If you’re looking at building a Des Moines custom home for your family in an excellent neighborhood, you should look west to Waukee. Only 14 miles from downtown Des Moines, Waukee offers a small town feel and community that feels worlds away from the big city but is convenient to everything Des Moines has to offer.
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A Growing Community
Waukee was laid out as a town in 1869, but it’s only been in the last few years that its star has begun to burn bright. In 2015, Money Magazine named it #42 on the 2015 Best Places to Live in the United States list. With nearly 17,000 residents, Waukee boasts excellent economic opportunities, schools, and environmental features like trails and parks.
Fun fact: The town’s original name was “Shirley”! When the general of the Des Moines Valley Railroad, which was going to be built adjacent to the land, heard about the name, he said it should be changed to something that sounded more “Indian” and suggested Waukee.
Waukee’s 5-year job growth projection of 15.1% is almost double the national outlook, and its unemployment rate scrapes the bottom at 2.7%. Residents’ median income is $76,577, and the median home price for 2015 was $195,109. Its low crime rate means it ranks safer than 77% of other U.S. cities.
Top Tier Public Schools
The Waukee Community School Districtis the fastest growing school district in the state of Iowa. It has more than 1,000 staff members serving more than 9,000 students in 8 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, one high school, one technical school and one special education facility. Waukee Community students speak 55 different languages and consistently demonstrate excellent academic achievement: 16 Waukee students have been named National Merit Finalists in recent years.
Beautiful Natural Areas & Trails
Waukee encompasses nine beautiful parks as well as the scenic Sugar Creek Golf Course. It also offers 19.2 miles of winding urban bike trails and greenways, connecting neighborhoods and making it easier for people to safely travel by foot or bike in their own neighborhoods and beyond, fostering a greater sense of community and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Nearby, the 72 mile long Raccoon River Valley Trail earned the honor of being designated as "One of Iowa's Great Places" by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs in January 2015. A $200,000 state grant will help build a major public art installation at the trailhead in the next few years.
Up and Coming Neighborhoods
The up-and-coming Kettlestone neighborhood is an innovative mixed-use development that hopes to unite world-class shopping, dining and entertainment with expansive parks, ponds and trails. According to the city planners, over the next 30 years, Kettlestone’s 1,500 acres will be developed to serve as a social, cultural and civic center, adding 25,000 new jobs, 7,000 houses and apartments, 3.8 million square feet of retail space, and 5.5 million square feet of office space.
Community Events and Activities
Waukee has a host of fun, local family activities like the annual Waukee Arts Festival in July, summer farmers’ markets, outdoor summer and winter festivals, movies in the park, and more. Waukee’s most unique community event is the annual BACooN Ride. This day-long June event is a great way to get involved in Iowa’s biking community, even if you’re not up for the week-long RAGBRAI event. Participants start in Waukee and bike part or all of the Raccoon River Valley trail, stopping for local Iowa bacon snacks along the way.
Waukee offers a convenient, close-in alternative to downtown Des Moines living. With family-friendly amenities and a relaxed pace, Waukee is an excellent community to build your dream home. Homes by Brill home builders in Des Moines can help you find land in Waukee, obtain financing, and design and build the perfect home for your family. Contact us today to get started!
2016 Homes by Brill home builders in Des Moines IA