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Housing in Des Moines

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by alpha1phi, May 23, 2000.

  1. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    I will be moving to the des moines area this fall - if anyone has suggestions of places that are relatively inexpensive, but nice - please let me know! Also - if there are apartments that I should avoid, that would also be helpful info.

    As of now - I am planning on getting a 1BR apt...but would like to live in a complex with MANY DMU students - is everyone spread out around there?? Or are there certain places that are primarly inhabited by DMU students??

    Is is possible/safe to pick an apartment without having to go there again?? Driving or flying there to look for apartments is going to be quite expensive since I am from Michigan.

    I would appreciate any and all help!

    Thanks!
    Beth
     
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  3. scoren

    scoren Member

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    Hey Beth,

    DMU is in a great neighborhood and there are many apartments around school. I arrived in June last year, but many people in my class flew or drove out this summer before school started and had no problems finding a good place to live. Some people even found apartments over the internet, but I personally wouldn't want to sign a lease without seeing the place in person.

    Many people live within a few blocks of school or in West Des Moines. The Easter Lake area is also very nice.

    If you want to live around lots of students, check out 3000 Grand. Many students live there, but we joke "3000 Grand is $3000/mo." It's not that bad, but it is expensive. You might like living near lots of students, but after spending many hours a day with everyone - it's nice to be away from the school environment.

    There are a few places around that you want to avoid - feel free to email me.

    Good luck,
    Scott

     
  4. rwright21

    rwright21 Junior Member

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    I am in the same situation as alpha1phi. I did check out 3000 Grand via the internet, and it is a little too expensive for my taste. Are there any other apartments within walking distance of the school with other DMU students? Also, are there any 2 brm/2bath apts with a dual entry (living room and kitchen separates the two brms)? Please help me out. School is just around the corner!
     
  5. I live in WDM and I really like it over here. It takes about 10-15 min. to get to school. No traffic though. The places arounnd the svhool are fine but most are kind of old. Get a place that has central heat and air if you can. Window a/c units suck! Check out Bennet Grand Woods in WDM. 2br/2bth large kit with d/w and built in microwave. Good sized living room and bedrooms plus they have central heat and air. 6 yrs old. $560-600.00 (515-226-1990) There are a lot of students from DMU here.
     
  6. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    I would like for people to evaluate these places that I am looking into.
    1. Fleur Place
    2. Forest Glen
    3. Prarie Woods
    4. Winwood
    5. Woods Edge
    6. Notingham Square
    7. Green Valley
    8. The Fountains
    9. Meadowridge
     
  7. DDuncan

    DDuncan Senior Member

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    Ryanpj-
    Avoid Fluer Place and Prairie Woods.

    Winwood and Nottingham are good.

    No experience with the others.
     
  8. I don't know about any of those places. Sorry? I might suggest calling the school and ask to speak with Dwayne Murrey(student advisor). He has helped students out who have had problems with their apartment/landlord. He could probably tell you some of the places to avoid.
     
  9. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    Anyone else decided or heard anything about housing? I am going up on June 13.
     
  10. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    Ryan

    June 13th, eh?? Do you have specific places you are going to look at??? Or are you just going to go all over the place in a few days?
    Wondering if you are going to be looking at any of the places I am interested in....lemme know!

    Beth
     
  11. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    Here are the places that I am mainly looking at now: ANY AND ALL input would be appreciated!

    Sun Prairie
    Cross Creek
    Elmcrest
    Forest Glen
    Kingswoods
    Somerset
    Willow Park
    Woods Edge
    Bristol Apartments
    Bennett Grand
    Jordan Creek
    Normandy Terrace
    Westwood

    Thanks!
    Beth =)
     
  12. vtach

    vtach Zzzzzz...

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    Hi all,

    I am a late entry to your class. I just found out I made the cut today. YAAAAHHHOOOO!
    It has been a long strange road. I am going to have to get my butt into gear with only 8 weeks until school. But unfortunately I need to move into a house. Has anyone gone out looking for one instead of an apartment? Where should I begin looking in and what part of town?

