Iowa is a great place to live and has a variety of cities that are excellent places to buy a house. Whether you’re looking for universities and healthcare or financial industry or natural beauty, Iowa is the state for you. Discover when to buy your home and how to get the best deal on it below.
Buying a house is a stressful and emotional process. You'll likely have to spend weeks touring properties, fill out hundreds of forms, and invest a large chunk of your savings to secure the right house.
One way to make buying a house easier is starting the process at the right time. In Iowa, housing inventory, mortgage rates, and market trends vary from month to month.
For example, this year listing prices for homes in Iowa were lowest in January. On average, homes were $14,177 less expensive. While in June — the month with the highest prices — the listing prices were $9,008 more than the annual average.
In truth, the best time to buy a house really depends on your priorities and situation. Read on to find out which time of year will give you the most options and the biggest savings when buying a house in Iowa.
Best Month For
5.6% lower than average
12.1% more homes to choose from
2.87% interest for 30-year mortgage
Realtor.com data (October 2020)
Bankrate data (December 2020)
If you're interested in buying a home, the first step in the home buying journey is getting preapproved by a licensed lender. Even if you’re already pre-approved, shopping around for lower rates can pay dividends over the life of the loan.
You can fill out the form below to be instantly matched with a licensed lender who knows the area and can guide you through the process.
Best Time to Buy in Iowa
Like much of the Midwest, the strongest real estate market exists in the spring and summer. That’s when you’ll see the largest number of homes for sale, but you’ll also face the most competition.
Sellers will focus on listing during the busy season in the hopes of getting the best prices. If you want a large variety or the best chance at a dream home, you‘ll want to focus your house hunting on April–May.
As you move into late summer and fall, there are fewer homes on the market but you’ll get much better deals. If you’re patient enough to wait and willing to choose from fewer selections, it’s a great way to get a deal.
If you’re truly a bargain hunter, consider looking for homes in the winter. It’s not a fun time to visit properties, but the sellers will be highly motivated and you may be able to get a great house for a steal.
The Best Places to Buy a Home in Iowa
If you are moving for work, you’ll need to buy near your new job. However, if you have flexibility and plan to look for work when you arrive, you’ll do well if you buy a home in one of these cities.
Iowa City. A university town well-known for its medical school and creative writer’s workshop, Iowa City is also considered a must-see literary destination. From festivals for music and art to award-winning public schools and a thriving downtown, you’ll love living in Iowa City.
Coralville. Iowa City’s more-affordable sibling has accolades all its own. Rated highly for excellent public schools and family-friendliness, Coralville boasts a large shopping center and a variety of coffee shops and parks. This growing city offers easy access to job opportunities as well.
Waukee. This suburb of the state capital gives you the opportunity to enjoy high-quality living, schools, and amenities within easy reach of the job opportunities available in Des Moines. It’s ranked as the #1 best suburb to buy a house in for Iowa and has excellent ratings for schools, housing, nightlife, and family-friendliness.
Bettendorf. In southeastern Iowa, you’ll find an area called “the Quad Cities,” comprised of Bettendorf, Davenport, Moline, IL, and Rock Island, IL. This area has great economic opportunity, and Bettendorf is rated as the best place to live in the area. With incredible schools and housing, along with a variety of activities, this river city is a great place to buy a home.
Decorah. If you’re looking for affordable living in Iowa’s beautiful northeast corner, Decorah is the perfect spot. The median home price is only $165,700, while the median income is $55,282. This safe city of only 7,850 will give you small town living with excellent schools and breathtaking natural scenery in America’s Heartland.
4 Ways to Get a Great Deal On a Home in Iowa
Ready to buy your home in Iowa? Now you know the best time to buy and several cities that you might enjoy living in. But how do you get the best deal on a home? Here are four tips to help you.
Find a Great Iowa Real Estate Agent
Iowa’s real estate market is surprisingly diverse and varies significantly based on the time of year. You’ll want to make sure you connect with a full-service real estate agent that has experience in the area you’re interested in. They can help you negotiate with sellers and find the hidden gems before they’re snapped up by others.
Learn More: What Does a Real Estate Agent Do for a Buyer?
Assess Your Needs and Lay Out Your Goals
How many bedrooms, bathrooms, and square feet are you looking for? What features are non-negotiable, and what would simply be nice to have? Work with your real estate agent to set goals that work within the area and budget you’re working with. They can help you find exactly what you need as you hunt for homes.
Learn More: What to Look for When Buying a Home
Find a Lender and Secure Financing
Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in Iowa, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
For example, in Iowa a typical house is worth $158,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $564. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $533.
Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.
» Get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.
Negotiate For the Best Possible Price
When you find the home you want, it’s time to put in an offer. Your agent can help you negotiate any counter-offers you receive. Once the inspection is complete, you may want to negotiate further if any repairs are required. Your agent will help you drive the right bargain!
Learn More: How to Find a Buyer’s Agent That’s a Good Negotiator
Next Steps to Buy Your Iowa Home
If you’re ready to buy a home in Iowa, consider working with a Clever Partner Agent. These experienced professionals work with major brands and are well-versed in the market you’re interested in. Even better, you may be able to get a cash rebate of up to 1% of the home’s price.
Use it toward your down payment, moving expenses, or simply slip it into savings. It’s your money! If you’re ready for a high-quality full-service buying experience, fill out the form on our site today. One of our representatives will contact you to answer your questions and set up a no-obligation consultation with an agent. Your home is waiting — let’s get started!