Moving and living in Minnesota – Advice needed

posted 3 years ago in Minneapolis-Saint Paul
Post # 3
Member
1103 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

When you say across the pond, where exactly?  Need to know what we are comparing it to 🙂

Post # 5
Member
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Minneapolis/st paul is a true city, with the cultural diversions one expects.  Six hours down the road is Chicago, with more.  If nature is important to you, there is also no shortage of opportunity For hiking, camping, and the like.  It’s a beautiful piece of country.

I lived 6 hours north of there, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, for 3.5 years, and it was smashing.  TB was too small for my tastes, at 100,000 or so, butLAN alright place to do my grad work.  Minneapolis will be a great situation, if you want both town and country.

Post # 7
Member
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Peekaboo:  We are wedding date twins and my family is me, my fiance, our son, and 3 cats! lol

I have lived in MN my entire life. Aside from the cold and massive amounts snow, I love living here. The summers are wonderful because they’re not too hot. The Mnpls/St. Paul area is a great area! You truly do get a little of everything there! I currently live 3 hours north of there.

I’m not much help in the way of schools and good vs bad areas though, I’m sorry…

Post # 8
Member
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@LincsMama:  and how is Duluth at 4 am?  I went toa concert once at the catholic college there.  Great town.

Post # 9
Member
3557 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Well, it’s currently 4 AM here in the twin cities, so if you want some more answers I’d suggest bumping this in a couple of hours when people are awake (I’m only up because I’m sick and can’t sleep). I lived in Minneapolis for four years and I’m on my second year of living in St. Paul right now. I’m originally from the Milwaukee area and I like it here much better. We have some great culture stuff (2nd highest number of theater seats per capita after New York in the country) really good local restaurants (I particularly enjoy Republic and Brasa), a great biking culture if you’re into that, and the people are very friendly. FI and I make about half of what you would and we live very comfortably. Since we live in an apartment I can’t really help you on the house buying stuff.

Meetup is pretty active here in the cities so I bet you could make friends pretty fast. There are a lot of great parks throughout the cities and there are some state parks not too long a drive away. William O’Brien state park is really nice as is the Eloise Butler Nature Conservatory. As far as good areas and bad areas go, my friends like to say that St. Paul is the cool older brother while Minneapolis is the slutty little sister. There are more bad areas to avoid in Minneapolis than in St. Paul. I’m pretty sure the gang activity is mostly in North Minneapolis and Cedar-Riverside is not the safest of neighborhoods (I used to live there). The Franklin Neighborhood and Lake Calhoun area are both very nice, though differing income levels. I currently live in the Como Park neighborhood in St. Paul and I love it here. the park is fantastic with a lake, lots of land, a golf course, and a free zoo and a conservatory all within walking distance for us.

Post # 11
Member
518 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Duncan:  I’m not in Duluth, but I did live there for a while…it’s a lovely town at 4am! lol I would actually LOVE LOVE LOVE to move back there! 

Post # 12
Member
3557 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@Peekaboo:  I know Maplewood is more of a suburb, but something I never would have guessed is that the Hmong gang activity is really bad there. It’s nickname is Maplehood. So if you’re thinking of moving into a suburb I’d avoid Maplewood.

If you want to get a feel for different neighborhoods in Minneapolis this map kinda gives you the stereotype of the different parts of the cities. Take it with a large grain of salt. My old neighborhood from when I was in school is the one marked ‘Humans piled in concrete silos’ :/ I get why it was labled that, but there is a lot more to the neighborhood than that apartment complex.

Post # 13
Member
1023 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

@Peekaboo:  I live in St. Michael, MN and I love it. I grew up in Elk River, MN and it was a great town. Growing, but good. I’m at work as a nurse (working nights except my every third weekend shifts) in Brooklyn Park and I used to work at Abbott Northwestern which is a hospital in Minneapolis….currently almost 5a here.

Maple grove is a more expensive area but the Osseo-Maple Grove school district is very good.

