Tag: Grand Rapids

The Top 10 Largest Employers in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Top Employers in Grand Rapids, MIList of Top Employers in Grand Rapids, MI

Combined, the top 10 largest employers in Grand Rapids employ over 66,000 people. These companies are involved in various industries which include healthcare, grocery, shopping, consumer goods, manufacturing, technology, automotive, education, and furniture. In fact, Grand Rapids is known by many as “Furniture City” because it is home to many leading furniture manufacturing companies. These companies and many more help with Grand Rapid’s strong economy and low unemployment rates. Grand Rapids and West Michigan is a very attractive location to relocate to, especially for those interested in finding a long-term career with great pay and benefits.

Related Article: 10 Reasons to Move to Grand Rapids, MI

1. Spectrum Health

Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI

Employees: 25,000

Spectrum Health is the largest employer in Grand Rapids and also the largest in the entire West Michigan. Spectrum Health is made up of hospital, treatment facilities, clinics, and urgent care facilities that provide excellent healthcare services to the residents of West Michigan.

 2. Meijer

Headquarters: Walker, MI

Employees: 10,340

Meijer is a large supermarket and hypermarket which offers many products and services that allowing customers to satisfy majority of their shopping needs at one location. Now a large regional supermarket, Meijer’s headquarters is based in Grand Rapids, MI.

3. Mercy General Health Partners

Headquarters: Muskegon, MI

Employees: 6,200

Mercy General Health Partners is a healthcare provider large throughout Muskegon & Kent Counties. It is a general medical hospital working to provide valuable health care to those residing in West Michigan.

4. Amway Corporation

Headquarters: Ada, MI

Employees: 4,000

Amway Corporation is a international consumer to consumer sales company selling mainly in the health, beauty and home care products. This

5. Gentex Corporation 

Headquarters: Zeeland, MI

Employees: 3,900

Gentex is a large manufacturing company specializing in glass products for the Automotive and Aviation markets.

6. Perrigo

Headquarters: Allegan, MI

Employees: 3,800

Perrigo is a manufacturer of over-the-counter and generic prescription medication, and other healthcare products that can be found in store across the world.

7. Herman Miller

Headquarters: Zeeland, MI

Employees: 3,621

Herman Miller is a manufacturer of furniture and equipment. It is one of the first companies to produce furniture with a modernist style.

8. Steelcase

Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI

Employees: 3,500

Steelcase  is a large furniture manufacturer, it develops a wide range of different products and services for diverse businesses and workplaces.

9. Grand Valley State University

Headquarters: Grand Rapids/Allendale, MI

Employees: 3,306

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is a large public university with two main campuses in Allendale and Grand Rapids. The college has over 25,000 students and is consistently recognized as one of the best universities in the United States.

10. Lacks Enterprises, Inc.

Headquarters: Grand Rapids, MI

Employees: 2,800

Lacks Enterprises, Inc. is a large manufacturer for the Automotive Market that specializes in plastic finish products.

Rounding Out the Top 20 Employers in Grand Rapids, MI

Other large employed in the area include, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Farmers Insurance Group, SpartanNash, Gordon Food Service, Magna International Inc, Metro Health Hospital, Ventra, Alcoa Howmet Corp., Fifth Third Bank and Priority Health.

For more information on the top employers in Grand Rapids and West Michigan please visit: https://www.grandrapids.org/ and https://www.rightplace.org/data-center/workforce

Moving to Grand Rapids or West Michigan? Send us a Message

With the thriving economy in Grand Rapids, MI you may be looking to call this place home. Riverbank Finance specializes in relocation loans and can assist you to buy a home in Grand Rapids. For more information on a local mortgage company in Grand Rapids, MI send us a message and we would be glad to assist you!

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Use Your Tax Refund as a Down Payment on a Home

Use Your Tax Refund as a Down Payment on a Home

One of the biggest roadblocks to homeownership for prospective first time homebuyers is the down payment. Given the cost of rent, utilities, student loan debt, and many other expenses, it is hard to save up thousands of dollars for a down payment. Some first time homebuyers are able to receive a downpayment gift from a family member, but not everyone is so fortunate. How then, can a prospective homebuyer purchase a home? Enter, tax season. The time of year every American loves to hate.

How Can my Tax Refund Help me Purchase a Home?

Whether you’re receiving six-hundred or six-thousand dollars in this year’s refund, it could mean the difference between renewing your lease or becoming a homeowner. If you’re leaning toward the latter, deposit your tax refund in your bank account and consult a loan officer about what to do next. Whatever you do, DON’T spend it, move it, or withdraw it in cash. Below are some examples of what you could do with it:

  • Add it to your reserves
  • Pay off debts to reduce DTI and increase chances of qualifying
  • Pay down credit card balances to raise credit scores
  • Pay for loan closing costs
  • Put toward your down payment
  • Create an emergency home repair fund

Be sure to discuss these options and others with your loan officer before making any major decisions with your refund. Each borrower’s situation is different—sometimes it is better to pay off a debt to qualify, while others would be better off with a larger down payment.

