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What Makes Des Moines a Great Place to Live?

where to live in des moines

To many, Des Moines, Iowa—and much of the Midwest—is considered “flyover country.” But those of us who have the advantage of having lived much, if not all, of our lives in flyover country know just how crazy it is to dismiss this amazing city of ours. But what, exactly, makes Des Moines so special? We’re glad you asked!

Cost of Living

According to U.S. News & World Report, the cost of living in Des Moines is below the national average—meaning it’s a better value than similar metro areas. The median home price in Des Moines is $168,873 compared to the national average of $211,704. Put simply, families here are often able to afford more home than families with a similar income in another city.

Quality of Life

With a historic low unemployment rate, low crime rate, high quality of public and private education and no shortage of year-round activities to participate in across the metro area, Des Moines offers a high quality of life for residents. Here are a few notable Des Moines offerings:

  • Art & Culture: From the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture park and nationally recognized Des Moines Art Festival to the Des Moines Civic Center and Des Moines Art Center, there are plenty opportunities to fuel your creative side. And all summer long there are cultural events downtown like CelebrAsian Heritage Festival and the Italian American Heritage Festival—to name a few.
  • The Outdoors: There’s more than 600 miles of biking and walking trails to explore throughout the metro, and plenty of hiking and camping opportunities in nearby parks.
  • Sports: Wells Fargo Arena hosts a ton of sporting events like the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team, the Iowa Wild hockey team, and the Iowa Wolves basketball team. And baseball fans can cheer on the minor league Iowa Cubs at Principal Park.
  • Agriculture: Des Moines boasts one of the largest farmers markets in the country. Every May through October, the Downtown Farmers Market spans eight blocks with everything from fresh produce and meat to freshly prepared food and local art. And don’t miss the Iowa State Fair, where you really will find the famous butter cow and pork chop on a stick.
  • Children’s Activities: Whether you’re checking out the Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo or the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, you and your kids are absolutely going to have plenty to keep you entertained here in Des Moines.


The term “Iowa nice” isn’t just something people say. It’s a reality here in Des Moines. All across the metro there are thriving neighborhoods filled with locally owned businesses, hard-working families and a true sense of community everywhere you go. When you get here, you’ll know what we mean.

With all these advantages, it’s easy to see why U.S. News & World Report ranked Des Moines No. 9 in the 100 Best Places to Live in the USA. Are you considering a move to Des Moines? Space Simply agents love to talk with you about finding your dream home in the lovely city of ours. Contact us today with a quick note or give us a call at 515-423-0899.