Moving to Central Iowa

Discussion in 'Real Estate' started by clonesfan11, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. clonesfan11

    clonesfan11 New Member

    Apr 14, 2006
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    Hiawatha, IA
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    I have a question for all you central Iowa folks. My wife and I are relocating from the CR area and are looking at houses in the Bondurant, Ankeny, and Polk City areas. We are hoping to be in a house by the end of August. We are somewhat familiar with central Iowa having grown up in the area, but all of these towns have changed significantly since we were younger. I was hoping people could provide insight into these communities and the school districts as we have a kid on the way. So far our thoughts on these towns are as follows:

    Bondurant:
    • Seems like it would be the most convenient location for our work commutes. I will be working in downtown DSM and my wife's office will be in Nevada, although she will only probably go to her office about 3 days a week. Smaller community feel, most similar to what both of us grew up in. Seems like a better bang for buck with housing. Our concerns would be slightly longer distance to amenities (restaurants, HyVee/Fareway, etc.)
    Ankeny:
    • I'll admit we don't know much about Ankeny. Our impression is more traffic, larger schools, more housing inventory, pretty much have everything you'd need in close proximity.
    Polk City
    • We like the area around Polk City, being close Saylorville and other outdoor activities. Seems like less housing inventory (although a lot are starting to be built). It would be stretching our budget a little. We are unsure of the in-town commute to downtown rather than I-80 from Bondurant. We don't know much about the school district or future plans for expansion. It seems like it is closer to nice golf courses.

    I appreciate any insight you have about these areas and thanks in advance!
     
  2. cowboycurtis

    cowboycurtis Well-Known Member

    Jul 20, 2006
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    Apparently a canoe is also needed for commutes from time to time.
     
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  3. jdcyclone19

    jdcyclone19 Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2017
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    1. Bondurant
    Does seem like the best place for convience. It is cheaper because of the tax abatement but they kinda of screened themselves. Built all these houses but collecting no tax for bigger schools and municipal upgrades. Just an ok school district and not much in town but close to Altoona. Only grocery store is a local owned one.

    2. Ankeny
    Second most convenient. Typically larger city life with everything you need. Traffic is usually not terrible depending on your location. Pretty good inventory of houses and decent schools. If I didn’t already live in Polk City, I’d choose Ankeny due to house prices. Good school district. Besides a few groceries and having a beer at the bar, we go to Ankeny for almost everything.

    Polk City
    Least convient location for your scenario. I live in PC and love it. 10 minutes to Ankeny, 20 to West Des Moines, 30 minutes to the airport or Ames. We love being right next to saylorville and big creek. We bought 5 years ago before PC really started growing. Prices for houses in Polk City are really inflated right now. Great school district. However based on the info you provided PC would not be as convient for you. Has a fareway in town and a few good places to eat. To get downtown it’s easiest to take 415 to 2nd ave and go straight down or hop on the interstate from there. On a good day with ok traffic you’re looking at 30 minutes +\- If PC would push your budget, Ankeny would be a better option and only 10 minutes away from big creek/saylorville. You never wanna put yourself in a situation where you’re house “rich” but cash poor.
     
  4. psycln11

    psycln11 Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2006
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    Ankeny
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    I would never buy a house in Bondurant. Having worked on a few engineering projects there, I know they have significant drainage issues. The town is just too flat.

    We've lived in Ankeny for 20 years now and love the conscience to everything. I used to commute to Ames and also downtown FWIW.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. AgronAlum

    AgronAlum Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2014
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    Greenland Homes and Classic Builders suck. Avoid them.

    Are you looking for a new or established neighborhood? Kids?
     
  6. Gunnerclone

    Gunnerclone Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2010
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    Bondurant is at that major growing pains stage. If you want that small town feel to last more than a couple months you better be looking for the new Bondurant. I don’t know what that is though. Maybe Mitchelville or Cambridge or Baxter or some place like that.
     
  7. NWICY

    NWICY Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2012
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    Contact Mark Charter he'll help you find the house you need. @IowaRealEstate
     
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  8. awd4cy

    awd4cy Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2010
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    Huxley not a bad option and you would be in the middle for both of you for work.
     
  9. brianhos

    brianhos Moderator
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    Jun 1, 2006
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    Traffic in Ankeny is way easier than Ames... Even with a lot more people.
     
  10. ImJustKCClone

    ImJustKCClone Well-Known Member
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    Jun 18, 2013
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    traipsing thru the treetops
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    When we were looking, I worked in Ames & spouse worked in DSM. We found that the prices & taxes were better if you stayed out of Polk County. I'm sure there are many that will disagree. :D
     
  11. JP4CY

    JP4CY I LOVE LAMP
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    Dec 19, 2008
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    Definitely. Ankeny may have bad traffic along Delaware but at least there are frontage roads. Meanwhile every business on Duff or Lincoln has a driveway.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. theshadow

    theshadow Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2006
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    Huxley has the second-highest levy rate (per $1,000) in Story County, when you add the city rate to the school rate for Ballard. Only Slater is higher.
     
  13. Cycsk

    Cycsk Well-Known Member
    SuperFanatic SuperFanatic T2

    Aug 17, 2009
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    If you buy a house in Bondurant, make sure that you know who is living next door. I've heard there are some folks living there who are absolutely fanatics!
     
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  14. Cyched

    Cyched Minister of Culture
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    May 8, 2009
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    Ankeny
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    Helps that Ankeny has more than 3 main roads through town
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. JY07

    JY07 Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2009
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    I'd probably target the area around the 36th st exit in Ankeny based on your commutes: should be plenty of inventory and open lots if you're looking to build your own
     
  16. oldman

    oldman Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2009
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    With your wife working in Ames, I would think Ankeny is your best bet. Good schools, easy commute, and good proximity to anywhere.
     
  17. cyfan92

    cyfan92 Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2011
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    Here are the Metro tax rates if you care

    upload_2018-7-6_10-9-26.png
     
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  18. ISC

    ISC Well-Known Member

    Oct 15, 2009
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    I agree. And would put my vote in to take a look at Baxter (no, really)... it's a great small town and still has it's own school district. Town is growing, but in a nice (and slower) pace that won't cause the issues like you are seeing in Bondurant.
     
  19. jdcyclone19

    jdcyclone19 Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2017
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    Bondurant is really in a bad situation. Their infrastructure and municipals are currently maxed and very little new construction and developments are being approved now. They can't approve more until both are upgraded but they can't do that because they don't have the tax money to do it due to the tax abatement.
     
  20. Sigmapolis

    Sigmapolis Minister of Economy
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    Aug 10, 2011
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    Lucky sod to be moving back to central Iowa. Someday. :(
     
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