Moving to Des Moines, Iowa


Moving to Des Moines, Iowa

The ultimate guide to moving to Des Moines, Iowa: Unveiling the hidden gem of the Midwest, and its many positives...

Are you considering a move to a place that offers the perfect blend of big-city amenities and small-town charm? Look no further than Des Moines, Iowa! Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Des Moines is a vibrant and welcoming city that often flies under the radar. However, with its thriving economy, affordable cost of living, and a wealth of recreational and cultural opportunities, it’s time to unveil the hidden gem that is Des Moines.

In this blog post, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of Des Moines, highlighting why it’s becoming an increasingly popular destination for individuals and families seeking a high quality of life. From its diverse neighbourhoods and thriving job market to its robust educational institutions and abundance of recreational activities, we’ll explore everything you need to know to make an informed decision about moving to Des Moines.

Whether you’re drawn to the city’s flourishing arts scene, its commitment to sustainability, or its strong sense of community, Des Moines has something to offer everyone. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on a journey to a city that perfectly balances opportunity, affordability, and Midwestern hospitality. Let’s dive into the wonders of moving to Des Moines, Iowa!

Moving to Des Moines, Iowa

Why Move to Des Moines, Iowa?

Des Moines, Iowa is a city that offers a multitude of reasons to choose it as your next home. Let’s delve into the various factors that make Des Moines an attractive and captivating city to live in.

Strong Economy

Des Moines boasts a robust and diverse economy, making it an ideal destination for job seekers and professionals. The city is a major centre for finance, insurance, and technology, hosting numerous Fortune 500 companies. With a flourishing job market and a relatively low unemployment rate, Des Moines provides ample career opportunities across various industries.

Low Cost of Living and Affordable Housing

One of the biggest advantages of moving to Des Moines is its affordable cost of living. Housing prices in Des Moines are notably lower compared to many other metropolitan areas in the country. Whether you’re looking for a cozy apartment, a charming historic home, or a modern suburban residence, Des Moines offers a range of affordable housing options to suit different preferences and budgets.

Rich Cultural Scene

Des Moines surprises visitors and residents alike with its vibrant cultural scene. The city is home to numerous art galleries, museums, and theatres, where you can immerse yourself in a world of creativity and artistic expression. From contemporary art exhibits to live theatre performances, Des Moines has something to offer every art enthusiast. The Des Moines Symphony, the Des Moines Art Center, and the Civic Center are just a few of the cultural institutions that contribute to the city’s thriving arts scene.

Diverse Dining Options

Food lovers will delight in the culinary offerings of Des Moines. The city has seen a culinary renaissance in recent years, with a growing number of eclectic restaurants, trendy cafes, and farm-to-table eateries popping up. Whether you’re craving international cuisine, local comfort food, or inventive fusion dishes, Des Moines has a diverse and expanding culinary landscape to satisfy any palate.

Thriving Arts and Music Community

Des Moines embraces and celebrates the arts in all its forms. Beyond galleries and theatres, the city hosts numerous music festivals, concerts, and live performances throughout the year. From local indie bands to internationally acclaimed artists, Des Moines offers a vibrant music scene that caters to all tastes. Whether you enjoy intimate acoustic performances or energetic music festivals, you’ll find a thriving and inclusive community of musicians and music lovers in Des Moines.

Commitment to Sustainability

Des Moines prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. The city has implemented various initiatives to promote green practices and reduce its carbon footprint. Residents can enjoy an extensive network of parks, trails, and green spaces, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities, nature exploration, and relaxation. The city’s dedication to sustainability ensures a greener and healthier future for both residents and the environment.

Family-Friendly Amenities

Des Moines is an excellent place to raise a family, offering a range of family-friendly amenities. The city is home to top-notch educational institutions, including highly regarded public and private schools. Des Moines also boasts numerous parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities designed with families in mind. From interactive museums and science centres to family-oriented events and festivals, there’s always something exciting for families to enjoy together in Des Moines.

In conclusion, Des Moines combines a strong economy, low cost of living, vibrant cultural scene, diverse dining options, commitment to sustainability, outdoor recreational opportunities, and family-friendly amenities, making it an alluring choice for individuals and families looking for a high quality of life. By choosing Des Moines as your new home, you’ll be embracing a city that offers the perfect blend of opportunities, affordability, and a warm Midwestern welcome.

Neighbourhoods in Des Moines

Neighbourhoods in Des Moines

Des Moines is home to several distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character and appeal. Let’s explore some of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city:


Des Moines’ Downtown area is the vibrant heart of the city. It offers a mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment options. Here, you’ll find high-rise condos, loft apartments, and modern townhouses, making it an attractive choice for urban dwellers. Downtown is known for its lively atmosphere, with a bustling nightlife, a variety of dining options, and a thriving arts scene. The neighbourhood is also home to popular attractions like the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, the Des Moines Civic Center, and the Historic East Village.

