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

Grand Rapids Own Founders Brewing Company Voted #1!

Full article here at The Daily Meal


Founders set out to make “complex, in-your-face ales, with huge aromatics, bigger body, and tons of flavor” — and they’ve done just that. ‘Founders Brewing embodies the excellent quality that has helped place Michigan among the best states for craft beer. Its Centennial IPA and Porter are among the best beers I have ever tried in their respective categories. Founders can barely keep up with demand for its products and its mind- blowing brews continue to attract legions of new fans, many of whom cannot believe the excellence of Founders beer when they try it for the first time,’ Bryan Carey ofGreat Beer Now tells us. The founders, Mike Stevens and Dave Engbers, say their beer is for the renegades and rebels who enjoy a beer that ‘pushes the limits,’ but Founders has earned huge fans for their stand-out brews all over the map. ‘This brewery is so, so solid. Their porter is a favorite: rich and velvety, with roasted hazelnut and unsweetened chocolate flavors.’ Maggie Hoffman, Senior Editor at Serious Eats, explains. And the beer alone isn’t all that makes this brewery great. According to Kelli Williams of Momma Needs a Beer, the brewery experience is just as good. ‘Founders is one of those rare gems that lives up to the hype; from KBS to newer offerings like the single-hopped Mosaic Promise, the beer is consistent and solid,’ she says. ‘But what I truly adore about the brewery, even as it continues to grow beyond everyone’s wildest dreams is that, as a local, I can walk into Founders Taproom alone, or with my family or friends, and still feel like a local.'”