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Old 11-13-2007, 07:06 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,156,729 times
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Hello,

We are currently researching several states for a relocation, and we are very interested in Iowa City.

Can you tell me if there are any particularly good real estate websites that tell you the names of the neighborhood and zoned schools?

Also, can you give me some of the names of the established neighbors that are very family-friendly? This would help in our research. We would be looking at houses that are not brand new and under $300,000.

Thanks so much.
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:40 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,156,729 times
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Can anyone help??
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:32 AM
 
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Hello, I grew up in Coralville (hooked onto Iowa City) and lived there for 22 years. It's a very nice town, EXCELLENT schools, and very safe.

Here are some of the more popular real estate companies in the area:

http://www.iowarealty.com/buying/cri...tion=Iowa+City

Coldwell Banker - Iowa City Real Estate

RE/MAX Premier Properties Iowa City Real Estate Iowa City Real Estate Agents Coralville Real Estate North Liberty Real Estate Johnson County Real Estate

Here is a general overview of the area (get a map out).

Starting in the west, North Liberty is a safe, growing community, but it's a little cookie cutter as far as housing developments. There are a lot of children in this area, because it's growing so fast, but it's not "established" as much. There is a new junior high in the area (North Central) and a new elementary (Van Allen) that opened in the past 2 years.

Coralville is the main shopping/suburban area to the immediate west of Iowa City. Areas north of the interstate are quite nice, and the schools are very nice. This area would be excellent for children, and has some of the highest housing costs in the area. $300,000 would be about run of the mill up in northern Coralville. The schools are Coralville Centeral and Wickham - both good.

Southern Coralville (south of the interstate) is the more established part of town, and is nice, but I've heard it's getting a little bit more seedy and possibly run down. Mind you this is run down for Iowa City.....not like Chicago or LA.

Western Iowa City is all quite nice, the area west of highway 218 in Iowa City is really nice, and has a decent elementary. The rest of the area, from Riverside Drive to Morman Trek is also decent, but the farther east and north you go in this area - the more you're going to be seeing University activities and students living in the area.

Eastern Iowa City....anything east of Governor Street and north of the railroad tracks is going to be very nice, more established, and have nice schools. It's not BAD west of Governor street, but you're going to get all messed up with the University and college students partying, etc. It's actually the area I'd live, but if you want established neighbors and child friendly areas, i'd just stick east of Governor. You can see the tracks running through southern Iowa City on google maps. I'd probably stick north of them if you have wide open choices on where to go. The area is certainly ok, but I've heard if there are any problems in Iowa City with crime or anything, they tend to be in this area. Again, it's a city that only sees a murder on random years, and really has no crime to speak of, but just saying.....

I've always thought the areas around Muscatine were really awesome. More tightly packed houses from the 40's-50's. Still a very nice area, nice housing, quiet, more in town. Not the sprawling cookie cutter houses with massive yards and brand new families who don't know each other. Some of the areas have alleys too, which I think are kinda charming. Lots of older trees, neighborhood school, transit, etc.

ICCSD School Boundaries (broken link)

Here's a map. I've heard over and over that the three schools in Iowa City that could possibly be avoided are Roosevelt, Twain and Wood. My old roommate teaches at Twain though, and said she loves it. I think it's just a case of the worst of the best.

I know the district is always towards the top in Iowa, and Iowa is routinely in the top 3 for education in the US. I just looked quick and found in 2005, Iowa City was ranked #5 best school district in the nation. So really, don't worry too much about schools. Iowa City is obsessed with education because of the University, ACT is headquartered there, and NTS (both are very large national college testing companies).
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:13 AM
 
Location: New York City
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Dear Chicago...,
I appreciate your response. Thanks a million
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,809,214 times
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Iowa City Press-Citizen: Your Community (broken link)



http://www.press-citizen.com/yourcommunity/images/neighborhoodsic.gif (broken link)

This map shows some neigborhoods as shown by the elementary school that serves them.

