Small town big on history
West Branch is a small town about 11 miles from City. The commute is a direct one on Interstate 80 or the Herbert Hoover Highway. While close to the Iowa City/Coralville metro, an important note for home buyers is that West Branch is in Cedar County, which has lower property taxes than neighboring Johnson County. Keep more of your money in your pocket!
West Branch is the birthplace of the only US president ever born in Iowa, Herbert Hoover, and is now home to the Herbert Hoover Historic Site. Learn more about the national site, museum and library here.
In 2006 West Branch received its designation as a Main Street Iowa community. The Main Street Iowa program works with a select group of communities committed to exceptionally high standards for downtown economic development. With a focus on preservation-based economic development and traditional commercial district revitalization Main Street communities strive to work together on a common-sense, strategy-driven framework that guides community-based downtown revitalization efforts. Evidence of success is apparent in downtown West Branch. With its location right off the interstate, West Branch is home to several companies, including Altorfer, Inc. and Procter and Gamble Distribution. West Branch has many opportunities for economic development, from small business to large corporations.
There is a variety of options for housing in West Branch, including new residential development of single family homes, zero lots and condos occurring on the west side of town. The city of West Branch encourages residential growth through its building incentive program which provides discounted building permits and free water and sewer hook-ups. After the homeowner receives an occupancy permit, he or she is eligible to receive a 100% rebate on the City of West Branch portion of the homeowner’s tax bill. The rebate is available for up to $5,000, or five years from the date of the occupancy permit, whichever comes first. Learn more about the program here.
Schools in West Branch
Home of the Bears, students of West Branch are served by West Branch Community School District. With about 820 students and a student to teacher ratio of 14:1, the schools in the district are Hoover Elementary, K-4, West Branch Middle School, 5-8, and West Branch High School, 9-12. Learn more about the school district here.
Another educational option in the West Branch area is Scattergood Friends & Farm School. Originally founded by Quakers, Scattergood is a day and boarding school. Scattergood blends college-preparatory curriculum, farm experience, shared work program and community living in the spirit of the Quaker faith. According to the school’s literature, “Scattergood Friends School is a diverse, college preparatory community of motivated and open-minded learners, who value simplicity, equality, and non-violence.” Most students live on campus in a dormitory with a roommate, and most staff live with their families in campus housing. Emphasis is placed on diverse identities in the classroom, dorms, and beyond. Staff and students come from a variety of backgrounds. All students and staff work together for about 45 minutes per day on our rotating crew system to cook, clean, do maintenance, and take care of the farm. These experiences help students learn new skills and gain confidence in their abilities. To learn more about Scattergood, click here.
West Branch by the numbers
How does it stack up?
According to 2010 census data, 2,322 people called West Branch home, and West Branch’s estimated population for 2017 was 2, 393. The median age in West Branch is 39.3. According to the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors, the average single family home price (Jan. 2017-Jan. 2018) was $213,609, while the median was $199,900 (Need a reminder about the difference between average and median? Brush up on your math terms here.) The average days on market was 57. In terms of condos, the average price was $113,478, and the median sale price was $100,000. The average days on market was 63 days.