Mortgage Programs with Low to No Down Payment

  • VA – no down payment
  • USDA – no down payment
  • FHA – as little as 3.5% down payment
  • Conventional – as little as 3% down payment

Related: Purchase a home with zero down payment 

The National Association of Realtors reported a median sales price of $232,200 in 2016. The required down payment on this home would be $8,127 with an FHA loan, but zero with a VA or USDA loan. If you choose to pursue conventional financing, you’ll need $6,966 for 3% down, $11,610 for 5% down, $23,220 for 10% down, or $46,440 for 20%.

What if my refund isn’t enough?

Given the increases in home values and interest rates in recent years, a tax refund may no be enough to rely solely on for a down payment on a home. If this sounds like your situation, do not give up! Speak to one of our loan officers, who will gladly help you create a strategic plan for getting pre-approved and purchasing when the time comes.

Get More Information

To apply for a Mortgage or Refinance call Riverbank Finance today at 1-800-555-2098.

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7 Mortgage Myths Debunked

7 Mortgage Myths Debunked

It is no secret that the home buying process is a long and complicated one. Getting started can be intimidating and confusing, so we’ve compiled a list of common mortgage myths we hear from our clients. Here, we’ll break them down and explain the truth about mortgages, in plain English.

1. Having my credit pulled will drop my credit score

Many prospective buyers are hesitant about having their credit pulled because they fear it will destroy their score, but it has far less affect than you’d think. Having your credit pulled for any reason may have an impact on your overall score, but it is usually very minor.

Did you know, you actually have many different types of credit scores? Depending on who accesses your credit report, from which bureau, and for what purpose, a different scoring model is reported. Mortgage inquiries are treated differently than other credit inquiries because you can shop around for the best rate and terms. The credit bureaus do not penalize consumers for rate shopping, so any mortgage inquiries that happen within the same 45 days are treated as only 1 inquiry on your credit report.

2. Credit Karma says my score is…

Popular sites like Credit Karma and Free Credit Report are great tools for monitoring trends in your credit report, but are simply not reliable sources for determining credit eligibility. We’ve compared Credit Karma’s “scores” to actual scores we’ve pulled, and seen as much as a 100-point swing in either direction—whoa!

Don’t necessarily trust information you obtain from these websites—talk to a mortgage loan officer! In addition to providing you with an accurate credit rating, your loan officer can provide insight into what factors may be affecting your score, and what you can do to improve it.

3. I haven’t been at my job for 2 years yet

If you haven’t been in your current job or position for the last two years, don’t worry! As long as you have had continuous employment for the last two years, you’ll still qualify. Any gaps in employment will have to be detailed with a signed letter of explanation, but do not necessarily doom your chances of being pre-approved.

4. I need to payoff and close out my credit cards first

For some unknown reason, many of our clients believe they should have all other debts paid off before buying a home. While this is a noble idea and paying off debt is rarely—if ever—a bad idea, closing revolving accounts will actually do more harm than good! Pay off—or pay down—as many accounts as you can, but do not close out your credit cards. Having unutilized credit positively affects your credit score and your borrowing profile!

5. I don’t have the funds for a down payment

It is a common misconception that borrowers must have 20% to put down on any home that they want to purchase—not to mention closing costs—but that simply isn’t true anymore. There are many mortgage programs available today that did not exist a decade ago. For example, the FHA now offers mortgages with as little as 3.5% down, and both USDA and VA offer programs with no down payment at all!

6. Owning is more expensive than renting

It is almost always cheaper to pay a mortgage than rent a comparable home in the same area. Owning a home also allows you to build equity. When your lease ends on your apartment, you are welcome to leave, but the rent you paid is long gone. Buying a place of your own allows you to build your own wealth over time, not your landlord’s.

7. My bank will give me the best deal

Many borrowers, when thinking of purchasing a home, start with their trusted bank or credit union first. It makes sense, right? They know you, you’ve banked with them for years, they already have all of your personal information, it should be easy peasy, right? Wrong! Loan guidelines are the same for everyone, no matter which bank or lender originates the loan. Your bank won’t be able to cut you any special breaks or give you an extra low rate, just because you’ve been a member for a while—even if they want to!

Get More Information

To apply for a Mortgage or Refinance call Riverbank Finance today at 1-800-555-2098.

Request Information Now!

Top West Michigan Sporting Events

GR sports and top west michigan sporting events.Sports events are amount the top things to do in West Michigan. The city of Grand Rapids and its surrounding suburbs host an array of events and games the residents love and enjoy. Many of the sporting events draw thousands of tourist and visitors each year. Here are just 5 of the top sporting events to consider attending if you are ever in West Michigan.

West Michigan Whitecaps

When the weather warms up it is the perfect time to attend a baseball game in West Michigan. The Whitecaps are an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers (MLB). Their home games are played in the city of Comstock Park, a nearby suburb of Grand Rapids at Fifth Third Ballpark. The team has raked in an amazing five league titles in 1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, and 2007.  The games have an exciting environment, great food, and excellent baseball.

Grand Rapids Griffins

In the winter a Griffins game is the place to be in Grand Rapids. The Griffins are also an affiliate of a Detroit professional sports team, the Detroit Red Wings (NHL). The Griffins take place in the vibrant downtown area of Grand Rapids at the Van Andel Arena. The team has won numerous regular season championships, division championships, conference championships, and recently a Calder Cup. The games not only offer great hockey but also wonderful food and beer.

