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Old 02-02-2010, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,808 posts, read 2,263,820 times
Reputation: 1571

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Hi there,

Might be moving to the IC area within the next months. Would be looking for a rental for 2 years while the fiancee is in grad school. I run a small business and so need just a little more space than what passes for grad housing here in NYC, but I suspect our dollar will go a bit further there than it does here.

A couple questions:

Do most people who attend the university live fairly close to it? I've read that IC's transit system is pretty good so long as you are in Iowa City or in Coralville.

Anyone know what the broadband internet situation is like there? Not a dealbreaker but important for the business.

Finally, any recommendations on a decent place to rent a 2 bedroom apt or condo (garage would be really nice too!)? I see lots of stuff in Coralville and in North Liberty - is there any incentive to live 20 minutes away if we're just going to be there for a couple years?

Looking forward to not new york...
Thanks very much!
Aq
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Old 02-02-2010, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Norwalk, IA
54 posts, read 128,968 times
Reputation: 20
Greetings.

I have a couple good ideas for you. Right now I rent in Iowa City. I am 4 blocks south of the Hospital/Kinnick Statidum on Oakcrest street. We rent a 2 bedroom apartment here with 1 bath, water is paid for, internet can be hooked up easily but costs around $85/month with cable TV. Full kitchen and spacious rooms.

It is very quiet over here. It is right on a perfect city bus route as well that comes twice an hour. Very good location and comes out to around $800 total give or take for the whole month.

The surrounding residents are mostly Asian/Indian/Arabic and really tend to their studies more then anything. No loud parties or crazy stuff going on over on the West side of the river. There are several apartment complexes in this general area.

Do a quick google map search for the 1000 block of Oakcrest St. in IC. Hope that helps!
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,808 posts, read 2,263,820 times
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Thanks for the tip! Yeah, definitely would like to avoid party area.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Norwalk, IA
54 posts, read 128,968 times
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Also, rent gets cheaper as you go westward towards I280. There are some areas like Westwinds, Walden Ridge that are getting pretty cheap. They are farther from campus and city transit is still good in those parts. The residents in those areas are a little iffy at times from my experiences. My girlfriend and sister live over there right now and my girlfriends car got keyed really badly. Cops are over in that area sometimes too.

Stay away from anything on Broadway in IC!

As soon as you get on the east side of the river, prices skyrocket and you enter the party scene downtown.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:28 PM
 
Location: SC
20 posts, read 88,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CampbellsChunkySoupra View Post
Also, rent gets cheaper as you go westward towards I280. There are some areas like Westwinds, Walden Ridge that are getting pretty cheap. They are farther from campus and city transit is still good in those parts. The residents in those areas are a little iffy at times from my experiences. My girlfriend and sister live over there right now and my girlfriends car got keyed really badly. Cops are over in that area sometimes too.

Stay away from anything on Broadway in IC!

As soon as you get on the east side of the river, prices skyrocket and you enter the party scene downtown.
it's actually I380, not 280. North of I80 it's I380, south of I80 it's hwy 218.
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Old 02-04-2010, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Norwalk, IA
54 posts, read 128,968 times
Reputation: 20
Typo. Apologies.
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Old 02-05-2010, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,808 posts, read 2,263,820 times
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One last question - didn't want to start a new thread. Does Iowa City have a local income tax? My business isn't too big but I can't say as Iowa is very attractive business-wise - on the overall tax index of every state, you're pretty much directly behind New York, which is an accomplishment. It's still better than NYC though!

At any rate, I just wanted to see if the city of IC tacks on an additional local income tax. Not concerned as much with sales or property tax since I'll just be around while the fiancee is in school.

I have to say, though, that while everybody here in the city raises an eyebrow when I tell them we're going to Iowa, I'm fairly excited about it - I'll miss Broadway and some of the restaurants here in NYC but I won't miss paying $1300 for a room in a three bedroom in Brooklyn. I've also heard it compared to Ithaca, NY, and I spent a good six years there.

Thanks for the tips!
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Norwalk, IA
54 posts, read 128,968 times
Reputation: 20
While I can not confirm or report on the local income tax for small business, I can tell you that Iowa has been hit the least hardest in terms of unemployment. CNBC even reported that Iowa was a top 5 state to do business in [especially in Des Moines].

That doesn't answer your question at all but might ease your mind a bit. I guess it depends on your line of work as well. Iowa is a "financial/insurance" area. Lots of big insurance companies and banks with headquarters in and around the state.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,808 posts, read 2,263,820 times
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Do you happen to know on what basis CNBC would make such a claim?

I'm talking about purely the 'cost of doing business' - that is, the aggregate effect of state and city corporate income tax, personal income tax, sales & gross receipts taxes, and (though this last one doesn't matter for me) property taxes.

Take a look here:

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (http://www.sbecouncil.org/businesstaxindex2009/ - broken link)

The 'red' states are the ten worst. Click on the link for the full report (it's short) for actual breakdowns by numbers.

There are certainly other factors involved -- for example, my home state of DE is great not because it's got really low taxes (though they're certainly lower than NY and IA) but because of it's chancery court system and small, agile legislature. Other states have very friendly laws to particular businesses, as you mentioned.

My line of work (web application development - mostly for youth sports) is largely unregulated and so it just comes down to cost of doing business....we fall between the cracks because we're the sort of business, size-wise and structure-wise, that most government (state and Obama and the Dems, certainly) look at as a piggy bank, even though we're all middle class and have no company cars or yachts or anything like that. But these days, at last we're not a drug company or a bank!

Still, glad to hear that Iowa is doing well. Businesses are leaving NY, NJ, and CA in droves.
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