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Old 12-10-2015, 12:27 AM
 
52 posts, read 36,591 times
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Hi All! I have gone back and forth in this for the past year and still I can't decide!
Iowa has friendlier people (IMO) but the weather looks way colder and more windy (don't know if
I will be able to drive in that without having a lot of anxiety). I just can't decide...
I am looking at suburbs with good schools. In ohio: Powell and in iowa: waukee or ankeney.
What do y'all think?
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:20 AM
 
Location: MetroWest Boston
316 posts, read 223,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestforme View Post
Hi All! I have gone back and forth in this for the past year and still I can't decide!
Iowa has friendlier people (IMO) but the weather looks way colder and more windy (don't know if
I will be able to drive in that without having a lot of anxiety). I just can't decide...
I am looking at suburbs with good schools. In ohio: Powell and in iowa: waukee or ankeney.
What do y'all think?
I believe that, in general, people are nice everywhere. Some areas just have a different culture/personality/mindset than others (generally speaking of course), and aren't as open or upfront initially.

Both seem to be good areas, so IMO it really comes down to job opportunity, pay vs. cost of living, what type of culture you prefer, etc.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Iowa, USA
338 posts, read 200,506 times
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You might try posting about this in City vs City.

BTW, I don't think that the winter driving conditions would be drastically different between the two places.
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Old 12-10-2015, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,586 posts, read 4,512,946 times
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I lived in Columbus for 17 years and just moved out here two years ago. I'm from MI, originally.

Briefly:

Des Moines (Pros)

- much better air quality! (no ozone alerts in the summer)
- less traffic
- more conservative / evangelical folks (and others, too!) But that was a pro for me
- lower taxes (understand how city taxes work in Cols before you move. If you live in Cols but work in Dublin or Delaware or Powell, there's tax implications -- try very hard to live in the same city where you work. Don't let anyone talk out out of that! IA doesn't have that BS)
- more snow (less ice, esp. black ice)
- more sunshine (no more SAD!)
- better quality of life for me (I'm in my 50s and tired of the college vibe)
- lively downtown after dark
- less crime
- good hospitals close by

In short, if I were a 20-something liberal, I probably would like Columbus/Iowa City a lot better, but as a 50-something conservative, I like it better here.

Columbus (Pros)

- excellent shopping (Polaris Mall outdoes Iowa malls, period)
- within 2 hours of Lake Erie Islands
- some job sectors (like health) doing really well
- good hospitals close by
- tons of ethic restaurants (by OSU campus)
- OSU campus events
- good bus system
- lots of resources for those with economic hardships (tax-payer funded)
- diverse communities

Honestly, there's a lot to like in both areas.

Added: Winter driving

Ohio = ice and black ice and March & Nov can be scary on the roads. The hospital curve on Rt. 315 ices up a lot, even with the pavement sensors and such. Snow removal is a joke in Columbus. Some years there is very little, but the ice and endless freeze-thaw cycles from Dec - Feb make walking outside for exercise highly difficult. Driving -- the resources are thrown into the freeways, so those will usually be passable, even in the worst muck.

Iowa = snow and blizzards. The good thing: they SHUT down the freeways when it gets too bad, and that needed to be done more often in Ohio than it was. There is much less ice here and wall-to-wall sunshine vs. 19 days of endless gray in the Great Lakes area. Honestly, my first winter out here, no SAD and it hasn't returned. Yes, it's cold. Yes, you have to dress for it, but the air quality is great, and it doesn't snow as much as farther north in MN.


Longer term, I have some doubts about Ohio's economy. There's the bright picture they paint and the reality. I'm still sending money back to some of my older friends in Columbus who are either still jobless or only have one of those part-time gigs of less than 30 hours so their employer doesn't have to pay insurance. But then, there are others who are doing quite well. There is a large gap between "haves" and "have-nots." Less so in Iowa. There's a larger middle class here.

Good luck with whatever you decide!

Last edited by Meemur; 12-10-2015 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Iowa, USA
338 posts, read 200,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post

In short, if I were a 20-something liberal, I probably would like Columbus/Iowa City a lot better, but as a 50-something conservative, I like it better here.
Was this intentional? Are Columbus and Iowa City that much alike? (I've never been to Columbus).
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Old 12-10-2015, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scatteredthunder View Post
Was this intentional? Are Columbus and Iowa City that much alike? (I've never been to Columbus).
Iowa City is much smaller, but the "campus vibe" is very, very similar. The same people who live around OSU could be transported to Iowa City and there would be no differences. Clintonville is Coralville East (and that includes the Section 8 folks, only they are from Chicago out here).

Once one gets away from OSU, the vibe changes. But Italian Village, German Village . . .still very liberal and good places for progressive 30-somethings.

Upper Arlington - Old Worthington are like West Des Moines. Dublin = Clive/Waukee. Ankeny is sort of Westerville North with a lot of Lewis Center thrown in.

Last edited by Meemur; 12-10-2015 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:39 AM
 
52 posts, read 36,591 times
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Thank you everyone especially Meemur! Meemur thank you thank you thank you! I have been leaning towards Iowa but the winter driving situation would literally been a deal breaker for me. I was so glad that you explained that there was more black ice in ohio than in iowa, despite the lower temps. I have done extensive research and that is one of those things that you just can't gather through weather map research. And the black ice is really the most important thing to consider. So since iowa has less black ice, I think you have just helped me make my mind up after all this time. thank you!

