U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa > Iowa City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 01-13-2009, 03:25 PM
 
Location: California
83 posts, read 421,786 times
Reputation: 43

Advertisements

Greetings:

My husband is looking at a job at the university and I know nothing about Iowa city. Can you help me identify some neighborhoods or zip codes to look at?

Here's a little bit about us:

We are 30s/40s with a toddler.
We are politically liberal hopeful agnostics.
We tend to like to live close to where we work though we are open on this.
We will need to be somewhere with good public schools.
We would love an older home with charm (20s/30s/40s).
We would love to be able to walk to some restaurants/services.
We would prefer to be in a well established neighborhood with trees.

Our current home (a rental) has spoiled us rotten as we are directly across the street from a fabulous park with a duck pond, library, tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pool, a baseball diamond, a dog park, a rose garden, and a really fun playground. While I don't expect to ever find this all in one place again, we would love to be near some nice things like these.

We don't want to be anywhere prone to flooding.

We haven't ever owned so I'm really not sure what we can afford (it will depend on his new salary, etc.) but currently we pay $1650 per month in rent. I'm guessing we could afford a home between 300 and 400,000, though possibly up to 500,000 with help from family. We would love to be able to get a 4/2 for that.

So I know this is a hugh wish list, but any ideas you have for us would be MOST appreciated!!

Thanks a bunch!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-13-2009, 06:58 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,122,964 times
Reputation: 167
Your price range should get you a nice, large house in basically any area neighborhood. Since you're looking for an older neighborhood, I'd recommend sticking to Iowa City alone, and probably east of the river. The suburbs and the west side will be too new for your taste. The older homes in Iowa City are downtown (on a map, the grid-patterned streets east of the University, around Dubuque St, Iowa Ave, Gilbert St, etc. There are also some beautiful homes around Kirkwood Ave. on the southeast side of town, however I've heard Twain is not the best school right now. I don't know about Longfellow (which I believe covers downtown, someone correct me if I'm wrong - the only map I could find looked outdated) but I think it has a better reputation at least.

Finding a neighborhood that is walkable will also mean living around a lot of college students, so you have to decide how much of that you want. Kirkwood isn't exactly within walking distance of anywhere too interesting, although it's only a very short drive to groceries or some shopping, or even downtown. Downtown, depending on where exactly the house is, is walkable and has grocery stores, restaurants, a theater, art galleries, little stores, the public library, etc. This area is centered around the Ped Mall at Iowa & Dubuque.

I sifted through some listings at iowacityareamls.com (The local realtors' association website, it's nice because it combines many realtors' listings.) and found a few things I thought might work for you:
Iowa City Area Association of Realtors - iowacityareamls.com (http://www.iowacityareamls.com/search/detail.aspx?&p=90aedaa0-85d3-4f75-b0cb-321163a725cb&backUrl=/search/search.aspx&q=da4579eb-11af-4f36-ae3a-5272097b2605&auto=1&csz=Iowa+City,+IA&r=20&pb=&pe= 400000&mbd=4&mba=2&oho=False&page=4&as=Grid - broken link) 530 Brown St., this is on the north side of Downtown. It would be about 8 blocks to get to any stores (specifically a coffee shop, some great little restaurants, a bank, a bookstore, a gas station, and a few small shops) but you are very close to Mann Elementary and its playground/park. I believe there may be college students but this street is a beautiful brick street in a historic area. (I think it's called Goosetown?)

Iowa City Area Association of Realtors - iowacityareamls.com (http://www.iowacityareamls.com/search/detail.aspx?&p=5883c327-b124-406a-afe7-a949128bfaae&backUrl=/search/search.aspx&q=da4579eb-11af-4f36-ae3a-5272097b2605&auto=1&csz=Iowa+City,+IA&r=20&pb=&pe= 400000&mbd=4&mba=2&oho=False&page=3&as=Grid - broken link) 920 Ginter Ave., around Kirkwood. This neighborhood seems nice in my opinion but it does feed to Twain Elementary, which has a bad rap in this area for lower test scores.

Iowa City Area Association of Realtors - iowacityareamls.com (http://www.iowacityareamls.com/search/detail.aspx?&p=a0f7c482-b5c9-4a88-8597-b7917d02db52&backUrl=/search/search.aspx&q=da4579eb-11af-4f36-ae3a-5272097b2605&auto=1&csz=Iowa+City,+IA&r=20&pb=&pe= 400000&mbd=4&mba=2&oho=False&page=5&as=Grid - broken link) 741 Dearborn St., I think this home has a lot of character, but it's not really within walking distance of anything. I believe the schools in this area are fine and it is decently close to a high school.

There are a few options, but look around that site or just Google "Iowa City homes" and you'll be sure to find listings. The site I mentioned is the most convenient to use in my opinion, but feel free to look elsewhere since I'm not sure all the area realtors put their listings there. If you have any more questions, please ask
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2009, 08:05 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,319,672 times
Reputation: 911
Expect one of the Des Moines people to ask why you would even consider Iowa City! When Des Moines is superior!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2009, 08:10 PM
 
1,911 posts, read 3,319,672 times
Reputation: 911
coralville
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2009, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,808,045 times
Reputation: 446
Welcome to Iowa City (hopefully)!

Iowegian is right on the money.

Your best bet, as far as neighborhoods go is probably Northside or Goosetown. Both are older, well established neighborhoods north and east of downtown and campus, with a mix of college students, professors and townies. Your kids would go to Horace Mann school, a good and diverse elementary school. You would be close to one of a number of parks...depending on where you would live, although you'd probably want to pack up and go to City Park most of the time.

Manville Heights is a very nice neighborhood south of City Park, west and north of downtown. But it's a small and wealthy neighborhood, and probably pushes the upper end of your price range.

College Green/Longfellow is also a good neighborhood, but has more college students (the rowdy kind) and more Greek houses.

Court Hill is also a very nice neighborhood, but is farther out from downtown...and so is less walkable.

All the above neighborhoods have lots of trees, are safe, and walkable/bikeable (although some more so than others). In general, the schools in Iowa City are very good, with the exception of Twain and Grant Wood. In general, avoid neighborhoods south of Hwy. 6.

This map (.pdf) is a good guide to the neighborhoods of Iowa City.


You guys sound like you'd enjoy Iowa City very much. Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-13-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,122,964 times
Reputation: 167
Just for another idea on how walkable the area is, here's Walkscore.com: Link. The house on Brown I linked to got a 77/100 (very walkable), the house on Ginter got 68 (somewhat walkable - I think it deserves lower than this but not my rankings) and the house on Dearborn got 47 (car-dependent). You can also type in your current address for comparison. Just a nice little site I thought I'd share.

Also, the only neighborhoods in Iowa City you should avoid for flooding reasons would be "Mosquito Flats", which is Normandy, Eastmoor, and Manor Drives, and Idyllwild (around Foster Rd. and Taft Speedway). Iowa City is very hilly and so all the other residential areas are far uphill.

I'll agree that Iowa City sounds like a great fit for you. I'd suggest coming to visit, especially since you're coming from California. Hopefully you can tolerate snow
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-14-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: California
83 posts, read 421,786 times
Reputation: 43
Default Thanks!

Thanks for the info.! I'll check out the sites. I really appreciate all of the detail and look forward to looking at in all in deatail!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Iowa > Iowa City
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top