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Old 08-23-2013, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Niles IL
8 posts, read 15,455 times
Reputation: 23

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I'm Emma, just joined up and wanted to say hi

Also have a few questions if anyone is kind enough to answer..

I'm originally from England but have been living just outside of Chicago for the past 6 months with my wife who was born here. We have decided to move to Iowa (Iowa city/Cedar rapids in particular) after alot of consideration about what we want out of life.. A few major factors being Chicago is soo expensive (Rent, gas, general cost of living) and i don't feel safe here most of the time. Also feeling more accepted will be a great thing too seeing as Iowa seems to be pretty open minded with the whole Equal marriage and both parents being able to be on the birth certificate. Anyway I was wondering if anyone could give us some ideas On the general prices we should expect to pay for rent in the most decent area for the least amount of money more or less lol Looking for either a 1 bed or 2 bed been looking at some appartment sites but with not having any clue about the area i would love some suggestions on some areas that might be good for us. Also does the city have any gay bars? Not that it is really a factor more just curious.. Also how easy/hard is it to find a minimum wage job just for until we get settled? Sorry for the long post of me blabbing on.. Any reply's will be appreaciated!
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Old 08-26-2013, 06:33 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 55,248,394 times
Reputation: 10565
For a nicer apartment in a nice area in Cedar Rapids, expect about $850-950/month for a 2 bedroom. This would be in a place with some amenities, a garage, etc.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Niles IL
8 posts, read 15,455 times
Reputation: 23
Thanks for the reply that sounds about what i expected..
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:10 PM
 
Location: North Liberty, IA
179 posts, read 207,540 times
Reputation: 268
Quote:
Originally Posted by sand_dancer View Post
I'm Emma, just joined up and wanted to say hi

Also have a few questions if anyone is kind enough to answer..

I'm originally from England but have been living just outside of Chicago for the past 6 months with my wife who was born here. We have decided to move to Iowa (Iowa city/Cedar rapids in particular) after alot of consideration about what we want out of life.. A few major factors being Chicago is soo expensive (Rent, gas, general cost of living) and i don't feel safe here most of the time. Also feeling more accepted will be a great thing too seeing as Iowa seems to be pretty open minded with the whole Equal marriage and both parents being able to be on the birth certificate. Anyway I was wondering if anyone could give us some ideas On the general prices we should expect to pay for rent in the most decent area for the least amount of money more or less lol Looking for either a 1 bed or 2 bed been looking at some appartment sites but with not having any clue about the area i would love some suggestions on some areas that might be good for us. Also does the city have any gay bars? Not that it is really a factor more just curious.. Also how easy/hard is it to find a minimum wage job just for until we get settled? Sorry for the long post of me blabbing on.. Any reply's will be appreaciated!
Well, consider this an advance "Welcome to Iowa" message.

Iowa City, being a University town is pretty accepting to people of different cultures. You'll find a significant number of English ex-pats (if you're keen to look.) In general you'll find Iowa City proper very liberal and "open minded' as you've said. Realize that at many times Cedar Rapids can be worlds away in that respect. (Not saying Cedar Rapids isn't nice, don't want to start any wars, but the two places definitely have a different "buzz.") Additionally you'll find the surrounding communities vary aong those lines as well.

Min wage jobs as well as general clerical kinds of jobs just above min wage are pretty relatively available. We do have a lower than average unemployment rate, but there's also significant turnover due to the transient nature of the population.

Apartments are going to be a little difficult to come by now. August 1 is the big day for new leases, which is not to say it's impossible other times. Sorry,I"ve been out of the market too long to know about prices, but searching property listings should give you a feel relatively easily. There are only a few areas I would stay away from renting an apartment (and again, I don't want to start a war with anyone over WHY these are undesirable, regardless of the root causes, I think most people can agree they are undesirable locations.) If you locate, "Broadway, Taylor, Lakeside and Arthur" streets on a map, you pretty much want to stay away from apartments here. Now there are perfectly lovely single family neighborhoods mere blocks away in many directions, but these are the street names you'll see repeatedly on the police blotter.

North Liberty is a nice town (my bias) with a fair amount of rental vacancies, but depending on your desire to be downtown, or near campus or rely on public transit, it may not be ideal for you.

