Kent County Real Estate
With over 600,000 residents and countless families arriving each year to take advantage of its humming business climate, Kent County is the largest and most economically-important county in western Michigan. The Grand Rapids metropolitan area, which occupies much of its southern half, is the second-largest urban agglomeration in the state and contains the most valuable Kent County real estate by far. In fact, the area's three major rivers and dozens of sizable lakes make the hundreds of beautiful southern Kent County wateront homes set on large, sloping properties are an important part of the local real estate mix.
Grand Rapids and the towns and cities that surround it host the bulk of Kent County's population. Several major corporations are headquartered in towns like Walker, Ada, and Grand Rapids itself. Amway, Meijer, Bissell Homecare, Spartan Stores and Gordon Food Service all call the area home, employing tens of thousands of people between them and supporting a market for Kent County MI real estate that has grown even as land values in other parts of the state have fallen. The Gerald R. Ford International Airport provides commercial flights to hundreds of major destinations around the world, lowering the costs of doing business locally and attracting plenty of tourists to the area as well.
Kent County is strategically located within a belt of low, forested hills less than half an hour's drive from the shores of Lake Michigan. There are several hilltops, especially in the county's northern reaches, from which it's possible to see miles' worth of the surrounding countryside. Rural Kent County MI real estate is popular with vacationers and second-home owners from Detroit and Chicago, although in recent years the local agricultural industry has enjoyed a resurgence thanks to a favorable lake-influenced micro-climate characterized by moister, milder winters and cooler summers. Local crops include corn, apples, cucumbers, grapes and pears, the bulk of which find their way to grocery stores around Michigan during the warmer months.
Most Kent County homes for sale were built between 1900 and 2000, although dozens of historical properties remain largely untouched thanks to aggressive historic-preservation efforts. The county has encouraged new development in outlying parts of the Grand Rapids area, including Sparta and Solon Townships. Lower land costs here have made this an attractive proposition for local home builders, who have constructed dozens of subdivisions within a 30-mile radius of Grand Rapids since 2000. Finding affordable residential Kent County MI real estate is thus easier than ever.
Despite its lack of direct Great Lakes frontage, Kent County enjoys one of the highest rates of boat ownership in the entire state thanks to its profusion of small inland lakes. The presence of the economic powerhouse that is Grand Rapids means that, unlike in other large Michigan counties, local residents can purchase Kent County wateront homes for use as their primary residences. With so many cultural and natural amenities within reach, it's clear that Kent County, Michigan is one of the Midwest's hottest places to live.