Buying and Owning a Home

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Are you a homeowner or starting the homebuying journey in Grand Rapids? Congratulations, we think you've chosen the best city!

Whether you’re just starting the homebuying process or you’ve already moved in, this webpage is for you. It’s filled with valuable information to help you learn about homebuying resources, what to do when you move in, and so much more.

This webpage includes programs offered by many different organizations as well as services provided through the City of Grand Rapids. We’re not responsible for many of these programs but want to share this helpful information with you.  

Homeownership Counseling

Homeownership counseling is a good way to prepare to buy a house. These counseling services are HUD or MSHDA approved to provide education and counseling to homebuyers.

* Please note that eligibility requirements and income guidelines vary by program.  A fee may be involved.   

Locating a Home

Need help searching for a home in Grand Rapids? Here are some places to start your search:

  • Grand Rapids Association of Realtors
    You can use the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors web site to locate a realtor. A list of properties for sale is also available. You can filter through options by price and location. 
  • Inner City Christian Federation
    ICCF builds and renovates single-family homes and townhomes for purchase by income-eligible households.
  • LINC Up
  • LINC builds and renovates single-family homes for purchase by income-eligible households.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Inc.
    Habitat for Humanity builds and rehabilitates homes throughout Kent County for purchase by income-qualified households.
  • New Development Corporation
    New Development Corporation develops homes for purchase by income-qualified households.
  • Westown Jubilee Housing, Inc.
    Westown Jubilee Housing rehabilitates homes on the West Side of Grand Rapids. They are sold to low income families. Homeownership education is also available.

Paying for Your Home

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

  • City of Grand Rapids Homebuyer Assistance Fund
    The Homebuyer Assistance Fund (HAF) program offers up to $7,500 for low- to moderate-income homebuyers. Buyers can use the money for down payment, closing costs, and prepaid expenses.
  • Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
    MSHDA offers programs that provide financial assitance for buying a home. Programs offered includes:
    - Down payment assistance
    - Low-interest mortgage loans
    - Financing for homes that require repair
  • Veterans Administration
    The Veterans Administration (VA) offers financing to veterans. These loans are low-interest, often with no down payment.

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 will 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 to 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.

About the Fund

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.

More Info


When you move into a home in Grand Rapids, you need to put the utilities in your name. 


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

Start Water/Sewer Services

Waste Services

We will help you with all your trash, recycle, and yard waste needs.


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


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 will also want to keep a positive account balance - we do not service accounts with an outstanding balance.

  • 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 Waste Services


Options, fees, and details

Your payment options vary based on the services you need to pay for. Fees also vary based on how you pay -- online, by phone, or in person.

Payment Options & Details


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

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 will charge a 10% late fee.

Water/Sewer Payments

Trash and Yard Waste

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. Remember, your cart will not be emptied if you have a $0 balance in your account.

Waste Services Payments

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

As a homeowner, you are responsible for paying taxes on your property. There are several ways you are able to pay your property taxes. Luckily, we offer a step-by-step guide for paying property taxes.

Pay Property Taxes

Property Tax Estimator

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

Use the Estimator

Summer Tax Deferment

Do you need more time to pay your summer taxes? You can apply to delay your tax due date.


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 disabled
  • Blind Person
  • An eligible Veteran, Service Member, or widow(er) of a Service Member/ Veteran

Apply for Deferment of Summer Taxes

Be in the Know

Explore all that your neighborhood has to offer through our “My Neighborhood” Map. All you need to do is enter your address!

Use My Neighborhood


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.

Find Something to Do

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.

Events & Activities

Home Renovations

You'll likely need a permit to do any of the renovations listed below

  • Adding on to your home
  • Adding a deck, pool, or shed
  • Installing 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 will need to make changes to your home. 

Planning and Permits for Home Renovation Projects

Talk to Your Lender

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

Call Home Repair Services of Kent County

If you are not able to work something out with your lender, or you do not understand your rights, 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


US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

The federal government provides information and links to other pages for ideas to avoid foreclosure, including how to work with your lender or housing counselor.

HUD Website

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