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Old 05-14-2008, 08:47 PM
 
Location: So. California
6 posts, read 23,597 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi Everyone,
There is a possible job relocation opportunity to Cedar Falls for my family. We currently live in Southern California and are currently weighing our options. Some of our questions are;

How is the current housing market?

What are the house rentals like in that area? We are possibly looking to rent for the first year there to get accustomed to things. We would be looking for a 3 bedroom home.

What are the average utilities like?

What are the winters like? Ive read that this winter was a real doozy. Are they hard to get accustomed to?

How is the family entertainment?

How are the GAS prices like there?

What is the job market like?

Thanks everyone for your help.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 5,073,907 times
Reputation: 1107
I'm from the area.

The housing market really hasn't been affected much by the temporary slump - but that is the story for most of the state of Iowa.

I can't give you much information about rentals - I would check with realtors about that. There are both many local realty companies in the area - as well as Century21 and ReMax, etc....

Most areas of Iowa either use Mid-American Energy or Alliant Energy for their utilities, however, if you are going to live right in Cedar Falls, you will most likely use 'Cedar Falls Utilities' ... or CFU. Here is a link - this may provide you with the information you are looking for... CFU

Waterloo and Cedar Falls probably get some of the worst winters in the state - my advice would be drive slow during the winter until you get the hang of it. And then continue to drive slow anyway. It will be an adjustment from Southern Ca.

There are quite a few things going on around Cedar Falls during the summer - it helps having the University of Northern Iowa in town too, so, no, it's nothing like Southern California - but you may come to enjoy it. There is a very nice downtown district with a "Parkade" ... it's been taken care of very nicely and has some good restaurants - there are also two small shopping malls in the area - Crossroads Center, and College Square Mall. These will probably seem mediocre - but maybe you will end up liking the lack of crowds to fight. Depends on if you are a big shopper. To get to bigger malls within 2 hrs you will have to drive to Des Moines, Rochester, MN, or Iowa City.

I can't compare gas prices for you - I would imagine it's quite a bit cheaper in Iowa.

The job market in Waterloo-Cedar Falls (The Cedar Valley) is actually growing and remaining quite stable which is contrary to popular belief around the state.

So - if I had to live in the area again, it would be Cedar Falls, which is one of the nicest towns in the area, along with Waverly. But it would not be my top pick in the state. The area has a bad reputation because of Waterloo being somewhat run down - just don't judge the whole area on that.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:20 AM
 
Location: So. California
6 posts, read 23,597 times
Reputation: 10
Metro,
Thank you so much for your advice and info. It is such a help being able to talk to someone vs reading about the area. Thank you again.
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Old 05-16-2008, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Marion, IA
2,796 posts, read 5,668,840 times
Reputation: 1584
Gas is CHEAP up in Waterloo/CF! I had a class up there in January and would drive up there every day from Cedar Rapids. Gas was consistently 10-15 cents cheaper after you hit the Hwy 20 mark. Couldn't believe it.
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Old 05-16-2008, 01:18 PM
 
Location: So. California
6 posts, read 23,597 times
Reputation: 10
thanks zz...what is considered cheap. right now we are about 3.90 a gallon her in ca.????
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:11 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,041 times
Reputation: 10
Default You will like Cedar Falls

Cedar Falls is one of the best places to live in Iowa. I have lived in several parts of the state and consider Cedar Falls to be at the top of the list.

Current gas price around $3.49.

Rental housing will be tough to come by. In my job I deal with the rental problem in the city. I know the market as I am thinking about buying some rental property. The rental market is mostly dumps as the University of Northern Iowa draws a large college crowd to them. You can find some decent single family rentals but they are sparse. The landlords would rather rent to 4 kids and charge them $350-$400 a head then a single family for much less.

The housing slump has not hit Cedar Falls. Average home price is about $130,000-140,000 compared to Waterloo at 90,000. You could not pay me to live in Waterloo, even though the two cities run together, there is a difference. I think the home price difference attests to that fact.

