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Old 12-19-2010, 08:50 PM
 
161 posts, read 579,204 times
Reputation: 97

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Hello,

I am looking to move from Texas back to the midwest and am trying to determine what cities might work for me. Davenport looks like a good fit on paper and from reviews others have wrote. So here's my story:

I am 31 and single. I have a condition which prevents me from driving and limits me from doing certain types of work. I receive some disability insurance payments, but still can work part time. The jobs I am comfortable with and have experience doing are in retail, hotels, and restaurants.

I moved to Texas to care for an elderly relative for a while. Now that I am no longer needed, I desperately want to get back to the midwest. I have lived most of my life in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, and the Dakotas. So I am no stranger to midwest weather. I would describe myself as a blue-collar democrat, not the extreme liberal type though. I still have simple, conservative values and do not need much to be happy.

I was originally planning on transferring with my job in retail, which limited where I could move. But they have declined so much and I disapprove of so many of the things they are doing now, that I am now thinking I need a complete change. That has opened doors to more potential places like Davenport. I have been to other parts of Iowa, and my experiences have always been positive.

I don't want to live in a place that is growing like crazy and will soon be outpriced for what I can afford. I don't require tons of nightlife or entertainment. I just need to have the basics to get by and know how to make the most of wherever I am. The Quad Cities seem to have a half-decent bus system for an area that size. I have done with much less. I don't expect buses every 15 minutes or 24 hours a day.

So here are a few questions I need to ask:

Would it be hard to find a simple 1bd apartment for under $550 a month?

Do you think I would be able to find a part-time job in the retail/hotel/restaurant field? I would not be moving there without any income or savings, but I would need to find something eventually.

What areas should I avoid?

In particular, is the area near NorthPark Mall decent? The area appeals to me because there are numerous potential work places and quite a few apartments nearby.

Is Davenport really hilly all over or just certain parts? I have been to Iowa before. One place I was in was Dubuque, and obviously saw some big hills there.

Thank you in adavnce for any insight?
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:11 PM
 
4,776 posts, read 6,501,451 times
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1br for $550 is definitely doable, The apt's near NP mall are probably cheaper than that. My last place was a 2br townhouse in Bettendorf for $595.

I think part time jobs aren't a problem to find. Check out Jobs And Careers - Iowa Workforce Development it covers everything from dishwashers to factory jobs to clerical. They'll have you a job in a couple of days. Or places like manpower. Lots of temp agencies in the QCA.

No areas really need to be avoided, but the worse area would be along 3rd-6th st., It goes block by block, some blocks are run down and you might have your car broken into, the next block is on the historic register and is really nice....stay above 14th (North of Locust) and you won't have any problems. Almost all of Dav's apt complexes are north of Locust anyway.

The Quad Cities sit in a valley with the Mississippi in the middle. You'll hear people say 'Top of the hill' and 'Bottom of the hill' in all 4 cities. Most of Davenport sits on top of the hill. No real hills other than that. Not like Dubuque.

Good Luck!!
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:28 PM
 
33 posts, read 92,488 times
Reputation: 24
Default Davenport or other Iowa city

Trailhiker,

I agree that the price point is okay for an apartment in Davenport or in other Iowa cities. If you don't want an aggressively growing place then I would not recommend Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Ames, or Des Moines. You should be able to find retail or hospitality work of some sort. I think the best bus systems in Iowa are in Ames and Iowa City, but those may not be what you want considering your post. Davenport may be a good choice especially since you have had an experience with it and it was positive. You may want to consider Waterloo. If you would consider a smaller city then Burlington may be good for you. A Burlington website says, "Routes service nearly all areas of Burlington, and nearly 90% of all residents live within 3 city blocks of a bus route." City of Burlington, Iowa
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:59 PM
 
161 posts, read 579,204 times
Reputation: 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauger60 View Post
Trailhiker,

I agree that the price point is okay for an apartment in Davenport or in other Iowa cities. If you don't want an aggressively growing place then I would not recommend Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Ames, or Des Moines. You should be able to find retail or hospitality work of some sort. I think the best bus systems in Iowa are in Ames and Iowa City, but those may not be what you want considering your post. Davenport may be a good choice especially since you have had an experience with it and it was positive. You may want to consider Waterloo. If you would consider a smaller city then Burlington may be good for you. A Burlington website says, "Routes service nearly all areas of Burlington, and nearly 90% of all residents live within 3 city blocks of a bus route." City of Burlington, Iowa
Thanks for the positive replies so far.

