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Old 11-21-2016, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Palm Springs
2 posts, read 2,173 times
Reputation: 10

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G'Day everyone,

This forum is a great resource of information, I've been reading now for a couple of months while looking for a place to settle.

My wife and I are from Australia, early and mid 30s. Wife is a US citizen by birth and I'm currently in the process of obtaining my greencard. We are renting a place in Palm Springs CA as she has family close by until I get my greencard (hopefully by end of Jan, 17). I'm a plumber by trade, though quite handy when it comes to anything hands on. My wife has been a legal secretary at a major Aus law firm and a travel agent.

Work wise we would be looking at starting a business, maybe in real estate and or housing renovations. But quite open to anything to make our new life work.

While here in CA we are researching places to settle, start our family and new traditions. We have narrowed down Iowa and Des Moines area in particular and can't wait to get out of the hustle and bustle of CA.

We are heading to spend a week mid december in Des Moines to get a feel for there and the greater areas including smaller towns/cities

We both prefer the quieter sort of lifestyle with good family and community values to put down some roots. In saying that we still like to get out and about. We are both fans of pretty much all sports, in particular baseball, and would like to be involved in these at a community level especially when we have our family started.

While not being big city people we value friendships and being social in communities.

I'd prefer to have an older style home in or around Des Moines area with maybe 1 acre+ land. We don't have issues with travelling as its what we're used to back in Australia. I think something around 40 mins seems like a good number to center of Des Moines. Initially we would be looking at renting for 6-12 months before buying.

Can anyone make some suggestions of towns or areas of Des Moines so we can check them out when we are there which meet some of the criteria above?

Thanks for reading and look forward to some replies
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:01 AM
 
387 posts, read 550,569 times
Reputation: 473
This probably belongs in the Des Moines sub-forum. They desperately need the action, too. There hasn't been a new post there in well over a week.
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Old 11-26-2016, 02:03 PM
 
517 posts, read 882,876 times
Reputation: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wozz View Post
G'Day everyone,

This forum is a great resource of information, I've been reading now for a couple of months while looking for a place to settle.

My wife and I are from Australia, early and mid 30s. Wife is a US citizen by birth and I'm currently in the process of obtaining my greencard. We are renting a place in Palm Springs CA as she has family close by until I get my greencard (hopefully by end of Jan, 17). I'm a plumber by trade, though quite handy when it comes to anything hands on. My wife has been a legal secretary at a major Aus law firm and a travel agent.

Work wise we would be looking at starting a business, maybe in real estate and or housing renovations. But quite open to anything to make our new life work.

While here in CA we are researching places to settle, start our family and new traditions. We have narrowed down Iowa and Des Moines area in particular and can't wait to get out of the hustle and bustle of CA.

We are heading to spend a week mid december in Des Moines to get a feel for there and the greater areas including smaller towns/cities

We both prefer the quieter sort of lifestyle with good family and community values to put down some roots. In saying that we still like to get out and about. We are both fans of pretty much all sports, in particular baseball, and would like to be involved in these at a community level especially when we have our family started.

While not being big city people we value friendships and being social in communities.

I'd prefer to have an older style home in or around Des Moines area with maybe 1 acre+ land. We don't have issues with travelling as its what we're used to back in Australia. I think something around 40 mins seems like a good number to center of Des Moines. Initially we would be looking at renting for 6-12 months before buying.

Can anyone make some suggestions of towns or areas of Des Moines so we can check them out when we are there which meet some of the criteria above?

Thanks for reading and look forward to some replies

Well since everyone seems to be too full of Turkey to respond, I will.

First, I have just transferred to Des Moines. I still haven't moved into my apartment. For a couple of weeks I stayed with relatives in Ames. We were on the southwest part of Ames and I drove to the industrial part of Urbandale. (Near the postal processing center, near the corner of 109th Street and Aurora Drive.) This took about 45 minutes if I caught the heavy traffic at the corner of the Interstates and Hwy 141.

There are a several towns between Ames and Des Moines that fit your criteria. There are more to the south but I haven't seen them yet. But, many of the towns have been over run with growth and cookie cutter subdivisions have popped up around the old town centers.

However, you can find what you are looking for in Grimes, Granger, Polk City, Ankeny and probably others and maybe better to the south, (Where I have not explored yet.)

