Homeownership

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Are you a new homeowner? Are you first time homeowner? Have you recently relocated to Grand Rapids? 
 
If you answered yes to any of these question, congratulations and/or welcome! You’re in the right place.

Being a homeowner can be an exciting journey. But, we know there are many questions that come along with this journey. Don’t worry—we’ve got your back! We’ll let you know about the resources that can help you through this process. Let’s get started!

There are many resources to help homeowners on their home ownership journey. We've listed some of these resources below.These resources are not offered through the City, and we are not affiliated with these groups. But, these resources can be very helpful for homeowners to know about. Check them out:

Homeownership Counseling

Homeownership counseling is a good way to prepare to buy a house. These counseling services are HUD or MSHDA approved. They'll give you in-depth guidance on this process.

  • Greenpath Financial Wellness
    This program offers you educational tools to help figureout the best financial path for purchasing your home.

Locating a Home

Need help searching for a home in Grand Rapids? Here’s a couple places to start your search:

Paying for Your Home

Here’s are programs that can help you pay for your new home:

Homeowner Maintenance/ Repair

Do you need assistance with home maintenance/repair? Here are resources that can help you:

 

Your Housing Rights

The Fair Housing Act Prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. In Michigan, state law provides additional protection for age and marital status. Grand Rapids also has local ordinances that expand coverage for sexual preference and legal and verifiable source of income.

If you believe your rights have been violated, contact one of the following agencies to file a complaint:

Fair Housing Center of West Michigan

The Fair Housing Center of West Michigan works to ensure equal housing opportunities. They'll look into complaints of housing discrimination. The agency will also work with victims of housing discrimination to ensure justice.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development investigates individual complaints of housing discrimination.

Dispute Resolution Center of West Michigan

The Dispute Resolution Center provides mediation services that helps resolve fair housing complaints.

Legal Aid of Western Michigan

Legal Aid of Western Michigan provides free legal services. These services are for non-criminal cases. You must be low-income and/or an elderly resident. Legal services may relate to home purchases, negotiations with repair contractors, utility shut-offs, evictions, lead paint hazards, foreclosures, and other housing issues.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights

The Department of Civil Rights works to prevent discrimination through educational problems. It investigates and resolves discrimination complaints.

 

 

The Homebuyer Assistance Fund (HAF) program offers up to $7,500 for low- and moderate-income homebuyers. Buyers can use the money for down payment, closing costs, and prepaid expenses.

 

For more information on the Homebuyer Assistance Fund, click here.

Get Your Utilities Connected

You’ll now need to get started on setting up utility services for your home. If you have a home that was previously owned, make sure to put the utilities in your name.

Water/Sewer
Let's get your water/sewer and waste services going for your home.

Click below for a step by step guide on setting up your water/sewer services for your home.

Sign-Up for New Water/Sewer Services

Waste Services
Do you need someone to take care of your trash removal? 
We'll help you with all your trash, recycle and yard waste needs. 

Here's a look at some of the Waste Services we provide:

Recycling - A free service with two cart sizes to choose from. The more you recycle the less you pay service.

Trash - A pay per collection service. We offer three different cart sizes (option below). You only pay when you use the cart. Keep in mind a smaller cart will work if you recycle often. You'll also want to keep a positive account balance - we don't service accounts with a balance below

  • 32 gallon cart - great for a single person. $3.05 per use
  • 64 gallon cart - ideal for a small to medium size family. $5.10 per use
  • 96 gallon cart - works for a large family that may not recycle $7.15 per use

Yard Waste - A pay per collection service with one cart size. This is a seasonal program that runs April through December

Request a Waste Service

Payments
Need to pay for your waste and water/sewer services? You can make a payment online through grpayit. We also have other payment options.

Pay for Water/Sewer Services 
The Water Department sends you a bill every 3 months. This is the amount you owe for the past 3 months of use. You can pay your bill in full or monthly. Your payments have to be posted to your account by the due date or we'll charge a 10% late fee.

Pay for Waste Services
Our Pay As You Throw refuse service lets you to pay for your trash collection in a way that works for you. You can choose to pay per week, per month, or for the entire year up front if you want. Remember, your cart won't be emptied if you have a $0 balance in your account.

Payment Options, Fees, and Details

Electric and Gas

The City of Grand Rapids offers utility services, but they don't include electricity or natural gas. You can search online for local gas and electric providers. They'll help you get these services started for your home.

Change Your Address with the United States Postal Service

Submit a Change of Address Order to the U. S. Postal Service. You can get this form by clicking here or at your local post office.

