With so much to see and do, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area is the perfect place to buy a house — no matter your lifestyle.
A vibrant area full of unique attractions, hip specialty shopping, tons of great food and fun entertainment, and home to some pretty well-known actors—Ashton Kutcher, Elijah Wood, Terry Farrell, and Ron Livingston—as soon as you visit this electrifying community you’ll be able to feel the excitement in the air. There are plenty of amenities available for both visitors and residents and the libraries across the community offer events each week for younger and older generations alike. The attractions are always changing with the different interests, wants, and needs of the glowing (and growing!) populations of the city.
Take a look at current homes for sale in the Cedar Rapids, IA area while you learn more about one of the best places to live, work, and play in the Midwest.
A sweet and subtle reminder that life is made up of beautiful moments and that we should take the time to enjoy what is most important to us — Cedar Rapids is nicknamed the “City of Five Seasons,” for its self-proclaimed “5th season,” a time in which we can look back on the other four seasons and reflect on the beauty that is life. Introduced as a simple slogan that soon became a rallying cry, the symbol of the five seasons is the Tree of Five Seasons sculpture located downtown along the north river bank. The name “Five Seasons” and representations of the sculpture appear throughout the city in many forms and works to build pride among residents, call major attention to the city itself, focus attention on downtown, and build a positive attitude about Cedar Rapids worldwide.
The location of present-day Cedar Rapids was originally the territory of the Fox and Sac Native American tribes. It is the second-largest city in Iowa and the county seat of Linn County. It lies on both banks of the Cedar River, it is north of Iowa City, and 100 miles northeast of Des Moines, the state’s capital and largest city. It is a part of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City region of Eastern Iowa, which includes Linn, Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Jones, Johnson, and Washington counties.
A buzzing hub for artists, young professionals, and the outdoorsy, Cedar Rapids is a city where you can experience a unique balance of big city life and amenities without all those big city life hassles and headaches.
In Cedar Rapids, there are twelve active neighborhood associations. The neighborhoods nearest downtown include Wellington Heights and Oakhill Jackson in the southeast quadrant and Moundview in the northeast quadrant. Further north in the northeast quadrant are Noelridge Park and Kenwood Park, which were independent until they were incorporated into the Cedar Rapids city limits (the boundaries of Kenwood are 32nd Street to Oakland Road, Old Marion Road to C Avenue, 40th Street, and then 1st Avenue between 40th Street and 32nd Street).
The Cedar Rapids Community School District is the largest school district in the metropolitan area. The Cedar Rapids area is home to two four-year colleges, Coe College and Mount Mercy University. The University of Iowa also has an evening MBA facility here. Kirkwood Community College is the area’s only two-year college, while Kaplan University (formerly Hamilton College) and Upper Iowa University have campuses here as well. Cornell College in Mount Vernon and the University of Iowa’s main campus in Iowa City are both within 30 miles of Cedar Rapids.
The Cedar Rapids district also contains 24 elementary schools, six middle schools, and four high schools: Jefferson, Washington, Kennedy, and Metro High School (an alternative high school). About 125K people live in Cedar Rapids but the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) represents three counties totaling about 256K people.
The community in Cedar Rapids is tight-knit, yet extremely diverse and welcoming. They highlight “Everyday Heros” in the community (both city employees and municipal positions), provide grants for local social service agencies to deliver everything from housing to free healthcare, and are proud to be an equitable and inclusive community, working hard to remain that way. Cedar Rapids was ranked one of the best cities to start from scratch because of its great job and social opportunities, #34 for Cities With the Most Affordable Homes in the U.S., #8 out of Top 10 Cities for Living the American Dream, and is in the Top 10 LGBTQ+-Friendly Travel Destinations in the World.
Cedar Rapids has a thriving arts and culture scene and is home to the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the Paramount Theatre, Orchestra Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids, the African American Museum of Iowa, and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance. It’s also home to the Orchestra Iowa, the Paramount Theatre, Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, and Brucemore, a National Trust Historic Site, among many, many others.
The Cedar Rapids Museum of Art has the largest collection of Grant Wood paintings in the world. Concerts and events like high school graduations, sporting events, exhibitions, and political rallies are held at Alliant Energy Powerhouse, formerly known as Five Seasons Center.
Fall is when residents visit Allen’s Orchard, Wilson’s Orchard, and the Big Apple Orchard for homemade baked goods, gifts, tractor rides, fresh produce, and more. Bass Family Farms, Bloomsbury Farm, and Bart’s Farm & Pumpkin Patch have corn mazes, hayrides, zip lines, petting zoos, and all the perfect pumpkins for carving.
Check out the Cedar Rapids Ceramics Center, Legion Art’s CSPS Hall, the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library, the African American Historical Museum, Kirkwood Community College’s Iowa Hall Gallery, and the legendary Grant Wood Studio at 5 Turner Alley during the colder months. These venues have hosted world-class and award-nominated exhibitions, including the works of Andy Warhol, Grant Wood, and the Iowa Biennial. The Czech population in the area is very robust, too. The Czech Village and New Bohemia neighborhoods make up the DISTRICT and are a lively place for family and friends to gather. Make sure to check out Czech Village for authentic food, shopping, and entertainment.
Brucemore Mansion is a local favorite for visitors and residents alike. Thomas Park also has a large play area and splash pad, frisbee golf, and awesome walking trails. Residents also frequent Bever Park for lots of animals to pet and Lowe Park for biking, the playground, and beautiful scenery.
NewBo City Market is a fan favorite in the summer alongside Grant Wood Studio, Clock House Brewing, and the Lindale Mall. Mount Trashmore is also a must-see, and the Prarie Park Fishery is fun for the whole family.
Cedar Rapids is one of the largest cities in the world for corn processing and is home to almost 300 different manufacturing plants, making it one of the leading manufacturing regions in the United States. The grain processing industry in Cedar Rapids is its most important sector, directly providing upwards of 4,000 jobs that pay around $85K on average (this industry also provides about 8,000 jobs indirectly as well).
Fortune 500 company Collins Aerospace and trucking company CRST are based in Cedar Rapids. AEGON has its United States headquarters here and a large Quaker Oats mill, one of the four that merged in 1901 to form Quaker Oats, commands the north side of downtown. Other large companies that have facilities in Cedar Rapids include Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, General Mills, Toyota Financial Services, and Nordstrom.
Major employers in the Cedar Rapids area include Four Oaks, the City of Cedar Rapids, the Quaker Oats Company, General Mills, Cargill, Penford, Archer Daniels Midland, Mercy Medical Center, Nordstrom Direct, Hy-Vee, St. Luke’s Hospital, Collins Aerospace, and Transamerica.
Is Cedar Rapids your new home? The Community Experts at Ruhl&Ruhl will help you navigate all of your next steps for making the move to this beautiful area.
If you’d like to do a little more research before buying, check out the pages below for additional housing options:
If you’re looking for new career opportunities in the Iowa area, we’re always looking for folks to join our Ruhl&Ruhl team. Check out our careers page for more information.
Ready to get started? Stop by and pay us a visit at:
Nearest Ruhl&Ruhl Office
5805 Council St. NE, Suite A
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Phone Number: (563) 441-1776
Cedar Rapids, Iowa was originally established in 1838 as the town Columbus. In 1841, it was renamed as Cedar Rapids due to the Cedar River and red cedar trees in the area. After the founding of the Sinclair meatpacking company in 1871, the economic growth of Cedar Rapids truly began.
Marion, Iowa was founded as the county seat of Linn County before anyone actually lived in the city. It quickly became the business center of the county and by 1855 had a population of 1,500. In the 19th century businesses were centered around City Square Park. The Park still serves as a ‘hub’ of activity, but business and manufacturing have spread well beyond this area.
In 2008, the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids experienced a devastating flood reaching a record 19 feet above flood stage. About 10 square miles, including most of the downtown area, were inundated with flood waters. The flood impacted more than 5,000 homes and over 1,000 businesses. Through the help of federal grants, a complete revitalization occurred that included a new main branch of the public library, a hotel and convention center, and a new federal courthouse.
Each city and quadrant offers excellent schools, beautiful parks and endless entertainment. If you’re looking for a rural city not far from metropolitan benefits, the outlying cities are perfect for you. If you’re ready for the fast-paced life of a downtown, you’ll be able to find that in the Cedar Rapids Area too.
The Cedar Rapids Area has four main school districts: Cedar Rapids Community School District, the College Community School District, the Marion Independent School District, and Linn-Mar Community School District.
Cedar Rapids Community is a district with twenty-four elementary schools, six middle schools, three high schools and one alternative high school. This is the second largest school district in the state and has an average enrollment above 15,000 students.
College Community consists of five elementary schools, an intermediate school, middle school, a Ninth Grade Academy and high school on one 500-acre campus. College Community is a growing school district that serves approximately 6,000 students from Linn, Benton and Johnson Counties.
Marion Independent consists of one high school, one middle school, one Intermediate school and two elementary schools. This school district serves over 2,400 students each year.
Linn-Mar consists of seven elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. The schools are located throughout the district. More than 1,000 staff serve the educational needs of more than 7,700 students K-12.
Cedar Rapids Mainstreet District: Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Czech Village and New Bohemia Main Street District straddles the banks of the Cedar River on the city’s southeast side. Just south of the city’s primary downtown business district, this Main Street District fosters connectivity to shared amenities and attractions while maintaining its own unique culture and feel. The District has a wide variety of activities, events and food vendors to satisfy everyone’s interests. Learn more about the vendors at the Newbo City Market here.
The National Czech and Slovak Museum: Located just across the bridge from the Mainstreet District, this museum inspires people from every background to connect to Czech and Slovak history and culture. Through extraordinary exhibitions and experiences, the museum tells stories of freedom and identity, family and community, human rights and dignity. Their stories connect yesterday with today and tomorrow.
Downtown Cedar Rapids: The downtown area features a variety of dining and shopping options, a vibrant arts and culture community, and an exciting nightlife. The Economic Alliance works with area businesses and nonprofits to support the creation of a beautiful, sustainable downtown area for all ages.
Uptown Marion: As the city of Marion continues to grow and flourish, the community’s history will be preserved through the mission of Uptown Marion Main Street. Uptown Marion is located in what was the historic City Park Area. Local events and business continue to help the city thrive while restoration of buildings helps visitors understand the history.
Hiawatha Farmers Market: The Hiawatha Farmers Market is held Sundays, rain or shine, and helps bring the taste of Iowa Producers to you. In addition to the farmers markets, the Hiawatha Parks and Recreation Department also hosts concerts in the park that showcase local talent and provide great family fun.
Cedar Rapids Farmers Market: The Cedar Rapids Farmers Market has quickly grown to one of the largest outdoor markets in the Midwest. More than 200 local vendors offer fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, local wines and homemade gifts. Live music and dancers also perform. Stop by this one-of-a-kind market to get a taste of the diverse melting pot of history and culture.
Mother Mosque: The Mother Mosque is the oldest standing mosque in America. After renovation in the early 1990s, it now serves again as a place of worship and as a resource center for information about Islam and the history of Muslims in America.
Double Tree Convention Complex: Conveniently located in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, corporate travelers will appreciate the proximity to important businesses, including Fortune 500 companies and government offices. Host a meeting or event at this downtown Cedar Rapids hotel in 80,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. The professional staff will organize a variety of special events for up to 10,000 guests.
McGrath Amphitheater: Located in southwest Cedar Rapids, this amphitheater provides the community with an outdoor staging area to host large concerts, shows and much more.
Cherry Hill Water Park: Cherry Hill Aquatic Center, the community’s largest aquatic center, features a zero depth entry pool with sloping entry stairs, water slide, speed slide, drop slide, eight 25-yard lap lanes, six 50-meter lap lanes, and a 1-meter diving board. It also has several water play features, a sand play area and a shaded concession area.
Fairfax USA Days: Fairfax USA Days is sponsored by a local bank and features concerts, a street market, a kids’ carnival, a 5K race through the community and so much more.
Marion Arts Festival: Founded in 1992 and held the third Saturday of each May, the Marion Arts Festival offers art of exceptional quality, dishing up a singular and highly anticipated event. Consistently ranked in the top tier of fine art events nationwide, the Marion Arts Festival has been named as one of the Top 25 festivals in the country, the number one show featuring 100 artists or fewer and the best one-day event in the nation.
Kirkwood Community College: Kirkwood Community College identifies community needs, provides accessible, quality education and training and promotes opportunities
for lifelong learning. Almost 20,000 students attend Kirkwood each year across the 11 locations in seven counties.
Coe College: Located in Northeast Cedar Rapids, Coe is one of few colleges in the nation to see record-breaking class numbers over the last several years. Coe remains laser-focused on increasing its value among current and prospective students by providing a first-class education, career planning and preparation. It also capitalizes on its location and continuous campus improvements.
Mt. Mercy University: Mount Mercy University, located in Northeast Cedar Rapids, offers students a fulfilling education, promising people of all backgrounds a solid preparation for a changing world. The 1,800+ students come from around the globe, creating a vibrant, diverse and open-minded campus community.