Also your tax advice is invaluable. Fyi- if it helps anyone out I found out some interesting facts.

Keep in mind that these numbers are specific to certain cities, certain incomes, etc. so they will vary
Depending on your specific situation. But I thought it might be helpful to present an overall picture.

1. Regarding taxation of Social Security benefits:
Iowa: starting 2015, iowa no longer places any additional taxes on your ss income (as they have in the past). Over the past several years they have had a sliding scale until finally this year-no more additional).
Ohio: no additional taxation either.

2. Sales tax: Ohio 7.5%, iowa 6.0%

3. Gasoline tax: iowa .21, ohio .28

4. Income tax: iowa: 6.8%- 7.9%, Ohio: 3.7%
Meemur, you said that your taxes are lower in iowa- I am wondering how this can be with such a drastic difference in income tax rates? I assume it has something to do with living and working in a different city in ohio? Is the tax structure such that it penalizes you that severely - even doubling your income tax?

5. I priced my medical insurance in both areas and it was slightly lower (about 10%) in ohio. Plus in general, ohio has more plans and companies to choose from. Also in Ohio, you have access to more options for the best healthcare in the country (according to us news and world reports) Cleveland clinic, childrens hospital in Columbus, etc.

6. I compared property taxes on houses in waukee vs powell, ohio and in general property taxes were lower in iowa (by about 20% or so.)

So, I assume if you look at the cost of living index posted on city data for each city, it probably takes into account most of these factors. I just thought it is interesting to break it out by category. Overall: Cost of living index: ankeny: 92; waukee: 92;Powell ohio:103

Also in general, according to greatschools, both powell and waukee or ankeny have many 10 rated options. It is interesting though if you look at the ratings on a national level, powell scores much higher than waukee or ankeny(Powell high school rated #200 nations vs around #2000 nationally for several waukee/ankeny high schools). I think it is out of around 35,000 schools? Although all areas are great so powell being a little more great than just great is fine with me. Plus, on a personal note, I feel one's character is more important than ones scholastic achievements (although balance could be a good goal.)

Also, according to city data, crime is less in powell than in ankeny or waukee. All are very safe places though.

Random Side notes: It looks like there are a lot more trees and greenery in Powell, ohio (so your yard is more beautiful, that provides more privacy from your neighbors and is a nice wind break.) It seems to be a lot windier in iowa also. Also air quality in iowa is about average and air quality in ohio is worse than average.

I do wonder about the environmental impact of pork farming though with iowa if anyone has any input since 30% of the us pork comes from iowa.

Again thank you Meemur for your time! You have given me so many good points to think about.

Last edited by Midwestforme; 12-11-2015 at 02:14 AM..
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Old 12-11-2015, 01:56 AM
 
52 posts, read 36,591 times
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So quick summary based on my personal analysis based on powell, ohio vs waukee or ankeny, iowa.

Income tax: Winner ohio based purely on income tax rates but I am still confused on this one based in meemurs comments on huge tax penalties for living and working in different areas. So winner= ?
Social security tAxes: winner both
Medical premiums: Winner ohio
Medical Access to top facilities: winner Ohio
People/culture: winner iowa
Property taxes: winner iowa
Housing cost: winner iowa
Weather: winner- it's a draw
Schools: winner ohio
Crime: winner ohio
Sales tax: winner iowa
Gas tax: winner iowa
Trees/greenery: winner ohio

My heart tells me iowa but my mind tells me ohio.

Last edited by Midwestforme; 12-11-2015 at 02:10 AM..
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,586 posts, read 4,512,946 times
Reputation: 7926
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestforme View Post
My heart tells me iowa but my mind tells me ohio.
You really need to spend some time in both, doing boots on the ground research. Internet research only goes so far.

As for property taxes, Columbus jacked mine up sky high. I lost my appeal, so that was part of my decision to move. I'm not made of money.

You could spend some time reading both the "Columbus Dispatch" and the "Des Moines Register," as well as watching the news.

Both NBC stations stream the broadcasts. You gather tidbits that you won't see on CD or other web sites. Keep in mind that "If it bleeds, it leads." Thus, the horrific stories will be first up. Look beyond those into what the city council is doing, what businesses are thinking about moving in, what the tax problems are.

If you're really nit-picky, attend some city council meetings in both cities. I didn't go that far, but I did spend a week streaming the local news casts here.

Good luck with your decision!
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,307,535 times
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Quote:
Random Side notes: It looks like there are a lot more trees and greenery in Powell, ohio (so your yard is more beautiful, that provides more privacy from your neighbors and is a nice wind break.)
To be fair, you have plenty of options for that in Des Moines metro but you are limiting your opportunities to find such neighborhoods if you are focusing on newer suburbs where neighborhoods where built upon flatlands that were previously cornfields.

I’m a big fan of mature trees and do not like wide open wind whipped neighborhoods. Because of that, many of the neighborhoods in the cities you’ve listed, e.g….Waukee or Ankeny…I’d personally rule out because of that. We spend a lot of time on our patio and deck and grilling out so I enjoy the protection our neighborhood (in Des Moines proper) gives us because we are surrounded by large mature Oak trees and sitting a bit lower in a small river valley.

My point: The lack of trees/greenery doesn’t have to be a knock on Iowa…but yes, it will be an issue if you focus solely on much of suburban Iowa.
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