East Village

Located just east of Downtown, the East Village is a trendy and eclectic neighbourhood known for its historic charm and unique shops. It features a blend of renovated historic buildings and contemporary developments, creating a hip and artistic atmosphere. The East Village is a hub for boutique shopping, art galleries, and specialty restaurants. It hosts numerous events and festivals, including the popular Des Moines Arts Festival, making it a favourite spot for locals and visitors alike.

Sherman Hill

Sherman Hill is a historic neighbourhood located just west of Downtown. It is known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture, tree-lined streets, and beautiful gardens. The neighbourhood offers a mix of single-family homes, apartments, and condominiums. Sherman Hill has a strong sense of community and is home to various community events and festivals throughout the year. Residents enjoy the neighbourhood’s proximity to Downtown while enjoying a quieter, residential ambiance.


Located in the northwest part of the city, Beaverdale is a charming and family-friendly neighbourhood. It features well-maintained homes, tree-lined streets, and a strong community spirit. Beaverdale offers a mix of housing styles, including bungalows and ranch-style homes, making it an attractive neighbourhood for families and young professionals. The neighbourhood has its own commercial district, Beaverdale Village, which offers local shops, restaurants, and community gathering spaces.

These are just a few of the popular neighbourhoods in Des Moines, but the city offers many other attractive areas, each with its own unique characteristics and amenities. Other notable neighbourhoods include Historic Valley Junction, Ingersoll Park, and Waterbury. Whether you’re seeking an urban lifestyle, a historic ambiance, or a family-friendly community, Des Moines has a neighbourhood to suit your preferences and make you feel right at home.

Cost of Living in Des Moines

Cost of Living in Des Moines

Des Moines offers a refreshing level of affordability compared to many other major cities in the United States. The cost of living in Des Moines is significantly lower than in cities like New York, San Francisco, or Chicago, making it an attractive destination for those seeking a more budget-friendly lifestyle.

When it comes to housing, Des Moines provides a range of affordable options. The average home prices in Des Moines are notably lower than the national average, allowing individuals and families to find comfortable and spacious homes without breaking the bank. Rental prices are also relatively affordable, with a variety of apartments and rental properties available at reasonable rates.

Transportation costs in Des Moines are generally affordable as well. The city has a well-connected public transportation system, including buses and a light rail system, offering convenient and affordable options for daily commuting. Additionally, Des Moines has a bike-friendly infrastructure, with many bike lanes and trails, making cycling a popular and economical mode of transportation.

Utility costs in Des Moines are generally in line with the national average, with reasonable rates for electricity, water, and gas. Grocery prices in the city are also relatively affordable, allowing residents to maintain a reasonable food budget. Des Moines has a variety of grocery stores, including large chains and local markets, offering competitive prices and a wide selection of products.

When considering the financial aspects of living in Des Moines, property tax rates play a significant role. It’s worth noting that Iowa has property tax rates that are slightly higher than the national average. However, Des Moines has a range of affordable housing options, and property taxes vary depending on the specific location and property size.

Overall, Des Moines offers a favourable financial landscape, combining affordable housing options, reasonable transportation costs, and competitive utility and grocery prices. With its lower cost of living compared to many major cities, residents can enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle while keeping their expenses under control. Whether you’re a young professional, a growing family, or a retiree, Des Moines provides a compelling combination of affordability and quality of life.

Des Moines Education and Healthcare

Des Moines Education and Healthcare

Des Moines takes pride in offering a high quality of education, with a variety of options available for students of all ages. The city is served by the Des Moines Public Schools district, which encompasses numerous elementary, middle, and high schools. Des Moines Public Schools is committed to providing a comprehensive and well-rounded education, focusing on academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and student support services. The district offers a range of programs to meet diverse student needs, including magnet schools, career academies, and specialised programs for gifted and talented students.

In addition to the public school system, Des Moines is home to several reputable private schools. These institutions provide alternative educational choices with smaller class sizes, specialised curricula, and a focus on individualised attention. Private schools in Des Moines offer a range of religious and non-religious options, catering to various educational philosophies and preferences.

Des Moines is also a hub for higher education, with renowned universities, colleges, and vocational schools located in the area. Drake University, a private university, is recognised for its strong academic programs and prestigious law school. Grand View University offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as business, healthcare, and liberal arts. Additionally, Des Moines Area Community College provides affordable and accessible higher education options, offering associate degrees, technical certifications, and transfer programs.

The healthcare system in Des Moines is robust and includes major hospitals, clinics, and specialised medical facilities. Hospitals such as MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, UnityPoint Health – Iowa Methodist Medical Center, and Broadlawns Medical Center are known for their exceptional medical care, cutting-edge technology, and comprehensive healthcare services. These hospitals not only serve the local community but also attract patients from across the region for specialised treatments and procedures. Des Moines is also home to numerous clinics and healthcare centres, providing a wide range of services, including primary care, specialty care, and outpatient procedures.

