When most people that don't live in Michigan think of Michigan, what do they think of? They think of the largest city, Detroit, of course. But what they might not know is that Detroit is shrinking, and a lovely city over on the West side of the state is poised for growth!
While the industries that Michigan has relied on so much in the past are struggling, there is a lot of innovation going on in West Michigan. There is a lot of creativity and philanthropy going on, giving us the "Medical Mile" and many jobs in the Health Sciences and other "knowledge" industries. There is a very innovative event that has been very successful in bringing people and businesses together to gain a stronger awareness and appreciation for art, called "Artprize" (http://www.artprize.org). I think Artprize is one of the coolest things since sliced bread.
Yes GR is having it's share of short sales and foreclosures, just like the rest of the country, but I think that West Michigan will come out of this difficult time sooner and stronger than some other areas of this state.
Low cost of living and high quality of life make this one of the most desirable cities in the USA, if you ask me. But then I'm a little biased. I moved here to go to Calvin College in 1982, and never looked back. I met my spouse of 25 years here, gave birth to all three of my children here, and it has been a wonderful place to live and raise a family. My husband started his own small printing business here in 1993 and his business is thriving despite the nationwide slumping economy.
I started in Real Estate in 2009, presumably in one of the worst times to start a Real Estate career. I have been enjoying a good deal of success and have been very busy learning to love helping my clients in one of the biggest transactions of their lives! Basically, I love this city, and know many others who love it as well.
Who knows? Grand Rapids may take over as the largest city in Michigan someday...I wouldn't be surprised at all. A little while back, Newsweek published an article implying that Grand Rapids MI was a dying city. WOW did they get a huge amount of flack for that from loyal Grand Rapidians!
Check out this facebook page that came about from this:
Or this awesome Lipdub that the hippest coolest city folks have come up with:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPjjZCO67WI
I love GR!