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Old 10-15-2016, 10:30 AM
11 posts, read 14,252 times
Reputation: 20


Hi, I'm curious as to what chances there are to find a small house/ cabin or cottage within 30 mins of UI? I live outside of Santa Fe with dogs, cats and chickens and I love it. Are there any specific areas you like? Small towns? Or even parts of Iowa City that feel more rural? Bear in mind, this is a liberal, atheist writer in her forties! Thanks!

Last edited by vter; 04-15-2017 at 09:06 AM..
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Old 10-20-2016, 08:51 AM
Location: Sun City West, AZ
554 posts, read 522,867 times
Reputation: 955
Well, the chances are very good. What you didn't mention was your budget. But from what you describe, and if you don't need a lot of land, you can probably find something for around $200k. If you are looking to rent, that could be more difficult.

Honestly, nearly all the small towns and rural areas within 30 mins of IC are nice. It's really pretty country around there.... rolling hills and lots of trees - especially near the rivers. Of course, there is a lot of corn fields too! Tiffin and West Branch are getting a little spendy, as are Swisher and Shueyville - again, it depends on your budget. You might want to look at the Oxford, Solon, and Hills areas. About the only town I wouldn't recommend is West Liberty.

I would strongly suggest that you start hunting on the internet and get a list of houses together to look at and then take a trip up there to check them and the area out. Only you can decide what you like and don't like.

Regarding your liberal / atheist bend, you'll fit right in in IC. There is a joke in Iowa that refers to the county IC is in as the People's Republic of Johnson County! The rural areas tend to be more conservative and christian. However, if you don't try to force your opinions on anyone else, I doubt you would have any problems. I would give the same advice to someone who was a conservative christian moving into IC, so this is not an attack on your viewpoints.
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Old 10-21-2016, 08:27 AM
11 posts, read 14,252 times
Reputation: 20
Thanks, I will start looking more closely online, Zillow mostly. I've seen a few places in my budget, around 100k. IC is more expensive though. Thanks for the ideas.
How about Cedar Rapids? A few places came up, 3rd st sw and D Ave NE.
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Old 10-21-2016, 09:18 PM
Location: Sun City West, AZ
554 posts, read 522,867 times
Reputation: 955
I used to live in CR... both streets you mentioned can be a little sketchy, but it depends on what the cross street is. They are both long streets, so if you get far enough out from the central core, it might not be too bad. For D Ave NE, you would want to be on the NE side of 20th St. SW of there can get real ugly. 3rd St SW is not too bad south of 16th Ave.

Generally speaking, 100K will not get you much of a house in CR. Sounds like you are not looking for anything big or fancy, so that could work for you, but most of these kinds of houses are in bad neighborhoods. Not saying it's impossible, but you really need to be careful about the neighborhood. Please feel free to ask me about anything in CR - either here or through a private message. Since that is where I lived, I am most familiar with that city.

Also, keep in mind you will be dealing with driving in snow and ice in the winter time - which could be an issue if you are commuting to IC every day. I-380 is usually kept pretty clear, but there are days when it can be almost impassable. You would have this no matter where you lived outside IC, so maybe that is actually a plus for CR, since the route is I-380, vs some 2 lane county road.

Another possibility for you is Tipton. I just did a quick search on zillow and found a few houses close to your budget.
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Old 12-26-2016, 10:51 AM
Location: Iowa City
64 posts, read 132,207 times
Reputation: 41
My take on traveling is that the higher cost of living close to work is well worth it. Especially if your on the bus route.

Me living close to work and on the bus route easily pays for my high property taxes. And is safer.

The True Cost of Commuting
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