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Buying in Des Moines: Choosing a Neighborhood

May 30, 2019 | Industry News

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For prospective buyers in Des Moines, pinpointing their favorite neighborhoods is an important part of the house-hunting process. Des Moines is a great city with many unique areas. If you start searching for your home before narrowing down your options, it can quickly become overwhelming. For buyers who take the time to identify a couple of neighborhoods in which to concentrate their efforts, they often have a more successful search. If you don’t have your top neighborhoods in mind yet, here are some key factors to help you decide.


It’s an average Thursday at 8:00pm. What do you see yourself doing? How about a Sunday morning? Before you worry about the specific neighborhood, think about your lifestyle. This is one of the top ways to help you determine the best neighborhood for you. Are you someone who thrives in a bustling environment full of things to do, or does a peaceful and relaxed location better suit you? Luckily, it’s easy to get around Des Moines, so choosing one doesn’t mean restricting yourself from the rest. It’s simply useful to get honest about your daily life and how your surroundings can support that. Downtown Des Moines, for example, is full of interesting things to do, places to eat, and events to attend. If being in the center of it all appeals to you, then focus your search on the downtown area. Looking for a bit more space and quiet? Head west of downtown for a slower pace.


For professionals, this can play a significant role in their neighborhood choice. Consider what your ideal commute looks like. Is it a walk or bike ride, a quick Uber, or a bit of a drive? Also consider how important this is to you. Is it something you’d be willing to sacrifice if a neighborhood met your other needs, or does this one top your list?


For buyers with children or who are planning to raise a family, looking at the proximity to schools and school options can be a helpful way to refine their neighborhood search. Doing research online and talking to members of the community are both great ways to gain more insight into which area meets your needs.

Price Range

It’s one thing to identify your ideal neighborhood, but if you’re not seeing any homes in your price range, it might be time to readjust. If this is the case, don’t panic. Des Moines has a variety of neighborhoods, so even if you need to sacrifice one of your favorites, you’ll likely still have a couple of great areas on your list. Getting realistic about price is important. If you don’t, you can wind up in a slow and frustrating search. If you’re not seeing options in your price range in your ideal neighborhood, and you’re not ready to give it up, if you’re prepared to be patient, it could be worth the wait.

Take a Walk

This is the most important tip for prospective buyers looking to narrow down their neighborhood preferences. There’s no better way to evaluate a neighborhood than with boots on the ground. Take a stroll, grab a coffee, head to an event, meet a resident. Taking the time to immerse yourself in a neighborhood before you dive into your search can help you make sure it’s the right fit. You’ll be able to narrow down your neighborhoods by some of the specifics we mentioned above, but many buyers also attribute some of their decision to feel. What is the overall vibe of the area? Going for a visit is the best way to find out.


With so many great neighborhoods to choose from, it’s useful for Des Moines buyers to narrow down their search. Identifying your top neighborhoods isn’t always easy, but when you put in the time and effort to do so, you give yourself a leg up in the home search. Are you a Des Moines homeowner already? How did you choose your neighborhood? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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