Yeah, I realize the bus systems in those other cities may be better, but too many other things make them places I don't desire (super liberal, fast growth, filled with college students). I am used to average, not great, bus service, so it won't be a shock to me.

I have considered Waterloo and Burlington, and even Fort Dodge. Waterloo may be an option that works. Burlington looks attractive, but there is one thing I can't see working. I fly several times a year, and I really need to have a city whose airport is served by "regualr" commercial airlines. Since I can't drive, I can't just drive a few hours to a bigger airport. Burlington is served by one small airline called Air Choice One, I think. They fly to Chicago and St. Louis, but you cannot make your reservations beyond that on a major airline without booking a whole different ticket. This means you have to re-check your bags and go through security in the big airport, and if one of your flights is late, the next airline does not care becuase they think you're starting in Chicago or St. Louis. I did this in another city for 2 years, and it is a nightmare unless things go just right

I know for Davenport, the airport would be the Quad Cities airport in Moline, IL, which is served by multiple airlines. Waterloo and Fort Dodge are both served by Delta Connection to Minneapolis, and there is also shuttle service to MSP.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:24 AM
 
4,776 posts, read 6,501,451 times
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Davenports buses stop early..9pm I think and IIRC they don't run at all on Sundays.

The QC airport is pretty decent..I've only flown to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale from there but I know others who have flown to Dallas, Vegas and Atlanta on non stop flights.
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:20 PM
 
161 posts, read 579,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dport7674 View Post
Davenports buses stop early..9pm I think and IIRC they don't run at all on Sundays.

The QC airport is pretty decent..I've only flown to Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale from there but I know others who have flown to Dallas, Vegas and Atlanta on non stop flights.
I am used to not having buses on Sundays. It is quite common in smaller cities. And stopping at 9pm is an improvement over where I am now. They stop at 5:30pm.

The way I see it, if I have to take a taxi on Sundays or an occasional night, I just incorporate that into my budget. I really can't complain when I have no car payment, no car maintainence, no auto insurance bill, and no gas to pay for.

As for the airport, you can fly to quite a few major hubs and/or destinations non-stop. The list I saw includes

Atlanta (Air Tran and Delta Connection)
Memphis (Delta Connection)
Detroit (Delta Connection)
Chicago O' Hare (American Eagle and United Express)
Minneapolis/St. Paul (Delta Connection)
Denver (United Express)
Las Vegas (Allegiant)
Phoenix-Mesa (Alleginat)
Dallas/Ft Worth (American Eagle)
Fort Myers, FL (Air Tran beginning in Feb 2011)
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Quad Cities, IA
85 posts, read 347,627 times
Reputation: 53
As far as public transit goes, Davenports bus system is adequate. Not the best, but you can get about anywhere in town. I'm sure it's better than the other cities you mentioned, seeing as Davenport is 2 to 3 times the size of them.
There's a TON of hotels and motels here, including a fancy boutique hotel called the Blackhawk which was just renovated downtown. I'm sure you could find a job pretty easily.
The neighborhoods around Northpark Mall are pretty nice. Nothing real fancy, but a nice clean quiet neighborhood, low crime.
Areas to avoid would be south of Locust Street on the central western side, Heatherton Dr. on the west side. It's not like people are getting gunned down in the street or anything, but they are higher crime areas.
You can easily find a 1BR apartment for 550. Maybe even a nice 2BR for that price. Apartments and houses are pretty reasonably priced.
The only real "hill" is going from downtown to uptown from about 4th St. to Palmer college.
Blue collar Democrat would describe most of this city perfectly. It's not San Fran or Berkley, California. But it's not Mayberry either. Mostly moderate.

Heres a link for apartments in the area. Davenport Apartments for Rent | Davenport IA Apartment Finder

Heres a list of some hotels/motels. Davenport Hotels: Read Davenport Hotel Reviews and Compare Prices - TripAdvisor

Good luck. If you have any questions feel free to send me a message.
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Quad Cities, IA
85 posts, read 347,627 times
Reputation: 53
Oh yeah. I'm originally from Phoenix/Glendale, AZ. I fly there at least twice a year, and the QC airport is very nice. Not very big, but they have a surprising number of non stop flights to major cities. The ticket agents are friendly, the lines are usually short.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:52 AM
 
Location: Newport, Kentucky
22 posts, read 17,618 times
Reputation: 11
The Quad City International Airport is the third busiest airport in the state of Illinois, and is alot cheaper than any other Iowa or Illinois Airport so that is always a ++++.
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