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Old 08-09-2018, 09:38 AM
 
16 posts, read 12,721 times
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We have 1 day to see Des Moines as a family. If hubby gets the job, he will be up there before us and get to see more before we move up. In the 1 day we have, what should we make sure to see? We aren't looking to do vacationy things. Just want to get a feel for the area. I know the state fair is in town, but we will probably skip it in an effort to save some money and see more.

Home prices are a little higher then we were expecting in the neighborhoods everyone seems to recommend, but something else I've noticed is people are not NOT recommending other neighborhoods, they are just saying, "These ones are better" We'd like to spend no more then 150K if at all possible to keep our home payments relatively the same as they are now. The reason for this is so that the increase my husband seens from his possible new job remains a true increase, and isn't just gobbled up in house payments. We'd like to use that money for savings and vacations. What do you think the best neighborhood would be that has homes at that prices in that area? By the time we possibly move we will be a family of 4, 2 adults, a tween, and a new born.

My tween is home schooled so if at all possible i'd love to get her into a home school group. She uses an online program, but would love the friendships.

Is the neighborhood near the zoo good or eh? My kid would love volunteering there. On that note, are their any other animal "hot spots" that a kid might be able to learn more and volunteer? Maybe the living farm??
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Des Moines
65 posts, read 60,966 times
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In the under $150,000 range, both the Merle Hay Neighborhood and the Beaverdale Neighborhood would be options to consider for single family homes. There are some options near the zoo as well, but you need to be aware those may be in a flight path from the airport runway, so there may be extra noise (some homes you can't notice it, others can be really noticeable every time a plane flies over).
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Old 08-09-2018, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,980 posts, read 5,446,707 times
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OP, I would suggest that you sign up on Realtor.com and make it a point to go drive by some of the areas that have housing in your price range. You don't have to see all of the houses in that area, just sample a few in places like Merle Hay, Beverdale, Capitol Heights. I will get crap about this, but I will recommend the east side in that price range. Just stay at least 1.5 miles (or more) away from the fairgrounds and live on one of the hilly streets and all will be well. If he is working downtown, he could live in the Fairmont neighborhood and be 3 - 4 minutes away from the I-235 bypass.

Be aware that there was some major flooding last month and keep that on your radar as you're looking at homes. Stay away from Fourmile Creek and Walnut Creek, and check the FEMA flood map before you sign a contract. Some realtors are clueless about the new FEMA flood plains, which require mandatory flood insurance, and that is the reason some homeowners are selling out, so do your research carefully.

Lastly, be careful in the south end of sink holes, due to old mines. It pays to know where those are.

Keep these warnings in mind but don't stress. There are some nice homes that don't have any of these problems.

Good luck with the interview!
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:15 PM
 
26,867 posts, read 38,123,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
OP, I would suggest that you sign up on Realtor.com and make it a point to go drive by some of the areas that have housing in your price range. You don't have to see all of the houses in that area, just sample a few in places like Merle Hay, Beverdale, Capitol Heights. I will get crap about this, but I will recommend the east side in that price range. Just stay at least 1.5 miles (or more) away from the fairgrounds and live on one of the hilly streets and all will be well. If he is working downtown, he could live in the Fairmont neighborhood and be 3 - 4 minutes away from the I-235 bypass.

Be aware that there was some major flooding last month and keep that on your radar as you're looking at homes. Stay away from Fourmile Creek and Walnut Creek, and check the FEMA flood map before you sign a contract. Some realtors are clueless about the new FEMA flood plains, which require mandatory flood insurance, and that is the reason some homeowners are selling out, so do your research carefully.

Lastly, be careful in the south end of sink holes, due to old mines. It pays to know where those are.

Keep these warnings in mind but don't stress. There are some nice homes that don't have any of these problems.

Good luck with the interview!
There are maps on the Internet. Used to live on the south side and there are a lot of mines under there. Not much of a problem 50 years ago, but might be today.

A historic map of the Des Moines area, provided by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, shows dozens of coal mines (indicated by the color markings) throughout the metro.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...yard/82978282/

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Old 08-10-2018, 08:14 AM
 
391 posts, read 200,029 times
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Had no idea about the old coal mines - how interesting! OP, if you are interested in the south side, in that price range you might want to take a quick drive to Carlisle and even down to Indianola. South of Des Moines has beautiful countryside. Definitely drive around Beaverdale too. I'm going to recommend against Merle Hay myself simply because I don't think it's a great place to invest in buying a house right now. Too many run-down little homes and crime seems to be increasing there. It's not really scary crime, more property crime, but again I would hesitate about that kind if crime trending upward there. In general, however, if you're homeschooling and not concerned about school districts, that opens up a lot of possibilities. I do know that homes in that price range are going really fast, so make sure you find a good realtor to help you out. Renting for a year or so is a great idea as well.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
2,955 posts, read 4,371,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlessedLife View Post
Had no idea about the old coal mines - how interesting! OP, if you are interested in the south side, in that price range you might want to take a quick drive to Carlisle and even down to Indianola. South of Des Moines has beautiful countryside. Definitely drive around Beaverdale too. I'm going to recommend against Merle Hay myself simply because I don't think it's a great place to invest in buying a house right now. Too many run-down little homes and crime seems to be increasing there. It's not really scary crime, more property crime, but again I would hesitate about that kind if crime trending upward there. In general, however, if you're homeschooling and not concerned about school districts, that opens up a lot of possibilities. I do know that homes in that price range are going really fast, so make sure you find a good realtor to help you out. Renting for a year or so is a great idea as well.

I have a daughter living in Indianola and she loves the town. Mentioning the zoo area tells me you're considering the south side more, possibly because of proximity to his workplace as well as your daughter's animal love. An $ 150,000 house there would be on the bottom end of the price scale for a decent house. As mentioned, Carlisle would probably be a good fit and you could also consider the little town of Martensdale where the home prices might be a little less. A nice little town just west of the city, but with easy access to interstate and where you might save a little on your home would also be Adel.


With just a 1 day trip, avoid the fair. You could spend the whole day there. When you do have the time, it's a must though.
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
4,980 posts, read 5,446,707 times
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Originally Posted by jmgg View Post
A nice little town just west of the city, but with easy access to interstate and where you might save a little on your home would also be Adel.
I beg to differ on that: I've been house hunting all summer. You need at least $190 for anything decent in Adel, and $230 is better. Lots of former Des Moines residents seem to be moving there, driving up prices.
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:26 PM
 
26,867 posts, read 38,123,724 times
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Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
I beg to differ on that: I've been house hunting all summer. You need at least $190 for anything decent in Adel, and $230 is better. Lots of former Des Moines residents seem to be moving there, driving up prices.
Martensdale.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:18 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
2,955 posts, read 4,371,041 times
Reputation: 4888
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
I beg to differ on that: I've been house hunting all summer. You need at least $190 for anything decent in Adel, and $230 is better. Lots of former Des Moines residents seem to be moving there, driving up prices.

Won't argue with that. You live there. It's an established community that "appeared" to probably be less expensive than say, Clive, West Des Moines, Norwalk, or Waukee on the west side.


Another possibility within reasonable driving range would be Winterset. Gorgeous little town. House prices maybe like Adel though.
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:53 PM
 
26,867 posts, read 38,123,724 times
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I see my reading abilities are a disaster today. Sorry, Meemur.
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