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Old 04-08-2014, 10:54 AM
 
3 posts, read 21,270 times
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Hello,

I've been reading the archives of this forum and first want to thank everyone for all the great information there. It's helped me start to find my way around the area.

My husband is considering a job offer from UI and I have a few specific questions I was hoping for feedback on. For background, we'd be moving from the SF Bay Area in mid-late summer. We have a 2 y.o. son and another on the way. We favor family-friendly neighborhoods and nearby parks, and appreciate being able to walk (within a mile or so) to at least a few amenities (maybe a coffee shop, small market, casual restaurant or two...) Top schools are important to us, though it sounds like we'll be much happier with most of Iowa City's schools than what we have in California. I'll initially be staying home with the kids (a big change for us!), so my commute isn't a factor in our location. We don't want a giant home (around 2,000 sq ft is more than enough), and would love to find something with 3+ BR under $250k.

My specific questions:

1. Any thoughts on the neighborhoods around Willow Creek Park? It looks like a pretty nice, affordable location from afar, but I don't see it mentioned much on here. Or maybe it is, and I don't recognize it as such. I'm specifically looking more toward the northern end of the park -- looks closer to the elementary and other things.

2. If we can afford it, is Manville Heights a far better choice?

3. Recommendations for an OB at UIHC? Since I'll be 7.5 months pregnant when we move, I'll want to make a quick transition to new prenatal care.

4. Does anyone want to recommend a realtor? If all goes as expected, we'll be visiting to look for housing in May or June and would like to start to coordinate with a realtor in advance of that.

Thanks in advance for any feedback on any of these, or for additional suggestions on neighborhoods, etc.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:54 PM
 
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I don't live in either the Willow Creek Park area or Manville Heights, so take anything I say with a grain of salt. With that said, my impression is that the Willow Creek Park area is pretty quiet. There is a Java House coffee shop nearby that you could walk to, but it has always struck me as lacking some of the charm of the one downtown and is in more of a strip mall type building. It is pretty close to most university places, although walking to campus is probably not realistic (I know people that bike, even in the winter, though). Every family I know that lives there has children and seems to be happy with the location.

I think an older home in Manville Heights would be one of my favorite places to live in Iowa City, and walking to downtown would be easy. I personally love downtown Iowa City, although some people don't like that in the fall/spring, there are a lot of undergraduate students. It is also right next to the swimming pool and city park. I don't actually know anyone that lives there though. My suspicion is that the families tend to be older, but that is just a guess. I don't have much else to say and I am sure others can better address your specific questions.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:41 PM
 
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Thanks for the response, jthomas. I agree with you that from the outside, Manville Heights looks pretty ideal. Sadly, my husband is less smitten with older homes than I am. And as we've been looking online, I have also learned that he favors large lots, for reasons that elude me. Alas, compromises. I don't think I'll be able to talk him into it, unless he falls in love with it on our visit.

The demographics of the neighborhood is something I've wondered about too. Generally, I think we'd be happier in slightly less moneyed surroundings, with more families with small kids. So, I can tell myself that other spots would be better from that perspective. Sounds like Willow Creek Park would be a fit for that, and quiet probably isn't a bad thing for us.

Thanks again for the reply!
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:40 PM
 
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I should add that there is a Fareway grocery store that is within easy walking distance from the Willow Creek Park area, with reasonable prices (although closed on Sundays). I stopped in there a few days ago and they took my groceries to my car, which shocked me since I hadn't had anyone do that in years.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:58 AM
 
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You'll take a huge downgrade in scenery and weather, but UIHC is an exceptional place to work. Is your husband a medical professional? I ask because those jobs are more secure and dramatically better paying than the more administrative work. Still, look at the weather reports and think carefully about the changes you'll be making. S.F. is one of the fittest cities in the country and provides a wealth of opportunities for children that won't be present in the midwest. Is it worth those costs to obtain a great job at a top hospital?

As long as you like small town life and don't mind horrible winters and summers (yeah, somehow they both suck), you may like the area just fine. Just understand there are no real (sorry D-league) professional sports within the state, no iconic bridge, no huge bay, no steady temperatures, few non-alcoholic places open past 9pm, etc.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:45 PM
 
18 posts, read 57,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
You'll take a huge downgrade in scenery and weather, but UIHC is an exceptional place to work. Is your husband a medical professional? I ask because those jobs are more secure and dramatically better paying than the more administrative work. Still, look at the weather reports and think carefully about the changes you'll be making. S.F. is one of the fittest cities in the country and provides a wealth of opportunities for children that won't be present in the midwest. Is it worth those costs to obtain a great job at a top hospital?

