Looking for advice on bills in Des Moines/West Des Moines

2 Replies

Hello everyone, looking to purchase a single family residence around Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. The home is around 11500k and needs 5k$ in additional rehab costs. It is 3bed 1bath property and BP insights is showing around 1200$ in rent per month. I am interests in self managing the property and occupier one of the bedrooms. Do you know what are the avg cost on the bills such as Water and Sewer, Gas, Electric? Any other bills am I missing? What type of utilities landlords usually covers in the area for SFR and what they do not cover?

Since it will be an owner occupied house, how is the South Des Moines area on rooms rent?

I am looking for duplex as well, but the price do not justify the rent for most of them in my price range up to 170k, so SFR looks like an option to me.

Any other advice would be helpful as well, Thank you!

Hi Kirill.  For water, you should be on Des Moines Water Works (and last time I checked, their bills were about 50-60/month), though you should be able to contact them for a history on the property.  For gas/electric, you should be on Mid American, and the bill will really depend on the age of the home and how much juice you use (as I've seen Beaverdale homes in the 1900-1950 have bills of $250-$350/month and newer homes having half of that).  As well as Mid American will do budget billing (where the amount is the same every month and it can be reset every 6 or 12 months).  Like DSMWW, if you contact them, they should be able to give you history on the property.

As far as other bills, PITI for sure (but that will depend on your mortgage and insurer). And the taxes you can look up on the treasurer's website.

As far as room rates (that you can charge others), I would suggest craigslist, as they seem to have a fair number of active listings.  

Even with Des Moines' low COL, utilities will be pretty comparable to what you have paid in the past. If you're living in the house and renting rooms, consider internet an additional utility. Other than that, just verify how trash is paid. I lived in one place where trash was done through DMWW (if I recall correctly), and another where we had to pay for a third-party trash service.

Covered and uncovered utilities will vary by person, so choose your own adventure. If you plan to have the house be a rental property (i.e. not owner occupied), I suggest looking into a lien exemption here.