Chicago60614 is pretty much right on the money with her advice. Some neighborhoods to condider include:

Manville Heights : Northwest of campus, near Iowa River and City Park, good schools, safe and walkable. Older, established neighborhood--the domain of professors and doctors. Most expensive housing in the city, largest single family homes. Under "Lincoln" on this map.

Court Hill: Between College Green neighborhood and 1st. Avenue. Sometimes called "letters and numbers" for the street names there. Older, established neighborhood, tree lined streets, little traffic. A little farther out from downtown, but still bikeable. Close to City High. The lower part of the "Hoover" school area, with parts in "Longfellow".

West Side, south of Uni. Heights
: Not as old or as wealthy as the previous neighborhood, but more young families. Lots of parks: Benton Hill, Willow Creek, Kiwanis Park. Close to West High and Coralville shopping. Smaller homes, younger population--some students.

Places to avoid:

Coralville S. of I-80: Too many large apartment complexes, too much traffic and sprawl, too far from downtown and schools. There are some nice homes near the mall, but I'd look elsewhere first.

Iowa City S. of Hwy. 6: Newer, cookie-cutter subdivisions. Working class neighborhoods, less affluent than other neighborhoods. Some seedy apartment complexes in the area. The tracks are one indicator, but I think it's still OK between the tracks and Hwy. 6. Still, look elsewhere first.

Here's a listing of the neighborhood associations of Iowa City. I'm sure any of these people would be glad to talk with you about this!
http://www.icgov.org/documents/neighborhoodmap.pdf (broken link)
Neighborhood Association Contact List (broken link)
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:38 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,156,729 times
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Sharphawkeye,

I send a huge thanks your way, as well!!
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Old 11-14-2007, 11:41 AM
 
Location: New York City
2,814 posts, read 6,156,729 times
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What are the names of the neighborhoods in the Horn school zone? I have a feeling that the homes zoned for Lincoln will be over $300k.

Which of the middle schools is good? They don't seem as highly rated as the other schools.

As for high schools, is City High better than West?

Much thanks.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:27 PM
 
11,289 posts, read 23,038,040 times
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Schools in the southern part of the Lincoln area are very nice, established, and not over $300K as far as I know.

I think it goes North Central Jr High then Northwest Jr High then Southeast Jr High.

As far as high schools. They're both really good. The junior highs are all fine as well, just growing up we always though Southeast was a little "less".
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,809,214 times
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Which high school is better really depends on who you talk to. Both are really fantastic schools in any case.

There seems to be an impression in town that West is better, but I don't think that plays out statistically. City does have more minority students and greater potential for more minority students in the future. That led to a fair number of City parents who tried to open-enroll their kids at West. The school district had to step in and stop that though, because West and City are both pretty much at capacity. Now only kids from the west side can go to West, and I think they have some rules about that. Perhaps someone who follows school issues more closely can do a better job explaining what went on there than I can.

Of course, there are plans to build a new high school on the table. So if your children are fairly young there's a chance they could go to a high school that doesn't even exist now!
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Old 11-18-2007, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Boise, Idaho by way of Iowa City, Iowa
310 posts, read 1,181,340 times
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I went to Horn Elem., Northwest and then West High. West High is a much newer school than City High, has better facilities, sports complex, etc. But both are top notch academically. University Heights is a great little town which I live in now but grew up a few houses down from Willow Creek Park and then moved west of West High to the Walnut Ridge development. I prefer the West side of Iowa City because of my own biased reasons but it is a newer part of town and very suburban. East side of town will be getting closer to the U of I students until you hit about Muscatine. Then its single family homes and very close to City High. Smaller, but fairly expensive homes.

If I were to be raising a family in Iowa City I would look on the west side of town without question. I'm still friends with all my elementary school and before buddies that lived in the same general neighborhood. Friendships going on for 20 years, pretty hard to beat.
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