Personally because of my situation I chose an apartment in an old mansion in the river bend area. This is a sketchy area on the river, (my back patio over looks the river.) and even here there are a lot of single women who feel safe to live there. Des Moines is a pretty proactive town. The have done a lot, and are still doing a lot revitalize the most interior suburbs.

So, I believe that the real estate you seek is available almost anywhere in almost all of the towns including inside Des Moines. I do not know about the schools, are the sense of community.

Good luck,
Qazulight
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Old 11-26-2016, 03:34 PM
 
6,156 posts, read 5,781,655 times
Reputation: 18898
Based on your wish for open spaces and a large lot, I'd suggest looking to the Southwest, South, or Southeast. As Quazu...said, the northern towns near I 80 and the I 35 corridor have become overpopulated cookiecutter burbs. Ankeny is vile! South is still pretty open, though, and the small towns are still small towns. And the southern belt road, 65/5, has much less traffic and is much less stressful to drive than the north side highways.

So, take a look anywhere inside the loop of Hwy 5 to the East, 92 to the South, and 169 to the West (although that may be too far west for you).

I always thought Van Meter was a cute town.

Last time I traveled it, 65 between Indianola and DM was pretty crowded because Indianola is a popular town that is something of a bedroom community, though it still maintains it's integrity as a functioning small town. I'd still suggest looking near Indianola.

Because you mentioned an interest in playing baseball, I strongly encourage you to look into playing with the historic baseball league of the Living History Farms, which is on the far west side of Urbandale. It's so fun to play and to watch! Here's a link about it: Historic Baseball - Living History Farms

And here's a link to the Iowa Cubs website: The Official Site of The Iowa Cubs | iowacubs.com Homepage I must confess, I'd never even heard of them, but then I don't follow professional sports. Looks like their stadium is on the south side of downtown. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pr...!4d-93.6158594 So maybe you want to expand your home search to the area between 235 to the north and 5 to the south.

Well, have fun looking! And with your job skills you should find work really easily.
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Old 11-26-2016, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,815,108 times
Reputation: 9693
I'll second looking near Indianola. Houses are also cheaper once you get out of Polk County.

I understand that you are used to really long drives, but you should have some experience commuting in January/February in Iowa before deciding to live in a rural area if you want to work in Des Moines. The department of transportation will shut down I-35 (there are gates that open and close) located on the on ramps if the weather gets too bad. December can be snowy, but lately we've been getting some of our worst weather later in the season.

This is February, 2014


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSCY-GXdm5I



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL7CNXFn0Y0

If you work at jobs where you can call off when the weather gets this bad, you'll be fine. If not, you may want to look more closely at the surrounding cities. People will say bad things about the east, but I think Altoona has a lot to offer.

I know lots of folks hate the cookie cutter houses in Ankeny, but there are older neighborhoods, too. I find there's a lot to like about Ankeny in the winter: everything I need is within five - seven miles, and it's a totally family-friendly community.

Here's a calendar of events for the Des Moines Metro:

https://www.catchdesmoines.com/events/

Last edited by Meemur; 11-26-2016 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:57 PM
 
9,411 posts, read 10,383,964 times
Reputation: 8537
Those You Tube videos don't show the worst of the winter. I've driven in far worse too many times to count
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Old 11-27-2016, 09:45 AM
 
129 posts, read 82,090 times
Reputation: 192
Random question after hearing about winter driving. Do they salt the roads in the DMS area?
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Old 11-27-2016, 10:59 PM
 
517 posts, read 882,876 times
Reputation: 544
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingaround12345 View Post
Random question after hearing about winter driving. Do they salt the roads in the DMS area?
Yes, the cars show it. Buy your used cars from Texas.

Cheers
Qazulight
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:37 AM
 
215 posts, read 205,380 times
Reputation: 468
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElleTea View Post
Those You Tube videos don't show the worst of the winter. I've driven in far worse too many times to count
It should be mentioned that there are crossing gates that are used to close the expressways in times of bad weather. They seem to be used a couple times a year. We have to be insane to live in a place like that.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Des Moines
73 posts, read 79,171 times
Reputation: 67
Areas to the west still have a lot of character too. Van Meter, Adel and DeSoto are all quite interesting small communities that meet the description of what you're looking for.
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