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Old 05-30-2017, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,816,386 times
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@DMZHAKI - yes, those lists are far from scientific and some use pretty subjective criteria, so yes, they are useful for various purposes but not an end-all-be-all by any means for researching places you may want to locate.

I'm not sure exactly what you are asking regarding whether growth might be too fast for "city planning". While there is robust growth in the suburbs and outer areas which can lead to some of the common complaints you hear in terms of growth - increased traffic, sprawl, etc. , I was only referring to growth in the downtown area which by its nature, tends to help reduce the previously mentioned growth related concerns.

Maybe once I hear back from you with clarification, I can better address your question to me.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:07 AM
 
9,400 posts, read 10,239,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMZHAKI View Post
Hi Dewey59,

Thank you for your response.

Why Iowa? I guess because I'm running out of states that fit my criteria and budget and housing and jobs seem strong in Des Moines. My daughter and I were considering Olympia/Tumwater WA because of scenic beauty, somewhat familiar West Coast culture, and proximity to my sons (CA and Eastern WA), however, a lack of sunny days seems depressing (have not completely ruled this area out) and housing high. Missoula was bad enough after living in sunny California 30+ years. Most of Oregon seems too grungy and liberal and Ashland way overpriced.

Neither of us appreciate desert beauty so that leaves out most of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada--unless you know something I don't...

East Coast sounds exciting, but cost of living is far beyond my means unless you go rural and then no amenities and jobs, etc. (I did look at Providence, Rhode Island, but taxation high, and education and jobs lacking, seems pretty gritty, too. I like clean.)

Florida and Louisiana and much of the south have uninteresting terrain, too much heat, humidity, crime and traffic. NC is beautiful near Blue Ridge Mtns, but honestly, the social customs, narrow culture and Confederate flag stance is not something I am in line with.

Reading what I wrote, I seem pretty dismissive of what may be great places looking for elusive Utopia that exists no where. But the hunt continues.

We like coffee shops and safe, wide, clean streets with trees, and shopping in boutiques and quiet, pretty places and water. We infrequently attend the symphony and like going to movies and are civic minded and socially inclined. If I could live in a small studio on a gorgeous beach and walk out and swim 3x/day I would be in heaven, but I'm no millionaire so that is out. Second choice, an apartment above a shop where you walk to pick up groceries just enough for a few days where bread is fresh and you can run into some friendly neighbors along the way who look out for each other. Not a box store or chain restaurant fan. Life too short to spend 3 hours in Costco for 20 pounds of Cherrios.

Finally while fiscally and socially conservative, I am not religious so places like Utah and Idaho which are heavily influenced by religious indoctrination are not a good fit.

Alaska--too much snow and too remote.

I think the problem is, after all, me.
I left Des Moines for Phoenix in 2013. I LOVED living in Des Moines but could not take the winters anymore, which seemed to be getting longer and my seasonal depression worse.

I really love the desert. It's not just sand and desolate. It's mountains and canyons and flowers that bloom all year. It's over 300 days of sunshine a year and never having to shovel or even wear a heavy coat again. If you have not been here (just assuming) I suggest at least a visit one day. Many people have this vision of everything being dead and bare, which is not true. the COL is great (I never would have thought I could buy a house with mountain views and an inground pool...that i can use April to October )

If I could have somehow stopped winter from coming each year, I'd probably still be in Des Moines! There is always something to do, everything is a short drive away (I used to complain about distances until I moved to Phx!), and it's close to other major cities (Omaha, Minneapolis, Kansas City, etc)
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, AZ
560 posts, read 546,564 times
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Agree with Elle Tea, my situation was similar. In fact, I used to think I would never want to live in the desert. Brown and dirty! Yuck! Because of that Phoenix was not on my short list for places to retire to.... Until I visited here and fell in love with it! I made my decision 3 years ago and have not regretted it.

However, I totally realize that heat and desert is not for everyone, but Arizona is SOOOO much more than heat and desert. In fact, other than ocean front property, you can find just about any type of landscape / environment you want here.

Am I trying to dissuade you from moving to Iowa? Absolutely not. If you can tolerate the winters and high taxes (relatively speaking), then by all means, go for it. For me personally, I would never go back there after living in AZ. But my situation is different, because I am retired. One knock I have against AZ is the wages are low here.... That was one thing that was much better in IA.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Des Moines Metro
5,105 posts, read 6,645,492 times
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I think AZ has a lot of pluses for retirement. I certainly get the "no shoveling" idea. However, I'm a gardener, and I'm not ready to trade my grass for rocks and cacti, no matter how pretty they are.

I made it a point to go hang out in Papago Park! It's awesome! But it's not the prairie.

