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Old 10-29-2007, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Texas
8 posts, read 108,990 times
Reputation: 22

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My husband and I are moving to Waterloo next May and are looking around for places to live. We are from Texas and do not know anyone from the area so we are very unfamiliar with the city. Which streets/ areas should be avoided? I have heard the East side can be rough. Where is the city divided into North, South, East, and West? Which areas should we look for? We would really like to buy a house but couldn't pay more than 70,000. Are there any decent neighborhoods with houses in that range?

If not, then we will probably get an apartment in Cedar Falls or Waterloo. Any apartments near good parks? I have a little daughter and if we don't have a yard it would be great to walk to a playground.

Last question...I have seen several posts stating that Waterloo is a bad place to live. Everyone has their own opinions but I'm interested in what "bad" could mean. If anyone has lived in Houston or Dallas, TX, is it that bad or just normal every town has its bad parts bad?
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Texas
8 posts, read 108,990 times
Reputation: 22
What is Belmont Avenue like? I have find a really great looking house (on the internet) but that house and the others around it seem pretty cheap. I'm wondering if it's because of the area.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:42 PM
 
204 posts, read 944,905 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasgirl View Post
I have seen several posts stating that Waterloo is a bad place to live. Everyone has their own opinions but I'm interested in what "bad" could mean. If anyone has lived in Houston or Dallas, TX, is it that bad or just normal every town has its bad parts bad?
Most of those who say Waterloo is bad are pro-Des Moines people who trash every other city in the state for not being a "big city" like Des Moines. Waterloo definitely has it share of problems, but it has rebounded from a very dark period in the 80s when the factories closed down. There are parts of Waterloo you'll definitely want to avoid (like most blue-collar cities with a population over 50,000) but there are some nice areas as well.

Cedar Falls would be a better overall experience. Though it is a college town, I don't think there's very much rowdiness when compared to other midwest college towns.
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Old 10-29-2007, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, IA
1,744 posts, read 6,781,610 times
Reputation: 1210
You might want to try Waverly, which isn't too far off from Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.


I've only been to "the loo" for a couple of hours, but I doubt it's anywhere near as bad as Houston or Dallas. Rough neighborhoods are rough no matter where you go. I'm sure if you go check the place out, you'll be able to pick up on the tell-tale signs of a bad neighborhood pretty quick.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Winchester, VA
6 posts, read 21,924 times
Reputation: 10
Hi TexasGirl,

I'm not a local yet, but I'm considering a job offer in Waterloo and have been researching the area for about a month. There are a lot of great threads on this board about Waterloo/CF (as I'm sure you've already found), but try clicking on this link to get all topics on this site pertaining to Waterloo:

1. site://www.city-data.com/forum/iowa/ + waterloo - Google Search

2. You can also use this site to search the area for homes in your price range: http://cedarvalley-homes.com/

That real estate site seems to have the most number of pictures for each property listing.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to compare notes. I'll be visiting the area next week during my interview and can give you my post trip thoughts.

Good luck!

bish

Last edited by bishope; 11-05-2007 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 11-08-2007, 11:09 AM
 
2 posts, read 16,525 times
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Texas Girl,
Welcome to Iowa! I think you will find it a wonderful place to live, anywhere in Iowa really. Especially having children! However, Waterloo does have it problems, if you can live in Cedar Falls, or as another posted, Waverly, I think you will be happier. Comparing Waterloo to Houston or Dallas is really like comparing apples and oranges...Iowa cities are different! Des Moines is our biggest city, I grew up in DSM, nice, low crime, not like other cities, then I moved to Iowa City. After 10 years I have recently moved back to DSM and now DSM is scary bad compared to Iowa City. Even in our big cities, compared to other large metro areas, we have less violent crimes...usually. So you cannot compare the two. When you first move here you might think, Waterloo is great, low crime, nice people, cheap homes...then when you get here and travel the other parts of town and state you will understand when people call Waterloo the loo! We have family there, my spouse grew up there, miss and love them...will never move to Waterloo! So, perspective...also on the price of homes, even in Iowa prices aren't that cheap without a reason!!! Be careful and don't consider buying a home until you have gotten to know the area first!
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:31 PM
 
282 posts, read 955,268 times
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Waverly is a small town with a private college, commutable to Cedar Falls. I lived there for two years out of college. More expensive than Waterloo but you get what you pay for. Better schools, low crime, etc. I'd rent an apartment in Waverly or Cedar Falls before buying a house in Waterloo.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:35 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,415,168 times
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A lot of it has to do with the 1980's as to why Waterloo has a bad rep. When the farm crisis hit, and the manufacturing sector took a huge blow, the entire state kinda went into shock.

The only cities that really did well that decade were Ames and Iowa City, which grew quite a bit seeing how their economies didn't have anything to do with manucacturing or agriculture. A lot of people moved away and into those cities. Des Moines was pretty stagnant during the 80's. At least it had Insurance and the Government to keep it stable. Cedar Rapids slid a little, but was able to hold its own fairly well. It just went through 10-12 years of stagnation. Dubuque and Sioux City didn't fare so well, and those cities were seen as depressed for quite awhile. Unfortunately the Quad Cities and especially Waterloo took a HUGE blow during the 80's.

Growing up in Iowa City during the 80's and 90's, when we thought of the "worst" areas in Iowa, Waterloo was in a solid #1 spot. I don't know how they're doing today, but I think it's hard to break people opinions that are carrying over from the 80's and 90's.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Texas
8 posts, read 108,990 times
Reputation: 22
Thanks, Everyone! We aren't moving until May so we have a little while to figure out what we should do. I'll definitely keep checking the different forums to see what everyone has to say. We are really excited about moving to Iowa, as we have heard many great things.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 5,066,012 times
Reputation: 1102
I live just outside of Waterloo and I am moving to Des Moines next year, but I have lived here for about 3 years so should be able to help a bit.

Actual homes shouldn't be too hard to find in Waterloo, stay on the west/south side if at all possible, this is convenient to most of the major retail in city proper anyways.. Cedar Falls, Waverly, Hudson, ****, ect. are Great alternatives to homes, but may be more pricey than what you're looking for!

As for apartments, don't even try to look in Waterloo, I know of very FEW trusty places but am not even going to mention them... I'm going to recommend you look in Cedar Falls if you're wanting an apt, oh, and don't even order an apartment finder for W/CF because they only have like 5 in there... pointless.

I hope you enjoy you're move to the area, it isn't a growing area by any means and has a bad rep and a rough history, but i think a lot of people in the area are working hard to change that and hopefully you try to see the best parts. As for me, i'm outtie!

and NO, waterloo doesn't have the crime of DFW, houston, SA, or anywhere in metro tx, i would hope you wouldnt even have to ask that but since you did, no it doesnt......... its a small city in iowa...
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