Recreational and Cultural Activities

Recreational and Cultural Activities in Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines offers a wealth of recreational activities that cater to various interests and preferences. The city is known for its abundance of parks, trails, and outdoor spaces, providing ample opportunities for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Parks like Gray’s Lake Park, Water Works Park, and Principal Riverwalk offer scenic walking and biking trails, picnic areas, and opportunities for boating and kayaking. Residents can also explore the extensive network of hiking and biking trails that wind through Des Moines, connecting different neighbourhoods and providing opportunities for active recreation and exploration of the city’s natural beauty.

Des Moines is also a vibrant hub for arts and culture, with a thriving arts scene that encompasses museums, theatres, galleries, and festivals. The Des Moines Art Center is renowned for its impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as its engaging exhibitions and educational programs. The Civic Center hosts a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, symphony concerts, and dance performances. The Salisbury House and Gardens, a historic mansion turned museum, offers a glimpse into the city’s rich architectural and cultural heritage. Throughout the year, Des Moines hosts a range of festivals and events celebrating music, art, food, and culture, such as the Des Moines Arts Festival, the World Food & Music Festival, and the Iowa State Fair.

Sports enthusiasts have plenty of options to indulge in their passion in Des Moines. The city is home to professional sports teams, including the Iowa Cubs (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) in baseball, the Iowa Wolves (NBA G League team) in basketball, and the Iowa Wild (American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild) in ice hockey. Fans can catch exciting games and cheer for their favourite teams in state-of-the-art stadiums and arenas. Des Moines also hosts a variety of sporting events, from marathons and triathlons to college sports competitions, attracting athletes and spectators alike.

Live music venues in Des Moines showcase a vibrant and diverse music scene. From intimate clubs and coffeehouses to larger venues, residents can enjoy live performances spanning various genres, including rock, jazz, blues, country, and indie. Local musicians and bands contribute to the city’s lively music scene, performing at venues like Wooly’s, Hoyt Sherman Place, and the Des Moines Social Club.

Community and Lifestyle

Des Moines Community and Lifestyle

Des Moines is widely recognised for its welcoming and community-oriented nature, making it an ideal place to call home. The city prides itself on its strong sense of civic pride and the active engagement of its residents in building a vibrant and inclusive community.

Des Moines fosters a culture of volunteerism and encourages its residents to get involved and give back. The city provides numerous volunteer opportunities through various organisations and community initiatives. From assisting local nonprofits and community centres to participating in neighbourhood clean-ups and charitable events, residents of Des Moines have numerous avenues to make a positive impact and contribute to the betterment of the community. This collective spirit of volunteerism strengthens the social fabric of the city and creates a sense of unity among its residents.

The city also embraces a rich calendar of community events and celebrations that bring people together. Des Moines hosts a wide range of festivals, parades, and cultural events throughout the year, catering to diverse interests and age groups. From the lively Des Moines Arts Festival and the Iowa State Fair to the Farmers’ Markets and neighbourhood block parties, these events provide opportunities for residents to connect, celebrate, and share in the city’s vibrant culture. These gatherings foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie among the community members.

Des Moines is also renowned for its family-friendly environment, offering an abundance of activities and resources for families to enjoy together. The city features numerous parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities that cater to children of all ages. Families can explore attractions like the Blank Park Zoo, the Science Center of Iowa, and Adventureland Park, providing educational and entertaining experiences. Des Moines also hosts a variety of family-oriented events and programs, including outdoor movie nights, children’s theatre productions, and sports leagues, ensuring that there is always something exciting for families to engage in.

Moving to Des Moines, Iowa, in Conclusion

Moving to Des Moines, Iowa, in Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of our ultimate guide to moving to Des Moines, Iowa, where we’ve unveiled the hidden gem of the Midwest. Des Moines offers a perfect blend of big-city amenities, small-town charm, and an exceptional quality of life that attracts individuals and families alike.

With a strong economy, low cost of living, and affordable housing options, Des Moines provides a favourable financial landscape for residents. The city’s commitment to sustainability, outdoor recreational opportunities, and family-friendly amenities ensure a well-rounded and fulfilling lifestyle.

Des Moines’s thriving job market, particularly in industries such as finance, insurance, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing, offers abundant career opportunities. Major companies and employers in the area contribute to the city’s economic growth and provide stability for professionals seeking advancement.

Education in Des Moines is top-notch, with quality public and private school options for students of all ages. Renowned universities, colleges, and vocational schools contribute to the city’s higher education landscape, providing accessible educational opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The vibrant arts and cultural scene in Des Moines, from museums and theatres to galleries and festivals, offers an enriching experience for residents and visitors alike. Sports enthusiasts can cheer for professional teams and enjoy a variety of recreational activities, while music lovers can indulge in the city’s lively music scene.

Des Moines’s welcoming and community-oriented nature, strong sense of civic pride, volunteer opportunities, and community events foster a tight-knit and inclusive community. Abundant family-friendly activities and resources make Des Moines an ideal place to raise a family and create lasting memories.

So, whether you’re seeking new opportunities, a change of scenery, or a place to call home, Des Moines welcomes you with open arms. Embrace the hidden gem of the Midwest, and embark on a journey that combines affordability, opportunity, and a warm Midwestern hospitality. Get ready to create a life you love in Des Moines, Iowa.