Texas and Texas cities are enormous. There is tons of space and a population constantly on the rise. Iowa is a little different – it has that small-town feel that most people enjoy and can benefit from. Texas to Iowa is a big move, and the whole state of Iowa has many differences from the DFW area, but it also has a lot to offer.
Iowa is located in the Midwestern area of America and is considered an excellent and affordable place to move. The population sits at 3 million – about 20 million less than Texas. Iowa is somewhat underrated and provides many benefits to anyone moving in. Similar to states like South Carolina, it provides a tight-knit community where everyone knows your name. Before making plans for Iowa moving, you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
Texas has incredibly large cities such as – San Antonio, Austin, Houston, North Texas, and the DFW Metroplex. Iowa cities are smaller but provide a community you can rely on. The cost of living differs significantly, with Iowa being incredibly affordable compared to places like Austin or San Antonio.
Iowa has so much to offer its citizens – from the community to the experiences it offers. Here are some of the best things.
The Hawkeye state has a low cost of living. Things are exceedingly affordable for single people and large families. No matter the household size, you can find something that works for you. The average cost of living is 15% lower than the national average according to all categories of the living index. It doesn’t cost much to own a vehicle or home.
Paying more than 80% of your income to make rent or your mortgage is what the majority of Americans are doing. In Iowa, the average cost of a studio apartment is $650.00. A studio apartment may not be all the space you need, but the rent cost won’t put a dent in your income. The average price of a studio apartment in Austin, TX, is $1200.00. You won’t have to live paycheck to paycheck in Iowa cities.
The housing costs are where Iowa will blow your mind. The average cost of a home is $199,000. Texas has an average of nearly double that at $316,000. That is a massive difference in the total cost of living and provides many people the ability to purchase a home when they previously did not have that opportunity in Texas.
Owning a home in Iowa is nearly half the national average cost. Owning a home is also affordable and accessible here versus in Texas. The general cost of living in a place like Houston exceeds the national average. Big cities and a growing population can be good for that city’s economy but bad for its citizens. It cannot be easy to work for something you may never have the ability to have. Owning a home is a significant milestone in life. Many people save money their entire lives to ensure they are capable of doing so. In Iowa, it is possible!
Property tax is something you may be worried about…the state has a total average of 1.5% on all properties. It is above the national average but nothing compared to Texas. Texas has a sales tax regulated by the county and no property tax. Income tax is an entirely different story. This is certainly something that should be considered when buying a home in Iowa.
The job market in Iowa is a significant advantage it provides. Texas has a booming job market as well. You can rely on this similarity and constant if moving to Iowa. Texas may have a higher cost of living, but the job market is something everyone should be able to rely on.
You don’t need to reside in a big city to have big opportunities. Iowa’s job market is filled with opportunities in all different fields and career paths. Des Moines is one of the largest cities in Iowa, and that also includes some of the highest salaries. Many manufacturing, banking, and even technology positions are available when moving to Iowa.
The largest industries in Iowa are biosciences, finance, and manufacturing. The manufacturing business is huge in Iowa. Advanced manufacturing is a common career path in Iowa. It is one of the largest employers providing over 230,000 jobs. Renewable energy and fuel are also one of the largest employers next to biosciences.
Finance and technology are also advancing fields. Iowa is a fabulous place to start your career in technology and communications. They can pay a reasonable salary and the training and schooling you need to advance in the field. Companies such as – IBM, Google, and Microsoft all have data centers based out of Iowa.
The low cost of living and accelerating job market in Iowa is absolutely beneficial when moving from Texas. Moving to Iowa from a large city like Houston or Austin – can be a great change. These kinds of changes can be difficult to adjust to, but they also provide new experiences and new relationships you wouldn’t have had otherwise. It is essential to explore the cities in Iowa before making a permanent decision.
Iowa City is a popular city to live in Iowa. It is charming, quaint, and kind – if a city could inhabit a personality. Just about anyone could live in Iowa City because there is a nice mix of rural and urban areas. The cost of living, when compared to cities in Texas in Iowa City, is incredibly low. The average price of a one-bedroom apartment is about $600.00, and if you are looking for a house, you can find one for $90,000 and up.
Public transportation is a plus in Iowa City. It is easy to get around using the ICT, and there is so much to do. Expect the unexpected – fabulous food, great music, and lots of fresh air! You cannot beat a performance at the Englert Theater in Iowa City, nor can you miss any of the festivities going on nearly every weekend in the downtown area. The phrase “you get what you pay for” certainly applies here, but the fun part is you don’t have to pay a lot to spend quality time with your friends and family in beautiful Iowa City.
Des Moines is the capital of Iowa and right in the middle of everything, not too far from Iowa City. The city is busy and a great living place! It is known for being one of the large cities in Iowa and popular amongst transplants. The cost of living in Des Moines remains low – this is certainly not the California price. The average person or family household will only spend about 1/5 of their money on basic needs, rent or mortgage.
Des Moines is an excellent place for education. They have fabulous schools and an even better job market for teachers. The tech industry and start-ups are big in this area. You can make that come to life in Des Moines if you have a bright idea.
