Altoona is a suburb of Des Moines in Polk County with a population of over 19,000 and one of the lowest city tax rates in the metro area.  Altoona is conveniently located approximately 20 minutes from the Des Moines International Airport and about 15 minutes from the Ankeny Airport.  Offering beautiful recreational bike trails, an aquatic park, and many conveniences of a larger city with a small-town atmosphere, Altoona is great spot to live.  Altoona is also home to Adventureland Park and Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino. 

Church spire against the sunset in Altoona, Iowa

Altoona Real Estate Statistics

Average Home Price $203K
Lowest Listing Price $59.2K
Highest Listing Price $850K
Total Property Listings 255
Avg. Days On Market 79
Avg. Price/SQFT $237

Property Types (active listings)

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Most of the homes for sale in Altoona are single-family ranch-style homes ranging from two to five bedrooms. Newer constructions may also include split levels and two-story homes. You can also often find Altoona condos and townhomes for sale on the market.

Single-family homes for sale in Altoona come in a range of price points for all budgets. Higher-end homes tend to sit on large lots and have luxury features like swimming pools, wet bars, fireplaces, hot tubs, covered and screened porches, and private backyards.

Even modestly priced homes in Altoona usually have backyards where kids and pets can play, attached garages so you don’t have to scrape ice off your car in the winter, and attractive interior features like hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, and ample storage space.

Townhomes and condos tend to be more affordable than many single-family homes and have the added benefit of being managed by Homeowners Associations. The HOAs will typically take care of maintenance like garbage removal, snow removal, and upkeep of communal spaces. 

If you’ve been dreaming of building your own home, Altoona is a great place to do it thanks to the Residential Tax Abatement. For any new residential construction, the city offers 100 percent tax exemption on the first $75,000 of value for five years. This means that if your new home is valued at $300,000, you would only pay tax on $225,000.

The Residential Tax Abatement does have a few stipulations. First, your lot must be in an approved residential subdivision. Second, the owner must live in the home. Therefore, you can’t buy a lot, build a home and use it as a rental property if you want the tax exemption.

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About Altoona, IA

Altoona was first settled in 1854, and officially incorporated as a city in 1876. It is named after the Latin word ‘altus’ for ‘high’ because it was one of the higher points on the Des Moines Valley Railroad route. Over the years, Altoona has grown from a farming community into a pleasant suburban community with plenty to offer residents and visitors alike.

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Amenities & Attractions in Altoona, IA

Altoona offers a very easy-going lifestyle with the option to add a bit of excitement and entertainment anytime. In addition to having quiet residential streets, the city is also home to an amusement park, casino, shopping centers, and fabulous restaurants and bars. 

Adventureland Park attracts people from far and wide with over 100 rides, attractions, and shows. There’s something for everyone here, from roller coasters to food vendors, a wave pool, lazy river, and a sports bar. The park is open year-round and offers day passes or season passes.

Prairie Meadows is another popular spot with locals and visitors. Catch a riveting horse race at the track and see if your picks come out on top. Then head to the casino for a few hands of blackjack or Texas Hold’em. End the day with a delicious dinner at AJ’s Steakhouse.

If you need to do some shopping, Outlets of Des Moines is an open-air mall that offers numerous brand-name fashion shops, as well as quick and easy dining options. There are also several boutique shops around town where you can get one-of-a-kind items.

For those who prefer to spend their time in the great outdoors, Altoona offers plenty of opportunities to get outside. The Altoona Skate Park offers boxes, stairs and other obstacles for skateboarders. Hikers and cyclers can hop on the Gay Lea Wilson trail, and golfers can tee off at the Terrace Hills Golf Course.

Are you interested in learning more about buying or selling a house in Altoona? Contact us online or call 515-329-4667 to speak to one of our Des Moines real estate experts today!

Altoona FAQs

What is Altoona known for?

Altoona is known for being a very family-friendly community. It has excellent schools, parks and recreational facilities. People also know Altoona for its numerous entertainment options including Adventureland Park and the Prairie Meadows racetrack and casino. 

Is Altoona a good place to live?

Residents of Altoona love that the city has all the amenities of a big city, yet still feels like a safe, peaceful community. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and shops, as well as outdoor trails and green spaces. In addition, the city has some of the lowest tax rates in the metropolitan Des Moines area.

How far is Altoona from Des Moines?

Altoona is a suburb of Des Moines. It is located 10.2 miles or a 20-minute drive from downtown Des Moines.

Is Altoona a good place to invest in real estate?

The city of Altoona is growing fast and there are many opportunities for new developments, which is great news for anyone looking to build a new home. In addition, there is a wide variety of real estate available at all price points. It is reasonable to expect that home values will rise over the next few years.

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