So you've identified West Des Moines as your new habitat... what next? Scope out a few homes before braving it all and signing a lease. It's best to start by contacting local real estate agents. It might cost you, but chances are high that they have homes readily available in and around your desired area. If paying brokers kind of ruffles you, try the many free online real estate locators.
What you will need
Before going out looking for a house and signing a lease, you need a budget plan showing what you can afford to pay as rent. Make sure that you have enough in your spending plan to pay for condo fees, utilities, and insurance coverage.
If you are going to use a real estate agent, inform them of your budget and what type of housing you seek. If you skip the agent, then you need to begin searching through the different neighborhoods armed with a checklist of what you want and what you definitely don't want. When you discover that ideal house to rent, don't be dazzled by the finishing and decorations. They may be there to hide some flaws in the house.
Keep your feet on the ground and double check everything, including the terms of the rental arrangement. At this point, be ready for the landlord too. Your credit score will be laid bare and so will your relationship with your current landlord. So arm yourself well. Not with guns though! Just a good credit report, employers note indicating your monthly pay, and, if possible, a referral letter from your current landlord.
This is West Des Moines, and now it's on everyones radar. Start assessing the neighborhood to see if all this hullabaloo is worth the trouble. When it comes to places to rentin West Des Moines, you can land a very decent house at a rate much lower than other cities in the US. Check out some of these neighborhoods:
Booneville: This neighborhood, on the southwest edge of West Des Moines, is made up of a mishmash of town houses that are all over the style map and some mobile homes. Because many university students live here, the vacancy rate is a miserable 4.3 percent. Expect daily commutes to work that last 30 minutes. $$$
S. 50th St/George M Mills Civic Pky: In this neighborhood mostly made up of small- and medium-sized family homes and rental apartments, expect to part with small- to medium-sized rents. The vacancy rate stands at 6.2 percent, and the commuting time is at a low and appealing 15 minutes. $$$
George M Mills Civic Pky/S. 60th St: This neighborhood, in the center of the city, will relieve you of more dollars, but you can expect to live large for the money as most houses are big--talk about getting your money's worth. The 6.0 percent vacancy rate is not alarming, and neither is the half-hour average commute to work. $$$$$
Ashawa: Residents in this northern suburb pay rents on the high side, but they get to spend their days in either a medium-sized or huge mansion. Only 4.4 percent of the houses are vacant. If you move into one of these vacancies, you will spend about half an hour to travel to work. Expect to bump into the many metropolitan sophisticates who live here. $$$$
Commerce: Rents in this neighborhood are quite low, and it has many small apartments and houses dotting the landscape. A few town houses can be rented too. The vacancy rate stands at 10.7 percent and commuting generally takes half an hour. $
Ashworth Rd/50th St: Your somewhat lower rent here allows you to call an average-sized apartment home. Smaller units also exist, including single-family homes. Expect to get pissed at your neighbor for parking five serious cars in his drive. Your 15-minute daily commute to will be spent wondering what you are doing wrong. $$
S. 50th St/George M Mills Civic Pky: For a moderately tidy sum, you get to rent a small family home or apartment in an apartment complex. Commuting to work in this neighborhood is only a 15-minute affair. $$$
Ashworth Rd/19th St: As for this neighborhood, expect landlords to relieve of less money than others in West Des Moines. Medium-sized family houses, apartments, and even some large mansions are available, and with a vacancy rate of 10.2 percent, you should have no trouble finding your dream place. Commuting is an attractive 15 minutes. $$
Ashworth Rd/74th St: Rent here is moderately high, although you pay less for the small studio apartment than for the three-bedroom house (duh). With a current vacancy rate of 4.3 percent and daily commuting time of about half an hour, this could be a good choice if you have the money. $$$
Stonebridge Rd/39th St: Another moderately priced neighborhood, this area has a vacancy rate of 3.6 percent and a decent commute time of about 30 minutes. $$$
Des Moines is not just great for residential properties, the lifestyle that comes with it is what most people want. Urban sophisticates love to live in cities like this, so if that's you, then you'll certainly feel comfortable here. In addition to being an exceptional choice for metropolitan sophisticates, this community is also a great choice for families and students. Public transit is well planned, with lots of options for getting around if driving and road rage gives you a headache.
As for the climate, summertime heat peaks at about 85 degrees in July and drops to about 26 in January. Unpleasant weather events include snow and tornadoes. During the winter months, transportation can turn nightmarish due to snowfall, and the area is a twister zone with a 118 percent higher tornado threat than the rest of the nation.
As for pastimes and other attractions, this city will keep you pretty busy sampling its various nearby attractions such as the Valley View and Holiday Park Aquatic Centers, the Community Center, the 632-acre Raccoon River Park Softball Complex, and a 48-mile cycling and walking trail. Get up and get active in West Des Moines!