    Thanks

    Todd

    ------------------
     
  13. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    As far as housing - are most people planning to stick around the school?? or venture out a little farther out of town?

    I really want to find a place where there are other students...no one seems to be able to give me some hints! =) I hope this all works out!

     
  14. freddyca

    freddyca Junior Member

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    I heard that a lot of Students get apartments in West Des Moines, because the apartments are nicer there.

    Has anyone heard about any type of roomate matching program via the school.
     
  15. Michaelis

    Michaelis Junior Member

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    Alpha1phi:

    I'm currently a second-year at DMU. I live in WDM at Jordan Creek, which I really like. I have a 2-bedroom with A/C for $505 a month, plus there is a small creek and a fairly large field for touch football, whatever, and a pool on the property. A lot of students do live in WDM because the apartments tend to be nicer, plus there are a lot of families around, etc. so the atmosphere is pretty congenial. WDM is probably one of the nicest suburbs of Des Moines. Jordan Creek is on the edge of WDM, a short drive from the country and a mile or so from a small beach and approximately 4.5 miles from school. It's far enough away but not too far. That's what I appreciate most about living in WDM. I don't have to see the school outside my front door, so when I'm home I am really away from the school. I have never had a problem getting to school in the winter either, so don't let someone who lives right across from the school tell you that that's the case. Also, WDM has the best shopping in the city and everything's fairly convenient to Jordan Creek's location. If you want more info., e-mail me personally. I'm leaving in August, so there will be an opening.

    P.S. - To whomever was speculating on the roommate search, yes the school usually helps students who want roommates find one another. I roomed with someone I met through the first match for the first 6 weeks of my first year, and the experience was awful. Someone told me to wait 6 months to get to know my classmates before getting a roommate, and I didn't take her advice. I regret it now. This is the best advice I can offer you. Wait and see who you think you could live with. You have more than adequate loan money to afford an apartment of your own throughout your tenure at DMU. Do not waste your time and mental health on disputes, etc. with roommates. You can't afford the stress.
     
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  17. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    michaelis - thanks for the great info! I am actually looking at Jordan creek - although it sounds like there isn't much availability. I will have to move fast if I am interested. How long does it take you to drive to school??

    Warning to the rest of you - not sure if anyone else was looking at sun prairie - but be sure to ask them what the rent is going to be since you are a student. I was under the impression that rent was around $470-$490...but apparently that is for low income families etc...something which most single students are not going to be considered. THerefore, rent starts at $515 and goes up...this really ticked me off! I felt that it was slightly dishonest for not bringing that up until the last moment
     
  18. medstudent2b

    medstudent2b Junior Member

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    I spent a couple of weekends looking for housing and have just secured a place at Olde English Village. It's in the Blue Book. The people there were very nice (as oppossed to some leasing agents I spoke with. It is 3-1/2 miles from school...so "bikeable" in nice weather and not too far in the winter. It seems very quite, yet close to grocery stores, shopping, etc. Good luck on the hunt! Time is flying.....and we will all be there soon!
     
  19. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    hey, I am here in West Des Moines now checking place s out for the next 2 days.
     
  20. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    Ryan,

    It would be helpful if you could let us know where you looked each day and a few, brief comments on what you think about it. It could help me narrow my list down when I go.

    Hope you are enjoying yourself!
    beth
     
  21. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    All right first day.
    All 1 bedrooms

    Bristol-full

    Nottingham-pretty good, but expensive, the fitness room does not have heavy enough weights.

    Cross Creek-nice but if you yourself make above 24k a year or if you are a full time student then you cannot live their. What the F**k! I love to be punished for trying to better my life, that is our gov. for you.

    Benner Grand Woods-full, nice.

    Jordan Creek-blows, I did not even go inside, the outside was very, very dumpy.

    Normandy Terrace-I did not even go inside, the outside was dumpy.

    Sun Prairie- The same as Cross Creek, but you can get a place but it is not at the discounted rate. What a bunch of Shi1!

    Westwood-not that great

    Sherwood Glen-nice, but full.

    Urban Green-not too bad, but full

    All of the above were booked up to the begining of Aug.

