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Old 09-12-2012, 11:01 AM
12 posts, read 18,682 times
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We've lived here 11 years. Dubuque is not very big and the traffic is light, so "close to shopping" is a relative term. I live about a mile west of downtown (up on the bluffs), but it's only 5 minutes drive to the mall and 10 minutes to the west side. I can walk to the IBM headquarters in about 10 minutes.

The newer homes are on the west side, as is most of the shopping. The older parts of town will have less expensive houses (some quite charming, some less so). It's a very mixed bag--where we live is fairly inexpensive (if we sold our house today, it would probably be around $100K), yet we are literally down the street from $500K mansions. Dubuque is the oldest city in Iowa and has a very historical feel to it. I happen to like that, but some people do not.

Some people will try to tell you there are "bad parts of town", but having moved here after living in larger cities (Des Moines, Louisville, Dallas, Austin, etc), I can tell you the crime is not that bad. I'd avoid the Washington neighborhood (just north of downtown). The city is trying to revitalize it, but it is still rather run-down. Certain areas on the north side are prone to flooding, so be careful about that--check the history.

Dubuque has one of the shortest commutes in the US, so traffic is usually not an issue. I'd avoid East Dubuque simply because of tax issues and the fact that Illinois doesn't pay much attention to that part of the state. They had some nasty flash-floods last year and have had a heck of a time getting relief money from the state, whereas the Iowa side did not have problems at all. Some of my husband's coworkers live on the Wisconsin side of the river and like it. If you're coming from Colorado, then you are probably already used to driving in snow--that's the only commuting downside.

I think Asbury is overpriced. There are some areas south of town that are nice (we looked there as it was closer to my husband's work), but if you plan on moving after a few years, it may be harder to sell your house. Farther west (Peosta, Dyersville, etc) is nice, too.

Shop around if you are trying to rent--the locals jacked up the rent prices after IBM came to town. Houses cost much less here than in Colorado (we just had some friends move out there from here just this summer), so don't get fooled into paying more than you should.

Hope this helps!
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