Owning a Home
Owning your own home offers numerous considerations to put on your pros and cons lists. However, a huge factor that can determine which list is the overall winner comes down to the old adage, “location, location, location.”

In most cases, purchasing a home is a long-term investment. This means that when it comes to deciding where to purchase your new home, making the wrong decision could haunt you for a long time to come.

Whether you’re just starting your research or you’ve narrowed down the geographical location to a few choices, take a look at the rest of this article to find out why you should, and shouldn’t, consider owning a home in northern Iowa. Read now.

The Cons of Living in Northern Iowa

Before we get to all the pros of purchasing North Iowa realty, there are indeed a few cons, or at least semi or mini-cons, that you should be aware of.
  • Winter is downright COLD! With the wind chill factor, you can be subjected to temperatures as low as -30°F. The state record for the lowest temperature happened in 1912 in the northwest city of Washta when they hit -47°F. If you’re a daily runner, love the outdoors all year round, or just hate the cold, the winters in northern Iowa can definitely be a con.
  • It’s pretty much flat AND it’s landlocked. If you’re a lover of the mountains or the ocean, you’re going to be out of luck. The highest natural summit in the entire state sits at just 1,670 feet and while you won’t be able to go surfing or deep-sea fishing, there are a couple of lakes where you can indulge in lakeside dining and camping.
  • You better prefer watching your favorite professional sports on television. Iowa does not have a single team in the Big 5 Leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, MLS) and you’ll have to travel 5-7 hours one way in order to take in a live game. However, Iowa is home to The Chicago Cubs’ Triple-A minor league affiliate and Cedar Rapids has a Single-A baseball team.
  • Sure, those three items may seem sort of irrelevant to some of you but for many others out there, one or more of them could be the difference between a happily ever after and despair.

The Good Stuff

  • While there are only a few cons to consider when looking at north Iowa realty, there are multiple pros that continue to attract home buyers each and every year. When you’re considering whether or not to purchase a home in northern Iowa, you seriously have to weigh the benefits of the following.
  • Lower cost of living - The cost of living is around 10% lower than what you’ll find elsewhere in the country and you’re very likely to find that perfect home for significantly less than what a comparable home costs elsewhere. In most communities, a single-family home will set you back $200,000 and in some of the more rural areas, a 2,000 sq. foot home will cost you less than $100,000.
  • In general, Iowa has a low crime rate. While Iowa does have some problems with drug use and distribution, especially when it comes to meth, Iowa has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. While of course that is a huge pro, Iowa is also pretty consistent when it comes to having one of the lowest murder rates and is consistently named one of the top 10 safest places to live.
  • It has one of the best educational systems in the country. The literacy rate runs right at 99%, the highest in the United States, and it also boasts the highest high school graduation rate with 90%. The area also consistently ranks high on SAT and ACT scores.
  • College football RULES! While professional sports may be nonexistent, Iowans definitely love their college football. The Hawkeyes and Cyclones rivalry is, well, unrivaled and the Cy-Hawk Series football game gets pretty intense. So much so in fact, it’s been known to decimate friendships, destroy relationships, and line the pockets of divorce lawyers across the state.
  • When it comes to retirement, there’s only one state that beats Iowa, and that’s freakin Hawaii!! However, when you consider the cost of living between the two, many retirees prefer Iowa. If you’re retired and living on any sort of real budget, this state could be the best choice for you.
  • All four seasons DO exist! Some states like Texas really only experience two seasons, autumn and summer, while others have a severe winter but the rest feels more like spring or a mild fall. In Iowa, you can actually have the pleasure of seeing Mother Nature’s true glory. While winter may bring the cold and snow, it’s usually not so bad that you end up hating the season altogether. Spring brings a variety of blossoming trees that are a sight to behold with their carpet of vibrant green that stretches as far as the eye can see. Then in autumn, the foliage is filled with an impressive array of fiery colors that can bring out the photographer in the most reluctant of residents.
Traffic jams really aren’t an issue. Yes, you read that right. While drivers in numerous cities across the US are fighting clogged highways and having to spend countless hours every year stuck in traffic jams, commuters in Iowa are pretty much smiling all the way to work and back. Unless your commute requires you to traverse through Des Moines’ downtown corridor, traffic jams are pretty much going to be a thing of the past.

As you can see, the pros for settling in Iowa realty outweigh the cons by more than 2x. The fact of the matter is, Americans from all over the country are finding that the benefits of moving to this part of the state are more than a little enticing and whether you just starting your search or trying to narrow it down, northern Iowa should seriously be in the list of your top choices.