    I am quite disappointed in my day. I thought that I would find places that were much nicer than I discovered. I guess I am spoiled. I did not think that many of the places were a good value or even a reasonable value. I guess I will have to accept that because I cannot live in mt car or a cardboard box.

    Tommorrow it is the Des Moines area. Wish me luck.

     
  22. fmfcorpsman

    fmfcorpsman Member

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    Anyone looked into duplexes?
     
  23. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    Medstudent2b - how much is olde english village?? I saw it in the blue book but didn't really look into since it didn't have prices. I just figured that it was really expensive, which it may be.

    Ryan - thanks for the helpful info. Although, I am suprised to hear negative things about some of the places. I will be going out there the end of this month.

    When are you moving??? I am not planning on moving til the very last minute - last weekend of July. I am afraid of having too much time on my hands and getting homesick without any human interaction til orientation.

    Which leads me to another point...Perhaps we should plan for us to get together on MOnday or Tuesday night after everyone is here and settled??? I wouldn't mind having people over....unless someone else has a house or larger apt!

    RYan - i thought that you were going to look into getting a roommate?? I see that you are looking at 1BR now???

    OK - hope to hear from you all soon!
    Beth
     
  24. medstudent2b

    medstudent2b Junior Member

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    Olde English Village runs 535-580 depending on floor/fireplace options. Talk with Erin....she was extremely helpful and responds in a timely manner. I feel happy with my choice.....alot of the ones metioned are places I looked at and became extremely depressed. I want to feel safe and enjoy coming home without paying a fortune. I felt this was a good middle price range for those assests. The distance from school also seems perfect for me. There are also apts across the street (Regency Woods) which looked okay although they may have been a tiny bit more expensive? I honestly don't remember for sure. Let me know if I can point you in any other directions (or away!)
     
  25. I'm an MS2(in two days!!)at DMU and I've heard nothing but bad things about Jordon Creek. Maybe they have changed, I don't know? Definately call Mr. Dwayne Murry at the school and ask him about Jordon Creek before signing a lease. DON'T DO THE ROOMATE MATCHING THING!! YOU'LL GET SOME FREAK AS A ROOMATE AND LIFE WILL BE HELL! P.S. Looking forward to seeing all of your new faces (hopefully some cute ones!!) in August! Words of wisdom for surviving your first year:1) Don't complain to the teachers everytime you do bad on a test. Our class did this and it made us look like a bunch of wussys.
    2) Roll with the punches and don't let everything get you down. You are going to bomb several tests. Don't panic. Most every class has some provision in order to bring your grade back up. Make-up exams, papers, etc. You have to learn to work the system here.
    3) Study hard for the first few test in each class to give yourself a cushion for when the material gets harder.
    4) Dr. Kenussel will seem like a walk in the park once you've had Dr. Terry, Martin and Finnerty. Read the book for Dr. Kennusels lectures, he always tests out of the book in histology.
    5) Use the counseling services! Dr. Stange and Martin are great.
    6) Don't feel like you have to join every club on campus! Pick something that you like and get involved. One or two clubs is plenty.
    7) Go to church! It's great to have God on your side!
    8) Enjoy your free time! There were actually people in our class that studied over Christmas and spring break! Dorks!
    9) Don't blow off psychic and physical diagnosis. These were some of our hardest tests! Plus, you'll probably use more of what you learn in these two classes than anything else you learn your first year.
    10) You will survive!! No matter how hard it seems, you will rise to the occasion. I'm living proof. I was out of school for almost six years before I started here. You will re-learn everything you need to know. The material isn't hard, there's just a lot of it.

    Hope this helps!
    Reddog

    [This message has been edited by reddog (edited 06-14-2000).]
     
  26. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    Reddog,

    I was actually very interested in Jordan Creek. I have only heard good things about it so far - what have you heard that's bad about it?? Lemme know!!

    THanks
    BETH
     
  27. Maintenance problems, noisey, lots of families with small children, bad neighbors. This is what I've heard.
     
  28. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    AlphaPhi, Jordan Creek is a total ****hole in my opinion. I did not even go in and look at it because of the piss poor condition of the outside, the numerous broken down cars in only one parking lot that I saw.
     
