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Old 03-04-2012, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Iowa
23 posts, read 89,143 times
Reputation: 21

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My wife and I (early 30's, quiet professionals, no kids) will be relocating from Philadelphia, PA to Cedar Rapids (or maybe Iowa City?) before the end of the summer. She beat formidable odds in her field and has found employment in downtown CR. By-and-large we like what we read here about the CR/IC area, and though we have grown to love Philly a change of pace and a lower cost of living would not be bad things. We are "cautiously excited" about our relocation.

The plan is to rent an apt or a house until A) I find a job and B) we get enough of a feel for the CR/IC area to buy a home of our own. My thought is to rent in CR rather than IC for convenience to my wife's job, but we are open to any reasonable commute (half hour or less) for her. I understand from other threads that IC is generally younger, livelier, and up later, however thats a good and a bad thing IMO. Our wish list is small: respectful neighbors; safe, quiet neighborhood; 2 bedrooms; will allow a cat; monthly rent up to $1100, which seems like more than enough. We are looking to start a lease Aug 1 or around there. Questions for the forum:

1. Best resources to find rentals in the area? I am using the usual suspects like craigslist and padmapper. Can you direct me to anything better/local?

2. Can anyone, given the criteria above, recommend any apt. complexes for us? I find sites like apartmentratings so full of contradictory and suspicious information that they become useless. It is difficult to judge quality from afar.

3. When should we visit? A thoughtful perk with my wife's position is airfare, car, and hotel for her and I to visit CR/IC to secure housing prior to moving. If we are to use this opportunity as designed (which I think means we schedule as many showings as we can while there and sign a lease before departing) it requires that we time our visit with the rental market somewhat. Most CR houses seem to be available immediately or quite soon, most apts seem like they are a month or two out. I suspect that everything in IC rents in the spring or very early summer, to accommodate the student influx? When do you think is a smart time to take this trip, given our Aug 1 target?

Thank you all in advance.
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:30 PM
 
1,922 posts, read 1,573,314 times
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I work with a guy that lived at Windsor on the River. He said it was ok, but i see a lot of reviews where the reviewer doesn't recommend it.

If you look at apartments on the SW side of CR, I suggest you avoid the Cedar Hills area, and areas close to Edgewood Rd. south of E Ave.

http://www.myapartmentmap.com/list/c...FehgTAodsxnfYw

If you look through the apts listed at the site I linked to, you could ask about specific apts. Maybe someone would have more information on them.
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:34 PM
 
1,922 posts, read 1,573,314 times
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Cedar Rapids Apartments for Rent - Cedar Rapids Apartments Reviews and Ratings

These list apartments in order of ratings.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:35 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 56,062,417 times
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I posted about apartment hunting in Cedar Rapids on another CR thread. In our research, apparently there are no good places in CR to rent . If you look on-line none of them get good reviews. We will be doing some apartment hunting in CR over the next few months. I will let you know what we find.
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Old 03-11-2012, 05:41 PM
 
20,793 posts, read 56,062,417 times
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Ok, here is what we found--don't bother with Pheasant Run, they are not in good shape at all, on our way to look at the place, 3 cop cars blocking the entrance, had someone they were "talking" to--mid-day, Saturday. Windsor on the River--the setting is lovely until you get close to the buildings. If you have never rented anything outside of college housing and you smoke, you will be just fine here . We did find Grand Reserve (north side of Cedar Rapids off Boyson Rd, kind of by the Target there). Fairly new buildings, quite area, hold social gatherings for residents, mostly younger professionals. Probably a good choice for you. We will probably rent there if we don't find anything better. If we do, I will let you know.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Iowa
23 posts, read 89,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Ok, here is what we found--don't bother with Pheasant Run, they are not in good shape at all, on our way to look at the place, 3 cop cars blocking the entrance, had someone they were "talking" to--mid-day, Saturday. Windsor on the River--the setting is lovely until you get close to the buildings. If you have never rented anything outside of college housing and you smoke, you will be just fine here . We did find Grand Reserve (north side of Cedar Rapids off Boyson Rd, kind of by the Target there). Fairly new buildings, quite area, hold social gatherings for residents, mostly younger professionals. Probably a good choice for you. We will probably rent there if we don't find anything better. If we do, I will let you know.
Thanks so much for the info, its fortunate to have "boots on the ground" looking for apts in CR. Any further places you see or impressions you have of other complexes would be hugely appreciated.

