Neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, MI?

11 Replies

Hello Everyone!

I am going to walk through a home in Grand Rapids, MI. 

It is located in the Baxter neighborhood. I have lived in the Eastown and Heritage Hill neighborhoods for the past few years and I have not experienced any issues crime-wise. 

My question is if anyone has owned a rental in the Baxter neighborhood and if so, what was your experience like?

Thank you for taking your time to read and respond to this!


I don’t personally own anything in Baxter, but have friends who do. As with any lower quality neighborhood, it can work, but you have to budget for and expect lower quality tenants, higher chance of nonpayment/eviction, and people being harder on houses. Of course, that won’t be the case with every tenant, but on average it will.

If you’re experienced and the numbers still work after accounting for extra costs, go for it. If you’re newer, I’d strongly recommend trying a better neighborhood. The returns on paper will look skinnier, but odds are you’ll be much happier with it. You’ll have the chance to buy so many rentals in your life; I’d start with one thats already in good shape and in a good neighborhood to learn the ropes. There’s enough to learn as it is on your first deal; no need to make it harder with additional challenges.

@James Marshall, jumping into this thread, it sounds like I'll be in a similar position to Ethan. What are some Grand Rapids neighborhoods you might recommend for a new investor? Are there some that fit kind of a happy medium between not being too upscale as to eliminate any cash flow margins but not lower-end so as to require more maintenance and a different type of tenant?

Try the Hill, Eastown lots of college kids.  

When I had rentals I like college kids.  By the zoo was always good and even out in Allendale was really good.

Kentwood is a great area for rentals for single family homes, they are starter homes for families.  

Wyoming was also good for family tenants.

  I will be honest, I hated being a landlord and no longer do it, but thats my 2 cents.

I own in the Baxter neighborhood, right by Joe Taylor Park.  There’s a house that attracts a lot of people just North of the Park on Bemis, so in the summer you often get s group hang in the Park but overall it’s been reasonably good for that class of neighborhood.  The kids from the school come to the park so the area is safe enough for that and the water park is a nice attraction.  It’s in the NEQ (Neighborhood Enterprise Zone) so there can be some advantages of doing a lot of Capital repairs. That said, I also agree with  the comment she of @James Marshall and @Tim Johnson above.  Better neighborhoods will not look so attractive on paper, though you might get a better tenant.  I’m hitting 2% rule on Baxter but I did buy it a while ago!   $1300/mo in rent. Hope that helps.  

@Chad Lanting In general, 49504 and 49505, and 49503 would probably be a good fit for what you're describing. There are different pockets in there, but in general they're not too expensive and are kind of middle quality neighborhoods that are great for rentals. 

I'm reading the comments and really appreciate the input from Tim, Paul, and James. I've got some education to do on the different neighborhoods and potentials from each.

You’re welcome.  I’ll be listing a 4/2 property on Thursday in 49504 which is ideal for a student rental being a 15min wall from GVSU.  2 bed and a bath up and the same down.  Nicely finished and ready to rent!  PM me if you’d like more details. 

Could anyone share any insight on 49508 and the kentwood school district? I have some family that lives NE of Grand Rapids and I'm considering on partnering with them on a deal. Thanks in advance! 

Originally posted by @Avery Robertson :

Could anyone share any insight on 49508 and the kentwood school district? I have some family that lives NE of Grand Rapids and I'm considering on partnering with them on a deal. Thanks in advance! 

Hi Avery,

I'm not sure if this is to late or not but I grew up in Kentwood, near the high school. There is definitely a high number of people renting in Kentwood. You have your good neighborhoods and more challenging ones. What cross streets is the property near?