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Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Grand Rapids in 2024

Moving to Grand Rapids? Michigan’s second-largest city is one of the top 25 best places to live in the U.S., thanks to its affordable living, outdoor recreation, and sustainability initiatives. If you’re considering settling down in Grand Rapids, consider one of these safe, affordable neighborhoods!

Alger Heights

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  • Home Price: $136,233 median purchase price; $993 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 53% of Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Nestled in Southeast Grand Rapids, Alger Heights offers a tight-knit community that attracts residents of all ages! Not only does this Grand Rapids neighborhood offer beautiful Tudor and Cape Cod homes, but it’s also home to several local businesses along Eastern Ave SE that give it a “Main Street USA” feel. Residents can send their kids to great schools like Link Learning and Alger Middle School and have the benefit of being only 13 minutes from the downtown area!

Things to Do in Alger Heights

Have a picnic, play some tennis, or wander through one of the nature paths of MacKay-Jaycees Park. Check out your favorite book or get some work done at Grand Rapids Public Library-Seymour Branch. Get a few swings in at the driving range, challenge your buddies to a round, or join a weeknight golf league at Indian Trails Golf Course. Fill up on a hearty brunch of a Monster Omelet, Veggie Hash, or a Smoked Chicken Skillet from Real Food Cafe. Try chicken wings with 20 different hand-crafted sauces paired with sides like Fried Okra or Funnel Cake Fries at Wing Heaven. Get fresh catfish, shrimp, and frog legs at the Atlantic Fish Market. Chow down on made-from-scratch sandwiches like The Rhett Butler or the Emily Reuben at The Old Goat. Or clear your Wednesday evening schedules for Neighbor Night at Brass Ring Brewing, where you can get some original brews like the Wilde Irish Red Ale and Rock Steady Brown Ale.

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  • Home Price: $150,367 median purchase price; $1,077 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 78% of Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Just east of the Grand River, Creston in North Grand Rapids is known for its diverse culture, unique small businesses, and beautiful murals. As one the largest neighborhoods in Grand Rapids, Creston has an array of affordable housing options ranging from cottages and Craftman-style bungalows to townhouses and spacious apartments, so it won’t be hard to find the right home to settle down in! On top of that, families can find good schools in the neighborhood like All Saints Academy and City High Middle School.

Things to Do in Creston

Enjoy some family fun in Grand Rapids with bowling or billiards, or join a league for some friendly competition at Northfield Lanes. Fish or boat on the lake, or play a game of softball at tree-lined Riverside Park. Become a member at Kent Country Club, where you can golf a quick nine, play a game of pickleball, or swim a few laps at the pool. Dine on a Cheddar Bacon Melt, Tuna Melt, or Fishwich & Cheese at Choo Choo Grill. Try Sy’s Pot Pie, the Shroomer Omelette, or a Breakfast Sandwich at Lucy’s Cafe. Sink your teeth into a Chicken Alfredo Pizza, Stromboli, or Cajun Chicken Wrap from Vitale’s. Grab some bar grub and local brews like a Founder’s Red Rye IPA or Boddingtons Pub Ale at Graydon’s Crossing. Or order an ice cream cone with the Flavor of the Week at Too Tall’s – Tasty Treats.


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  • Home Price: $179,400 median purchase price; $538 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 63% of Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

East Grand Rapids has been growing in popularity for a while now—and Eastgate is no exception! Located just 12 minutes from Downtown Grand Rapids, this neighborhood offers affordable homes ranging from charming ranches to Cape Cod-style houses. Eastgate is also home to top schools like Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Grand Rapids Christian Middle School, and Mulick Park Elementary School, as well as a shopping center with a variety of stores and restaurants that can keep you busy on the weekends.

