Links of Interest
Scroll over the titles to access the hyperlinks for the individual web pages. As you can see, most of these links are related to the West Michigan area. If you know of any great web resources, please e-mail me a link and I will consider including it on this page.
Area Information (General & Government)
The Right Place – A regional economic development organization headquartered in Grand Rapids. According to their website, "Its mission is to promote economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and technology in Greater Grand Rapids by developing jobs through leading business retention, expansion, and attraction efforts." They have a dedicated research staff and are a great source of area information.
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce (GRACC) – Our local chamber sponsors a number of programs designed to promote and support small business in the area.
Access Kent – The official website for Kent County, Michigan (Grand Rapids is located in Kent County). Their Online Services section is very useful.
Michigan Local Governments – Web links to every county, city, township, village and governmental unit in Michigan. Map links too.
GRCVB – The web site of the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Good resource for area information, especially for visitors.
Michigan Business Entity Lookup – Type in a Michigan-based corporation or partnership name and get information such as names and addresses, date established, and signatures.
Mlive – The on-line resource for several Michigan newspapers – the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle and Saginaw News.
Area Real Estate Resources
CAR-WM – The commercial arm of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors. The public (non-member) side of this web site allows you to search for commercial properties for sale or lease in West Michigan and beyond. See my discussion regarding how this should be used.
BOMA West Michigan – BOMA stands for Building Owners and Managers Association; this is the west Michigan chapter website. They do a comprehensive office market survey in the area going back to 2000, and all but the most recent year are available free of charge.
Regional Graphic Information System (REGIS) - A tremendous on-line real estate resource, which is free of charge. Includes area photos, tax parcel boundaries, zoning, land use and maps.
Other Useful Internet Tools
Google Earth – For those of you who have been living on a deserted island for the past several years..... check out this free mapping tool. Now THIS is what the internet is supposed to do for us. Incredibly useful as a research tool (although some of the aerial photos are low-resolution) and also just plain fun to look at. Try the Grand Canyon tour or the street-level photographs.
Bing Maps – Not to be outdone, Bill Gates has produced another tool designed to mimic (and eventually smother) the competition – in this case, Google Earth. However, this is worth a look if nothing else for the "Bird's Eye" views. They don't have them yet for all parts of the country, but they appear to be available for most populated areas. It gives you a close-in aerial view from all 4 directions, kind of like having a helicopter with a photographer in it on call.
ZoomInfo – A useful research tool if you have a person's name and want to find out where they work. The information is assembled from current and historical internet sources.
McAfee Virus Hoaxes , Truth or Fiction and Snopes – Admittedly a pet peeve of mine and completely unrelated to West Michigan real estate. We all get those forwarded e-mails from friends on occasion warning us to avoid opening a certain e-mail attachment or promising a financial windfall if we forward it to 10 friends. Please promise me that you will never click "forward" again without checking these three sites first. I have yet to find a forwarded warning that was legitimate.