  29. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    Ok, I have it down to 2 places. Somerset a 1 bedroom with 600 sq. ft. for $495 or Nottingham Square studio appartment with 572 sq. ft. for $480. Now my question is how long does it take to get to the school from both of these places? Also give me your opinion.
     
  30. Michaelis

    Michaelis Junior Member

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    Sorry to hear some of you have negative opinions about Jordan Creek. My experiences here have been good: the grounds are nice, maintenance is quick, there are some kids around in different buildings but I've never had a problem with the noise levels (unlike some of my friends at other complexes), and I'm fairly irascible in that respect. There is a second apartment complex within the same area, and IT is dumpy, but I wouldn't say that Jordan Creek is. Anyway, make your own decision. Red dog, do you even live there?
     
  31. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    ryan,

    What did you find out yesterday?? (your trip to the des moines area)?? How much longer are you going to be there??

    Beth
     
  32. DDuncan

    DDuncan Senior Member

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    Ryan-

    Nottingham might be a little shorter drive (though neither are "long" drives)

    You may be happier location wise at Nottingham... it is on the west side of town, closer to the majority of shopping, restaurants, nightlife. It is also a nicer neighborhood IMO.

    RE: Jordan Creek.
    I lived there from 93-95. It was ok by my standards. I had no problems with maintenence. we did have a neighbor with noisy kids and one that always smelled like pot... but you'll probably find that in any apt. complex.

    RE: Duplexs
    there are many nice duplexes in the area. Check Windsor Heights area, Beaverdale area, and west of the school (~50th - 60th street?) just south of Grand, or Clive area just south of Hickman(around 90th Street) I have had friends in duplexes in all of those areas. Price comparable to apartments, although there may be some responsibilities of yard or snow removal depending on the place.

    --Derek
     
  33. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    Ok here is the low down on the rest of Des Moines: All 1 bedroom

    Elmcrest-full

    Fenway Manor-Did not have an open appartment to show so did not stop by

    Forest Glen-Not in the best area of town from what I discovered. I have had bad experiences with Hispanic neighbors and am still leary about it.

    Kingswood-Ditto on Forest Glen as they are near each other and owned by same company.

    Somerset-Beyond a shawdow of a doubt it and Nottingham are the best places that I looked at. Bad points about Somerset- they have speed bumps, and if you are determined to live on the west side well then this place is not for you. All I really need out of the area is a place to work out at (New YMCA just opened a block from Somerset) and a good grocery store, and maybe a Subway to eat at when you do not have time to cook then you will be ok on the south side. I mean the south side has a mall as well, but it is quite obvious which part of town holds the majority of the wealth.

    I would still like to recieve more input about the travel times from Nottingham and Somerset to the school. And if you do not mind give me a suggested route to the school.

    For Nottigham it looks like it would be to get on 235 and then exit off when you see the DMU sign. AS for Somerset I am not for sure. IT looks like get on 65-69 north then get on Grand. Or get on 65-69 north then get on 235 then exit when you see the DMU sign. I am not sure how 65-69 is constructed or how traffic flows. Any input?


    For those of you still looking, I wish you best of luck.

    Alphaphi, as for me looking for a roomate, well that would be great but I cannot wait forever and things were just not comming together as quickly as I would like.
     
  34. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    ryan - when you are saying that places you looked at are full - they don't have any openings till when??? I think that you said on your comments from the first day that they weren't available til aug 1st - which is about the time I want to move in....so I am wondering whether they will work for me or not!
     
  35. ryanpj

    ryanpj Senior Member

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    I am not for sure about the dates that they are full until. The earliest was Aug. 1 the latest was until next year!
     
  36. SHC

    SHC

    I thought I'd add a friendly note for those of you who are DMU-bound and panicking as you read this string of conversation. There is plenty of housing in DM. You will find a place to live. If you are semi-flexible, you could roll into town the morning of orientation and find a place that afternoon. I promise. I know that would freak you out, so feel free to come up early, but remember that when we 2nd year students move (late July to middle August), a ton of spots near school will open up.