We have excellent schools.

A city owned utility with the lowest rate of the top 20 cities in the state. The current annual report [URL="http://www.cfu.net/pdf/annualrpt07.pdf"]http://www.cfu.net/pdf/annualrpt07.pdf[/URL].

There is an excellent bike/recreation trail that engulfs the city. [URL="http://www.cedarfallstourism.org/docs/Metro%20Trail%20Guide%20-%20Natural%20Heritage%20Foundation(8x11).pdf"]http://www.cedarfallstourism.org/docs/Metro%20Trail%20Guide%20-%20Natural%20Heritage%20Foundation(8x11).pdf[/URL]

The University of Northern Iowa has an awesome performing arts center that brings in entertainment.
[URL="http://www.uni.edu/gbpac/"]http://www.uni.edu/gbpac/[/URL]

Our Main Street is beautiful and has unique shops. The mall is dead but you have easy access to the interstate and Iowa City is about 120 miles or Cedar Rapids 60 miles with all the stores you could imagine.

Only complaint, restaurants are sparse, but there is tons of construction and I am sure that will be fixed. I mean there is quite a few, just would like to see some more big chains for a city this size.

Another nice choice is Waverly, which is about 15 minutes north. It is a different county, but their claim to fame, lower property taxes, is almost no longer true. You may be able to rent a little easier their though. But you will be driving to Cedar Falls or Waterloo a lot. So weigh that in.

Overall, I love it here. I have wanted to leave Iowa for years, but the last 5 in Cedar Falls has made me want to stay.

Don't worry about the winter, they are definitely not the worst in the state. It is about 10 degrees colder in western Iowa. Don't get me wrong, they suck, but it is bearable.

If I stay in Iowa it will be Cedar Falls or Ankeny. I would avoid Waterloo, your property will appreciate much faster in Cedar Falls. We have a lot of new construction, while the market hasn’t slowed, I believe you can name your price on a new home. I know for a fact that there are several new homes that have been sitting empty. Honestly, I wish I would have done that, but I wanted to be in a certain neighborhood.

Jobs, we have a great industrial park that houses everything from Target warehouse, Principal Financial, manufacturing, service, advertising etc that is booming. They are always looking for employees out there. It is a very attractive place due to the ease of highway access. The city utility also has it wired on probably the fastest and most reliable internet connection in the state, which is a huge draw factor to the type of companies out there.

If you really want to rent look at Waterloo but stay close to Cedar Falls. Zip code 50701 is the best. 50702 is around the mall and 50703 is the ghetto. Do not rent anything in 50703. I do think you could find a rental in Cedar Falls, it will just take a lot of work.

Good luck!

Last edited by elvistcb; 05-18-2008 at 03:25 AM..
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:29 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,024 times
Reputation: 10
Default House for rent in Cedar Falls

We have a nice house in a very desireable location in Cedar Falls for rent with one year lease starting July 1. The house has three bedrooms 1.5 baths, new hardwood floors, fireplace, over 1/2 acre lot. The house was never rented before. Contact info: [EMAIL="agolcz@yahoo.com"]agolcz@yahoo.com[/EMAIL]
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:43 PM
 
Location: So. California
6 posts, read 23,597 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks elvistcb for all the great information. You have given me alot of great starting points for researching deeper. Thanks again for taking the time.
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:46 PM
 
Location: So. California
6 posts, read 23,597 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you agolcz. If the transfer happens my husband wont be reporting to work till Nov.. If your house is still available around then please keep me in mind.. Do you have a pic you can pm to me. I have looked all over for house rentals, even in the surrounding areas. Im concerned that it might be hard to find something if and when the time comes. Thanks again )
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:09 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,577 times
Reputation: 11
I am also in the sitatuion that I have a plan to move to Cedar Falls. Is there any online place I can find a renatal houses?
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