Living in Minneapolis · Neighborhood Tours

The Fulton Neighborhood in Minneapolis – LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION!

Hey there, welcome back to my neighborhood exploration series! Today, we’re diving into a vibrant neighborhood in Minneapolis: Fulton. Nestled in the southwest part of the city, Fulton is an eclectic mix of urban convenience and historic home charm. Let me show you why this area is an absolute gem.

Click to see a video tour of the area!

Picture this: tree-lined streets, cozy sidewalks, and a thriving community vibe. Fulton boasts a prime location, bordered by 47th and 54th streets to the north and south, France Ave to the west, and Penn Ave to the east.

Easy Commutes!

And let’s talk about accessibility. Need to zip downtown? A mere 10-15 minute journey. Airport dash? You’re just around 20 minutes away from Terminal 1.

Where is Fulton?

Fulton is on the SW side of Minneapolis – you can see the airport on the south east corner of the city boundary.
Prime location for pretty views and enjoying one of the best things about Minneapolis – all of the greenspace! + shopping, restaurants etc that are easy to get to on foot, bike, car or public transit.

The one negative… PLANES

Sure, there’s the occasional flight path over Lake Harriet…

Trust me, the community here has adapted like pros, and it doesn’t dent the allure of this neighborhood one bit. But what makes this neighborhood truly special isn’t just its boundaries; it’s what’s within them.

Amenities

From Red Cow and Broders Pasta Bar to the charming antique shops and coffee spots at Xerxes Ave and 50th, Fulton is a hub for foodies and explorers alike. You’ll find yourself surrounded by all the amenities city dwellers crave, without sacrificing that cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Fulton is on the Minneapolis side of the 50th and France shopping and dining area. This is a sweet little hub that is perfect for hitting local shops, cozy restaurants or taking advantage of the newly renovated Edina Theater.¬†

Now, let’s talk about the crown jewel of Fulton‚ÄĒLake Harriet. This picturesque spot isn’t just a lake; it’s a community hub. Whether you’re riding the Grand Rounds 51-mile bike and walking path, attending festivals year-round, or enjoying lakeside dining at Bread and Pickle, there’s something magical about this place that draws people in.

But wait, there’s more! Beyond Lake Harriet, Fulton offers easy access to Minnehaha Creek and its scenic trails. Imagine biking or walking along a gurgling¬†creek (or I’ll often see kids floating down the creek on inner¬†tubes in summer!), it’s a lush greenspace connecting to Minnehaha Falls and West River Road, bordering the mighty Mississippi. As you make your way along this trail, you can feast on some eye candy of beautiful and gracious old homes lining the parkway.¬†

Homes

Now, let’s talk homes. Fulton has a diverse range, from historic early 1900s residences to modern constructions. Whether you prefer a cozy vintage abode or a newly-built dream home, there’s something here for everyone. Prices vary, ranging from $475,000 to $1.4 million, reflecting the neighborhood’s diversity. If any were to come on the market by the lake you’d be paying over $2M. Fair warning.

Brain food

For bookworms, rejoice! Independent bookstores like Comma Books and the whimsical Wild Rumpus children’s store await nearby in the Linden Hills neighborhood. Plus, a stunning branch of the Hennepin County Library is just a stone’s throw away.

Schools

And for families, Fulton’s got you covered. Children will attend Lake Harriet Lower School, Anthony Middle and Southwest High School or a magnet school of their¬†choice. educational options are plentiful.¬†

Pershing Park is located within Fulton and with its sports fields, playgrounds, and wading pool‚ÄĒit’s a kid’s paradise!

So, whether you’re captivated by the serene beauty of Lake Harriet, the bustling local scene, or the fantastic housing options, Fulton offers an inviting blend of city living and community warmth.

Living in Minneapolis · Neighborhood Tours

I’m going UPTOWN

Hey, everyone! Today, we’re diving into the heart of Minneapolis to explore the eclectic and bustling Uptown neighborhood. Known for its diverse offerings, from historic single-family homes to modern condos, Uptown is a unique urban environment with a personality all its own. If you are considering a city neighborhood and looking for a bit of a faster pace this one could be for you.¬†

Want to see it IRL?! (or virtually IRL?) take a peek.

Where is it?

Uptown is situated in the southwestern part of Minneapolis, and what sets it apart is its perfect blend of urban living and natural beauty. Whether you’re a foodie, a cyclist, or just someone who loves a vibrant city vibe, Uptown has something for everyone.

