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Love Where You Live

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We all know that downtown Kalamazoo is a great place, but we went to an expert for more information about housing trends in the area. Thanks to Dan Jaqua, President of Jaqua Realtors, for the insight! Read about his experience and impressions below.

As a professional, full-time, ambassador to Southwest Michigan, I am excited that our community has reached the status as a "destination city." Why a destination? A university town, the craft beer industry, cultural amenities, phenomenal schools, recreational opportunities, etc. A single answer it is not, but collectively the reasons are compelling.

That being said, with the vibrant economy and affordable cost of living, we are seeing a number of people choosing Kalamazoo over other areas to relocate. We are privileged to have the opportunity to partner with many corporations and local companies to introduce their candidates to the Kalamazoo area.

Often times, the perception and the reality of Kalamazoo are drastically different. I get energized when a candidate comes for an interview or visit and we are able to completely change their idea of Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan.

We almost always hear "I can't believe everything this area has to offer, I had no idea!"

Working with so many young, relocating professionals, we have found some consistent trends. Downtown Kalamazoo living is very desirable; the demand exceeds the supply of units.

Many local residents are aware of this "hot market," but it is very surprising for people moving here!

We encourage people to stay downtown Kalamazoo and experience the unique shopping, great coffee, theater, restaurants, and nightlife when they visit to really get a taste of Kalamazoo's offerings. Through this experience, they often get excited about the area and decide to permanently reside downtown.

Many of these professionals are coming from larger cities and want the urban feel and convenience downtown offers. With occupancy at almost 100 percent, it can be difficult to accommodate all the interest. There have been some new options develop in the past few years, including Metropolitan Center, Corporation Hall Residential Lofts, and Lovell Square Apartments. We are also really excited for Peregrine Plaza to be completed.

Since the cost of housing in our area is so affordable, many people decide buying their first home is more practical than renting. Purchasing is still considered one of the best investments for an individual.

When asked what is important to them in a home, the answer is often a combination of convenience to work, amenities, nightlife, recreation, and community feel.

Living here, some of us take The Kalamazoo Promise or Western Michigan University's School of Medicine for granted, but this speaks volumes to our community support. A recurring theme from many of our clients who have relocated here and stayed is they love the "sense of community."

I would enjoy hearing your feedback on why you chose Kalamazoo! Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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