10+ Things to Know Before Moving to Iowa
So, you’re thinking about moving to Iowa? Awesome! Iowa is a Midwestern state that is bordered by two rivers: The Mississippi River and Missouri River. Though Iowa is not a densely populated state, Iowa is a state full of rich history, charm and nature. So, if you are thinking about moving to Iowa, we’ve got a list of things that you should know!
What to Know Before Moving to Iowa:
Planning a move to Iowa? Want to know what life in Iowa is like? Let’s learn more about the Hawkeye State!
SUPER AFFORDABLE COST OF LIVING
Iowa remains one of the top 10 most affordable states in the U.S. WIth a cost of living that is 10% lower than the national average, Iowa appeals to many looking to save money and purchase affordable real estate. This includes young families, retirees and digital nomads. Moreover, housing costs in Iowa are 24% lower than the national average. In Iowa, the median renter pays around $766 on rent! The median home value in Iowa is around $200,000, significantly cheaper than other parts of the country.
YOU CAN GET PAID FOR MOVING TO IOWA
In Iowa, there are a number of programs designed to encourage people to purchase property in Iowa. In Newton, Iowa (a suburb of Des Moines) you can get up to $10,000 if you purchase a home valued over $180,000.
Iowa is a state full of beautiful and serene natural wonders. From the Maquoketa caves to Pikes Peak state park, Iowa is an excellent place to live for nature lovers. There are a variety of caves, lakes, rivers and mountains to visit where you can go hiking, camping and boating.
IMPOSSIBLY COLD WINTERS
Though Iowa does not get as much snowfall as other parts of the country, Iowa winters are very cold. In January, temperatures in Iowa average 14 degrees Fahrenheit which can be brutal if you are not used to that level of cold weather. Iowa winters are known for its strong winds and icy chill.
TOP QUALITY EDUCATION
Iowa has an excellent system of public education and higher education. Iowa has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the country at 92%. Iowa’s public school system was ranked #9 in the nation. In terms of higher education, Iowa is home to the famed Iowa Writers Workshop at the renowned University of Iowa.
Iowa has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and has seen a swift economic recovery from the Covid pandemic.Though Iowa is a smaller state, there is plenty of economic opportunity in Iowa. The state has seen positive job growth in the last few years particularly in the following fields: Engineering, Electrical Technology, Carpenting, Information Technology, Farming and Agriculture.
RURAL LIFE IS THE NORM
Iowa is a state with low levels of urbanization. This is a unique feature of the state. The urbanization rate of Iowa is 64% while the U.S average is up at 83%. Iowa is a state where many people still live in small towns and on farms. However, like other parts of the U.S, Iowa has experienced a decline in rural population. Though the population of Iowa has grown 4.7% from 2010 to 2020, 80% of the population growth has been concentrated in the urban areas of Iowa including: Des Moines, Sioux City, Iowa City, Davenport and Cedar Rapids.
HIGH INCOME TAXES
Despite the affordability of Iowa, Iowa residents can face income tax rates of up to 8.5%. This is a relatively high income tax rate compared to many nearby states like South Dakota, where there is no income tax. However, if you are retired, there are tax exemption programs available.
LOW CRIME RATES
Iowa is an incredibly safe place to live. The violent crime and property crime rate in Iowa is lower than the United States average. In fact, Iowa’s violent crime rate is the 9th lowest in the country!
DELICIOUS FOOD & CRAFT BEER
In a state where there is more livestock than people, you certainly won’t go hungry! Iowa is home to a lot of farmland which means there are plenty of interesting dishes to try in the Hawkeye State. Iowa is one of the nation’s top producers of Pork, so be sure to order some Pork Tenderloin Sandwich or Pork Roast. One of the most classic Iowa establishments is Maid-Rite, a fast food chain known for its sloppy joe style hamburger sandwiches. And, since Iowa is the nation’s top producer of corn, be sure to try an Iowan Corn Casserole! Read up on all these iconic Iowan foods to get a taste of Iowa’s delicious cuisine.
Iowa is home to over 115 breweries across the state. If you are a beer lover, you can check out some of Iowa’s famous tap rooms like Big Grove Brewery and The Iowa Taproom and taste their local craft beers.
Due to the low population density and rural lifestyle of Iowa, there are little to no traffic jams on the roads. This can be a great feat if you love cruising down empty roads and hate sitting in bumper to bumper traffic.
IOWA IS RANKED AS ONE OF THE BEST STATES TO LIVE
Iowa has been ranked as one of the best U.S states to live in by U.S news. This ranking factors in data surrounding the healthcare, education, economy, infrastructure and general quality of life in Iowa.
MOVING TO IOWA MEANS MEETING FRIENDLY PEOPLE
Iowa can be an excellent place to move due to the warmness of the people. Iowa is famous for their positive and friendly attitude and hospitality known as “Iowa Nice.”
Iowa has an excellent college football team that has won numerous championships! The Iowa Hawkeyes are one of the best teams in the big 10, so grab some friends and some beers and go watch a game!
HOME OF THE HISTORIC IOWA STATE FAIR
Iowa is home to the fabulous Iowa State Fair, which takes place every August over a span of 11 days. The internationally renowned state fair began in 1854 and has been an annual state tradition providing food, carnival rides, entertainment and agricultural contests!
SO, ARE YOU MOVING TO IOWA?
While life in the MidWest may not be for everyone, there are many reasons why moving to Iowa may be a good idea for you. If you are planning a move to Iowa be sure to reach out to our Iowa Movers.