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Old 12-10-2007, 07:38 AM
 
46 posts, read 203,371 times
Reputation: 24

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Hi,
It looks like we're moving to IA this summer and we're looking for a great smaller community to raise our kids. We want a great school system, low crime, and want to be within a 40 minutes drive from Iowa City. My boys are big baseball players and my daughter is a swimmer. So these types of programs are a must. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm kindof eyeing Mt. Vernon, is that a good choice? The schools got high marks, but don't know if it's so small of a town they don't offer a competing swim program.

After reading the posts here I've heard a lot about high taxes. Are they referring to property taxes, state income tax or all of the above? That makes me a little nervous. How is the housing market there? Luckily my husband's company has a great relo package so they will buy our house otherwise we'd be stuck.

Thanks for all your info.
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Old 12-10-2007, 08:04 AM
 
Location: the big apple
127 posts, read 706,127 times
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Why not just live in Iowa City?
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:17 AM
 
46 posts, read 203,371 times
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My husband wouldn't go for a city of that size, we want more of a small town feel. I looked up Iowa City and the pop is 62,000 compared to Mt. Vernon that we're looking at, which is about 3,300. That's a big difference. Maybe I wasn't clear in my original post, we want smaller rather than larger.
Thank you.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:32 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,416,163 times
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Look into Solon, Tiffin or maybe up on the north side of North Liberty. I think Clear Creek Amana school district is pretty good...

Honestly though, Iowa City/Coralville/North Liberty are only around 100,000 in the urban area, and it feels fairly small. In that number you have 30,000 college students who are mostly based in the tightly packed/dense downtown area. It's a great place to live if you're going to be in Iowa.

Either way, I'd maybe look for places between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Most of them are pretty decent little towns because their economy can feed off of Cedar Rapids/Iowa City.

Oh, also Williamsburg is a town I hear good things about...I think it's about 2,000 people maybe 20 minutes to the west of Iowa City. There's an interstate from one to the other, so very easy commute. No traffic in Iowa City, etc.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Chariton, Iowa
681 posts, read 2,835,231 times
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Welcome to Iowa!

I would look at Solon, West Branch, or Mt. Vernon as towns that fit most of what you're looking for.

Solon is close to Lake McBride, and is a great little town. It's close enough to Iowa City that you wouldn't feel cut off from IC, but far out enough to be out of the city. It's also growing at a steady pace (12% over the last decade), so a home bought now in a good location should go up in value. Good schools, I think they have a baseball team.

West Branch is east on the interstate, so it'd always be easy to get to IC. It has a great historical small town feel, and good schools. It's growing, but more slowly. Good schools with a baseball team.

Mt. Vernon, bigger small town, has Cornell. Very good schools, but quite a commute and you'd spend more time shopping and doing other things in Cedar Rapids. That could be a problem if you're trying to stay out of the city. Definitely would have baseball.

I'm not sure what part of the country you're coming from, but swimming is not as big of a sport here as it is in other parts of the country. It's doubtful that these schools will have swimming teams. Only bigger schools like Iowa City would offer that

Personally, I'd look at Solon if you could do without the swim team.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:09 PM
 
46 posts, read 203,371 times
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Thanks so much for your suggestions, I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:35 PM
 
Location: in the general vicinity of Cedar Rapids, Iowa
296 posts, read 1,194,346 times
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Wifern, I'd second everything SharpHawkeye said, and encourage you to visit Iowa City before you decide it's too big; we've had an unusually high number of ice storms in the last month, and when I think about commuting on the beautiful but two-lane and rather winding road between Iowa City and Solon or Mt. Vernon, I get the shivers! The West Branch drive is much shorter, and North Liberty would be very comparable -- I'd look there rather than Williamsburg -- but no swim team.

Are you looking for the smaller town because you want your kids to have the small school experience, or for another reason?
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:26 PM
 
166 posts, read 578,482 times
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To the OP -

I agree with the other responses here about re-considering Iowa City. Great school system, lots to do for the kids, a nice community.

Where will your husband be working? That can make a difference too...40 miles in which direction of Iowa City?

Check out Marion - on the Linn Mar (school district) side of town. It's the county seat of Linn County, just NW of Cedar Rapids.
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