Windsor on the River has been suggested to me several times, including in this thread. It seems one of the more divisive places, with reviewers either hating it or astonished that anyone could hate it. Your input is helpful.

Grand Reserve was actually at the top of my list, and I'm glad you saw it. Rockwell Collins Engineering is across the street (south side of Blairs Ferry) and apparently many of their out-of-town recruits tend to live there by default. This explains the young professional demographic, and may justify why they are expensive comparatively? This seems to be the primary complaint...
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:08 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 56,062,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by refried sushi View Post
Thanks so much for the info, its fortunate to have "boots on the ground" looking for apts in CR. Any further places you see or impressions you have of other complexes would be hugely appreciated.

Windsor on the River has been suggested to me several times, including in this thread. It seems one of the more divisive places, with reviewers either hating it or astonished that anyone could hate it. Your input is helpful.

Grand Reserve was actually at the top of my list, and I'm glad you saw it. Rockwell Collins Engineering is across the street (south side of Blairs Ferry) and apparently many of their out-of-town recruits tend to live there by default. This explains the young professional demographic, and may justify why they are expensive comparatively? This seems to be the primary complaint...
It's worth the extra dollars for Grand Reserve. The location is great if you work at Rockwell, DH will be working downtown so not as good for us. It is also pretty close to Target and basic shopping so that is also nice. Not having to use Collins road to and from work is a HUGE plus. The "neighbors" at Grand Reserve are a senior housing complex, an assisted living place and the Red Cross chapter office.

If Windsor cleaned up their buildings, installed nicer carpeting, etc. and charged a little more for rent, we would consider this place. If this was your first place out of college, I can see where people would be ok with the filthy hallways, cigarette smoke, etc. The setting is very pretty, almost like living in a state park.

We are working with a real estate agent in town because once we all move there, we will buy a house (and we sell our current home). She is contacting some condo/townhome owners that aren't having a lot of success selling. We have a lead on a couple places like that. I think for us, that will work out better. We are a lot older than you are.

We did find a couple areas where we would like to build/buy a house eventually though so that was good.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:25 PM
 
7 posts, read 11,951 times
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Hello refried sushi,

My husband and I went through this same thing last summer as we planned to relocate for his new job at Coe College. don't know much about apt. complexes but there are definitely a lot of crummy ones--if you don't want to go too upscale. House rentals are pretty cheap compared to Philly, where I've also lived. We rented on the SE side and really like it a lot--it has personality. The best way to find house rentals here, we've found, is Craigslist or to drive around, unfortunately. Happy to talk at more length about IC vs. CR, or about CR vs. Phila too!
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Iowa
23 posts, read 89,143 times
Reputation: 21
Thanks Greg, golfgal, and kdukes for chiming in.
Here and elsewhere, I run across comments like:

Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
In our research, apparently there are no good places in CR to rent . If you look on-line none of them get good reviews.
and:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdukes View Post
don't know much about apt. complexes but there are definitely a lot of crummy ones--if you don't want to go too upscale.
I understand statements like that are a little tongue-in-cheek, but I am beginning to wonder if there is a kernel of truth to them. There does seem to be plenty of sketchy to mediocre apartment complexes out there, and few that most agree are "good". Are rental options in CR lower quality on average than elsewhere? If so, why would that be? (IC is a college town, and not a fair comparison.)

No insult intended to CR, it will likely be my home soon, just wondering...
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:41 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 56,062,417 times
Reputation: 10571
Quote:
Originally Posted by refried sushi View Post
Thanks Greg, golfgal, and kdukes for chiming in.
Here and elsewhere, I run across comments like:



and:



I understand statements like that are a little tongue-in-cheek, but I am beginning to wonder if there is a kernel of truth to them. There does seem to be plenty of sketchy to mediocre apartment complexes out there, and few that most agree are "good". Are rental options in CR lower quality on average than elsewhere? If so, why would that be? (IC is a college town, and not a fair comparison.)

No insult intended to CR, it will likely be my home soon, just wondering...
I think largely because there are several colleges in CR that the apartments are not the best. College kids are not known for keeping apartments looking nice . Part of our issue is that we are not willing to pay $1200-1500/month for an apartment. It could also just be we don't know the area well enough and haven't found the nicer complexes too. The age of the apartment buildings is an issue too. Over time they do get run down and perhaps the economy is a factor where the management companies don't have enough capital to upgrade as needed. I'm just guessing at reasons.
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