Grand Valley State University Lakers (Football)

The GVSU Lakers are a well-known and well respected powerhouse of sports teams competing at the NCAA Division II conference level. The games are played in Lubbers Stadium in the town of Allendale with a stadium capacity of almost 11,000 people. Because of the popular of the games the capacity has the tendency to exceed 11,000 by a large amount. The team has won four national titles, two of which came back-to-back in the 2005 and 2006 seasons where the team also went undefeated.  The Lakers overall winning percentage is at an outstanding 0.729 which is fourth for all teams in the entire NCAA football divisions. Lakers games are exciting, thrilling, and electrifying, offering exhilarating entertainment for those who attend.

Fifth Third Riverbank Run

The Fifth Third Riverbank Run is a large road running race put on by Fifth Third Bank. The race takes place in Grand Rapids and it draws over 20,000 participants that not only come from West Michigan but also from all over the world. Its distances are 5K, 10K, and 25K. In fact, the race has the largest 25K road race in the United States. The races are great for people of all age groups who enjoy running and staying fit.

The Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon

The Grand Rapids Marathon markets itself as a set of races established for runners by runners while using “celebrity pace” times to increase the excitement.  Some of the pace times include George W. Bush’s 3:44, Oprah Winfrey’s 4:29, Will Ferrell’s 3:56,  and P. Diddy’s 4:14. The races include events for children, marathon relay, fitness expo, 5k, 10K, and of course the main event marathon. The race takes runners on a great route through downtown Grand Rapids and even the beautiful beach of Millennium Park. Because the races are fast course and they can help qualify participants for the world famous Boston Marathon. If running is a hobby of yours or an interest this event is a great opportunity to get some exercise while having fun.

Moving to Grand Rapids or West Michigan? Send us a Message

Living in West Michigan gives residents many sporting events that are great experiences for family, friends, and associates. If you are interested in moving to Grand Rapids or West Michigan, or simply want more information on the Grand Rapids area, we would be glad to help with your relocation needs.

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10 Reasons to Move to Grand Rapids, Michigan

Downtown Grand Rapids River

Grand Rapids, Michigan is a city with a metro area of over a million people and is one of the most desired places to relocate in the world. The city is known as a great place for jobs, education, diversity, safety, and fun. The economy in the region is constantly growing and the real estate market is booming as many people from throughout the world are quickly moving to there in large numbers. There are plenty of reasons to relocate to this wonderful city but listed below are just 10.

A Great Place to Raise a Family

Grand Rapids was named the best city in the United States to raise a family by Forbes Magazine. They credit the ranking for the city’s affordable housing, outstanding education system, safety, affordability, and commuting.

Low Unemployment

The Grand Rapids metro area has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. The city is consistently listed as one of the best cities for finding employment. In fact, the city is also known as one of the happiest cities to work in. The high education of residents, diversity of industries, and the high demand of skilled workers makes the job search process much easier.

Low Cost of Living

The city is very affordable. Those who do not have a lot of money can still live comfortably. The low cost of living eases the stress on the residents while allowing them to save money and have extra for spending.

Low Crime Rate

It is one of the safest big cities in America. It is a community filled with people who look out for one another, the streets are safe, and the residents are friendly. The police and fire department work extremely hard to ensure that the city is well protected. Living in Grand Rapids will allow you to sleep better at night knowing the friends and family are in safe hands.

Excellent Education

Grand Rapids has an excellent education system from kindergarten to high school with many public and charter schools. The city also has many colleges, their largest being Grand Valley State University, a public university constantly ranked as one of the top colleges in the country. If you are searching for great schools for you and your family, Grand Rapids is the place to look.

Lots of Diversity

Grand Rapids is home to many different cultures, religions, races, colors, and arts. There are plenty of diverse neighborhoods that would be perfect for the different age groups and ethnicities. The city welcomes and embraces diversity. The city is also the host of ArtPrize which is the largest art competition in the world.

The Beer Capital

If you are a beer lover Grand Rapids may be the place for you. It was recently named Beer City USA for the second year in a row. The city has many great bars, taverns, and breweries that you can have a great time at while enjoying a nice cold beer.

Beautiful Beaches

Grand Rapids is located near the west Michigan coastline which has beautiful sand beaches, stunning coastal sand dunes, and crystal clear waters. The Lake Michigan shoreline was ranked as one of the best in the entire world and it is a great place for sightseeing and spending quality time with friends and family

Great Location

The city is situated in west Michigan, a great diverse area located in between the two large cities of Chicago and Detroit. With these cities only a couple hours from Grand Rapids it allows residents to save a great amount of time when visiting these destinations.

Many Recreational Activities

Grand Rapids has a wide variety of natural resources that make it perfect for outdoor fun. Golfing, fishing, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, boating and hiking are all activities that residents are frequently involved in. If you are someone who enjoys being active with outdoor sports Grand Rapids is the place to be.

Send us a Message for more Information on Relocating to Grand Rapids

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