Are you usually used to the busy city life? Minneapolis/St. Paul is busy and chaotic….and it might be somewhat of a culture shock for you as well. Minneapolis has more bad areas in it than St. Paul though I think. There are a lot of things to do in that area though. 

Duluth, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, Fargo and some other cities have a lot of things to do and some pretty good school systems.  

Post # 15
Member
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

i’m from MN! I live in the nicer part of Maplewood, near Roseville.

I loved growing up there. My FI is from small farming town WI, and he didn’t like cities at all before I brought him to the twin cities. He said that Minneapolis/ St Paul didn’t “feel” like other cities he’d been to because there was so much green space and everyone was actually nice! lol

I love the culture around here. Most everyone is very respectful and well-educated, and that is reflected in the quantity and quality of our museums, arts and entertainment, and activities. Lots of people are really active and ski, run, bike, etc. 

One of the best things is that we don’t let the cold weather keep us cooped up inside in the winter. Everyone still goes outside to enjoy the weather and ice skate, ski, and go for walks. Its really nice going around town and you just see so many people enjoying the outdoors.

FI and I will be moving back (and I can’t wait!) and we will have a combined income of about 110k (FI is an engineer), so your expected income is on the high end of the bracket. From my experience and what I’ve seen, I would say that the average income per household is between 40k-70k.

For areas, AVOID north Minneapolis. thats a notoriously rough neighborhood. Roseville is great, its just north and right in the middle between st paul and minneapolis, and its easy to get to both cities. If you’re centered in Minneapolis, I would recommend the calhoun lake chain area (if you can afford it, thats a pretty classy area). A lot of the suburbs are really nice if you are willing to deal with a longer commute but more space, otherwise a lot of the downtown apartment complexes are very nice.

 

I worked in downtown minneapolis and the skyway system is fantastic. It connects basically all the buildings in downtown together on the second floors (including parking buildings) so you don’t have to walk outside when its cold. there are a lot of stores and restaurants within the skyway too.

The public transit system is pretty extensive and well-run (Metro Transit), we have both buses and light rail which is being extended into new areas. It is much cheaper than paying for parking downtown.

Hope this was helpful, if you have any other questions/concerns, feel free to ask!

ETA: I went to Roseville Area High School (graduated within the last 5 years), and it was very decent. It had a mix of inner city kids and upper class suburban kids. There were a lot of extra curricular activities, the teachers were really great, other kids were great (as long as you ran in the “good” groups in school) and I was really well prepared for college (I took a lot of honors and Advanced Placement courses however). I am very very happy with my high school, It depends on what you are looking for in schools for your kids, whether public or if you want a different culture for them. For a public school, roseville was great.

Post # 16
Member
349 posts
Helper bee

I was born and raised in the Twin Cities – started in the north suburbs, and have lived in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. I moved away to Colorado, but love Minnesota so much that I came back!

A lot may hinge on where your jobs will be located – commuting can be a pain if you have to deal with rush hour traffic. For example, Minnetonka and Plymouth are very nice and safe suburbs with great schools, but if you work in downtown St. Paul it could take you upwards of an hour to commute each way to and from work. If you live closer to the downtown areas, there is a good public transit system (as well as farther out into the suburbs, but then again you’re looking at a longer commute time).

Summers are hot and winters are cold, but you get to enjoy all four seasons. Minneapolis was founded with a parks system, so there is a lot of great green areas and lakes to enjoy. We were also just deemed the fittest city in the US for the third year in a row! (I didn’t watch this video but here’s a link: http://www.kare11.com/story/news/health/2014/01/20/twin-cities-dubbed-fittest-city-in-nation/4678445/)

 

Being a major metropolitan area- there are nicer spots and less nice spots. If you let us know where you think you may be working, we could give some better recomendations of where to look to live. Also if you prefer a downtown/in-the-city feel versus a suburban lifestyle.

I always feel like Minneapolis and St. Paul are hidden gems. So many people just think “brrrr” but I love it here 😀

 

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