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Old 04-08-2009, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Fort Madison, Iowa
16 posts, read 40,937 times
Reputation: 14
Question May Be Relocating to IA (Fort Madison vs Burlington)

My hubby may be transferred to Fort Madison with his job. We are just researching now before coming out for the official interviews and such.

My main question is should we live in Fort Madison or Burlington (or neighboring area)? I'm not sure if we will rent or buy but we definately need a house not an apartment.

We're a bit of a nomadic family . . . this will be our fifth city in six years. We have learned how to make the best out of wher we find ourselves but I like to be prepared. Currently, my husband commutes an hour and forty five minutes to work each way (so we don't have to live in a town of 500). . . so we're ok with a bit of a commute (45 minutes max) but would love for him not to have the crazy schedule he has now.

We have two toddlers and are looking for a good environment for young children (preschools, elementary schools, activities, and such). We've lived in large cities as well as very small ones. I have gathered that Fort Madison is rather small and that Burlington might have more to offer by way of convienences. I'd love to hear pros and cons on each.

I stay home now but may eventually want to pursue the MSN program at Uof I . . . how bad is the commute in to Iowa City?

Do folks that live in Fort Madison shop in Burlington or is the community pretty self sufficient?

What is the healthcare like in Fort Madison . . . I know there's a hospital but is it one of those situations where you have to be bleeding to death and still consider driving to the larger city?

I've lived a lot of places but Iowa would be the farthest north by a bit . . . I know it's cold but if anyone can compare the weather for me to say . . . Denver or Indianapolis that would help me conceptualize. Do you just stay in for four months of the year? (That's what I'm picturing).

We like to hike (we're in the Southwest now) and road bike . . . what is this area like for outdoors things (recreation type things and camping . . . we're NOT into hunting, fishing).

I suppose that's enough to get me started . . . thank you for your time.
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Old 04-08-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 742,512 times
Reputation: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadMomma View Post
I stay home now but may eventually want to pursue the MSN program at Uof I . . . how bad is the commute in to Iowa City?

I've lived a lot of places but Iowa would be the farthest north by a bit . . . I know it's cold but if anyone can compare the weather for me to say . . . Denver or Indianapolis that would help me conceptualize. Do you just stay in for four months of the year? (That's what I'm picturing).
I am not familiar enough with the Fort Madison/Burlington area to answer any of those questions, but I'll help out where I can.

The commute to Iowa City from Fort Madison or Burlington would be about an hour and a half one way on a calm 4-lane highway. It's certainly a longer commute than I'd be willing to make, (mine is 15 minutes and I wish I lived closer to my job...) but considering your experience with commuting, you might be okay with it. It's certainly not a stressful drive, just long.

I don't think Iowa winters will be too different from winter in Indianapolis. It looks like Burlington is on average about 4-5 degrees cooler in winter, so you might get a little more snow, but if you survived Indianapolis, you'll survive Burlington.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Fort Madison, Iowa
16 posts, read 40,937 times
Reputation: 14
Thanks iowegian . . . I appreciate the info.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Fort Madison, Iowa
16 posts, read 40,937 times
Reputation: 14
Anyone else? Also has anyone/ does anyone know someone who has done the Masters of Science in Nursing (clinical nurse leader) program at University of Iowa?
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Fort Madison, Iowa
16 posts, read 40,937 times
Reputation: 14
Bump . . . is everyone on here from the metro areas? Anyone familiar with Burligton/ Ft. Madison . . . please speak up.

In addition to my earlier questions . . . what's the housing market like there . . . how long are houses staying on the market? We may only be there a few years and don't want to get stuck with a house if we buy. I read that Iowa's market in general is much more stable than the country as a whole and there aren't as many foreclosures . . . any thoughts?
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Old 05-26-2009, 09:46 AM
 
2 posts, read 7,327 times
Reputation: 10
Hi! I live in Burlington Ia. and have commuted to Ft. Madison for over a year. The drive is 20-30 min depending on what side of town your driving to. I personally wouldn't live in Ft. Madison I actually refuse to. There is nothing there as far as shopping. You could get groceries and shop at ShopKo and the Dollar General but that's about it. Burlington has a little more to offer. If your use to big cities it would still be an adjustment. My Aunt from Chicago hates it here and says their is nothing to do. As far as weather I lived in Evansville Indiana for a while and would say that the climate is not much different. I also attend the locale community collage and they offer excellent nursing program for an AS degree, but if I was going to get a masters in the field I would finish at the University of Iowa, in Iowa City it is well known for its health care programs. The locale hospital Great River Medical Center is good however patients that are really bad are flown to Iowa City which is a teaching hospital. So that tells you a little about where you would be doing clinical's if you decided to that is. The area here has a lot of places you can go camping and as far as hiking my favorite place to go for walks would have to be Lake Geode State Park there are nice trails there. The housing market is still slow around here. I can drive down the road and point out a lot of for sell signs and some I know have been out for over a year. I personally wouldn't buy unless it was a good investment. I hope this info isn't to late for you and I hope it helps. Good Luck!!
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:53 PM
 
8 posts, read 21,342 times
Reputation: 10
Burlington hospitals used to have a bad reputation, but I think it's improving. Ft. Madison has a significant proportion of Hispanics while Burlington has a proportion of African Americans. Crime isn't really a problem in either area. Economy is pretty slow everywhere right now and housing prices are reflecting that in both areas. Southeastern does have a good RN program but you would have to go to Iowa City (2 hours) for the MSN program which is quite a drive. You mightttt want to look at Mt. Pleasant as a place to live if your really considering going to school in Iowa City. It would probably be 40 minutes for your husband to get to Ft. Madison and the same for you to get to Iowa City.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Iowa
85 posts, read 172,847 times
Reputation: 84
I consider medical care in both places to have been sufficient for my needs, however I find the schools rather lacking in Burlington. My neighbors were also completely horrendous people who were shady and fighting at all hours of the night. And that was in a "nice" area.
I like to hike as well, and you will find lots of opportunities for that. Starr's Cave is nice, Lake Geode is not far. Shimek forest is also close by, but I haven't hiked there.
The commute to Iowa City would be *brutal*. And I know this, because I have done it for school. You will use alot of gas and it will take about an hour and a half.
As for shopping, there isn't any good shopping in Ft. Madison. And to me, there really isn't any in Burlington either. But I'm a "fashion" girl. There's a Wal-Mart, Target, Shop-Ko, and a K-Mart. Also a really small mall.

Another good thing about Burlington though, is there are more things to do. You could take your kids to Fun City. There are really excellent parks here. And the library is very good for a town of this size.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Ft. Worth Area
10 posts, read 30,132 times
Reputation: 10
I lived in Keokuk just to the south for 15 years, I'll give you my opinion.

... If you have to choose one of the 2, make it Burlington. Fort Madison is depressing and declining - the State prison is also there... not the prettiest site. Fort Madison is only 15 minutes to the south of Burlington, basically the same area - but Burlington has a little bit more going for it, a better kept downtown as well.
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Old 06-08-2009, 03:31 PM
 
8 posts, read 31,241 times
Reputation: 12
I grew up between both. My mom lives in Burlington and my brother in Fort Madison. I would say Burlington 100%. More to do better shopping and more for your money when it comes to housing. There are some not so great neighborhoods so do your research before choosing one. Hope this helps
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