The Blog

Relocating to Cedar Rapids? Fear Not.

With its low cost of living, good schools, and recreation options, it’s no wonder more people are moving to Cedar Rapids. Yet, if your spouse or partner is the one with the job move, you may be understandably apprehensive.  Sure, the homes are affordable, and it seems like the schools are pretty good - but it’s in the middle of the Midwest! And you’re wondering what you’re getting yourself into. Relax - this community has a ton to offer beyond what’s on all those top 10 sites.

One resource for spouses is the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. They offer assistance to trailing spouses and partners following a loved one to the community. In addition, those looking for stats on our community and recent development announcements can find what they’re looking for.  They even have a rideshare tool to help commuters looking to carpool.

Every relocating partner has their own priorities, be it finding a good job or getting settled in a new home or apartment or schools.  And Cedar Rapids has lots of options for each.

New Homes, Old Homes

Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas offer so many living options to newcomers, you're sure to find an affordable place to live.  From a new loft apartment downtown to a historic single family home, diverse neighborhoods offer a variety of lifestyle options. The proximity to natural areas and acreages mean you can find a ‘house in the country’ on city water or within city limits. Recent legislation now allows residents to keep urban chickens. And yes, we have curbside recycling.

What about Flooding?

Since the food of 2008, and recent flooding in 2016, Cedar Rapids is practiced in flood prevention and recovery. With the flood of 2008, the city rebuilt like never before, and a renewal of civic pride is palpable. More recently in 2016, a flood scare that threatened to bring similar destruction was averted by a massive temporary flood wall residents helped install.  Now permanent flood wall construction is in progress.

Rise of Micro-communities

Connected to flood recovery, as communities help citizens recover from the damage, neighborhoods in Cedar Rapids are strengthening.  New business growth and a competitive job market are supporting the sense of community areas showcased in areas like New Bohemia, Czech Village and downtown Marion.  And it’s supported by a real effort by city planners to continue to increase the area’s quality of life.

Bike to Work, Bike to Play

Still in progress is an increase in area trails and a commitment to building a bike-friendly community.  Some area employers actively encourage bike commuting, offering showers to employees as well as bike storage. Bike lanes, multiple bike shops and nearby bike racks offer convenience, yet the real arm twist comes from bicyclists themselves.  “Once you get on the trails in CR and talk with other cyclists, you get a sense of how welcoming the community is to newcomers.” - area cyclist, Andrea Dunlap Hall.

Beer, Pork & Vegan Cheese

Area brewing companies and bars also take advantage of local cycling popularity with outdoor patios complete with bike pit stop features. Combined with the proximity to trails, area cyclists can get their brew on or enjoy street tacos or pulled pork.

Being Iowa, there is no shortage of love for the pig. Recent farm-to-table growth has increased interest in local food sourcing and higher-end, boutique farms offering big-city style meats and cheeses. Even local grocers are in on the trend with charcuterie-style counters available.

Beyond meat, food co-ops, CSAs and farmer’s markets offer access to fresh, organic produce.  The city is a certified Blue-Zones city that combines lifestyle choices, well-being, and healthy foods to create a better quality of life. Area restaurants are offering more plant-based options on their menus.  From a vegan cheese option on a pizza to inventive salads and plant-based mains, Cedar Rapids is supporting a growing plant-based community.

Be a Part of a Growing, Vibrant Community

All-in-all, Cedar Rapids is changing. From a devastating flood, the community showed their resilience and ingenuity as they rebuilt.  From that investment in the future, new transplants are calling CR home for good. If you listed off all the things you are looking for in a community, and it includes things like:

  • Friendly and welcoming community
  • Affordable homes and apartments
  • Quality schools and education options
  • Good restaurants and nightlife
  • Bike-friendly
  • Engaging micro-communities
  • Why not consider Cedar Rapids?

Looking for a Job in Cedar Rapids? Check out CorridorCareers’ job listings in Cedar Rapids.