Pay Property Taxes

Pay Property Taxes
As a homeowner, you're responsible for paying taxes on your property. There are several ways you are able to pay your property taxes. For a step-by-step process on paying property taxes, click the link below.

Property Tax Estimator

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Want to calculate your estimated property taxes? Use our Tax Estimator tool to determine your summer, winter and yearly tax rates and amounts.

Apply for Deferment of Summer Taxes
Do you need more time to pay your summer taxes? You can apply to delay your tax due date.

Make sure you qualify for a property tax deferment:

Both of these must apply to you:

  • Your income must be under $40,000 for the whole household
  • This parcel (address) is your Principal Residence (you must live there)

And one of the following must apply to you:

  • Senior Citizen (Over 62 years of age)
  • Paraplegic or Quadriplegic
  • Total and permanently disable
  • Blind Person
  • An eligible Veteran, Service Member, or widow(er) of a Service Member/ Veteran

 

Are you new to the City? Did you recently move to a new neighborhood? Looking for ways to get involved with your community?

Explore all that your neighborhood has to offer through our “My Neighborhood” Map.
All you need to do is enter your address! Click here for more instructions on how to use the “My Neighborhood” map.

my neighborhood preview  

Go to My Neighborhood

Here’s a look at some of what the map has to offer:

  • Look Up Trash and Recycling Pickup Dates
    Need to know when your City trash and recycling carts are picked up? You can use My Neighborhood to look up your next collection dates.
  • Look Up City Commissioners by Address

    Wondering who represents you on the City Commission? You can use the My Neighborhood page to look up who your commissioners are.

  • Find Nearby Events

    Looking for something to do? You can use the My Neighborhood page to find events near you.

  • Find Nearby Parks
    Looking to spend some time outdoors? You can use the My Neighborhood page to find City parks near you.
  • Find Nearby Libraries
    Looking for libraries in the Grand Rapids area? You can use the My Neighborhood page to find libraries near you.

Looking for something to do in your neighborhood? We have year-round activities and entertainment options for all Grand Rapids residents and visitors to enjoy. Browse through our upcoming events to find something fun to do! Visit our Event & Activities page and use the Search Events section to search events by neighborhoodSee what your neighborhood has to offer.

Go to Events & Activities

Home Renovations

Are you looking to add on to your home? Thinking about adding a deck, pool, or shed to your backyard? Want to install drywall as part of remodeling a room or finishing a basement? Home renovations big and small often need a permit if you're adding or modifying walls, wiring, piping ductwork or HVAC equipment. Permits are required for occupied structures, like homes, as well as unoccupied structures like garages and sheds.

We made a home renovation guide. It shows you what kind of permits and instructions you'll need to make changes to your home. 

Planning and Permits for Home Renovation Projects

Are you having a financial crisis and can't make your mortgage payment? You do have some options.

Talk to Your Lender

As soon as you know you will not be able to make your payment, contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible. See if you can work something out. If you have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM), talk with your counselor to adjust your rate. 

 

Call Home Repair Services of Kent County

Were you not able to work something out with your lender? Call Home Repair Services of Kent County.
They are the first point of contact for foreclosure assistance.  Home Repair Services is a nonprofit agency. Talking with their housing specialists is free.  They will talk with you about your situation and tell you what resources may be available to help you.

Home Repair Services of Kent County
1100 South Division Avenue
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
(616) 241-2601

 

If you would like to learn more about foreclosure matters, check out these sites:


Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
The State of Michigan provides information about homeownership. This includes an overview of the foreclosure process. They'll also give tips to help you keep your home, manage your credit, and prioritize your debt.

MSHDA’s program, Step Forward Michigan, has three different ways it can assist:
  • Unemployment Mortgage Subsidy
    Unemployment homeowners may be eligible to receive assistance with paying their mortgage. You'll receive 50% of monthly mortgage payments (up to $750 per month) for a maximum of 12 months.  Eligible homeowners may also qualify for up to $3,000 for an existing mortgage delinquency.
  • Mortgage Loan Rescue
    Homeowners may apply for loans up to $10,000 towards delinquent mortgage payments. This will allow normal payments to resume.
  • Principal Curtailment
    This assistance provides funds up to $10,000 for mortgage payments.

Community Foreclosure Response Toolkit
This toolkit assists you to respond to foreclosure crisis. The toolkit has resources for mortgage and tax foreclosure prevention.

The federal government provides information  to avoid foreclosure.