Considering Move to Eastern Iowa

Discussion in 'Iowa Whitetail Conference' started by Zim, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Zim

    Zim Active Member

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    I currently live in the far western suburbs of Chicago. Got married 2 years ago and wife is moving here from China July 12th. I need to buy us a home but no way in hell I will do so in Illinois or Wisconsin due to the outrageous state employee pork barrel salaries/pensions & resulting highest in the US property taxes. My work area includes all of Wisconsin & Illinois, so we can only choose between NW Indiana and extreme eastern Iowa. Luckily both seem to have low cost of livings. However, the towns I am trying to figure out the options in eastern Iowa. The location of Clinton would be ideal for my travels with quick access to I-88 east, home prices are great but from what I have read it is going downhill and crime is a problem. But when I looked at the areas between there and the Quad Cities, it seemed everything was the Beverly Hills of Davenport. $400K homes. Anyone familiar with that general area, and tell me if there is a balance of home price and good environment? We have no kids so school quality does not matter. I thought maybe Camanche might work. LeClaire prices were out of my league. We just need ~1,500 SF 3/2 ranch for two.

    Need to escape both the corrupt IL politician's high taxes and crappy deer management. Thanks.
     
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  3. srjdsmith

    srjdsmith Member

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    Friends moved from Davenport to here in Dubuque and they thought the real estate prices were quite a bit higher here. They thought they got far less home then they had in Davenport, but they were MUCH happier with the schools, crime rate, economy, etc. I don’t know that I’d recommend Dubuque because of that, but, having left the Chicago area years ago, I’d definitely recommend almost anything in Eastern Iowa over almost anything in the Chicago area. Have you looked at Iowa City? Cedar Rapids? Coralville is a nice area and Bettendorf is sort of an overlooked corner of the Quad Cities.


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  4. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Moderator

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    The University of Iowa drives up the cost of houses in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids corridor. Tiffin, just west of Coralville, is the fastest growing city in the state, but I wouldn't recommend anything in Johnson County. Property taxes are too high in Johnson County. Cedar and Muscatine counties are probably better options for affordable housing and taxes, both are close to I80. I haven't looked at prices in Dubuque or Davenport, but they almost have to be cheaper than the Iowa City area.
     
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  5. muddy

    muddy Administrator

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    I agree on sticking down by the Quad Cities area... Commanche, DeWitt, Eldridge, Bettendorf... You get over here by Coralville/IowaCity and real estate jumps a lot. I've never been a fan of Clinton but I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could definitely find a nicer area there.

    If Dubuque is an option I'd definitely recommend it. I went to college up there and it's just a really nice community.
     
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  6. mplane72

    mplane72 Active Member

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    Born and raised in Davenport. Very familiar with everything on the river from Dport to Clinton. We just sold our house in Dport and moved out to the Bluegrass area 2 weeks ago.
    The Clinton area would probably be your best bet. I don't know that I would say it's going down hill and I know there are plenty of areas in and around Clinton that you should feel plenty safe in. I'm not hearing anything about Clinton having any worse of a crime problem then any other area in Eastern Iowa. Like Chicago it all depends on what part of town your looking at. The supply of houses your probably going to want to live in is pretty tight in the Iowa Quad Cities right now and prices are up. We made an absolute killing on our last house. We are now part of the white flight that is pushing up home values in places like Leclaire, Dewitt, Eldridge and others.
    LeClaire is a Galena want to be. I used to want to live there when I was younger. Not any more.
    There are many small towns all around this area of Eastern Iowa that you would probably like. Other towns to look at, Bellvue and Dewitt are a couple of the larger ones. Princeton is good.
    You probably know this but you need to find a realtor and come look around. When looking in the Clinton area make sure to ask about "industrial odors" and their sources and the predominate wind direction.;) Good Luck
     
  7. Zim

    Zim Active Member

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    I'll be driving east regularly 50% of my work days so I really cannot consider places like Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Coralville. Bettendorf is possible. Probably anything from Quad Cities to Clinton for good I-80 access.

    My wife will arrive here July 12th. Yes we will be taking a drive out there shortly afterwards to check things out.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  8. srjdsmith

    srjdsmith Member

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    Dubuque is “nice” but has horrible transportation by road. Years ago the Galena Chamber of Commerce blocked four lane dual highway of US 20 being built. (They feared the “Route 66” Syndrome of towns dying when the new highway by-passes. That was an old-fashioned fear for a place that was already a destination... Now Illinois doesn’t have two nickels to rub together, so I doubt it’ll ever happen.) Then we lost our bid for “Avenue of the Saints”.

    Now we have dual highway south to I80/74 and dual highway west to Waterloo I35, but only two lane east towards Chicago and north towards Twin Cities. Getting to I80 adds a little over an hour. Not ideal for you.

    Clinton has some nice homes/neighborhoods, but we play “name that smell” when we go there.


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  9. muddy

    muddy Administrator

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    Yeah, I didn't really want to say it but now I will... Clinton has a smell unto itself.... one that could gag a maggot.

    So, I'll bite, did you meet your wife overseas and get hitched there or is it mail order? Apologies, Skip cant take me anywhere.
     
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  10. Zim

    Zim Active Member

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    Haha all my friends think she is mail order. I actually know a guy who did that. But no I actually met my wife in Milwaukee on one of my work trips up there 4 years ago. She was on a one year mandarin teaching program at a high school. Fang retires next week so she will move here but keep her condo there to return to each fall for 3 months (My free hall pass). She returned to China and we continued to date via WeChat app. She spent each summer here and I flew there three weeks each winter. I’m actually more like a mail order husband. She buys me everything, unlike the ex. Hell she even paid for our Thailand honeymoon and tried to pay for her own wedding ring!

