Relocating to Cedar Rapids? Fear Not.

Relocate to Beautiful Cedar Rapids

With its low cost of living, good schools, many job openings, and recreation options, it’s no wonder more people are relocating 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 the schools seem 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 much to offer beyond what’s on all those top 10 sites.

Cedar Rapids remains a vibrant community heading into Winter 2024. Livability ranked it one of the top 100 best cities to live in in the United States in 2023. “The city weaves its rich ethnic history with a booming technological future and boasts stable and affordable housing prices, making it one of the best places to live in the U.S.

While the area still thrives on the manufacturing and agriculture it was built on, Cedar Rapids has become a technology hub for telecommunications, defense electronics and aerospace-affiliated fields. That thriving economy draws in young professionals who love that the median home cost is just above $170,000.  Read more

Cedar Rapids is also a Top 50 Best City for Jobs in America in 2023 according to Wallethub. The city reached #44 on the list for job opportunities, employment growth and outlook and unemployment rates.

For more, read Livability Cedar Rapids, IA Magazine.

Relocating to Cedar Rapids Resources

The City of Cedar Rapids has a robust relocation resource center. They highlight housing, schools and utility info. A cultural and business resource for those moving to Cedar Rapids is the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. They assist trailing spouses and partners following a loved one to the community.  If you are here due to a position at The University of Iowa, they have their own resource for employees and their spouses/partners. There is also a charter bus program that commutes daily from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City.

Certainly, every relocating partner has their own priorities, be it finding a good job or getting settled in a new home, apartment or school.  We want you to know Cedar Rapids has lots of options for everyone.

New Homes, Old Homes – Housing Relocation Options

Diverse neighborhoods offer various lifestyle options, from a new loft apartment downtown to a historic single-family home. As a result, Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas offer many living options, including affordability to newcomers.  Proximity to natural areas and acreages means you can find a ‘house in the country’ on city water or within city limits. Also, recent legislation now allows residents to keep urban chickens and bees if you are into that sort of thing. And yes, we have curbside recycling.

What about Flooding?

Since the flood of 2008 and the 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. Permanent flood wall construction is in the final stages and can be seen as you cruise through the NewBo District or Czech Village. Certainly flooding has required resiliency from community utilities and infrastructure and the community has applied lessons learned to the incident response team.

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 support the sense of community areas showcased in New Bohemia, Czech Village, and downtown Marion.  This is 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.  Seasonal bike and scooter share has increased the opportunity for casual riders. Some area employers actively encourage bike commuting, offering showers to employees and bike storage. Bike lanes, multiple bike shops, and nearby bike racks offer convenience. Area brewing companies and bars also enjoy local cycling popularity with outdoor patios complete with bike pit stop features. 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

Relocating to Cedar Rapids won’t mean you have to give up great food. High-end or casual fair is available – with an ever-growing restaurant scene. There are many options, from street tacos or pulled pork to James Beard-level sit-down restaurants.

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 fresh, organic produce access.  The city was a certified Blue-Zones city that combines lifestyle choices with healthy choices – though that designation has since changed to Healthy Hometowns. Area restaurants are offering more plant-based options on their menus.  Cedar Rapids supports a growing plant-based community, from a vegan cheese option on a pizza to inventive salads and plant-based mains.

What about the Arts?

Being a smaller metro, Cedar Rapids does not get every touring artist that usually hits Chicago or even Minneapolis. Many big names come to the various Cedar Rapids venues. In addition, a short drive to Iowa City opens the door to big-name music, dance and theatre tours at the University’s Hancher Auditorium. In addition, Iowa City’s restored Englert Theater hosts significant music and arts events throughout the year.

In Cedar Rapids proper, Orchestra Iowa performs at the historic Paramount Theatre and you can enjoy a fancy pants night out on the town. Our local community theatre, TCR offers not only great shows but the opportunity for you to participate – from improv to cabaret to full-scale productions. In addition to theatre, the arts scene in Cedar Rapids is really what you make it. From the Ceramic Center to the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, the opportunity to interact with the arts is ever-present.

Lastly, Cedar Rapids is home to one of the only comedy clubs in Eastern Iowa. So even if you’re struggling with a move here, you can go laugh about it.

Be a Part of a Growing, Vibrant Community

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

  • A friendly and welcoming community
  • Affordable homes and apartments
  • Quality schools and education options
  • Good restaurants and nightlife
  • Bike-friendly
  • Engaging micro-communities

Since we’ve got everything, why not consider relocating to Cedar Rapids? We thought you would. Because you’re smart and fun. We can’t wait to meet you. Need one more reason? We were recently voted a chill place to be by Wallet Hub!

Check out our other articles about Relocating to the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Area Here.

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