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8 Reasons to Move to Iowa City

Old Capitol Building in Downtown Iowa CityAre you looking for a smaller city with a University, a Big Ten Conference football team, and a thriving parks and recreation department that demonstrates its support for the arts with annual festivals and exhibitions? Iowa City has you covered. It is home to a growing population of just 74,828 people (data from the 2020 census). College towns are great places to live as they support a well educated community with outstanding cultural events and the excitement of college sports. There are also great restaurants, great neighborhoods, and job opportunities to be found. There are a lot of reasons to move to Iowa City. Here is a small sampling. The staff at Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty looks forward to answering all of your questions while you look for your perfect home. 

Art & Culture 

1. Pedestrian Mall: The Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD) represents property owners, businesses, and organizations in the Downtown and Northside neighborhoods. The downtown district is where you will find the Pedestrian Mall (officially named City Plaza). It is a hub for cultural events, dining, shopping, and a gathering spot for locals, tourists, and college students. It brims with activity throughout the year. 

2. Iowa City Jazz Festival: Jazz musicians take the stages at the Pedestrian Mall every summer to perform to crowds of music lovers. The two day festival is an annual event that began in 1991. There are two stages to accommodate a variety of national, international, and new talent just waiting to be discovered (you might be the first to hear them). This is part of the Iowa City Summer of the Arts series of free arts and entertainment. There are additional events including the Northside Concert Series, Friday Night Concert Series, Soul & Blues Festival, and the Iowa City Arts festival. 

3. Iowa City Arts Festival: Hundreds of local and national artists share their visions of the world with visual art at the Pedestrian Mall during the annual arts festival. Artworks from high school and college students are featured at the Emerging Artists Pavilion. The festival also includes musical performances, regional and ethnic food vendors, educational activities, and activities for children. 

4. Music on the Move: The neighborhoods and communities are well supported in Iowa City. When someone has a great idea they receive a little help to get the ball rolling. Music on the Move is a new feature of the Iowa City Summer of the Arts series. It began in 2020 by Kevin Burt. Kevin wanted to bring live music to area neighborhoods in the back of his pickup truck during the pandemic. He approached the folks at Iowa City Summer of the Arts and the “Truckload of Soul” was born. It went over well, and the program has grown. In 2022 there were weekly mobile performances in June, July, and August. 

Sports & Recreation 

5. Iowa Hawkeyes: The University of Iowa is one of our nation’s top research facilities. It is best known for programs in health care, law, and fine arts. There have been 46 Pulitzer Prize winners from the university. They also have an excellent athletics department with 22 varsity teams. The Iowa Hawkeyes football team is a Division I NCAA team and part of the Big Ten Conference. You won’t be far away from a great football game, or your favorite Iowa Hawkeyes sport (basketball, baseball, softball, gymnastics, field hockey, ice hockey, wrestling) when living in this rich and diverse college town. 

6. Parks & Recreation: There are three golf courses, a large soccer complex, plenty of baseball diamonds, and miles of cycling trails throughout the city (over 50 miles of off-street multi-use trails). Some of the facilities are privately owned, some are owned by the university and some are owned and managed by the city. There is plenty to do here. Pick your adventure and enjoy the day. 


7. Neighborhoods: There are many great neighborhoods to choose from when looking for your dream home in Iowa City. The neighborhoods are divided into the east and west sides of the Iowa River running through the city. There are eight historic districts, neighborhoods with diverse architectural styles, neighborhoods on the east side within walking distance to local schools, and neighborhoods on the west side close to downtown. There is a neighborhood for everyone. The City of Iowa City Neighborhood Outreach office supports local residents to shape the future of their communities. The office has a video series titled “Know Your Neighborhood” featuring the best of Iowa City’s neighborhoods. 

8. Cost of Living: The cost of living is 9.6% lower than the national average, according to salary.com in 2022. The expenses of energy, goods, healthcare, housing, and transportation all come in well below the national average. Housing is 40.7% lower here. Iowa is known for cold winters, and you will need to pay for heat to keep your toes warm on a cold winter day, but energy costs are still 17% below the national average. 

Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty has been helping Midwesterners with their real estate needs since 1887. We look forward to helping you explore the neighborhoods and find your perfect home in Iowa City. Contact us today!

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