Renting vs Buying in Grand Rapids Michigan | Summer 2015 Update

You think you’re having a tough time looking for a place to buy in this market? Try renting one! Grand Rapids is currently at nearly 100% rental occupancy, the lowest rental vacancy rate in the US. Home prices have been back to pre-crash levels for about a year now, and the market is increasingly competitive if you are looking to purchase. No surprises here!

So, what’s the best route to go? You’re putting all of this effort in…should you rent or buy? Lets take a look at typical scenario in a great rental area, Eastown, a popular Grand Rapids neighborhood near downtown, where there is a high demand and quantity of both rentals and purchases.

The Eastown Comparison:

52 homes recently sold
(What’s currently for sale in Eastown? Glad you asked.)
Average sale price: $131,780
Average #BRs: 3.5
Avg SQFT: 1743

Average Rent for a 3-4 BR 1750 sqft home in Eastown: $1400/month.

Here’s how it looks, running this scenario through the calculator:


The Upgrade

Looks like buying in Eastown quickly pays for itself, comparing $1400/month rent to a purchase of a $132,000 home. But what if you’re already leasing a home in that price range, but you’re ready for an upgrade and/or increased square footage. You want a home with a nice bit of land, an entry-level home in East Grand Rapids, maybe a distinctive spot in East Hills, or something in an historic district. Your lender says you can afford a $230,000 purchase price. Here’s how that looks:


Try out your own scenairo! Here’s a tool from

Rent Vs Own Calculator Link

Fast Company Site Deems Art Prize “The IRL Reddit of Art”

A well-written and interesting take on Grand Rapids’ Art Prize competition, its origins and intentions, and how they have been fulfilled.

Original Article from Fast Company.


…in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a disruptive art competition called ArtPrize is turning the system upside down by making the art world more like the Internet. Downtown Grand Rapids doesn’t look anything like other capitals of the art world. Apart from the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, it is notably devoid of galleries. But for 19 days each September and October, the city becomes an open-air art extravaganza. I spent three days in Grand Rapids during this year’sArtPrize, and it was pretty much impossible to walk a city block without seeing a painting, sculpture, or installation. All of this happens without with the curators, collectors, PR people, and galleries that turn the wheels and pull the levers (and strings) of the traditional art world. Instead, it relies on the anarchic equilibrium that defines the open communities of the Internet. Welcome to the Reddit of the art world.