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The Grass Is Greener Here

Grass Is Greener in DSM USA

February 20, 2020

“Iowat”? That was my response when my then-girlfriend and now fiancé who grew up in Greater Des Moines (DSM) suggested that Iowa was the best place for us to grow our careers and start a family. At the time I was in my last year of graduate school in Tampa, FL and working in Economic Development and was certainly not considering moving to DSM or anywhere in the Midwest for that matter. It took some persuasion on her part for me to finally visit and see for myself. I agreed to a five-day stay and visited DSM for the first time in December 2018. I moved here in May 2019 and without exaggerating I can already say that it was one of the best decisions I have made in the last few years.

A Perfect Balance in DSM

DSM, in my opinion, has achieved the perfect balance between being big enough so there are a lot of interesting things to do, and small enough to still have a small-town feel with friendly, genuine people. One of the first things I noticed when I moved here was that "Iowa Nice" is not just a saying. It is an actual way of life. Mo Sane Naturalization Ceremony

We have an array of restaurants, boutiques, galleries and historical buildings with a variety of different cuisines from all around the world, great bars, (if you are a happy-hour kind of person) and so many great events to attend throughout the year.

Since my family immigrated to the United States in September 2008, I have lived most of the time in New York City, but also spent time in Washington D.C, Miami and Tampa, Florida. Living in any of these areas may sound exciting, but I it also means that you have to deal with a high cost of living, insane traffic, and in the case of Miami, a crime rate higher than the national average. Could you imagine how terrified we Iowans (yes I consider myself an Iowan now) would be if the local news started every day with “the police are looking for …”? Mo Sane Iowa State Fair

The cost of living in DSM is quite reasonable, traffic very minimal (your morning commute would probably be 20 minutes longer in New York or Miami), and the crime rate is much lower than the national average.

If you add to that the quality of schools from pre-k to college, you can see why US News & World Report ranked DSM the 13th best place to live in the country.

For a fresh college graduate, choosing to stay here rather than moving to New York means that you’ll be able to save and invest more for your future. According to smartasset.com, you need to earn $80,748 in New York City to have the same standard of living that $60,000 provides in DSM. Everything from taxes (18% higher) to housing (76% higher) and food (27% higher) will cost you more and make it more difficult to prepare for your future.

I am always baffled to hear someone from DSM say that they want to move to a bigger city. DSM may not have the bright lights of New York or the warm weather of Miami, but take it from someone who’s lived in those places, the grass is greener here.

Helpful Links



Are you interested in moving to Greater Des Moines (DSM)? Relocation Packets offer information on everything from neighborhoods and shopping to parks and local attractions. Or, kick start your career by checking out the DSM USA Career Center. It has over 10,000 jobs listed!

Named as the #13 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #7 Best City for Living the American Dream, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Mo Sane

Mo Sane moved to Greater Des Moines (DSM) in May 2019 and works as a financial advisor.