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Old 01-14-2010, 01:08 PM
 
8 posts, read 26,014 times
Reputation: 10

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We are finally fed up with Oklahoma & have decided to get out before our kid's completely lose any sense of intelligence they have.
Iowa City is a top contender but we're also looking at Des Moines. Since we've never been to Iowa let along either of these cities we would love a little input.
We want a place where we can plant our roots & raise our family. We definatly want this to be our last move till till our girls who will be in 9th grade next year graduate so this is a major decision for our family.
The number one prority on our list as a lesbian couple with children is gay acceptance, second is autism resources for our son who has high functioning autism. He's currently in 3rd grade. We're also looking for,

*Great Schools (elementary & high school)
*Affordable Housing
*Jobs in The Area (for blue collar workers)
* Friendly People & A Small Town Atmosphere

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:55 PM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,449,754 times
Reputation: 11200
Well Iowa City has the University, and Des Moines is a metro of 560,000 people - so neither is really a "small town feel". Although they're certainly nice areas, and not crazy traffic, crime, fast paced, don't know my neighbor type of places.

I wouldn't worry being a lesbian couple in either, but Iowa City is much more known for being extremely liberal minded. I grew up there, and being gay was really never anything I thought of as strange - it was just different than I was. There's certainly a "life and let live" mentality, and I think you would enjoy that.

As far as schools, both areas do very well. My cousin was autistic, and he got a lot of special and dedicated attention in the public schools.

The high schools in Iowa City are both top tier in one of the top tier states. I'm sure Des Moines is equally as nice, but I think West and City in Iowa City are major players in the state as far as academics and quality.

Jobs are decent in both areas - especially for the state of the nation's economy. They're probably two of the brighter spots in the Midwest for sure.

Not sure on affordability compared to what you're thinking in your mind. Des Moines I know is cheaper than Iowa City. I don't think either are in the "extreme" category by any means. There are some quality rentals in Iowa City if you get away from the campus area (I'm pretty sure you're not going to want to live right downtown among all the students), and I had a good friend who bought a decent condo for around $125,000.

Many people just see the campus and downtown areas of Iowa City, but there are huge residential areas that are very nice that people who are just concerned about the University don't every notice.

Definitely be sure to include Coralville and North Liberty into the mix if you're looking at Iowa City. They're both suburbs that are hooked onto the northwest end of Iowa City. As a general rule the Southeast end of Iowa City has become the more undesirable area. Honestly before 2003-2005 Iowa City didn't really even have an "undesirable" or troubled area.

Here's a photospread I put together on Iowa City:

//www.city-data.com/forum/iowa/...here-some.html

In my opinion you've picked the two best cities in Iowa to relocate. They're my favorites. I might be biased...but that's my 2 cents.
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Iowa
15 posts, read 26,810 times
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I agree with the previous post. We moved our family to Coralville (pretty much Iowa City) and love it! My 3 year old son is autistic and we are blown away by the help we have recieved and the quality of care at the University of Iowa Hospital. Definitly look at Coralville/North Liberty if you decide to come here, much cheaper than Iowa City and very close to the city itself.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions! Be glad to help!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,853,953 times
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You really can't go wrong with either.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:42 PM
 
Location: Coralville/Ames, IA
267 posts, read 1,138,090 times
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I agree wholeheartedly with all of the above. Iowa City and Des Moines would be my top choices as well.

If you are set on the "small town" feel, there are many smaller communities outside either metro. Housing prices are cheaper, but you may sacrifice some tolerance and (sometimes) quality of education. At least in the Iowa City area, I would make sure you are in the Iowa City Community School District (IC, Coralville, North Liberty east of Jones Blvd., and Hills).
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:29 PM
 
196 posts, read 727,905 times
Reputation: 94
Iowa City is Iowa's top college town and DM is Iowa's top regular city, maybe with the exception of Council Bluffs (more specifically Omaha Metro area).
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:03 AM
 
11,288 posts, read 23,449,754 times
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Council Bluffs?!?!
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
3,803 posts, read 5,158,286 times
Reputation: 7030
I love Iowa City as a place to visit. Very fun town.

You won't find a more liberal town outside of San Francisco. Nothing seems abnormal to the general population there. Heck, they just recently allowed residents to raise chickens in their backyard. Want to own 6 pitbulls to terrorize your neighbors? No problem. If your neighbors don't like it, it's them not being tolerant of your lifestyle.

Get the picture. IC can be a little over the top.

All in all, IC is one of the most unique towns in the midwest.

Really DSMGuy, Council Bluffs?
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:58 AM
 
22,726 posts, read 13,775,320 times
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I grew up in Iowa City. The town has been ruined by liberals. Also, less than desireable elements from Chicago have moved in and elevated the crime rate. The downtown has no real shops anymore, only bars. Liberal towns tend to attract dead beats and more liberals which make them even worse over time. It is sad to see Iowa City now and the only time I return to my hometown is for a football game. I think the comparison to San Francisco is fair, as that has become a dump as well. San Francisco used to be a nice town prior the the late 1960s.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:35 AM
 
196 posts, read 727,905 times
Reputation: 94
This is an Iowa thread so I tried to keep it Iowa by referring to CB. If I moved to the Omaha Metro, I would live on the Nebraska side.
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