    I agree with all earlier advice about avoiding the school's roommate service. I don't know anyone who did that and was happy. It is worth the extra money to have your own place if you can afford it. You'll see more of your classmates than you'll want to and will savor your "alone time."

    If you don't like the cookie-cutter appearance of West Des Moines, please be sure to check out the charming older neighborhoods between DMU and Drake. I live in a mansion that was converted to apartments, built in 1890 and renovated in 1999, located on a beautiful street exactly one mile from DMU. My two dogs and I have been very happy there with our hardwood floors, huge windows, fantastic lawn, new kitchen & A/C, attentive landlord and quiet neighbors. The DM Register website (sorry I don't know the address off-hand) has plenty of these places in their classified ads. They are listed as "West," but NOT "West Des Moines." I recommend you do not look for housing East of school because some (not all) of the neighborhoods are unsafe, but there are some nice places South and some nice places North (Johnston and Beaverdale).

    If you are interested in my apartment or want any advice about anything here at DMU, e-mail me ([email protected]). Good luck to you all - you're in for an exciting year! -Sarah
     
  37. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    HELP!!! Does anyone know someone that lives in the Windsor Terrace apartments across the street from the school?

    I am going to Des moines this weekend to apartment shop and they say that they do not have anyone on staff that will be there to show me one. This is going to be my one and only trip there and I was hoping that I might be able to get in contact with a student who would be kind enough to show me theirs!

    Please let me know!!! Thanks everyone!
    Beth
     
  38. medstudent2b

    medstudent2b Junior Member

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    Have you been there to see those yet? I do not live there and am really speaking blindly, but they don't appear that well maintained. The area around the school does no have a whole lot of attractive appeal. Make sure you grab a blue book and strategically look at as many as you can (they all have different hours they are open so you have to make it to the ones that open early first). It feels much better to make a decision after having seen a few options. Good luck !
     
  39. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    medstudent,

    Thanks for the advice! I do have a bluebook and have it narrowed down to a few places that I am going to look at on Saturday. I crossed many of them off just because of location...and others off because they do not have any apartments available - unless someone by chance moves out in the middle of July...which is not very likely. It seems like they are going fast!!!

    TO EVERYONE - no replies yet on if you are all interested in getting together tuesday before orientation!!!!
     
  40. freddyca

    freddyca Junior Member

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    Hi Beth

    My name is Freddy. I'll be attending Des moines in the fall also. I don't know when I will get a chance to go up to look at apt. Would you mind sharing your thoughts on the apartments that you will look at on Sat.

    Thanks,

    Ps. I think it's a great idea of getting together to meet some people.
     
  41. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    Sure freddy - what are you looking for??
     
  42. freddyca

    freddyca Junior Member

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    Hi Beth

    I'm looking for a 1BR aparment preferably in West Des Moines or in Urbandale. But if there were any good places that you checked out in Des Moines. I would appreciate it if you told me about them.

    Thank you very much

    Freddy

     
  43. alpha1phi

    alpha1phi Member

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    freddy,

    I am going to be living in Somerset - so is RyanPJ...and a couple of other students from what I hear from the leasing office. There is a grocery store, target, mall and new YMCA right across the street from Somerset apartments. I think that they (apartments) are only 4 years old - so they are in great condition! They are much nicer than they look in the bluebook. There is a pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and small workout room...and I think tennis, v-ball, and b-ball courts.

    I didn't check out any of the apartments that you mentioned - they were more money than I wanted to spend. I think that Ryan really like NOttingham though - he was in Iowa the middle of the month and was deciding between Nottingham and Somerset.

    ALSO - I really like Jordan Creek (west des moines) but all they have are 2BR now - however, the price is great ($525) And it has great management!

    There are a few others that I would avoid after looking at them - but none of them are on your final list!!

    Hope this info helps! Keep me posted on your decisions!! If you need more info - feel free to write me!

    [email protected]
    Take care
    Beth
     

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