Well, we offered on a house in West Des Moines. My family and I went to Iowa with the specific purpose of procuring our new home. After seeing about 20 houses, we ended up exactly where we thought we would NOT…West Des Moines/Clive area. Our friends live in SW DSM near the airport and I thought for sure we’d like this older, established, more secluded area. The SW is close to the airport don’t get me wrong. Door to door including rental car return can be 10 minutes from here. Much to my surprise however, the CA native in me came shining through and I really appreciated being close to the "New Des Moines" including the glitzy Jordan Creek Mall, the chain restaurants, and the freeway. This area is about 15 minutes from the airport give or take. I even went so far as to see if I was close to the major grocery chains (don’t tell anyone).
In CA, everyone has fences, walls, etc. that completely block each neighbor off forcing either Home Improvement like discussions over fencetops or front yard "hey man’s". I thought I’d like to continue that trend by finding something with a completely secluded feel keeping my comfort zone. After a few visitations however, I found myself saying, "This backyard is nice and I really like the fact that I can see the neighbors too." In fact, I began to prioritize houses based on number of playsets in backyards that I could see from my own future backyard, parks in proximity, etc. Ultimately, we picked a house that had a clear view of downtown DSM, a short walk to the elementary school, less than 2 minutes to the mega mall and about 15 minutes from everything else (Des Moines is not that big).
Who’d a thunk it huh? I guess we’re really moving to get fewer people, no commute, MORE family oriented activity, MORE contact with our neighbors, MORE money in the bank, and MORE time to spend with each other and with a church. Noble goals indeed. I have a feeling that after about 15 minutes of emotion over moving from our first house…I wont look back. Goodbye California and hello to our new home…Des Moines, Iowa.