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Old 06-03-2010, 12:37 PM
 
26 posts, read 77,841 times
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IMO, Northern VA is over-rated, way too crowded, expensive, etc. and don't even get me started on the Beltway traffic. My only ventures into VA are the occasional trip to Middleburg, Culpeper, etc. We live in MD. If you ask someone who lives in VA about MD, they'd likely have lots of bad things to say about MD as well.

We honestly have no interest in being near shopping malls, ethnic restaurants, or Trader Joe's. No, I take that back Trader Joe's would be nice. We actually enjoy the more rural life. We've lived in this busy area our entire lives and want to try something completely different. If it turns out we don't like IA, we can move again, not that big of a deal really. Can't say you don't like it if you've never tried it.

There's a huge difference in the attitude of people from Iowa compared to the people here. At first I was a bit put off by the overly friendly Iowans, now I find it quite refreshing.

I also like the way you can drive out of DSM on the south side, Rt. 35 I think, and it turns from city to country in the blink of an eye.

Our only tie to IA is that we bought a farm in Southern IA for my husband's deer hunting habit. That area is even a little too rural for me so we'd like to live in DSM or south of DSM so I can work in DSM and he can be an hour or two from his deer

Last edited by Sparks; 06-03-2010 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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Well, good luck and report back, please.

As for deer hunting, I hope your husband doesn't plan to use rifles. When I lived there, deer hunting was strictly shotgun, bow and maybe black powder. Pheasant hunting was magnificent there.

You know the joke about southern Iowa -- it's northern Missouri.

As for NoVA, it IS expensive, but that's relative to earnings too -- in my county, the average household income is $150,000 a year. In Polk County in Iowa where Des Moines is located, I think the average household income is probably $50,000-60,000 a year.

I haven't found Iowans to be any friendlier than folks I meet in Loudoun County. I know most of my neighbors well here in Ashburn (one pair of neighbors are even our daughter's godparents). We are about getting ready for a block party here next week. If anything, I found folks here more gregarious and outgoing than folks in Iowa, who struck me as somewhat taciturn (not quite northern New England taciturn, however).

The whole city-to-rural-in-a-blink-of-an-eye is not unique to Des Moines. I got that right here in Loudoun County. Heck, there are dairy farms and such not too far from here.

Of course, these are all broad generalizations, and with effort and luck, you can find what you like just about anywhere in this country, within reason.

I personally was very tired of big city life before I moved to Iowa. Enjoyed it somewhat for the first couple of years, but then things went sour thereafter.

I also plan to home school my kids and Iowa is very anti-home school. I happen to be politically very conservative, and I found Iowa to be on the whole very statist and highly regulation-oriented despite the somewhat traditional population. For me the high regulation, anti-freedom environment combined with insularity and low education level of the population (and somewhat higher intolerance for outsiders -- subjective measure, of course) was in some ways the worst of both worlds.

I could put up with the same condition and get much more attractive natural, rural environment (mountains, oceans, evergreen forests), if I were to move to Pacific Northwest (Washington state and Oregon) outside the major urban counties.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Des Moines
586 posts, read 2,008,743 times
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Luckily for all Trader Joe's is coming to Des Moines.
Trader Joe's store coming to West Des Moines | desmoinesregister.com | The Des Moines Register

I won't argue with your sentiments on the populace YOU had an experience with or the difficulties of home schooling, but many of these things you seem to crave will realistically only be found in a larger metro area with extreme wealth (or at least a decent-sized university city). It sounds like you ended up being more of a bigger city guy than may have thought before you moved here. Personally, I too wish that DSM had bigger city amenities with a large college culture, but this place is still home for me and I enjoy it. Really, DSM is fortunate in what it does provide when you think about the size of the population and the demographics of the place.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:37 PM
 
26 posts, read 77,841 times
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He prefers to bow hunt but also does shot-gun and black powder. He's REALLY into it. I think he likes South Dakota for pheasant.

We actually live on a 40 acre horse farm and can still be in DC within 30 minutes, but it's what you have too drive through to get there, not so appealing.

I'm not saying my neighbors aren't nice. I actually LOVE the little area where we live but when you leave that area, that's where you find the cranky folks. So many hurried, self-absorbed, rude people.

From our last visit out to IA I think we've got 3-4 dinner invitations waiting for our next visit. Nice folks out there.
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I just throw hand granades at deer and birds when I go hunting.

It's messy, but generally does the job.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:29 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,932,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMRyan View Post
Luckily for all Trader Joe's is coming to Des Moines.
Trader Joe's store coming to West Des Moines | desmoinesregister.com | The Des Moines Register

I won't argue with your sentiments on the populace YOU had an experience with or the difficulties of home schooling, but many of these things you seem to crave will realistically only be found in a larger metro area with extreme wealth (or at least a decent-sized university city). It sounds like you ended up being more of a bigger city guy than may have thought before you moved here. Personally, I too wish that DSM had bigger city amenities with a large college culture, but this place is still home for me and I enjoy it. Really, DSM is fortunate in what it does provide when you think about the size of the population and the demographics of the place.
My mother-in-law will be in high heaven (about the Trader Joe's).

Not a big city guy at all. I have come to the conclusion that I am an exurban guy. In Northern Virginia, in fact, the excellent ethnic dining scene is moving away from DC and the inner suburbs to the far outer suburbs and exurbs where many middle to upper middle class ethnic types have moved.

For ME, I have the best of both worlds: friendly, easy-going, somewhat rural or outer suburban environment on the one hand and educated and varied population and urban amenities on the other hand. I have access to the Beltway (30-45 minutes) and even DC, yet, at the same time, I live in a county where local Democrats welcomed a large state-of-the-art gun range/business into the area with open arms.

Some of the up and coming exurbs (and Loudoun County is probably the best known of the examples) have exactly those things, but I agree with your assessment especially about one thing -- all this requires a highly educated population with high disposable income, which also means high housing prices.

But it's not what most would call "extreme wealth." Even though the county where I live -- Loudoun County -- has the highest median household income of any county in the country, it looks nothing like Beverly Hills, Westchester or Hamptons, where extreme wealth is constrated by lower income areas around. Loudoun has a wide band of upper middle class income with very few extremely rich or poor areas.

And that was my point earlier: if Iowa wants to draw more highly educated, high income population, it has to offer this kind of lifestyle of variety and conveniences that are widely accessible, not just to the rich.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:30 PM
 
Location: IN
21,679 posts, read 38,088,931 times
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Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
As for NoVA, it IS expensive, but that's relative to earnings too -- in my county, the average household income is $150,000 a year. In Polk County in Iowa where Des Moines is located, I think the average household income is probably $50,000-60,000 a year.

I haven't found Iowans to be any friendlier than folks I meet in Loudoun County. I know most of my neighbors well here in Ashburn (one pair of neighbors are even our daughter's godparents). We are about getting ready for a block party here next week. If anything, I found folks here more gregarious and outgoing than folks in Iowa, who struck me as somewhat taciturn (not quite northern New England taciturn, however).

The whole city-to-rural-in-a-blink-of-an-eye is not unique to Des Moines. I got that right here in Loudoun County. Heck, there are dairy farms and such not too far from here.

Of course, these are all broad generalizations, and with effort and luck, you can find what you like just about anywhere in this country, within reason.

I personally was very tired of big city life before I moved to Iowa. Enjoyed it somewhat for the first couple of years, but then things went sour thereafter.

I also plan to home school my kids and Iowa is very anti-home school. I happen to be politically very conservative, and I found Iowa to be on the whole very statist and highly regulation-oriented despite the somewhat traditional population. For me the high regulation, anti-freedom environment combined with insularity and low education level of the population (and somewhat higher intolerance for outsiders -- subjective measure, of course) was in some ways the worst of both worlds.

I could put up with the same condition and get much more attractive natural, rural environment (mountains, oceans, evergreen forests), if I were to move to Pacific Northwest (Washington state and Oregon) outside the major urban counties.

I don't want to turn this into a political philosophy session, but I often wonder why Conservatives and Neo-Liberals adopt the growth at all costs economic development model. I don't see that model as being sustainable in the long-term at all as the development footprint of suburbia has grown increasingly large. Cities in top tier metros are going to have to grow even more vertically as we advance in time.
I am not a fan of corporate suburbs and I grew up in one. The rat race, entitlement attitude, snobbery, unfriendly people that often inhabit these places does not appeal to me. A prime example of a corporate suburb would be Overland Park, KS- which is a small scale model of northern VA. It has a good amount of career oriented jobs with very good pay. However, it is not the best place to LIVE if you don't fall into a very specific demographic range, or enjoy driving absolutely everywhere to access services.
I think most people in the US are much more comfortable with the statist model, but with some slower amounts of growth and change. Many dislike extreme amounts of development, growth, and change that have occurred in Loudon County and throughout many areas of northern VA. It is a job magnet with all of the defense contractors, biotech, research, finance, govt jobs, though.
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Old 06-03-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
I don't want to turn this into a political philosophy session, but I often wonder why Conservatives and Neo-Liberals adopt the growth at all costs economic development model. I don't see that model as being sustainable in the long-term at all as the development footprint of suburbia has grown increasingly large. Cities in top tier metros are going to have to grow even more vertically as we advance in time.
I am not a fan of corporate suburbs and I grew up in one. The rat race, entitlement attitude, snobbery, unfriendly people that often inhabit these places does not appeal to me. A prime example of a corporate suburb would be Overland Park, KS- which is a small scale model of northern VA. It has a good amount of career oriented jobs with very good pay. However, it is not the best place to LIVE if you don't fall into a very specific demographic range, or enjoy driving absolutely everywhere to access services.
I think most people in the US are much more comfortable with the statist model, but with some slower amounts of growth and change. Many dislike extreme amounts of development, growth, and change that have occurred in Loudon County and throughout many areas of northern VA. It is a job magnet with all of the defense contractors, biotech, research, finance, govt jobs, though.
The evidence does not bear out your assessment that most people in the US are more comfortable with the statist model with low growth. In the past two decades, most population growth has occurred in the sun belt -- places like Arizona, Texas, Virginia and Florida that have low regulation, pro-business (and thus jobs) and generally pro-liberty attitude (e.g. gun control).

Loudoun is most certainly NOT like Overland Park, KS!

In the exurban parts of NoVA, there is very little sense of "keeping up with the Joneses" attitude prevalent in isolated corporate suburbs of the 50's type. The consensus in the NoVA sub-forum is that in NoVA there is less Gucci-wearing and more putting resources into the education of their children and/or real estate.

In NoVA, you will find people making high six figures who live happily in middle class town houses or small homes and drive Hondas next to those who make a fraction of what they do. I've lived all over this country and this is the least showy affluent area I've ever experienced. It's considered bad form to be flashy here. If I could generalize a bit more than usual here, I found that conversations in the West Coast and NE often involved jobs, how much people make, etc. while in the Midwest sports were often discussed. Here in NoVA, you are more likely to discuss education and politics.

Even the ethnic makeup is compeletely different. Demographically isolated suburban areas like Overland Park is often super majority white. Most, perhaps all, major exurban areas in NoVA are highly diverse (hence the restaurants).
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:15 PM
 
1,403 posts, read 1,932,611 times
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By the way, the reason I write here is not to debate whose living preference is better. The original post posed the question: how can Iowa attract more people? By this, I understood the question to mean "how can Iowa attract more educated, professional and high-income population"?

It doesn't matter what I like or what somebody with a horse farm likes. There aren't enough horse farm lovers in the country to increase Iowa's positive demographics in any appreciably way (besides most horsey lovers I know -- who tend to be a snobby bunch -- would rather go to Middleburg, Purcellville, etc. over southern Iowa).

The reason the sun belt states, especially their exurbs and outer suburbs, have grown dramatically is pretty straight forward:

1. Jobs, jobs, jobs - people generally do not move to places with no well-paying jobs.
2. Low taxes - it attracts people and businesses; this is sort of the mass retail equivalent of government revenue, i.e. low prices, high volume = high revenue.
3. Safety - nobody likes dangerous and risky, not even criminals. Many inner cities in the NE, West Coast and rust belt areas are unsafe. In many of these areas, even small cities have relatively high crime rates due to adverse demographics.
4. Lower housing price - housing prices in desirable areas of the already heavily populated coastal and Midwestern areas are pricy while offering few benefits like good schools and safety. Sun belt exurbs might seem expensive compared to Des Moines, but less so compared to LA, NYC, Chicago, etc. while offering similar or better amenities and benefits.
5. More freedom - people don't like governments that tell them what to do with their property or who can when and where carry or not carry guns.
6. Amenities - people have more disposable income and time than their predecessors; that means there is a greater demand for entertainment, shopping and activities. People flock to places like Seattle and Austin and their suburbs, not just because of jobs, but because of "fun" things to do, including the great outdoors.

I am sure there are more reasons, but these are some of the more obvious ones.
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:27 PM
 
Location: IN
21,679 posts, read 38,088,931 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiaLimaDelta View Post
By the way, the reason I write here is not to debate whose living preference is better. The original post posed the question: how can Iowa attract more people? By this, I understood the question to mean "how can Iowa attract more educated, professional and high-income population"?

It doesn't matter what I like or what somebody with a horse farm likes. There aren't enough horse farm lovers in the country to increase Iowa's positive demographics in any appreciably way (besides most horsey lovers I know -- who tend to be a snobby bunch -- would rather go to Middleburg, Purcellville, etc. over southern Iowa).

The reason the sun belt states, especially their exurbs and outer suburbs, have grown dramatically is pretty straight forward:

1. Jobs, jobs, jobs - people generally do not move to places with no well-paying jobs.
2. Low taxes - it attracts people and businesses; this is sort of the mass retail equivalent of government revenue, i.e. low prices, high volume = high revenue.
3. Safety - nobody likes dangerous and risky, not even criminals. Many inner cities in the NE, West Coast and rust belt areas are unsafe. In many of these areas, even small cities have relatively high crime rates due to adverse demographics.
4. Lower housing price - housing prices in desirable areas of the already heavily populated coastal and Midwestern areas are pricy while offering few benefits like good schools and safety. Sun belt exurbs might seem expensive compared to Des Moines, but less so compared to LA, NYC, Chicago, etc. while offering similar or better amenities and benefits.
5. More freedom - people don't like governments that tell them what to do with their property or who can when and where carry or not carry guns.
6. Amenities - people have more disposable income and time than their predecessors; that means there is a greater demand for entertainment, shopping and activities. People flock to places like Seattle and Austin and their suburbs, not just because of jobs, but because of "fun" things to do, including the great outdoors.

I am sure there are more reasons, but these are some of the more obvious ones.
2) Low Taxes:

I can list a plethora of states that have low tax rates and regulation, but have had little job growth since 2000: Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Tennesee, Mississippi, South Carolina, etc. People don't generally move to those states for jobs unless it is in a metro area or to retire. Many of these states also have big brain drain problems with most of the talented people leaving to metros that are "up and coming."
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