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Old 03-27-2009, 09:41 AM
 
21 posts, read 63,691 times
Reputation: 19

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We are looking at relocating to Iowa City and living there for approx. 2 years. Where/what do you think would be the best to buy for a house. I don't really want to rent since we have several pets that may make that difficult. We are currently living in a small town in IL and are having a very difficult time selling our house (over a year). I don't ever want to experience being "stuck" living somewhere I don't want to be again for such a long time as we are now. Since I know our stay in the Iowa City area will most likely be short term I am just trying to decide what to buy - an older home in Iowa City, new construction in North Liberty, new construction in Iowa City. What do you think would be easiest to sell in just a few years. We are a family of 4 looking in the $200,000 range. I like the idea of brand new since the house we live in now has been a huge money pit, but there seems to be tons of cookie cutter new construction there so I wonder if anyone would buy a "used" new house in a few years if there are new ones that are exactly the same. Iowa City seems to be one of the few areas of the country without negative equity on homes right now.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Bettendorf, Iowa
51 posts, read 195,220 times
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Being a college town, real estate stays pretty high in Iowa city...Why buy if you are only going to stay for a couple of years?
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:13 AM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,921,434 times
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$200K will buy something decent in the Iowa City area. It's more expensive than most of the state, but still much cheaper than the rest of the nation.

I do agree that you probably shouldn't buy. The prices aren't likely to increase in two years, and paying a 6% realtor commission to sell will leave you owing money. 6% of 200K is $12K in commssion alone. Not to mention all the maintenance that could come up. I just think it doesn't make sense. Plus some mortgages have a pre-pay penalty.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:06 PM
 
21 posts, read 63,691 times
Reputation: 19
I have just had bad experiences with landlords in the past and now we have 2 dogs and 2 small kids, who tend to be a little rough on carpet, etc. I looked at a few rentals online, but house rentals in college towns are usually very expensive because they figure it is divided up per student living there, not one family. There is always the chance we really like the area and will stay. Pretty much the only thing we don't like about the area, from what I have seen so far, in the weather. We have a long range plan to head down south, but if we really love living there we could stay.
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:52 PM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,921,434 times
Reputation: 1884
You are right about Iowa City, along with other Iowa towns, not seeing a huge depreciation in home values. The boom never really hit Iowa that hard, so the bust is a lot less severe also.

IMO, something near campus would probably be the best bet for resale. I'm not very familiar with the IC housing market. Just Hawkeye football and the Magic Schoolbus.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,123,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke9686 View Post
IMO, something near campus would probably be the best bet for resale. I'm not very familiar with the IC housing market. Just Hawkeye football and the Magic Schoolbus.
I was actually going to say the opposite. I live in Coralville and my home has appreciated slightly since we moved here about 5 years ago. It is still valued above the price we bought it for then, even after the drop in home prices. I would guess that a home in Coralville or North Liberty would probably appreciate the fastest, as that area is very in demand right now. North Liberty is Iowa's second-fastest-growing city and so many people are moving there. Home sales have been significantly slower around here than they were back in '04 but it appears to me that newer homes still sell pretty well.
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