As long as you like small town life and don't mind horrible winters and summers (yeah, somehow they both suck), you may like the area just fine. Just understand there are no real (sorry D-league) professional sports within the state, no iconic bridge, no huge bay, no steady temperatures, few non-alcoholic places open past 9pm, etc.
I think I have two problems with a lot of posts like this one. First, OP's questions have nothing to do with this post. I would seriously doubt anyone in the nation willing to do enough research to post here is not aware that there are serious temperature differences between SF and Iowa City, for example. If someone wants that type of information, let them ask. Second, too many posts focus just on the negatives (or vice versa, depending on who posts). For example, SF is arguably the best city in the nation with an amazing culture, etc. I have family there and absolutely love it. But, raising a family there is extraordinarily expensive, even by Iowa City's standards.
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:11 PM
 
3 posts, read 21,270 times
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Thank you, lurtsman and jthomas, for the replies.

My husband is actually considering a tenure-track faculty job in a different department at the university, nothing to do with UIHC. So, the hope is that it would offer quite a lot of security. There is no concern with the pay.

And yes, I realize that Iowa has seasons. I long for them, in fact. I grew up in the East (very rural) and attended school in New England (very small town). I have been in the SF Bay Area a decade, and I get why people love it (sort of...), but it's not my thing. I appreciate things about it, especially the outdoors, but I never fell in love, and don't care for the urban-ness at all. And yes, it is so costly. I have a long commute (bridges aren't so endearing when you ride a bus across them twice a day) from a quite expensive small home in a lovely neighborhood that still gets fairly routine home break-ins when everyone is at work during the day. It infuriates me, to be honest. And unless you can afford a million-dollar home (we can't), the schools are lousy. I'm sure I will miss some things about the Bay Area, but there are a whole lot of things I won't miss one bit.

Still looking forward to finding out what I love about living in Iowa City -- I feel confident there will be plenty.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Chicago
6,365 posts, read 7,024,311 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthomas.7489 View Post
I think I have two problems with a lot of posts like this one. First, OP's questions have nothing to do with this post. I would seriously doubt anyone in the nation willing to do enough research to post here is not aware that there are serious temperature differences between SF and Iowa City, for example. If someone wants that type of information, let them ask. Second, too many posts focus just on the negatives (or vice versa, depending on who posts). For example, SF is arguably the best city in the nation with an amazing culture, etc. I have family there and absolutely love it. But, raising a family there is extraordinarily expensive, even by Iowa City's standards.
OK, but let's settle one issue here to get it off the table: view from Twin Peaks and view from top of Pentacrest are equally spectacular. now,you can get down to serious business.
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:15 AM
 
63 posts, read 108,459 times
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There is a city bus that will take a family of 4 downtown for 1.00. (But check the bus schedule and make sure the rate still applies).
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:29 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 5,151,414 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthomas.7489 View Post
I think I have two problems with a lot of posts like this one. First, OP's questions have nothing to do with this post. I would seriously doubt anyone in the nation willing to do enough research to post here is not aware that there are serious temperature differences between SF and Iowa City, for example. If someone wants that type of information, let them ask. Second, too many posts focus just on the negatives (or vice versa, depending on who posts). For example, SF is arguably the best city in the nation with an amazing culture, etc. I have family there and absolutely love it. But, raising a family there is extraordinarily expensive, even by Iowa City's standards.
I actually really like Jthomas. We disagree about so many things, but it is always an informed disagreement. I'd say of all the people that love Iowa, he is easily the brightest.

Perhaps it is true, but in my experience many people have been incorrect in guessing the weather patterns in different parts of the country. Perhaps it is research they have done, but even on City-data I've often found people planning a move that didn't rate weather as a top priority and didn't research it much. I can understand not making it a priority, but I really want people to be informed.

Yes, I focus on the negatives, because there are plenty of people touting the positives. If I want people to have a complete picture, I need to bring up whichever side was not mentioned. You wouldn't want to get restaurant reviews from the owners of the restaurant. Again, we find ourselves in agreement that SF is a great city for culture/weather.

One of the questions I often ask when acquiring information is, "What question should I have asked to get some crucial information I might have overlooked?". Sometimes, they have nothing else to tell me. Other times it opens up a new discussion into something I had not even remotely considered.

Again, thank you for the polite disagreement. It's always a pleasure with you

PS. Aside from working at UIHC, it is an excellent hospital for care. The care they provide is truly world class.
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