Things to Do in Eastgate

Visit Mulick Park in the winter, where you can find one of the best sledding hills in Grand Rapids. Enroll your kids in ballet, acro, hip hop, or jazz dance classes at Haus of Glass Dance. Soak up some sun and go for a swim at Heather Downs Community Pool. Get some shopping done at Jos A Bank, Lululemon, and Ann Taylor LOFT at the Breton Village Shopping Mall. Enjoy some espresso, an Acai Bowl, or a Goat Cheese Panini from Cafe de Miro! Start your day with a Ham & Cheese Croissant, or order a toasted Cuban sandwich or Italian Chopped Salad for lunch at Hall Street Bakery. Try mouth-watering food like House Lo Mein, Szechwan Shrimp, or Roast Pork Egg Foo Young at Grand Lakes Chinese Restaurant. Or grab a slice of made-to-order pizza, calzones, subs, or other Italian dishes in Grand Rapids from Andrea’s Pizza.


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  • Home Price: $248,925 median purchase price; $1,202 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 69% of Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Students, singles, young professionals, families

If you want to live close to downtown in one of the best places to live in Grand Rapids, check out Eastown! This neighborhood has Tudor, Colonial, and Victorian-style houses, as well as a central business hub along Lake Dr SE. There are plenty of fun things to do in Eastown, and the neighborhood is home to Aquinas College, both of which make it an ideal spot for young adults. Residents of Eastown have also been leading community outreach efforts to bring the neighborhood closer together through group activities like a community garden and the annual street fair.

Things to Do in Eastown

Expand your horizons with a cooking class from The Local Epicurean. Get crafty and create your own scented candles at Wax Poetic Candle Bar. Catch a production of Hair or Always…Patsy Cline or take some acting classes at Circle Theatre. Visit That Early Bird for vegetarian and vegan breakfast options like a Vegan Breakfast Burrito, Vegan GF Breakfast Cookie, or Overnight Soaked Oats. Stop by Yesterdog for a loaded hot dog like the Cheddardog, Krautdog, or a classic Yesterdog. Sample modern diner food like the Lox Platter, The Matchbox Burger, or Turkey Reuben at Matchbox Diner & Drinks. Treat yourself to some delicious Caribbean heat like Shrimp Gumbo, Potato Lasagna, and Creole Chicken at Chez Olga. Grab beers like a Daywalker, Fiddlestix, and Lovely Day IPA at Harmony Brewing Company.

Westside Connection

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  • Home Price: $169,860 median purchase price; $1,019 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 91% of Grand Rapids neighborhoods
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Westside Connection is a perfect neighborhood for anyone from young professionals to retirees! Located just ten minutes west of downtown Grand Rapids, this neighborhood provides easy access to the rest of the city via Lake Michigan Dr NW and I-196. Westside Connection also has good schools like Holy Spirit School and West Side Christian School, as well as ample employment opportunities for teachers. In addition, Westside Connection has a variety of housing options from budget-friendly apartments to large brick ranches!

Things to Do in Westside Connection

Take a stroll through paths to see some wildlife at Blandford Nature Center. Bike through three miles of trails, plant some trees, or take yoga classes at The Highlands. Introduce your pup to a new friend and have them run off some energy at Covell Dog Park. See animals from around the world like red pandas and ring-tailed lemurs at nearby John Ball Zoo. Start your day with a coffee and a variety of made-from-scratch donuts and other baked goods at Sandy’s Donuts. Grab a filling meal like a Philly Cheesesteak Skillet, Potato Pancakes, or a Corned Beef Reuben from Westsider Cafe. Check out Mr. Burger for some of the best burgers in Grand Rapids like the signature Mr. Burger, or grab a Gyro or Tuna Melt. Sample Latin dishes like Bistek A Caballo, Carne Asada, and Pickada from The Latin House. Or kick back with some craft beer and Wild Mushroom Mac at Westside Social American Tavern.


Moving to Grand Rapids? Extra Space Storage has self storage facilities throughout Grand Rapids that can make the moving process easier. Find a storage unit near you!

Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.