Homes for Sale in Urbandale Iowa
Urbandale, Iowa is a suburban community of about 43,000 people in the Des Moines metro area. Situated at the intersections of Interstate 35, Interstate 80, and Iowa 141, it straddles the border between Polk County and Dallas County.
Urbandale has been named to a number of ‘Best Places To Live’ lists for both Iowa and the United States. In a biennial survey taken by the city, 95% of respondents rated the quality of life here as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. In the same survey, residents gave the community above average marks for employment opportunities and cost of living.
Learn more about living in Urbandale, including education, shopping, dining, recreation, commutability and more below.
Overview of the City & Neighborhoods
Urbandale got its start as a coal mining suburb of Des Moines in 1917, and its population expanded from there. In those days, it was the last stop on the busy Urbandale streetcar line, which ran every seven minutes from 5 a.m. until midnight transporting coal miners to the various mine shafts and workers into the nearby city.
Though the coal mines were abandoned in the 1940’s and the streetcar line discontinued service in the 50’s, Urbandale’s expansion continued thanks to the nationwide post-WWII migration to the suburbs. Though the town looks much different today, markers of its past as a “streetcar suburb” remain; Lawson Trolley Park commemorates the town’s one-time streetcar stop and offers bike trails, walking paths and art installations for the public to enjoy.
Urbandale prioritizes parks and recreation, with nearly 1,000 acres of green space making up more than 50 parks and 45 miles of trails. The Parks and Recreation Department offers year-round adult classes, youth sports leagues, swimming lessons and more.
The area surrounding the aforementioned interchange between three major interstates has been dubbed ‘Urban Loop’ and is home to a network of businesses, restaurants and other local points of interest. The city has earmarked funds to invest heavily in economic development, infrastructure improvements and beautification projects in this area over the next several years.
Urbandale Community School District is comprised of six elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and Metro West Learning Academy, an alternative high school. The district offers preschool and before- and after-school care through its Adventuretime Family Services program. Students in Urbandale public schools have a 98% graduation rate and demonstrate higher proficiency in math, science and reading than Iowa state averages.
Some children in Urbandale’s city limits attend schools within the Johnston School District, Dallas Center Grimes School District, the West Des Moines School District and Waukee School District. Urbandale is also home to Des Moines Christian School, a private school for grades K-12.
There are 13 colleges within a 50 mile radius of Urbandale, including Iowa State University about 28 miles outside the city center.
Shopping & Eating
Urbandale residents enjoy shopping at the Valley West Shopping Center just a few miles away in West Des Moines. It’s anchored by JC Penney and Von Maur department stores and features a variety of men’s, women’s, children’s and specialty retailers. Chipotle, Jimmy John’s and other popular fast-casual dining establishments are also located in the mall.
Urbandale boasts a healthy local business scene which includes many shopping options, from you-pick produce at Iowa Orchards Farm Market to one-of-a-kind finds at Do Overz consignment shop.
There’s no shortage of great places to eat in Urbandale.
If Italian food is what you’re craving, you can’t miss the classic spaghetti and meatballs at Mama Lacona’s. Established in 1963, it’s one of the longest-running dining establishments in the greater Des Moines area.
For a unique date night experience, head to Range Grill + Golf, which combines upscale fare like New York strip and seared scallops with indoor golfing. Urban Grill (American), Irina’s Restaurant + Bar (European) and The Machine Shed (popular for breakfast) are other well-attended local staples.
Urbandale’s incidence of violent crimes like robbery, rape and murder sits below average when compared to both the state and national level. Robbery in Urbandale, for example, has a 0.18 in 1,000 rate of occurrence. At the national level that number jumps to 0.98 in 1,000.
The rate of nonviolent crime, like theft and burglary, in Urbandale sits well below state and national numbers as well.
The crime-fighting efforts of the Urbandale Police Department are supported by a group of involved residents aiming to actively cut down on neighborhood crime; the city-run neighborhood watch program, Urbandale Crime Eye, harnesses the collective power of homeowners and business owners to act as vigilant community protectors and tipsters on suspicious activity.
The average commute time for Urbandale residents is a manageable 17 minutes.
Commuting by car to the surrounding areas is convenient via interstates 35 and 80 and state road 141. Many residents work in nearby Des Moines, about a seven-mile trip by car. Others don’t have far to commute; Mercer Health and Benefits and the United States Postal Service are among the largest employers within city limits.
For those wishing to take advantage of public transit, Urbandale is served by routes 92, 93 and 74 of the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority bus system, or DART.
Urbandale has earned praise as one of the best cities for young families thanks in part to its highly affordable housing. The median rent is considerably lower than the national median rent of $1,500/month; in Urbandale the median rent is just $864/month.
Home ownership in Urbandale is also more affordable than much of the nation. The median home price is $177,000, compared to the national median home price of $226,000. In fact, popular personal finance site NerdWallet called Urbandale one of the best cities for homeownership in Illinois, with homeowner costs accounting for a mere 22% of the average household budget.
The median household income in Urbandale is $85,000, with projected job growth of 4.5%.