#3. Cedar Rapids, IA
3 beds, 2.5 bathrooms, 2,149 square feet, $229,900
Listing agent: Josie Ashmore, Pinnacle Realty
The sweetly old-fashioned exterior of this 1912 colonial hides a totally modern interior, including an on-point updated kitchen with a 5-burner gas stove with pot faucet, and a vaulted master suite with a double walk-in shower. It’s as contradictory as Cedar Rapids itself. On the hand, the city of 132,000 is headquarters to aerospace company Rockwell Collins and has more engineers per capita than anywhere else in the country. On the other, it offers traditional pleasures like watching the minor-league Cedar Rapid Kernals play, visiting the studio where Grant Wood painted American Gothic, and grabbing a grilled Gouda and Bacon sandwich from City Melt in the revamped NewBo City Market downtown.