Relocation Logistics for Moving to the Cedar Rapids Area

dog in a moving box- moving to CR or IC

So you’re considering relocating to Cedar Rapids, IA or Iowa City, IA?  Good choice!  Once the dust has settled on your idea, it’s time to start thinking beyond all the homemade pie you’re going to eat once you get here and plan for your move.

See How Far Your Potential Salary Will Go

Knowing the cost of living can impact where you land in the corridor. This is true whether it be Cedar Rapids, Iowa City or smaller communities like Marion, Robins, Hiawatha, North Liberty or Coralville. Iowa City’s quality of life for young professionals and academics is one reason its cost of living is a bit higher than the Corridor’s other metro areas, and its only one factor in considering what community you should call home.  To compare communities, try this cost of living calculator.

Let’s Talk About Housing Options

Nate Holler- Intrepid Real Estate
Nate Holler – Intrepid Real Estate

To learn more about housing options for newcomers in the area, I talked with Nate Holler, of Intrepid Real Estate.

What do people new to the corridor have the most concerns about?

The thing I hear the most from people moving into the area is that they feel like there “won’t be much to do” in Cedar Rapids.  I really enjoy pointing out some of the unique entertainment, arts and outdoor options to show people that if you just look a little, there’s a ton of great stuff to do & see both right in CR, and within a 20-ish minute drive.  As for Iowa City, I think there’s sometimes a concern that it’s too much of a college town, but there are so many things for young professionals and families to do & enjoy they may not realize.

Is there a unique feature about the area that keeps resonating with newcomers?

It’s hard to pin down one unique feature, but overall I think it’s the affordability & accessibility. Compared with many other areas in the country, homes & general cost of living is very modest…and things like minimal traffic, access to outdoor activities, access to major cities within a few hours…all those things are pretty unique for us here in the Corridor.  Once people are here for even a short time, they realize we’re very fortunate!

Are there short term housing options for new professionals looking to relocate?

Short term housing is always a bit tricky to find, but with the rise of AirBnB and VRBO there are definitely more options these days.  A lot of professionals coming to the area are seeking out urban living options in downtown Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.  There have been a lot more privately owned condos in neighborhoods like NewBo & Kingston Village that the owners are renting and often can be flexible with lease terms.  The debate over whether to buy or rent when you’re new to an area is always there too, and with low interest rates and a strong housing market a lot of newcomers are deciding to buy right away too.

And About The Kids?

It’s a good thing you’re thinking about moving to the Midwest. Cedar Rapids is #1 again in rankings for best places for kids in 2017.  Parents often do a lot of research with school districts yet may not know all the options available to them.  For starters, you can check this public school attendance area by county map.  In addition,  private school options and public school open-enrollment options like Alburnett offer parents real choice.  Fortunately, based on average rankings, they’re all good choices.  Check out Cedar Rapids private school options or Iowa City private school options for more ideas. Be sure to talk with your realtor too to hear about school trends with other parents in the area.

Community Culture

The culture of the community you plan to live in makes a big difference in your experience.  There are some who would say that Cedar Rapids is more adult-oriented or conservative while Iowa City is more youthful and liberal.  However for both cities, your experience of the city depends on what you choose to participate in.  Both have awesome dining and entertainment options, great schools, tons of free activities and cultural institutions.  Follow #IowaBrag on Twitter to get some snackable facts about ICR.  Or check out the local resources and learn more.

Getting Started On Your Move

There are many sites that offer great reasons to relocate to Eastern Iowa for a job, however the nitty-gritty of making a move is often best supported by your future employer’s HR department, area school resources, area libraries and your future city’s government website.

City of Cedar Rapids

City of Coralville

City of Hiawatha

City of Iowa City

City of Marion

City of North Liberty

City of Robins

And don’t forget to let your employer know you found them on Good luck relocating to Cedar Rapids or Iowa City, IA!

Are you a trailing spouse (partner/significant other of relocating employee)? We’ve got another post about that.