What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In Iowa?

Pros and Cons of Living in Iowa

We often hear most about Iowa during the start of most election cycles. As the state that holds the first presidential nominating contests in the country, pundits and politicians flock there every election season. You’re probably aware of Iowa’s role in national politics, but what else do you know about it?

For instance, do you think that Iowa would be a good place to live in? We’ll attempt to answer that question as best we can in this article.

The low cost of living and similarly low crime rates make Iowa a secure state to call home. If you’ve grown tired of living in highly industrialized and commercialized areas, you may also appreciate Iowa more. Dealing with extreme weather may be something you’ll have to get used to if you opt to live in Iowa though.

The Hawkeye State is one definitely worth taking the time to know better. Stay tuned as we discuss all the perks and pitfalls of becoming an Iowa resident.

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What Are the Perks of Living in Iowa?

Iowa doesn’t get a lot of love in the national spotlight. Make no mistake though, it can be a terrific place to live in. The reasons we’ve listed below detail why you should consider living in Iowa.

Affordable Cost of Living

Cost of living considerations must always be front and center if you’re planning to move. Fail to take them into account and you could wind up in a tough spot financially.

The good news for folks eyeing a move to Iowa is that the cost of living expenses there are very reasonable. Let’s start with the housing costs. A new home in Iowa is likely going to cost around $140,000. Bear in mind that the median cost for a new home in the rest of the country is $231,000. You could potentially save close to $100,000 if you’re buying your new home in Iowa.

The supplemental cost of living expenses in Iowa are not that bad either. Utilities and groceries are slightly more affordable in Iowa compared to the rest of the country. Transportation-related expenses are more affordable there too.

Healthcare expenses in Iowa are the only ones higher than the national average. If you can avoid those healthcare expenses, cost of living should not be an issue for you as an Iowa resident.

Refuge from City Living

You sometimes hear stories on the news about people trying to get away from it all. They pack a few essentials, purchase a remote cabin in the woods and try to live off the land.

On one hand, making such a drastic change to your life like that can seem odd. On the other hand, you can kind of understand it since the daily grind really can be taxing. Sometimes, you just want to escape somewhere and experience a more relaxed way of life.

Of course, you aren’t limited to just that extreme option. You can move to Iowa, find a home in a small town, and enjoy that. Exchange the hustle and bustle of the city for a simpler way of life in Iowa. Iowa has more than a few small towns where you can find that kind of refuge. Homes there also tend to be less expensive, which is a nice plus.

You can also take up residence in a city like Dubuque or Waterloo. Those cities are industrialized to some degree, but they still retain a small town feel. They may provide the kind of environment you’re looking for in a new hometown.

Low Crime Rates

Many parents struggle with the idea of moving together with their kids. They worry about uprooting their children from the only home they know and friends they’ve made. Schooling is also a significant concern for all parents moving with their kids.

On top of all those concerns, parents must also think about the safety of their children. Are they moving to a safe neighborhood?

Safety concerns are almost always warranted, but you don’t have to worry about them as much in Iowa. The Hawkeye State is among the safest in the entire country. Both the property and violent crime rates for Iowa are lower than the national average. You don’t even have to target a specific neighborhood. Almost all of the neighborhoods throughout Iowa rate well in terms of safety.

It’s nice to not have to worry about the safety of your family after moving to a new home. Enjoy that kind of peace of mind by moving to Iowa.

Strong Educational Infrastructure

The low crime rates are not the only reasons why you should feel good about moving your kids to Iowa. From an education standpoint, you can also feel comfortable about the kind of schooling they’ll receive there.

Iowa has routinely posted some of the highest graduation rates in the United States. Recent numbers have the graduation rate for Iowa high school students at nearly 92 percent. For the rest of the country, the high school graduation rate is closer to 87 percent.

After your child graduates from high school, they can go to one of the top higher education institutions in the state. Three public universities operate in the state. They are Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.

High school graduates also have the option of attending one of the many community colleges in Iowa. There are also several private colleges and universities that are based in the state.

What Are the Pitfalls of Living in Iowa?

If you’re looking to live somewhere safe and quiet, Iowa stands out as a great choice. However, there are still downsides to living there you should know about. Learn about the downsides of living in Iowa in this next section.

Bouts of Extreme Weather

Crime is not something you have to worry about too much in Iowa. The weather is a different matter altogether. During certain stretches of the year, the weather in the state becomes more dangerous.

Winters can get very cold in Iowa due to wind chill. Still, that is not the main issue. The bigger problem is when winter storms blow through the area and dump heaps of snow over the course of hours. You could find yourself stranded somewhere because of the sudden snowfall.

Springtime offers relief from the harsh winter, but it presents its own problems too. Spring is tornado season in Iowa and you have to be on high alert. Make sure your shelter is stocked regularly so you’re prepared in case of an emergency.

Thunderstorms are also quite common in Iowa. Take shelter immediately if there’s a thunderstorm warning to stay safe.

Lack of Entertainment Options

Given how we’ve described the experience of living in Iowa thus far, this next entry probably comes as no surprise. When it comes to entertainment, Iowans simply do not have a lot of options to choose from.

Collegiate sports may be your best bet. You can make the trip to one of the stadiums and watch the Hawkeyes or the Cyclones play. When those teams aren’t playing though, the events calendar will look empty again. The Iowa Cubs do reside in the state. They are the Triple-A affiliate of MLB’s Chicago Cubs so you can attend some of their games if you so desire.

That’s about it for sports unless you’re willing to make the long drive to nearby states. When it comes to live shows featuring artists, the pickings are slim.

Sadly, Iowa also doesn’t offer much in the way of natural attractions. The landscape of the state isn’t exactly flat, but mountains are nowhere to be found. You will also have to head elsewhere if you want to spend time at a beach.

Iowa is not an especially lively place even during the weekends. Some people are fine with that, but others may not be able to stand it. Know what you’re in for before deciding on your move to Iowa.

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Related Questions

Is It Easy to Move Around inside Iowa?

Cities and towns tend to be located far apart in Iowa. This can be an issue for many residents.

The problem with the way Iowa is laid out is that it can take residents ages to reach their destination. Spending hours in your car in Iowa is not unusual. For many folks, it’s just part of the experience of living in the state. The long travels become especially annoying if you forgot to buy something important. Don’t leave home without putting together a grocery list first.

You can mitigate the issue of long car rides in Iowa by living in one of the big cities there. Stores and other providers of essential goods tend to be located closer together in those cities.

What Are the Dishes You Must Try in Iowa?

Iowa’s main export is corn. There is a lot of it to be had in the state. Humble, roasted corn coated with some butter is an Iowa favorite. You should definitely give that a try when you have the chance.

Pork dishes are also very popular in Iowa. Grilled pork chops, ham balls, and fried tenderloin cutlets are among the dishes you must have.

For dessert, many Iowans prefer ice cream. Scoop some into a bowl or enjoy it in a cone during a warm summer day to cool down.

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Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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