August is bad enough here. In Phoenix, I was ready to up and die from the heat. Here, at least, I know in 4 - 6 weeks once "Wilt and Kill" season begins, the fall winds will start and the heat and humidity will drop at night.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:52 AM
 
9,400 posts, read 10,239,719 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meemur View Post
I think AZ has a lot of pluses for retirement. I certainly get the "no shoveling" idea. However, I'm a gardener, and I'm not ready to trade my grass for rocks and cacti, no matter how pretty they are.

I made it a point to go hang out in Papago Park! It's awesome! But it's not the prairie.

August is bad enough here. In Phoenix, I was ready to up and die from the heat. Here, at least, I know in 4 - 6 weeks once "Wilt and Kill" season begins, the fall winds will start and the heat and humidity will drop at night.
Surprisingly, a LOT of people have grass, myself included. (I hate the grass, personally, and don't water it on purpose and will replace it with Xerscaping once the budget allows) But a lot of people keep a green lawn. I have big flowering bushes all around my property that bloom all year, too. More flowers here than in Iowa and no "dead grey" period when nothing is blooming.

I love humidity, but I find the heat MUCH more tolerable in the desert. Anything under 110 is usually tolerable, especially if you have shade or misters. You just adjust any strenuous activity to morning or evening hours. You adapt. It is also possible to actually be chilly over 100 degrees when the humidity is 12% like it was yesterday. 104 and I was cold getting out of the pool! I was cold getting out on the 118 degree day last year too!

I never adapted to cold in Iowa even though I was born there! I never liked snow, even as a kid. People here like to say “Well, if you want to see snow you can always drive an hour and a half north to Flagstaff” and I always reply with “Why in the world would I ever want to do that?”

Anyway, OP, not to stray too far off topic, and definitely not trying to talk you out of Des Moines! As a previous poster said, if you can handle the winters, you’ll be golden!
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:37 AM
 
8 posts, read 5,317 times
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As I am younger (26) and lived in the DSM area I can give you some tips that might help your daughter get familiar with the area. You wouldn’t necessarily have to live downtown as the commutes from neighboring suburbs is really easy. If you are interested in renting I would look at apartment communities in the West Des Moines area that have a pool. Most younger renters (that can afford it) want to rent in places that offer luxury amenities (At least I know my friends and I did at that age). It was an easy way for me to meet people.

-- Animal Rescue League of Iowa is a great place for volunteering and meeting new people.
-- Court Ave, East Village, and West Glen areas offer much for the younger crowds (bars, piano bar, coffee houses, restaurants, wine bars, adult arcades, comedy clubs, and shopping.)
-- Joining any fitness center that offers group classes is a great way to meet new people.
-- Meetup is a great app and tool your daughter can use to meet people with similar interests.
-- Lots of restaurants and retail work for your daughter to work part time. I would suggest looking into the downtown area and the Jordan Creek area. That is where she will most likely find people her age working.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:41 AM
 
11 posts, read 11,238 times
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Thank you everyone for the information. I did some brief research on Arizona. You are right, quite beautiful mountains and other terrain prettier than I thought, but ultimately palm trees with no ocean and high heat are not for me. Shoveling snow no fun either though. That is why a condo in downtown Des Moines is a consideration.

Hoping that Des Moines and Iowa overall is a place with lots of salt of the earth type people (that is what I picture in my idealistic head). I am also looking at WA, perhaps Bellingham. Seems a bit too liberal though.

Still pondering until my place sells...please continue with insights and suggestions. They are much appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:57 PM
 
11 posts, read 11,238 times
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Katiem09

Thank you for the meet up suggestions--great ideas. Do you think West Des Moines is better than downtown Des Moines? I was thinking about the area around courthouse as kind of fun as far as walkability to downtown activities. Does West Des Moines have a larger pop. of young adults?

Thank you.
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:09 AM
 
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I wouldn't necessarily say West DSM is better than downtown. It just depends if you like city living or suburb living. Either way she will definitely be able to meet new people in either area. If you do decide downtown is the way to go I would recommend finding a place close to the new Hy-Vee (grocery store) they built especially if you are not going to own a car. Nobody likes to haul groceries 10 blocks away.
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Old 06-01-2017, 09:23 AM
 
818 posts, read 582,313 times
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I lived in CR for over 20 years, and I'll never move back to IA. Bleh. OP, you lived in Ventura for over 20 years, yes it's a "small city" but that's a suburb of Los Angeles, so you're used to the big city. I now live in the suburbs of L.A. as well, why not come back here? You could live in Riverside or Murietta, places like that and.have a much better lifestyle than you will in Iowa. There is no life like Cali life. The one and only activity in Iowa, when you're 21, is to go to the bar. Did that 4 days a week, for years. And then Hawkeye football starts, then you vacation to the bowl game, then you hate life from Jan 2nd until the snow melts. Then a freak cold front moves in, it snows again, yadda yadda. Summers are nice though, if you like outdoor activities
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