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Old 11-27-2007, 12:38 PM
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
4 posts, read 18,079 times
Reputation: 10


My husband and I are thinking of moving our family of five to Iowa City while I go to grad school. We are interested in suburban lifestyle as that is what we are used to here in West Des Moines. Can anyone help me pinpoint an area in either IC, Coralville, North Liberty or nearby that has excellent schools, newer homes (<20 years old), where we might be able to find a home to purchase or rent (I say buy, hubby says rent for three years) and a lot to buy to build on later. We would like to keep the children in the same school district with these two purchases.

I'm not even sure if we are moving yet, we are still tossing around the idea of me driving over M-F and coming home one eve a week and on weekends but that is not my first choice.

Thanks in Advance
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Old 11-27-2007, 02:22 PM
11,289 posts, read 23,016,915 times
Reputation: 11164
Iowa City schools are very decent, and cover Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty.

If you want suburban, I'd go for Coralville north of I-80 or anywhere in North Liberty. I think Coralville is a little nicer, North Liberty has grown from around 3,000 people in the 90's to around 10,000 today. They're building like crazy, but it doesn't really seem like a community, just tons of housing developments and condo buildings.

Coralville has a lot more large development, and more expensive housing. You can still find some cheaper stuff between 12th avenue and highway 965 around Holiday Road. Otherwise Coralville is building a lot off 1st avenue to the east there. I know Coralville has gone from around 10,000 in the 90's to around 20,000 today. There are a lot of options.

Really though, most of western and eastern Iowa City is pretty suburban. I like the new areas east of Iowa City, but it's a little more spread out and distanced from the city compared to the development on the west side of town.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:31 PM
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 5,018,802 times
Reputation: 1098
i would say something but he took all the good answers
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:45 PM
Location: Boise, Idaho by way of Iowa City, Iowa
310 posts, read 1,180,748 times
Reputation: 96
West side of IC, near Weber Elem. is a WDM like area, your kids would go to Weber if that age, Northwest if in junior high and west high if in HS. The subdivisions out there are pretty much the newest in the city and there is plenty of farmland to the west that is being sold off so buying a lot wouldn't be a problem.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:13 PM
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,807,937 times
Reputation: 446
Everyone's been right on so far!

If I might use a Des Moines analogy...Coralville is like West Des Moines. It's an established suburb with great new areas and some older areas that are just OK. It's bigger, with easy access to the mall, the interstate and Iowa City. It also has a small "downtown" of its own. North Liberty is like Waukee. It's a small town that's just exploded over the last decade. Its newer, farther out from the city, and seems to be the place everyone's moving to. Like Waukee, it's having some growing pains and is having a bit of an identity crisis trying to figure out if they want to be a small town or a big suburb.

The East side of Iowa City is something to look at too, but you're farther out from the Mall and Coralville stuff. The West side of Iowa City would also work; particularly around the Camp Cardinal Road area if you're looking for brand new development.

For you, I like Coralville N. of I-80, or North Liberty E. of Hwy. 965. Your kids would go to Iowa City schools, and when they get older, you can look at lots farther out or try to get one close to the lake.
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Old 11-28-2007, 03:52 PM
Location: West Des Moines, Iowa
4 posts, read 18,079 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thank you all for your answers...

keep them coming. We are really leaning toward moving, but that means getting our home in WDM buyer ready by spring and hoping the buyers market doesn't make us take too much of a hit. In any of these areas you are all recommending, is there going to be an option of purchasing a lower priced $150-$180K home to live in while in school and then either purchase a home more comparable to ours now (5 bedroom, 4 bath, 3250sq ft) in the same school district? Or is there not that much diversity within the districts. Is it better to stay in Iowa City Schools? Is all of North Liberty Iowa City schools or do they have their own, what is clear creek? a new school? Thanks for the answers in advance.
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