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Old 02-21-2016, 08:36 AM
3 posts, read 2,602 times
Reputation: 10


Hi. I'm currently a 23 year old college student from Illinois attending college in Illinois who is about to graduate this May. I have a job offer for an engineering position from Vermeer in Pella, IA and am most likely going to accept as the work is in my area of interest in engineering. I'm trying to figure out where I would like to live in Iowa while I'm working for that company. I grew up in greater Chicagoland in a rural, but growing suburb of about 4000 residents when I was a kid and about 17,000 now, but attended grade school and high school in a more urban suburb of almost 200,000 residents, so I'm used to both types of areas. Admittedly, being a 23 year-old, I'd like to have easy access to a place more urban with plenty to do and easy ways to meet people, even if I don't live in that town. I know that Des Moines isn't far from Pella (approx. 40 min. is what I've consistently seen/heard), but I would like to save on travel costs by living somewhat closer to where I work. So, I guess, I'm trying to find a good balance between distance to work, distance to Des Moines, and living in a town with enough going on and enough to do. For those who know this general area of Iowa much better than I do, I was hoping to get some advice. So, to kind of list out my questions, I'll start by asking what are some towns between Pella and Des Moines? Would those towns be relatively safe for a 20-something year-old out-of-stater who knows really nothing about Iowa or the locale to move there, adjust, and live? How are apartment rental prices in those towns as well as the quality and safety of said apartments? What are the relative sizes of those towns? What sort of opportunities are there for someone in there 20s to meet others (athletics, young professional orgs, bars/pubs/clubs, casinos, other night-life)? Is there any general advice or notes about these places that you can give? While I was in Pella for my interview, I did get to tour the town and my initial impression was that it was very nice looking town with quite a bit of community events going on and with some very friendly people, but also not the most lively for somebody in their 20s. I apologize for the real long explanation and high amount of questions, its just I'm trying to get as good and full of answers as I can. Thank you ahead of time to anybody who helps with this.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:06 AM
2,652 posts, read 7,999,335 times
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For you it's either Pella or live in Des Moines and commute. Every town between Pella and Des Moines is safe, as are all apartments in said towns. However, your list of requirements won't be found in any of the towns between Pella and Des Moines. Pella will be the closest thing outside of living on Des Moines and commuting. Prairie City puts you 25 minutes to both Pella and Des Moines, but it's small town living. Prairie City is only about 10-15 minutes from Pleasant Hill which is a suburb of Des Moines and has all the amenities you need.
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:12 AM
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I appreciate the advice, Luke9686. Yeah, I kinda guessed I wouldn't be able to get quite near the balance I was hoping for, but its worth looking. That might actually be a good option for me, living in Prairie City to be close to Pleasant Hill and Des Moines. But, I'll also keep looking. I appreciate the advice!
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Old 02-21-2016, 10:55 AM
Location: Sun City West, AZ
572 posts, read 570,612 times
Reputation: 1013
My vote would be just live in Pella. You are right, it is a very nice town, clean, and people take a lot of pride in their properties and community in general. You will also not have to worry about winter commutes every day. Pella is big enough that it will have some activities for you and with a college in town, will have more activities for your age bracket than any of the smaller communities between it and Des Moines. You can still easily go to Des Moines on the weekends for your big city fun. Good luck on your new career!
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:11 AM
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Hi Dewey59! Ok, sounds good. I appreciate the advice! The more I look, the more it looks like Pella is my best bet for the time being. I'm not even really seeing any rental options in the nearby towns, until about Altoona and Pleasant Hill, both of which are just a bit too far from Pella for right now. And thank you! I'm very nervous and excited to start.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:34 PM
6,147 posts, read 5,764,962 times
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Please share with us your opinions about living in Pella as your life progresses there. Pella is an unusual place that can elicit some strong opinions one way or another. It would be really interesting for the rest of us to learn how and if you adapt to the community.

Best wishes in your new career and move!
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:02 AM
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,848,172 times
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Yeah, given your situation, I'd choose living in Pella as well.

I think you're always going to fight the "outsiders" feeling you'll get from time-to-time at a close-nit town like Pella, but I'm guessing you'll find others at work who are in a similar situation as you....so you shouldn't be alone.

I think you'll also help gain acceptance if you live in town demonstrating you don't think you're too cool for Pella. (even if you are.

Also, Pella is a cool place to visit (most small towns that size are not) and it gives you something to show off when people come to visit.

Des Moines will be nice for weekend get-aways and if you really like it, maybe you can eventually land a job there.
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