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Old 06-20-2019, 05:14 PM
 
9 posts, read 9,319 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello. My wife has accepted an analytical chemist position in Coralville. We currently live in southwest Missouri but will be relocating soon. She's been researching homes for rent and seems to be having more luck finding affordable housing in Cedar Rapids than in Iowa City or Coralville.



I'd love to hear from some Iowans familiar with both areas on the differences between CR & Iowa City/Coralville. The commute seems reasonable. We have pets but no children, so we wouldn't be worried about school systems. Thank you for any input.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:37 PM
 
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The commute between Cedar Rapids/Iowa City can get treacherous in the winter. Interstate 380 is well maintained/plowed in the winter but many drivers simply don’t adjust their driving habits in the winter. Even in summer traffic can get crazy with sudden slowing down. Construction on the I-80/I-380 interchange is currently underway and will get worse. The project will continue for the next 4 years which will cause more delays. There is the 380 Express Bus that runs between CR and IC which is an option that many at UIHC utilize.

I live in CR and been commuting for the past 15 years to IC for work (I’m getting ready to retire soon). Quite a few young people who work in IC will start out in Cedar Rapids renting an apartment until they are ready to buy and then usually end up in the Tiffin/North Liberty/Coralville area. Others who start out renting in CR will decide to be closer to co-workers/friends/activities in IC once they’re more familiar with the region. IC is geared more toward young professionals and transplants while Cedar Rapids is more of a family town with mainly native Iowans and with much slower growth than IC. As a transplant, I think you will be happier in the IC area.

Last edited by smpliving; 06-20-2019 at 05:59 PM..
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,626 posts, read 5,014,683 times
Reputation: 6369
Quote:
Originally Posted by smpliving View Post
The commute between Cedar Rapids/Iowa City can get treacherous in the winter. Interstate 380 is well maintained/plowed in the winter but many drivers simply don’t adjust their driving habits in the winter. Even in summer traffic can get crazy with sudden slowing down. Construction on the I-80/I-380 interchange is currently underway and will get worse. The project will continue for the next 4 years which will cause more delays. There is the 380 Express Bus that runs between CR and IC which is an option that many at UIHC utilize.

I live in CR and been commuting for the past 15 years to IC for work (I’m getting ready to retire soon). Quite a few young people who work in IC will start out in Cedar Rapids renting an apartment until they are ready to buy and then usually end up in the Tiffin/North Liberty/Coralville area. Others who start out renting in CR will decide to be closer to co-workers/friends/activities in IC once they’re more familiar with the region. IC is geared more toward young professionals and transplants while Cedar Rapids is more of a family town with mainly native Iowans and with much slower growth than IC. As a transplant, I think you will be happier in the IC area.
Other than the obvious commute time, it's a simple answer. Are you an off the charts liberal, or do you actually consider even a smidgen of conservative values.

IC gives San Francisco a run as to leftist ideals. CR is a mixed bag, leaning a little towards the left, but still having an open philosophy.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Moving?!
503 posts, read 156,921 times
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IC is much more of a college town. Unless you are interested in being surrounded by college students, I would avoid the neighborhoods closest to the university. Coralville and parts of the west side of IC have a very upper class professional feel, more so than anywhere in CR (and you'll pay for it!) Not saying that's good or bad, just an observation.

You can definitely get more bang for your buck in CR, but be careful as some of the cheap rental housing options are no bargain. Fairfax and Ely are worth a look if you want a small town. Otherwise maybe consider the SW side near Stoney Point Rd. There are nice neighborhoods in Marion, Hiawatha, and NE CR but the commute would be longer.

The commute on I-380 is easy and tame compared to any big city MOST of the time. However, there are a few days during the winter when it can be quite ugly because there are no alternate routes across the Iowa River without going well out of the way (and on minor roads at that).

What is your budget? Also, do you have a job lined up too, or will you be looking for work?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgg View Post
Other than the obvious commute time, it's a simple answer. Are you an off the charts liberal, or do you actually consider even a smidgen of conservative values.

IC gives San Francisco a run as to leftist ideals. CR is a mixed bag, leaning a little towards the left, but still having an open philosophy.
Not everyone views everything in life through a left/right political lens..
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:44 PM
 
187 posts, read 97,062 times
Reputation: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by smpliving View Post
As a transplant, I think you will be happier in the IC area.
Agree completely.

There's a reason why IC's prices are higher than CR. Plus, as others have said, the commute will be a pain... especially in the horrible Iowa winters.

If you can't afford IC or Coralville proper, I'd look at the neighboring (and smaller) towns right next door. I would avoid living up in CR unless you absolutely have to.

And yes, IC is liberal but I certainly wouldn't say it gives San Fran a run for its money. It's still IOWA.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:44 AM
 
1,649 posts, read 2,358,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgg View Post
Other than the obvious commute time, it's a simple answer. Are you an off the charts liberal, or do you actually consider even a smidgen of conservative values.

IC gives San Francisco a run as to leftist ideals. CR is a mixed bag, leaning a little towards the left, but still having an open philosophy.

I strongly disagree with this statement. There are plenty of die-hard conservatives especially in the small towns surrounding Iowa City. OP, I wouldn't worry about liberal vs conservative. Overall it's not an issue unless you make it one.


IC tends toward liberal but nothing compared to San Francisco. I lived the first 36 years of my life in California, two of those years in the South Bay area. Compared to western Iowa, yes Iowa City is more liberal.

Last edited by smpliving; 06-21-2019 at 08:38 AM..
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Iowa
16 posts, read 15,539 times
Reputation: 34
If you're thinking of renting in CR, forget it.
I've lived in 8 other states on a permanent basis and worked in 6 other states where I either rented or stayed in a motel. Cedar RApids has the worst landlords I have ever experienced. In the 5 years I've been in this building I've had 3 landlords and the best thing I can say that the last was better than the 1st. The place has been overrun with roaches, had to have the mold removed, my garage lock has never worked, and last November the city inspector came in and gave the place an OK.

As one woman who had lived here for 2-3 months said at a breakfast I attended, 'Cedar Rapids is an unfriendly city'.
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Sun City West, AZ
560 posts, read 545,747 times
Reputation: 971
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpat View Post
As one woman who had lived here for 2-3 months said at a breakfast I attended, 'Cedar Rapids is an unfriendly city'.
Agreed, but not any friendlier in IC in my experience.
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