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Why Now is the Time to Buy a Home in Downtown Des Moines

Buying a Home in Downtown Des Moines

August 14, 2023

U.S. News says it’s the top 20 places to live, Forbes calls it the #1 place for young professionals to live and Fortune says it’s the “#1 up-and-coming downtown,” so it seems like the word is out. Greater Des Moines (DSM) is no longer the best-kept secret in the Midwest, and its downtown is the heart of the city, but what are the options for home ownership in Downtown Des Moines, and what are the advantages? Here’s your quick guidebook on home ownership in Downtown Des Moines and why it’s the place to be.

If you’re interested in owning a home downtown, you have three great options: condos, townhomes and single-family detached homes. All three options share the benefits of home ownership — investment in real estate, freedom to do what you want with the space, avoiding leases and month-to-month rental payments — and they share proximity to all the fun things Downtown Des Moines has to offer!

Downtown Des Moines Skyline

Condos in Downtown Des Moines

Condos in Des Moines are a great way to be space efficient and provide a relatively affordable entry into home ownership. An upcoming townhome community in the new Gray’s Station neighborhood is Telus. Telus is under development and is set to start building in fall of 2023. This condo community will have three stories of one and two-bedroom condos on the west end of Downtown DSM. The 84-condo community is set to have a modern exterior and cycle track that is connected to the 1,500 miles of surrounding bike and walking trails in the region.


Townhomes in Downtown Des Moines

Townhome options in the city include options in two beautiful communities. In the Gray’s Station neighborhood, you’ll find attached townhomes that include garages on the ground level of each home. The townhomes at Gray’s provide plenty of square footage (ranging from 1,100-2,300 square feet), high-end finishes in kitchens, fireplaces and the best amenity — rooftop patios. Another great neighborhood with a growing selection of townhomes is The Banks in the Historic East Village. The Banks is located along the Des Moines River and is an upscale, urban community nestled in a sought-after area of downtown called The Bridge District. This oasis has lots of green space, neighborhood art and is a self-contained community looking over the skyline. All these attached townhomes provide all the advantages of a condo, plus a first-floor entry, garage access, and three stories of living space. With prices starting in the $500’s, these homes are within a two-block walk of Wells Fargo, Historic East Village live music, retail and restaurants — all while providing outdoor space for relaxing and greenery.

Downtown Des Moines Buildings 

Single-Family Homes in Downtown Des Moines

The newest option in Downtown Des Moines are the proposed single-family homes from luxury homebuilder Embarq Signature Homes. The homes will be joining the Gray’s Station neighborhood line up and the insides are fully customizable. Your home won’t be built until you help the design team create it. As luxury homes, the three or four-story buildings come with all the amenities you would expect — rooftop patios, elevators, attached garages — with beautiful exteriors and yard space in Downtown Des Moines. These brand-new homes are waiting for you to design them and move in.

Embarq Rendering

What is a commonality for all the options listed above? Enjoying zero maintenance as all the landscaping, snow removal and upkeep is done for you!

Along with the advantages of owning a home, all these communities are tied into the best parts of Downtown Des Moines. With so many businesses even having headquarters in the city, living downtown shortens the commute to work while providing access to all of the shopping, eating and entertainment especially in the Historic East Village, Western Gateway Park and Historic Court District. Enjoy fresh produce, local artists and delicious food as the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market is within easy walking distance from both Gray’s Station and The Banks. Gray’s Station is also just a few blocks from the upcoming USL Pro Iowa Soccer Stadium, slated to open in 2025, as well as ICON Water Trails access point along the Raccoon River. This stadium will be home to a new professional soccer team called Des Moines home. Surrounding the stadium is a planned global plaza, a mix of restaurants, retail and office space.

Whether you’re moving to the Des Moines area, or you’re just looking to be closer to the heart of the city, living downtown has never been more accessible or more fun. If history is an indicator, Downtown Des Moines is just bound to keep getting better.

With the #7 Lowest Cost of Living in the U.S. and a Top Metro for Number of Economic Development Projects (among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million), Greater Des Moines (DSM) is a region where you can have it all. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Recently ranked a top five metro for number of economic development projects among metros with a population of 200,000 to 1 million, growth continues in and around Downtown Des Moines (DSM) in part thanks to unique public-private partnerships that allow community leaders to work together to invest in, grow and improve the city center. Learn more about other recent development projects in Downtown DSM.

Claire Brehmer

Claire Brehmer is the Senior Communications Specialist for Hubbell Realty Company, a West Des Moines-based real estate development company specializing in homebuilding, construction, land and multifamily development and property/community management.