Cedar Rapids is going to be cheaper - wages are also less there - It is much more (although not exclusively) of a blue collar town. Much bigger sections of that city I wouldn't want to live in. Cedar Rapids is oddly addressed, all addresses are SE, SW, NE, NW, and the pivot on First Avenue and Cedar River as they go through downtown. So, everything S of 1st Avenue and East of the River is SE...etc. Which gets kind of confusing because you can be on the complete geographic north side of town, yet be in the SE quadrant. 3rd Ave SE and 10-12th St, in that area is pretty bad, for a considerable distance around (Everyhting up to Bever Avenue to the "north" - Mt Vernon Road to the East and Let's say H avenue to the West) is pretty bad - sure there are okay pockets in there, but at least be wary there. Likewise the area around 1st ave and 6th St SW...log story short, I wouldn't rent sight unseen in any of these areas.

Good Luck - Hope to see you around!
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Niles IL
8 posts, read 15,455 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by NLDad View Post
Well, consider this an advance "Welcome to Iowa" message.

Iowa City, being a University town is pretty accepting to people of different cultures. You'll find a significant number of English ex-pats (if you're keen to look.) In general you'll find Iowa City proper very liberal and "open minded' as you've said. Realize that at many times Cedar Rapids can be worlds away in that respect. (Not saying Cedar Rapids isn't nice, don't want to start any wars, but the two places definitely have a different "buzz.") Additionally you'll find the surrounding communities vary aong those lines as well.

Min wage jobs as well as general clerical kinds of jobs just above min wage are pretty relatively available. We do have a lower than average unemployment rate, but there's also significant turnover due to the transient nature of the population.

Apartments are going to be a little difficult to come by now. August 1 is the big day for new leases, which is not to say it's impossible other times. Sorry,I"ve been out of the market too long to know about prices, but searching property listings should give you a feel relatively easily. There are only a few areas I would stay away from renting an apartment (and again, I don't want to start a war with anyone over WHY these are undesirable, regardless of the root causes, I think most people can agree they are undesirable locations.) If you locate, "Broadway, Taylor, Lakeside and Arthur" streets on a map, you pretty much want to stay away from apartments here. Now there are perfectly lovely single family neighborhoods mere blocks away in many directions, but these are the street names you'll see repeatedly on the police blotter.

North Liberty is a nice town (my bias) with a fair amount of rental vacancies, but depending on your desire to be downtown, or near campus or rely on public transit, it may not be ideal for you.

Cedar Rapids is going to be cheaper - wages are also less there - It is much more (although not exclusively) of a blue collar town. Much bigger sections of that city I wouldn't want to live in. Cedar Rapids is oddly addressed, all addresses are SE, SW, NE, NW, and the pivot on First Avenue and Cedar River as they go through downtown. So, everything S of 1st Avenue and East of the River is SE...etc. Which gets kind of confusing because you can be on the complete geographic north side of town, yet be in the SE quadrant. 3rd Ave SE and 10-12th St, in that area is pretty bad, for a considerable distance around (Everyhting up to Bever Avenue to the "north" - Mt Vernon Road to the East and Let's say H avenue to the West) is pretty bad - sure there are okay pockets in there, but at least be wary there. Likewise the area around 1st ave and 6th St SW...log story short, I wouldn't rent sight unseen in any of these areas.

Good Luck - Hope to see you around!
Thanks for the Nice reply NLdad I'm glad to see that i was correct in thinking that Iowa city is accepting. And I'm very excited to hear about the English X-pats I have only heard one English accent since moving to the states! lol After looking more into Cedar Rapids we both agree that is not for us and are definitely now looking at either North liberty or Coralville I'm thinking Living in downtown Iowa City might be a bit too much for us with all the college kids about. Even know we do want some of that downtown living as in the restaurants and maybe bars but would love to live somewhere out of that. We are actually thinking about moving in February next year As I'm still waiting for my Green card and would like that all settled first. So it's not a problem right now about it being a bad time to rent. We also have a car so relying on using Public transportation is not a problem. Had a Look about North Liberty it seems like a nice place. The few apartments i could find that are available to rent were about $900-$1000 Not sure if that is about average.. We were looking to pay less than that so will have to keep on searching.

Thanks again!
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:03 PM
 
Location: California
46 posts, read 112,793 times
Reputation: 77
So glad you decided against CR to live because they are not nearly as open as IC. CR is a pretty closeminded city IMO and I lived there for over 15 yrs.
IC is so much more open and diverse since it's a college town. You will be happier there I think.
The only other small town around there that is similar is Mt Vernon which is about 20 - 25min away. It's a cool hip little college town of about 5000? Or so. Super cute downtown area with diverse shops and restaurants. More open minded due to Cornell College and many profs live there and commute to IC. Great place if like the Mayberry vibe but stick with IC or Coralville if you want city living.
Good luck
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