportunities in Your Area

Recreational activities in and around the area are going to be something else you want to look into. You don’t want to move into an area and you don’t have anything leisurely fun to do. You’re going to want to get outdoors and enjoy your community. If you’re relocating across the country, what is there to do outside? What are the recreational activities? Are we going to the lake shore? Are we going hiking? Are we going biking? Are we playing golf? You name it. You want to have these opportunities. You want to know what’s in the immediate area, and this is certainly something you’ll want to research.

Climate and Weather

Understanding your new climate while researching moving to a new area is important. For example, if you’re coming in from Texas to West Michigan your December and January are going to look a little different. In West Michigan, we have four seasons, four incredible seasons, and that is one reason why people love it here, but if you’re coming from different parts of the country, you want to be prepared for what to expect. Your weather patterns might be different, maybe colder, maybe warmer depending on where you’re coming from. Check out the climate of the community. 

How is the Move going to Work?

How is the move going to work out? We can tell you from our experiences and talking to a lot of people, this is often one of the most stressful parts of the equation. We’ve talked about a lot of different things here, but when it boils down to it when you’re relocating yourself or your family across the country, your moving logistics are a critical part of the process of taking the stress out of the equation. You will want to research the easiest ways to move to West Michigan. There are plenty of opportunities as far as national moving companies, local moving companies, home organizers, and vendor lists of people that can assist in preparing your new home. We understand that is such a big piece of this conversation when talking about the logistics of moving into town. 

Contacting a Realtor

If you do decide to make the move and specifically to West Michigan and you’ve done all this research and you know it’s going to happen, one of the next steps is contacting a realtor. We have conversations with people relocating to town all the time and people get to a point where they just need that one-on-one help from a professional. They’ve done all their research, they know West Michigan is the place, and then it’s a question of what are the next steps? How do we make this easy? What are we looking for? How are we setting up our search? How are we getting into the tour process? And how are we going to make this seamless transition into West Michigan? Contacting a professional, or contacting a realtor like our team will give you an edge in making this process easy. 

We hope that you got some ideas of things to think about. And once you do decide to move to West Michigan we are always happy to help. 

Moving to Grand Rapids? Pick up our FREE relocation guide!