Iowa, originally acquired in the Louisiana purchase, is a state located in the American Heartland. It has seen its largely agricultural economy develop into a diverse modern economy that includes financial services, biotechnology, manufacturing and service industries. Today, the majority of the state is urban, and it is growing at a faster rate than America as a whole. The capital city of IA is Des Moines. Iowa is the birthplace of Elijah Wood and Aston Kutcher, as well as President Herbert Hoover.
With over 3 million residents, Iowa is the 30th largest state in the US by population. It is 26th largest by area. The IA economy produces more than $110 billion annually, and per capita income is around $25,000. Iowa is usually associated with farming, but this is only one part of the state economy. This is part of the reason that the state has maintained a low unemployment rate even with the turmoil of the past few years.
The average home value in Iowa is nearly $130,000 as of 2013, a 3-4% increase over 2012. A large percentage of the real estate market is undeveloped land, making up about 30% of property listings. These parcels of land are often perfect for a home loan from the United States Department of Agriculture, also known as a USDA loan. We'll cover that in more detail later on.
The most expensive places to live in IA are towns like Urbandale, Clive, and Solon, with average sales prices in the $350,000-$400,000 range. More affordable areas include Waterloo and Des Moines, where a home can be had for under $125,000. In a recent list of the 100 Best Places in America to Live, Iowa placed an impressive five cities: Cedar Rapids, Ames, Iowa City, Des Moines, and West Des Moines.
Des Moines frequently places highly on lists of the best places to live in the US; for example, it placed 69th in the list mentioned above. The capital of IA, Des Moines is a major hub for the insurance industry, and companies such as Principal Financial Group and Allied Insurance are some of the areas top employers. Additionally, financial companies such as Wells Fargo also have large operations within the city. Des Moines is one of the best places in America for business and careers.
Located on the Cedar River, Cedar Rapids, IA, is also called the City of Five Seasons. The city is full of interesting cultural attractions, including a museum of art, a Czech Museum (the city has a large Czech population), and the Paramount Theater, which is listed on the US National Register of Historic Places. The top employers are Rockwell Collins, St. Luke's Hospital, and Hy-Vee among others.
There are quite a few cities in the US with the name Davenport, but the one located in Iowa is the largest. Davenport is located on the IA's border with Illinois, and it's about halfway between Chicago and Des Moines. The city is reliant on manufacturing, and companies such as John Deere have a major local presence. Davenport is also home to Von Maur and Lee Enterprises, two businesses that are well-known in the midwest.
If you decide to relocate to Iowa, one important step will be taking care of your banking needs. If you're already a citizen of this midwestern state, you may be able to get a better deal on your checking account and other financial products if you shop around. With that in mind, we've compiled the following information about your banking options in the state.
Banks with headquarters in IA:
Ten largest credit unions:
National banks that have local branches:
For those looking for the lowest bank rates in Des Moines, or to refinance or purchase a home or car in Iowa, search RateZip.com to find the best rates. Since buying your home is the likely the largest financial transaction that you will ever undertake, we'll provide tips on finding the best mortgage in Iowa.
As mentioned above, USDA loans are offered by the Department of Agriculture to help homeowners buy rural properties. If you're considering buying a parcel of land in rural IA, this may be a good option for you. Here are a few ways that USDA mortgages stand out: