First Grand Rapids Rental Unit

15 Replies

Hello,

I am looking to purchase my first owner occupied rental property in the downtown Grand Rapids area.I would like some opinions from other Grand Rapids natives.The property I am looking at is located just south of Wealthy st.You can view the property here http://www.trulia.com/property/3199391082-845-Logan-St-SE-Grand-Rapids-MI-49506

What do you think about this location?I have rented in the downtown area for almost 5 years so I know the area very well.Currently the location that this property is in is not good.The crime rates are higher than properties north of wealthy.If I purchased this property I would live in the back house and rent out the front house.I am estimating rents for the front house to be around $800.

I plan on holding this property forever and continue to add properties to my portfolio.I feel like the wealthy street area is really growing and it is only a matter of time until this small pocket neighborhood known as Baxter will catch up.

Opinions?

Thanks,

-Jerry

not sure Baxter will ever catch up unless everything around it becomes like wealthy street. Only investors there are tax deed and 9 out 10 times they're out of state and don't know they just bought something in the worst part of grand rapids. Logan is iffy like you said, but with you being there to keep an eye on things I think it'll be alright. 

I also know the listing agent. She's awesome.

Seriously what are you thinking living there? I Know this area as my parents are from G.R. and I would under No circumstances live there. If anything live someplace safer and rent out both but in my opinion this area won't be coming back for many many years if ever. There is a reason its so cheap. Find something is a better neighborhood with better schools. In the long run it will pay better and you can cash out with more money in your pocket.

I've always liked how trulia has the recent reported crimes listed along with the heat map. You can see whether those crimes are murders or traffic stops. It really looks like this is a pretty darn mellow place all in all. I don't know Grand Rapids, so I wouldn't dream of weighing in on the direction the neighborhoods might be going, but on the surface of it this looks like an awesome starting point for you as an owner/occ landlord. 

Originally posted by @Steve Kachniewicz :

Seriously what are you thinking living there? I Know this area as my parents are from G.R. and I would under No circumstances live there. If anything live someplace safer and rent out both but in my opinion this area won't be coming back for many many years if ever. There is a reason its so cheap. Find something is a better neighborhood with better schools. In the long run it will pay better and you can cash out with more money in your pocket.

 I have to agree with Steve and Mike. My company manages many properties on that side of town, but it is a rough neighborhood and usually comes with high turnover costs.

Hi @Jerry Westhoff

This is an interesting thing for me, and has been since I moved to West Michigan a couple of years ago.  Generally, the crime rates are pretty low, and the 'rough parts' of Grand Rapids are not as 'rough' as in many other cities.

However, relatively speaking, it has more crime than most surrounding areas.  I think the area has potential to grow in the coming years, but it might be many years before it gets where you want it to be.  Good luck!

Hi @Jerry Westhoff

I'm rehashing this post from over a year ago because I wanted to check in. Have you been able to find an investment home & rental in Grand Rapids? I am interested in the Grand Rapids market and I'm seeing a lot of affordability in Baxter, with good rental income potential on top of it. I'm also noticing a lot of renovations in that neighborhood. Have you seen an improvement there in the last year? I'm curious what kind of insight you have now since you first posed this question. I'm also curious whether @Kyle Dee has seen an improvement in turnover costs in that area, from a management perspective.

One property I was looking at is this one:

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/1...

I hope you've had some success!

Cheers.

Hi Caitlin, the Baxter area continues to transform in a positive way. There are a number of larger scale mixed use projects scheduled for areas bordering Baxter neighborhood. I am consulting with a developer seeking to add approx 60 units of new construction apartments and 6k sqft of retail in that regard. As property managers we've experienced double digit rent increases for some of our clients who own 1-4 unit property in the Baxter neighborhood. 

Caitlin,

South of Wealthy St you can never know with those streets. It is very up and coming once you go south, in a couple years with all the development in that area it will be great. But some of those streets are a little ghetto once you head towards Franklin St. I have looked at homes south of Wealthy and that one being 59k, I would think there is something wrong with it

@Caitlin Muldoon

I am jealous that you live in Colorado.  I used to live in Avon.

It is funny that you shared a link to that property I actually just saw that place the other day and thought to myself man that looks like a decent deal.  Unfortunately I am still saving up for my next place so I cannot move on anything right now.  

As far as the neighborhood goes I would definitely say there is value to be had in that area.  Especially if you are thinking long term.  Serious gentrification is occurring in Grand Rapids.  Rent is continuing to rise, even in locations that were considered bad before.  This forces lower income earning individuals out of the area.  

I ended up purchasing a duplex on the Westside and could not be happier.  I think the westside has a ton of potential and businesses continue to pop up over there, ie. New Holland Brewery.  

It is so easy for me to see how neighborhoods will transform in the future.  I am all about taking some risk and getting ahead of the herd.  I would buy 50 houses south of wealthy and 50 houses on the westside if I could ;)

Good luck  

The Baxter neighborhood has always been a challenge for rental owners but a one block shift in one direction or other can make a difference...especially with all the development going on around Wealthy Street.  It would pay to talk to someone that has a lot of experience in the area.  If you know Jim Loftus, I'd connect with him.

The City's policy shifts in the past five years are priming the pumps for gentrification in all GR neighborhoods.  Some of these policies are making rental housing more expensive to operate--especially in neighborhoods with high turnover rates and tough tenant maintenance issues.  

Another side note: The City is getting ready to change (or at least attempt to change) their policies regarding higher density development, i.e. they want more of it. If they succeed in attracting larger developments of affordable housing into the downtown area, the pressure for affordable units in the outer neighborhoods may ease up a bit. However, there will always be families that prefer SFR as opposed to a multi-family.

Best of luck on what ever you choose to do!

Hi! I own 2 properties on Franklin St near College Ave. So far so good! Or, maybe I lucked out on getting pretty good tenants. Lol. 3 or 4 years ago, I would never have considered buying in this area. Grand Rapids is rapidly gentrifying.

I own a property at 1014 Baxter withcia opposite Joe Taylor park. I must admit that the area can be a little sketchy at times with the wrong sorts hanging out in the park area, but the water park attracts young kids from the school there. So far I have not had any issues and am not concerned with being in the n'hood. I rent the house to 4 younger girls for $1200/mo. Cash flow is solid!!  It's also in the NEZ ( neighborhood enterprise zone ) which gives some tax relief on improvements made to the property. @Caitlin Muldoon I will email you these rules and regs.  There was also talk about a multi unit residential building going in on Eastern just south of wealthy street north of Franklin, being developed in conjunction with LINC & Rockford Construction.  Not sure whether that is still going ahead there now, as the last time I drove by Brother Love Towing property was still for sale