Friday, January 28, 2022

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At Home With

Hauders enjoy Altoona


Empty-nesters order “right-sized” home

Becky and Mark Hauder and pets Harper and Chase recently moved into their farmhouse-style home.

Becky and Mark Hauder moved into the home they had designed and built on 35th St. S.W. in Altoona. They are excited to start their life adventures as empty nesters. They moved from Dubuque and started their hunt for their new home.

“We looked all around the area of Des Moines and settled on Altoona for many reasons: the tax abatement for building, community growth, small-town feel and ease getting to downtown Des Moines,” says Becky.

The couple has been married for 22 years and raised their sons Rees, 21, and Rylee, 19, in Becky’s hometown of Dubuque, where Rees and Rylee continue to live and work. Mark grew up in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Altoona’s small-town feeling has made the Hauders feel right at home through the transition as empty nesters in a new city. They have two Shorkies, Harper and Chase, that keep them company.


The Hauders say they looked for a builder that would customize a home for their needs.

“We found our builder in April, and they said they could build it within four to five months, and they have been amazing to work with each week,” says Becky. “We were able to have our builder, Oakstone Homes, design a home for us that is ‘right sized.’ We loved their homes, but they were much too large for us. It’s a farmhouse-style home, and it’s the smallest in the development.”

Their favorite features of the home include the open floor plan and beautiful patio that overlooks a pond.

“Our neighborhood is a mix of different age groups, and it will be fun to get to know everyone,” says Becky.

“I like all the events that happen in Altoona, the friendly people, and the Altoona Police Department. The PD is so fun to watch on social media, and seeing the passion they have to engage the community makes anyone curious of this fine city,” says Becky. “We really liked the Fourth of July festival with the Spazmatics. We have been fans for a long time as they came to Dubuque a lot to perform. We love all the bike trails around the area, and we love to go out and explore.”

Becky is the store manager of Book Warehouse at The Outlets of Des Moines.

“I chose to work in Altoona so I could be close to our home and get back into the world of books,” says Becky. She previously managed a Borders bookstore in Dubuque.

“So far, all my (experiences) in Altoona have been positive. The Outlets of Des Moines mall staff has been gracious; the restaurants and shopping have been positive,” she says.

Hauder is also a licensed massage therapist and certified yoga instructor. She mentored for two years through the Reach and Rise program and three years with Big Brother and Big Sister program and served on the library board. Mark is the vice president of Papa John’s of Iowa, a locally owned and operated franchise.

They travel twice a year.

“Last year, we went to Italy, and our plan for next year is Ireland. We take a trip every January with my husband’s company to somewhere warm,” says Becky. ♦

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