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Old 01-17-2017, 09:43 PM
 
72 posts, read 49,210 times
Reputation: 54

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Once bitten, twice shy... My family moved across the country a few years ago for a new job with a healthy raise. Searching from a distance on Realtor / Trulia / etc we thought we saw all kinds of nice, affordable houses that fit our criteria (3-4br/1.5+ ba, <50 years old) As it turned out, those listings were either bogus or in high crime areas, leaving us priced out of the housing market.

Now there's a possibility of relocating again for a job in WDM, but we simply don't trust our Internet research anymore to determine if the numbers work.

Will $160k buy a house somewhere within 10-15 miles of WDM that's large enough for a growing family (ideally 1300/1400sq ft or more) without landing us in a dodgy neighborhood, or would we jumping from the frying pan into the fire?
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,542,391 times
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It might be a bit more on the modest side, but I certainly would think so. W DM might have a few working class neighborhoods, but nothing that would qualify as rundown or high crime.
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Old 01-18-2017, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
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A lot of areas on the west side are going to be 200K+ (parts of WDM, Clive, Waukee), as well as north into Ankeny. Many parents seem willing to pay that so their children can attend the top schools.

If you will consider areas south and east, you can certainly find homes that fit your budget in safe neighborhoods, but some parents don't think the schools are as good.

I don't have children in school, so I'm not going to jump into that debate, but don't listen to anyone who tells you that *all* of the south and east side neighborhoods are sketchy. That's just not true, and if you live near the by-pass, you can get from the east side to WDM in about 10 - 12 minutes when the weather is favorable.
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Old 01-18-2017, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,542,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
A lot of areas on the west side are going to be 200K+ (parts of WDM, Clive, Waukee), as well as north into Ankeny. Many parents seem willing to pay that so their children can attend the top schools.

If you will consider areas south and east, you can certainly find homes that fit your budget in safe neighborhoods, but some parents don't think the schools are as good.

I don't have children in school, so I'm not going to jump into that debate, but don't listen to anyone who tells you that *all* of the south and east side neighborhoods are sketchy. That's just not true, and if you live near the by-pass, you can get from the east side to WDM in about 10 - 12 minutes when the weather is favorable.
Just to clarify, Meemur is referring to the metro here (i.e....north, south, east, west sides of the metro), not West Des Moines specifically.
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
65 posts, read 60,966 times
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You're not going to be looking at new construction at that price point, but there are definitely opportunities to be had, especially if you can make an offer before the spring buying season rolls around. The biggest hindrance in your search is wanting something less than 50 years old. A lot of the homes that check your other boxes are going to be built in the 1950's era.
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Old 01-18-2017, 02:43 PM
 
72 posts, read 49,210 times
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Okay, that sounds good. Fifty or fewer years old is not a hard line, 1950s era would be fine. We're just looking to avoid significantly older houses. (We used to live in an 1870s house which was gorgeous but littered with problems). Same with working class, we're blue collar people ourselves. We just want to be somewhere quiet where our kids can safely go to the playground and our cars are unlikely to be broken into/vandalized, etc.

So to be clear, it sounds like we'd be looking on Des Moines itself? Are there any smaller towns or more rural areas that might fit the bill?
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,542,391 times
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If you are working in West Des Moines - maybe Norwalk or Van Meter or Adel (although you'd be pushing past your 10-15 minute commute...depending on where your place of employment is located. ?
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Old 02-03-2017, 01:41 PM
 
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For that money you will either be in a townhouse or a 1 1/2 story house west of the Valley Junction area. Think east of 22nd street in West Des Moines.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:08 PM
 
72 posts, read 49,210 times
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Thanks! We've yet to travel up to Iowa, what's the reputation of that area?
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,980 posts, read 5,446,707 times
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IMHO the "worst" area is right around the fairgrounds, followed by several pockets in the Drake neighborhood, and lastly some pockets on and near 14th (aka Rt 69), both north and south of University Ave.

Some neighborhoods near the fairgrounds are undergoing renovation.

Valley Junction is very nice.
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