Sioux City is known for being a “river town.” It has a rich history and a close community. There are lots of fun things to do there, and it is absolutely worth exploring! It is smack dab in the middle of three states – Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. You can hop in your car and be over state lines in minutes.
It used to be a large meat packing community, but that has changed, and they are not returning. The education available and the colleges in the area provide everyone the opportunity to live out their dreams. Locals support locals in this town. There are a ton of mom-and-pop shops and amazing family-owned restaurants in the area that you just have to try yourself!
Ames, Iowa, is a long way from Austin, Texas, but it has a little country and a little more rock and roll. They love to have fun in Ames with an emphasis on schooling. Iowa State University is located in Ames and is also one of the biggest employers in the city. Iowa State sports are a big deal. Everyone gathers together to cheer on the basketball and football teams.
Ames also has a lot of outdoor recreation. There are plenty of open spaces and trails for hiking, biking, and running – whatever floats your boat. Ames is a place for living life to the fullest instead of making plans.
Cedar Rapids is a city to consider if you are moving to Iowa. The job opportunities are plentiful, the schools are great, and the cost of everything remains low. You don’t have to pay top dollar to have a prestigious neighborhood and a safe place to live.
The downtown area has incredible restaurants, theatres, and beautiful housing available. There is almost always something going on. This also brings many career opportunities. If you are interested in the service industry or arts scene – Cedar Rapids has a lot to offer.
We can all learn more throughout our life, and Iowa has the schooling available for everyone. The school districts are wonderful, and the educators truly care. No matter where you land, you can rest assured that the schools available are top-notch.
Secondary ed is the preparation for universities. High school is taken very seriously in Iowa. It is the place where students are provided with tools for adulthood and their career paths. There are over 400 high schools, including public and private schooling. High school sports are taken seriously as well, especially high school football. Texans should understand this sentiment well!
This extends to universities as well. If you want to further your education for personal reasons or a specific career path, options are available. The great hawkeye state values each and every citizen and the betterment of those people through learning. Iowa is similar to Texas in that way, and they have a multitude of universities available:
- Iowa State University
- The University of Iowa
- Drake University
- Coe College
- University of Northern Iowa
- And 100 + more!
People in Iowa are more worried about the speed limit than the actual crimes in the area. Iowa has meager crime rates compared to Houston, Austin, and even California. Generally speaking – all forms of crime and corruption are low and very safe compared to other states in America. Sioux City is one of the safest places to live in the United States!
There are still violent crimes and property crimes that take place. Crime rates are lower than the national average, but crime certainly occurs. Texas is a place that is much higher in crime than Iowa, but Iowa is not completely exempt. There is actually a larger amount of violent and property crime in the rural areas of Iowa. Still, property and violent crimes have decreased in numbers over the past year.
If you are driving from Dallas to Austin or anywhere in Texas, you must prepare for loads of traffic. It exists no matter what time of day. In Iowa, traffic is nearly non-existent. You do not have to plan and expect delays due to traffic. If you need to get somewhere, you can just hop in your car and go!
Traffic in Texas has become an increasing problem. It has been rated as one of the worst states to drive in. Not only due to the jams but also the drivers alone. They don’t obey the speed limit or stop signs; instead of defensive driving, you will experience a lot of road rage. That could be due to the frustration of sitting in a line of cars or can be blamed on the other drivers. It is certainly more laid back in Iowa. You will have peace of mind knowing the traffic flow is steady, and the drivers around you are paying attention to safety.
There are so many good things about moving to Iowa and Iowa as a whole. There is great weather – for the most part. Living is low cost, and within the past year, it has gotten even lower in certain cities. There is good food and live music, just like you would find in Texas, but…there is also a downside. You must consider these things when packing up your stuff, hopping in your car, and moving across the country.
Texas has something to do with each and every square mile of the city. It provides great amenities and plenty of outdoor space. Texas is a whole world within a state, and Iowa offers different benefits and disadvantages.
Taxes are a bad word to some people, but they are important at the personal, state, and federal levels. Taxes can be stressful, but if you know about them, you can better prepare for how they will affect your income.
Texas does not have any state income taxes. Therefore, you will never see that coming out of your paycheck, but you also will not see a return come the season for taxes. Taxes can be confusing, but in Iowa – they are pretty straightforward. Iowa has an incredibly high state income tax and is even local in some instances. The state income tax sits at 6%. That means that 6% of your paycheck every pay period is gone before you even see it. The local taxes are typically around 1% – combined, which puts you at 7% in total. Paying 7% of your paycheck to the state feels like a punch in the gut! Not so tax-friendly and certainly not as friendly as Texas.
The weather in Iowa is mostly sunny, with a chance of crazy. You will have the chance to experience summer, spring, fall, and winter, but once you get to the cold seasons – it can really dump on you. Now don’t get me wrong – you should be able to enjoy the 4th of July and a white Christmas. The weather most of the time is great until it isn’t.
Texas is familiar with all four seasons and the humidity of summer. Texans also avoid the idea of going out in the snow. Iowa also understands humid and wet summers, but their winters are freezing and very windy! July is typically the hottest month of the year, and January is the coldest.
