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Old 06-19-2009, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Fort Madison, Iowa
16 posts, read 65,561 times
Reputation: 14

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Well, we were out in IA for a week. Toured houses in both Burlington and Fort Madison. Spent alot of time looking at both communities. In the end we decided on Fort Madison. Basically, it came down to 1) Better schools in Fort Madison - according to national test scores/ teacher ratios. 2) We found a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood/ property rates appear stable - made offers in Burlington but they wanted too much for houses with questionable neighborhood encroaching on them. 3)To a city girl neither one of them has anything to offer as far as shopping . . . 4) Also to a city girl a 30-45 minute drive to get to the "better" shopping is nothing. 5) My husband will have a five minute commute and I can walk my child to preschool. (He's been doing a 2 hour commute for the past 2 years).

Thanks for all the info.

Nomad Momma
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Old 06-20-2009, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,596,809 times
Reputation: 522
Just out of curiosity, where's the place for Burlington/Fort Madison folks to drive to for bigger city shopping? Galesburg I'm guessing? Aside from the time I spent in Macomb going to WIU, I've never lived somewhere where you have to drive half an hour or more to say, Best Buy.
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Old 06-20-2009, 11:25 PM
 
84 posts, read 270,685 times
Reputation: 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by QuadCityImages View Post
Just out of curiosity, where's the place for Burlington/Fort Madison folks to drive to for bigger city shopping? Galesburg I'm guessing? Aside from the time I spent in Macomb going to WIU, I've never lived somewhere where you have to drive half an hour or more to say, Best Buy.
It would be more like Davenport or Iowa City. When I lived in the area no one went to Galesburg.
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Location: Fort Madison, Iowa
16 posts, read 65,561 times
Reputation: 14
Here's my update since we have been here a while. . . we chose to live in Fort Madison for a number of reasons.

We've been here a month now. Fort Madison is beautiful. The main drag is a bit run down in areas but it is being working on and it does have charm. It is in A LOT better shape than many other cities I've been to - including Burlington. The downtown Burlington area was a bit scary to me - and it was late afternoon. After my first visit to Fort Madison I wasn't sure but when we came back I fell in love with the town. There are a lot of little restaurants and the downtown area still has little mom and pop shops. There is a major grocery store (Hyvee) for the person who said Shopko and Dollar General was it. There is also a Tru Value hardware store. We have driven into Burlington a couple of times for shopping but it is literally 18 minutes from the Wal-mart in West Burlington to my front door and I live on the far end of Fort Madison.

Every weekend there has been some activity to do with our children in the area (corn festival, watermelon festival, fireworks this weekend, rodeo next week). The YMCA has activities for my entire family year round.

The weather has been wonderful (I know this summer wasn't the norm) averaging around 70-75 during the day lately. It is getting cooler at night and doesn't seem humid at all to me. We'll see how we do with winter

People have been wonderful. Neighbors actually wrote notes welcoming us and came over to say "hi" and ask if we needed anything. When you drive around people wave. People are friendly and helpful and go out of their way to be kind. The preschool we put our son in is excellent. The movie theater has movies for kids in the summer. The library has story time for my toddler. All the parks are well maintained and look nice. My children love going to throw rocks in the river and watch the sail boats (wed nights in summer). We could afford much more house here than in AZ. I LOVE our house and our street and even if my husband gets transferred again in the future I have no doubts this house would sell easily. I know that some houses are run down but that is to be expected unless you are in a brand new neighborhood. I've found that most people take care of their homes and yards. There are some beautiful older homes here.

As for the person that says the city is declining . . . I don't see that. There are numerous employers here. I don't know if they are all hiring but I don't get the feeling that there are alot of people out of work. I also don't see many unhappy people walking around. There are lots of young families and many older folks. I think it's a good balance of young and old.

I was worried about the prison at first but it actually doesn't bother me anymore. We live on the other end of town and it is a major employer in the area.

Well - I'll add more if I think of anything later. Thank you all for your advice.
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Old 09-03-2009, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Davenport, Iowa
413 posts, read 1,596,809 times
Reputation: 522
Its good to hear a positive experience like this.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Fort Madison, Iowa
16 posts, read 65,561 times
Reputation: 14
Sorry, Didn't mean to ignore you. I was w/o a computer during the move and must have missed this. So far, we haven't had to go outside of Fort Madison or Burlington for any shopping but we're thinking of going to Davenport or Iowa City soon to have our children's photo's done at a Picture People (b/c we have a refund to use - I'm sure there are photographers around here that would be just fine). I have found that for some very specific items I've had to go to Burlington but that may be because there are so many little mom and pop shops in Fort Madison that I don't know where to look for things.
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Old 05-25-2015, 05:48 AM
 
342 posts, read 337,028 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Fort Madison is beautiful. The main drag is a bit run down in areas but it is being working on and it does have charm. It is in A LOT better shape than many other cities I've been to - including Burlington.
This is pretty accurate. At this point, Burlington is probably the worst of Iowa's river towns. The public schools there are absolutely terrible, and a lot of gang activity has moved in from Chicago. Both Muscatine and Fort Madison are in a lot better shape.
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Old 05-25-2015, 12:13 PM
 
9,423 posts, read 10,531,744 times
Reputation: 8571
Quote:
Originally Posted by Movingrightalong... View Post
This is pretty accurate. At this point, Burlington is probably the worst of Iowa's river towns. The public schools there are absolutely terrible, and a lot of gang activity has moved in from Chicago. Both Muscatine and Fort Madison are in a lot better shape.
The gang activity moved in decades ago. That's nothing new.

I find it interesting that the op said downtown Burlington was scary. (I know the post is nearly 6 years old)
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Old 05-25-2015, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Jonesboro
3,644 posts, read 3,682,371 times
Reputation: 4679
I guess that it's all a case of what you are used to.
I recall way way back when there was a situation where my hometown legislator called parts of Des Moines a "jungle" which got a lot of publicity & push-back.
Frankly what I've seen around the US & abroad in the 35 years since I left Iowa causes me to arch my eyebrow a bit when I recall that particular episode & read more current comments of a similar vein.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:19 PM
 
9,423 posts, read 10,531,744 times
Reputation: 8571
To me, if someone finds downtown Burlington to be scary, they must have never been, well anywhere! Nothing scary about it at all.
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