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Old 03-29-2007, 03:22 PM
3 posts, read 14,433 times
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My husband is going to be a grad student at Univ. of Iowa in the fall and we are moving to Iowa City in the beginning of August. I grew up in Canada so I don't need to be warned about the winters .

What I would like to know is, what areas of Iowa City would be good for us to look for a place to live. We have two daughters, one will be two yrs old, the other will have just turned one. We would like to be near a nice park, and perhaps a swimming pool (not uber important but would be nice). Obviously we would like a nice quiet and safe neighborhood. We live in Birmingham now and the flora and fauna is absolutely beautiful. We would like a neighborhood with lots of trees and such. I am sure my hubby wouldn't mind making a short commute. Whatever it would be has got to better than B'ham.

Also, what is the cost of living like?
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Old 03-29-2007, 09:37 PM
3 posts, read 14,433 times
Reputation: 10
c'mon, isn't there just on voice out there to reply??? One happy soul who has lived in Iowa City? It'll just take a minute.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:59 AM
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It's been a while since I was a student, but there is a great area of town near City Park that has really big nice houses, tons of trees, and of course, it's near the park and the river. The park has a pool too. If you look at a map, and you are going along I-80, you get off on Dubuque St and go into town. City Park is on your right, and just past it is Park Rd. Turn right there, and the Park will again be on your right. Down Park Rd, to the right mainly, are the homes.

Just an idea. If you go to Google Maps you can get an idea of the area I am talking about.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:16 AM
Location: Larkspur, CO
189 posts, read 727,651 times
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There are community parks all over town and family friendly neighborhoods everywhere. There are very few areas that could be called bad, so that really shouldn't be a worry.
Using Google Maps is a great way to "look around" town and figure out the streets, find parks, etc. Then when you get to IC, you'll have a little more familiarity with it.
It's hard to move to a new town without ever being there, but IC is a great place to live! Try to get a short term rental if humanly possible, then you can explore the city and move if you don't like where you start at.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:50 PM
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Thanks all! I will try out the google (or yahoo - I don't remember) idea.
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:03 PM
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I live near Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa City is a nice place to be. Cost of living is affordable. People are nice... will look at you, smile and say hi. Kids are a great way to meet other people. It's a family friendly place. U of I is a really good school (although I'm an Iowa State Alumn). We have lots of land in Iowa. Room to move. Clean air (stay away from pig farms - nasty). Beautiful (clean) parks... There are lots of little quaint small towns throughout the state with historic town squares and local shops. Lots of really fun small town celebrations for the 4th of July and Christmas. We have a more laid-back pace of life. Wow, I'm sounding a little nostalgic now that I'm getting ready to move to VA! I've travelled alot for my job (50%) and Iowa is a good place to call home. Really good public school systems too!
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:09 AM
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I've lived in Iowa City for 25 years and have three kids in the school system there. Born and raised in Iowa.

As others have said, there really isn't a bad part of town. There are 'better' areas, and if you are looking at a particular area email me and I'll give you more info.

The part of town mentioned in an earlier post (by City park, off Dubuque street) is in a section called Manville Heights which is very close to the University (older, historic houses). Very expensive compared to the rest of the city.

You might want to check the area near Willow Creek Park, off Benton Street (Teg Drive). There are a lot of nice housing developments back there, some a bit older with mature yards, others newer and very nice, and quite reasonably priced. This would be in the Horn elementary school district, which is an excellent neighborhood elementary school (my kids go there).

The above is on the west side. You can find very nice (although generally a bit older) neighborhoods on the east side, probably for less money because the population seems to be moving towards the west side of town (more shopping, etc). The east side is still very nice though. Some good elementary schools to look for on the east side are Hoover, Shimek, or Lemme (there are others). Some good elementary schools to look for on the west side are Horn, Lincoln, or Weber (again, there are others). There are no really "bad" schools here, all the public schools are good, but there are some that are better than others. I am pretty well versed in this so let me know if you want more information on schools.

There is also an issue about high school enrollment districts which was just passed, which will affect anyone moving to the area -- I can explain this if anyone is interested. For me it would affect where I would look to buy.

Another area (just thought of) you might want to look into is off Rohret Road, in the newer subdivisions there (built from the early 1990's to now). Very nice, and in Weber school district.
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:24 AM
38 posts, read 118,329 times
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Question IA City for non-university folk?

We are considering a move to Ia City, but we're wondering whether it is a place for families that aren't affiliated with the university. Can anyone speak to this? And also whether there are other industries providing jobs?

Thanks in advance. All the postings here are extremely helpful.
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Old 04-12-2007, 08:09 AM
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Default Non-University Types

-- "...we're wondering whether [Iowa City] is a place for families that aren't affiliated with the university. Can anyone speak to this?" --

We recently moved to the Coralville (Coralville and IA City are linked) and neither me nor my wife have any kind of Hawkeye background. There are a billion little niche communities going on here, so it's really easy to find something you enjoy doing, particularly anything involving the arts. The libraries are safe and excellent and the schools are some of the best in the state (I've subbed all over Iowa). That said, it is a university town - very much so. We do get tired of endless streams of vulgar drunk college students swarming about at night, and the town during football season is rather surreal. "Really? Grown adults care this much about a game?" These things are avoidable, if you choose (except for the traffic). Although it can be fun to see what the latest college fashions are (you'll swear you're seeing the same blonde woman or sideburned guy on every corner!)

I've noticed a kind of "University Backlash" in the surrounding rural communities. Not against the sports, but against the liberal/intellectual nature of the university. We don't feel comfortable in their conservative mindset, but don't feel entirely a part of the university crowd. So we are in a bit of a social limbo at the moment. However, it is a town that is exciting to slowly find our way.
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