One of the standout features of Uptown is its accessibility. The neighborhood is connected to the Midtown Greenway bike path, making it a haven for cyclists. And if you prefer public transportation, you’re in luck ‚Äď Uptown offers easy access to various transit options, making it a breeze to explore the city.

Photo from Metro Transit

Housing

Uptown boasts a diverse range of homes, from charming single-family cottages to grand Queen Anne Victorian mansions. Many of these single-family homes were constructed in the early 1900s, showcasing stunning woodwork and unique architectural details.

Prices for single-family homes in Uptown vary widely. You can find a cozy cottage for just under $300,000, perfect for those looking to add their personal touch. Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for something truly grand, Queen Anne Victorians can fetch over $2 million, especially if they’re close to the picturesque Bde Maka Ska.

Lakes!

Bde Maka Ska ‚Äď the jewel of the Uptown neighborhood. This beautiful lake is part of the chain of lakes and serves as a hub of activity. During the summer, locals flock to the pavilion to enjoy a meal and a drink. The lake itself is a playground for water enthusiasts, offering sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and a sandy beach for those seeking some sun.

I took this from my bicycle in July of this year. LOVE this area!

If you’re more inclined towards low maintenance living, Uptown has a fantastic selection of condos. At the higher end, you’ll find modern penthouses with breathtaking views overlooking Bde Maka Ska, priced at over $2 million. For something unique, there’s a converted firehouse with over 3500 square feet, listed just over $1 million. But for most condo seekers, the sweet spot is between $119,000 and $250,000, with options in low-rise buildings dating back to the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Food!

Now, let’s talk about the culinary scene in Uptown because, trust me, your taste buds are in for a treat. One iconic spot that’s been a staple for years is Bryant Lake Bowl ‚Äď it’s not just a bowling alley, but also a theater and a restaurant. This lively joint is the perfect gathering place from breakfast until the early hours of the morning.

If you’re craving Korean-American cuisine crafted by a James Beard Award-winning chef, look no further than Kim’s. Chef Ann Kim has truly created something special here. And for those with a hankering for authentic French bistro fare, Barbette is a must-visit. The ambiance is as delightful as the cuisine, making it a favorite among locals.

For a cozy dining experience with good food and a warm atmosphere, check out Bryant and Lake Cafe. Picture this: delicious food, a crackling fireplace, and an inviting ambiance ‚Äď what more could you ask for? And remember, these are just three gems in a sea of fantastic dining options in Uptown.

coffee machine on counter at cafe
Photo by Dominika Pol√°kov√° on Pexels.com

Shops

Now, let’s shift gears a bit. Uptown is not just a feast for the palate but also for the mind. Magers and Quinn, an enormous bookstore, beckons book lovers with its vast collection of new and used books. Lose yourself in the aisles and spend an entire afternoon exploring literary wonders.

Strolling down the same street, you’ll find a beloved spice haven of the Midwest ‚Äď Penzey’s Spices. Whether you’re a culinary expert or just starting your spice journey, this shop has everything you need to tantalize your Midwestern palate. It’s a must-visit for those looking to elevate their cooking game.

Uptown has a slightly bohemian feel, and part of that charm comes from its well-curated vintage shops. Explore these hidden gems to find unique pieces that tell a story and add a touch of history to your wardrobe or living space.

Now, let’s talk about the practical aspects of living in Uptown. For those who value literary exploration, you’ll be pleased to know that the Hennepin County Public Library has a branch right here in the neighborhood. It’s not just a place for books; it’s a community hub where knowledge flourishes.

Need to stock up on groceries? Uptown has you covered. There’s a Cub Foods for your everyday essentials and, if you’re in the mood for a more upscale shopping experience, Lunds and Byerlys is just a stone’s throw away. Whatever your culinary needs, Uptown has the grocery stores to meet them.

assorted vegetable lot
Photo by Matheus Cenali on Pexels.com

Schools

If you’re raising a family in Uptown, your children may attend Barton or Lyndale Elementary schools. As they progress, Susan B Anthony Middle School might be the next stop before moving on to Washburn High School. Uptown is also home to families who embrace educational diversity. Many high school students in the area explore magnet schools to tailor their education to specific interests. It’s not just about learning; it’s about finding a passion and nurturing it.

From the diverse culinary delights to literary escapes and spice adventures, Uptown Minneapolis truly is a neighborhood that has it all. Whether you’re a foodie, a bookworm, an avid bicyclist, water lover, or a vintage aficionado, Uptown welcomes you with open arms. If you’ve enjoyed this exploration, don’t forget to hit that like button, subscribe for more content, and let me know in the comments if you’ve visited any of these fantastic spots. