Cedar Valley Relocation Guide: What You Need to Know for a Successful Moveelocation Guide: What You Need to Know for a Successful Move

posted Jasmyne Green 3/17/2020 in General

The Cedar Valley region of Iowa is a beautiful and thriving area that encompasses the Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area.

The strong local economy is centered around manufacturing and agriculture.

If you’re contemplating a move to Cedar Valley, this guide will help you get settled in your new home. Lincoln Savings Bank is here to help with your search for banks in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, and we offer mortgage lending services if you’re looking for Cedar Valley mortgage loans.

Welcome to Cedar Valley! We hope you’ll love this area as much as we do.

Learn why the Cedar Valley is a great place to live, work and grow.

Cost of Living

Here’s a look at economic indicators in the Cedar Valley region. All data comes from BestPlaces.net.


  • $41,461 is the median income.
  • The median home price is $94,000.
  • The overall cost of living in Waterloo is about 25 percent lower than the U.S. average.
  • Waterloo’s unemployment rate is 3.5 percent, slightly lower than the national rate.

Cedar Falls

  • $52,678 is the median income.
  • The median home price is $172,800.
  • The overall cost of living in Cedar Falls is about 14 percent lower than the U.S. average. 
  • The unemployment rate in Cedar Falls is only 1.9 percent, 2 percent lower than the U.S. rate.


  • $81,417 is the median income.
  • The median home price is $189,400.
  • The overall cost of living in Hudson is about 11 percent lower than the U.S. average.
  • Hudson’s unemployment rate is 2.9 percent, one percent lower than the U.S. rate.

Selected Communities and Towns in the Cedar Valley

Waterloo Metro Area

Waterloo is a “model mid-sized American city” and an employment hub for a variety of industries including government, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, education, and retail. It is also known for the diversity of its population, with 45 languages spoken in the Waterloo schools.

Waterloo is a wonderful city with a variety of neighborhoods and communities to fit any lifestyle or budget.

Cedar Falls Neighborhoods

Cedar Falls is also a mid-sized city and home to the University of Northern Iowa. There are four official neighborhood associations within the city:

  • College Hill: A leafy and vibrant neighborhood that is also home to the Cedar Falls Entertainment District. 
  • Downtown District: This 29-block historic district is bustling with shops, restaurants, and small businesses. Free WiFi is available throughout the district.
  • North Cedar: Borders part of Black Hawk Park.
  • Overman Park: A family-friendly and walkable neighborhood in the northern part of Cedar Falls. 

Suburban Communities

In addition to the bigger cities of Waterloo and Cedar Falls, these suburban communities in Black Hawk County offer a comfortable lifestyle and easy commuting within the metro area.

  • Evansdale: This modern suburb is known as one of the fastest-growing cities in Iowa.
  • Hudson: Also a growing community, Hudson offers its residents a fine park system, bike trails, and a kayaking trail on Black Hawk Creek. 
  • Elk Run Heights: A modest-sized residential community.
  • Gilbertville: Located just minutes away from Waterloo, the City of Gilbertville offers quality living and small-town values. 


There are a variety of public and private school options for primary and higher education. Browse public and private school options in the regions you’re considering and explore GreatSchools.org for more information including ratings on individual schools.

Public School Districts

Private Schools

Higher Education

The Cedar Valley contains dozens of well-regarded public and private schools.


Transferring or opening new utility accounts isn’t the most glamorous part of moving, but this list will help you get started with a necessary task.
Cedar Falls Utilities

The City of Cedar Falls is somewhat unique in owning its own power, gas, water, cable TV, and broadband services. You can register for new utilities through their website.



The Waterloo-Cedar Falls metro area has an abundance of healthcare choices, from doctors, dentists, hospitals, nursing homes, and more. Here are the major medical networks:


Stop by a public library in the Cedar Valley to enjoy a wide selection of books, periodicals and other media. Check out their websites below to learn more about programs and other events taking place at a local library near you!

Local Attractions 

The Cedar Valley offers something for everyone! Whether you’re a history buff, looking for a fun night out, or want to enjoy a day of fun with your kids, you’re sure to find something in the area that suits your interests. Want to learn more about events taking place in the Cedar Valley? Check out this handy calendar of events!

Museums and Historic Landmarks

Learn more about your new home from the Cedar Falls Historical Society, which operates five museums. Take in more history at the Grout Museum of History and Science and the Bremer County Historical Society Museum. Celebrate our veterans at the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum or learn more about local legends. For visual arts, check out Waterloo Center for the Arts. On fair-weather days, visit George Wyth State Park, Big Woods Lake or Lost Island Waterpark. 

Fun & Games

The Cedar Valley is a family-friendly place, with lots of options for kids’ activities. Vehicle-loving little ones will enjoy the John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. Creative kiddos can perform at the Black Hawk Children’s Theater or take an art class at the Phelps Youth Pavilion. Budding scientists can learn and play at the Cedar Valley STEM Festival. Take the kids to the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium.

Wineries, Breweries & Distilleries

Beer, wine, and spirits enthusiasts will find plenty of places to enjoy a drink in the Cedar Valley, from downtown microbreweries to the traditional Beer Hall and Beer Garden at SingleSpeed Brewing in Waterloo. 

Theater Venues

To see plays and live music, check out Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Waterloo Community Playhouse, Lamppost Theatre & Coffee Co., Oster Regent Theatre, and the Wartburg Community Symphony. 

The Cedar Valley features a multitude of parks that exhibit the region's natural beauty.

Parks and Recreation

Nature lovers of all stripes will rejoice in the bounty of outdoor recreation options in the Cedar Valley. Try the Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens, or our more than 100 miles of hard-surfaced, multi-use trails. In the winter, you can go cross-country skiing or ice fishing, ride a snowmobile, and more. 

Looking for banks in the Cedar Valley? Lincoln Savings Bank is your Iowa community bank. 

LSB has grown from a one-location agricultural bank in 1902 to multiple Iowa locations offering complete financial services to local individuals, families, and businesses. If you’re new to the area, we’d love to help you get settled in a new banking home. Contact us today or visit one of our Cedar Valley locations in Cedar Falls, Hudson, and Waterloo.

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