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Unread 12-28-2011, 06:22 PM
 
8,687 posts, read 11,764,446 times
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Iowa City unemployment peaked at like 4.5% during the recession. My friend is a realtor there, and said at most the housing market sneezed a bit, but had nothing like the rest of the country. I really don't think prices even went down much, it was just that the building slowed down for a few years.

Honestly for $500K you're going to have a pick of about anything you want. About anything as in you're not going to get the cream of the crop in town, but you'll CERTAINLY find a nice home in a nice area.

People say to avoid areas around Highway 6 on the southeast side of town, but really you're not going to be looking for houses down there anyway since they're far below your budget. It's not a terrible area at all, I was just there last week and have friends that live there. It's just had some issues the past few years, but certainly not a neighborhood I'd be afraid to visit.

I'm guessing you might like areas in Coralville north of the interstate, or areas of Iowa City around Mormon Trek east or west of there, Kennedy Drive or even Arlington Drive way on the east side of town. There was a lot going up there 10 years ago, not sure if it's still booming or not. Was on Scott Blvd last week though and it looked like stuff was happening. The areas around Scott are all nice.

As far as Hoover being a good school, that area is in flux right now. It use to be towards top of the list (my mom teaches in IC and always said Hoover parents were a bit snooty and upset about anyone else coming into their school from the more poor areas). They tore down the old school Roosevelt near there, and many of those kids are going to Hoover since the new school they built is further out. It's not bad, just probably going through a lot of changes.

Weber, Wickham (right behind my parents house), Garner in North Liberty, Lincoln, etc. are all good - but honestly almost all the schools in Iowa City are pretty top notch.

I don't think there's a huge market for the $400k+ range right now because much of the construction on that range stopped during the recession out of fear they wouldn't sell. As I said, I grew up in Coralville north of the interstate, and you'll find some beautiful areas up there with nice houses. Mainly between Highway 965 and Dubuque Street along Oakdale Blvd (which runs between the two) and north/south of there is where you find the nice new stuff. That whole area was farmland and woods before about 15 years ago.

Otherwise out on Melrose west of Morman Treak and West High School there is a lot of nice areas, Kennedy Pkwy.

Most of the realtors in town should be very informative, nice and helpful. It didn't seem as cut throat as it has around here (Chicago) with everyone so desperate for a sale.

Last edited by Chicago60614; 12-28-2011 at 06:35 PM..
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Unread 12-31-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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Roosevelt currently has students at it, and has not been torn down yet.
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Unread 12-31-2011, 06:26 PM
 
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One more comment...some might disagree with me, though.

I'm not sure how old your kids are, but there has been a lot of talk about building another high school within the Iowa City Community School District, which encompasses Iowa City, parts of North Liberty and Coralville. Some(not every realtor) might lie to you about how quickly this might happen in order to get you to look at houses especially in North Liberty and Coralville.

I think if/when the new high school is built....the east side of Iowa City will be more attractive to parents of school age children, as they will be less affected by whatever changes it might bring.

If being close to schools is important to you, I'd find out how close any give school is to your house, elementary, junior high, and high school. A house in the Hoover neighborhood would get you close to the junior high and high school as well.

As far as Wickham...perhaps a good school, but a lot of the new contruction is just really unattractive, and a lot of the developments aren't really attractively arranged.

You might be able to get a larger house in your price range in the yet to be opened Borlaug school neighborhood...allegedly it is opening in fall 2012.
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Unread 12-31-2011, 06:27 PM
 
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As far as the earlier comment about Hoover parents being snooty...I think they are more concerned about overcrowding.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 09:30 AM
 
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Danielle,

Like you, I came from Chicago to take a job from the University Hospital 2 months ago and have been looking for a house to buy. I rent for the time being because I want to buy only after I know the area.

One thing that surprises me is the amount of houses that are for sale. In certain areas, you are almost bound to run into one or two for sale signs per block. As another poster mentioned, at $500,000, you can pretty much pick what you like in the market. Based on your description you should be able to find something in the $300K - $500K range.

Good luck house hunting and may be I will run into you at the U.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 10:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleur66 View Post
As far as the earlier comment about Hoover parents being snooty...I think they are more concerned about overcrowding.
I meant Horn.

I guess I meant historically. All the kids from the more lower income apartments just west of Morman Trek were bused right past Horn and to Roosevelt down the street. My mom taught at Roosevelt for 20 years. It was a good school, but there was always a lot of issues from the Horn parents and teachers in regards to their views on Roosevelt and moving around any students. Roosevelt was always very crowded 10 to 15 years ago and Horn threw a fit any time there was talk about transfers.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleur66 View Post
Roosevelt currently has students at it, and has not been torn down yet.
I should have said it WILL close by the time the OP gets there and enrolls kids.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 06:19 PM
 
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Chicago...regarding the Horn/Roosevelt situation....that should have never been allowed to happen. To the extent the parents might have been complained about not wanting certain kids in the school it should have been shut down immediately be the school board, but it wasn't. The old school board spent a lot of time listening to higher maintenance parents, especially with the boundary change issues/dynamics of when/if a new high school should be built.
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Unread 01-05-2012, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
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what is a more desirable home area, Hunters Run area South of 218 or Coralville Highland Park area on a golf course? I will be visiting in Jan. I can't wait to see the area.
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Unread 01-05-2012, 10:21 AM
 
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I can't say I know either area very well, but I'd probably choose the Hunter's Run area over the Coralville area......you'd be closer to UIHC in Iowa City.
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