    BTW - Some fantastic underutilized habitat in China. I visited six times. They could have tons of trophy deer hunting if they wanted too. Great steep thick cover with 50 different varieties of food crops in the abundant Bottoms. But their government does not want to fund the wildlife management necessary to enforce game laws. So they have next to no wildlife and hunting.
     
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  11. muddy

    muddy Administrator

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    Good deal, congrats and good luck on the move.

    Dont go to Clinton.
     
  12. Wapsi Tree

    Wapsi Tree Well-Known Member

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    I've been servicing foreclosed homes for banks all over Eastern Iowa for the last 8 years.

    I can tell you 3 things about Clinton.

    1. It has provided a LOT of work for me.

    2. It is DEFINITELY downhill.

    3. I get depressed just driving through it.

    Even with foreclosure numbers WAY down across the state, look at this current map from Fannie Mae.

    Only 2-3 foreclosures for sale in CR and Waterloo, but 7 in Clinton, a town a quarter the size. There are abandoned homes every where. Very depressing.
    Camanche is a very nice town, but most commerce for this area is going to be in Clinton. Dubuque is a better option, but driving in that town is miserable, and most everything downtown and the lower (elevation) part of town is pretty depressed also. I would certainly consider Bellvue...very good deer in that area and probably fairly cheap cost of living. Just my 21 cents.

    FNMA Foreclosures.JPG
     
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  13. Zim

    Zim Active Member

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    OK well this sucks. Looks like just bad luck for me. My travels take me all along the borders of Illinois, and almost always the depressed side of the river is Illinois, due to our ridiculous taxes. Case in point Cairo & St. Louis. Heck every gas station on the IL side is boarded up in these places, 30 cents/gal higher.
     
  14. Hardwood11

    Hardwood11 Well-Known Member

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    Hard to understand why states like Illinois keep chasing people to other states?

    Minnesota is same way, high state taxes. I can’t fully leave the lakes... but gonna be SD or Florida resident when I retire (0 state taxes)
     
  15. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    I think IL was listed as the most fled state of the 50. It’s in top few. Taxes, loons in government, crime, corruption, $$$$ deciding everything- I get it.

    I dunno much on Clinton. Hmmm. If you get anywhere in small towns or 20 mins out of town - bet u find lower prices on housing & usually can get far enough away from any problem areas of any big town. Some small towns got issues too ;). Every big town has rougher areas no doubt. If u like XYZ town but few issues- look 20 mins out & pry find changes. Career & school system- if those ARE or ARE NOT issues- that would change things drastically if i was looking to move. Good luck whatever you do. Congrats if u get outta IL! :)
     
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  16. Copenhagen Tob

    Copenhagen Tob PMA Member

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    I've lived in dubuque county all my life, The transportation thing is slowly getting better but if your thinking this area check out guttenberg 30 min north of dubuque , clayton co is 2nd best big buck county. Behind allamakee co which is directly north of clayton , get yourself half hour away from dubuque any direction and prices really drop , not so much acre price but small town houses are very reasonable
     
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  17. Zim

    Zim Active Member

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    Here’s the current flight rankings from USA Today. Illinois tops for the 5th straight year. It’s not a matter of if we leave, only when. The sooner the better. Pathetic. The same as our public land deer, managed by the same greased politicians.



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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  18. hotshott2289

    hotshott2289 Active Member

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    plenty of decent areas outside of davenport.. I'm between donahue and eldridge, I would never live in davenport. Eldridge is pretty nice quick onto 80 too
     
  19. isu22andy

    isu22andy Active Member

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    I wouldnt listen to a bunch of Yahoos on the internet too much. Everyone says XYZ town is terrible but never say their own is bad. I grew up in a packing plant town and people say its declining and smells and blah blah blah but in my eyes its not that bad... Location is what you make of it . Use common sense and dont move into the part of city with bars on the windows and 3 junk cars in the front lawn.
     
  20. oldman570

    oldman570 New Member

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    There are some homes for sale near Clinton IA. that are north of town some, that might be close to what you are looking for. A weekend drive in the area between Clinton and Sabula or asking the local barkeeper or resturant server is sometimes the best ways of finding out about some homes. Checking some banks for home foreclosures can be good also.
     
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  21. Zim

    Zim Active Member

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    After patiently shopping for 7 months, I ended up deciding to go with a manufactured home on a big lot in a really nice rural subdivision in NW Indiana. We close March 8th. I just didn't care for eastern Iowa very much. Maybe it was just the dreary weather that influenced my view? I ended up driving everything from Davenport to Bellvue. Got a good nose full of Clinton, and just the thought of having to commute through there was not appealing. Got two grandsons in NW IN that also influenced decision. I actually stayed home from the China Spring Festival this year just in case the right home popped up on Zillow. It did on January 28, viewed in zero temp Jan 29th, made offer 8 AM Jan 30th, accepted at noon. On market total of 52 hours. Low priced due to estate sale. We got a great deal. The wife is still in China and has not even seen it yet. Paid cash. Glad to have no mortgage at my age 59. Property tax $576/year (not per month like Illinois!).

    Anyway, during my tour, I had to write off this zone 8 from consideration for my next NR Iowa deer hunt application. Too many people and uninspiring public land. I had been looking to an alternative to the long wait for zone 5, which I know well, but is getting over-publicized. Will still scout a few specks in the west side of the zone, then check out zone 7. At least our IN home is just 15 minutes north of a pretty good IN deer & turkey WMA - Kingsbury.

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