The weather can become very extreme. Iowa is prone to tornados, wind, and other severe weather conditions. The state can be hit with dozens of tornadoes every year. This is something you have to be prepared to ensure your family’s safety. It is not in the middle of tornado alley, but you would sure think they were!
Winter brings along a lot of wet conditions, snow, and wind. The snow and wind together can create dangerous situations. It is a safety issue to drive and even to be outside. Temperatures can go 50 degrees below zero!
July is the hottest month and brings along a ton of humidity and rainfall. The extreme heat and humidity can make it hard to even go outdoors at times. Texas knows similar heat but certainly does not have to deal with the same conditions year-round.
There is not much to do in Iowa, which is one of the major downsides if you are an on-the-go person. There are still options available, but they are much slimmer than you would find in big cities like Austin or Houston, TX. Iowa doesn’t have as much outdoors to offer, and the available outdoors can be seen as less than exhilarating.
There is no coast nearby. There is no access to oceans or beaches. The state is primarily flat; therefore, there is no access to mountains. You will have to get creative if you want to adventure in Iowa.
If you are interested in visiting a state park in Iowa, there are still many places to go. Big Creek State Park offers multiple campsites, a large lake, and dining. There are also many trails in the area. You also have the Mississippi River to float if you want to brave the waters. Plenty of recreation areas and other parks are available to the public, such as:
- Clear Lake State Park
- Backbone State Park
- Cedar Rock
- Honey Creek Resort and State Park
- Badger Creek State Recreation Area
- The great lakes are not too far away. If you are searching for some kind of getaway, you do not have to far to travel. You can easily spend the week in Michigan and or Milwaukee.
There is an absolute lack of diversity in Iowa. This is a stark difference from Texas and may even be a bit of a culture shock. Texas is close to Mexico and has a large Hispanic and Latino population. It is so large, and the population continues to grow, so it has become a melting pot of different cultures and people of various ethnic backgrounds.
Iowa is a whole lot of white people. There is no way to get around it. The makeup of the population is not diverse at all. There are still people that come from different cultural and religious backgrounds, but overall – that is few and far between. According to the United States Census Bureau, about 4% are African American, 2% Asian, 6% Latino, and under 0.6% American Indian and 0.2% Native American. 90% of the population is white. There is a lack of understanding of other cultures because there is no exposure to anything else. This is certainly something that should change as the population continues to grow, but it is a significant downside to Iowa.
There is also undoubtedly a lack of privacy in smaller towns. Texas is humongous. It is all about the hustle and bustle; generally, people are concerned about themselves and their own families rather than others. There is also quite a bit to do outside of work; therefore, people are busy and have plans.
In a smaller community, people know each other deeply, and that can undoubtedly be great until it isn’t. Iowa is known for being a tight-knit community, and everyone has their own friend groups within those circles. It is a great thing to have meaningful relationships, and it helps human beings to thrive, but sometimes those relationships don’t turn out as planned.
When things go wrong – the gossip begins. In a small town, everyone knows everyone and everyone is also in everyone else’s business. This is partially because they have nothing better to do but also just the general culture in small towns. This kind of behavior can quickly become toxic and wear down a person’s mental health and well-being. Iowa maintains that small-town feel, and these negative things can come along with the positive. It is crucial you are conscious of the relationships you develop, but you also have to understand there isn’t much privacy in Iowa.
We already reviewed that there isn’t always much to do in Iowa, but there is not much to look at. Unlike Texas, Iowa is flat, and there aren’t cities as large as Houston, Dallas, or Austin. There also are not a ton of places to go that have much pazazz to them.
The landscape is rural for the most part unless you are in a downtown area. The rural parts of Iowa are just what you would expect – corn fields for miles. Driving around Iowa is easy to do, but it is not necessarily exciting to look at. There are parks and places to visit for entertainment, but beyond that – you will not always be exhilarated by your surroundings. The neighborhoods are cute and quaint. Most places are quiet and well-kept, but it is important to note that this may uphold every community’s safety.
Iowa is generally low-cost – the houses are cheap, and it is not difficult to find a job. There are still major issues when it comes to income in Iowa. The median income in Iowa is $32,000.00 annually. This is very low on a national scale, although it is on the rise from previous years. The income rate has increased by approximately $1,000.00 from last year.
Many citizens in Iowa work multiple jobs to get by. There are also people that are heavily reliant on government assistance to ensure they have groceries, healthcare, and child care. You may have to take on a second job delivering food, providing a ride service, freelance positions, or brand ambassador work. Iowa has lower incomes overall, but luckily, the living expenses are also low.
If you are thinking about leaving Texas for Iowa, we hope this information was helpful in your decision. Making any kind of move is something you should consider carefully, and weighing out the pros and cons allows you to organize your thoughts better.
Iowa is a friendly place that would be sure to welcome you to your new home there. Departing from Texas may be hard, and everyone is leaving for different reasons, but regardless of the reason – if you are making the move to Iowa, do not hesitate to reach out to us for your moving quote. We will provide you with a fair quote and the best quality service as long-distance movers. What are you waiting for? Call Hercules Movers and Packers to receive your free moving quote! We will walk you through the moving process and provide the support you need.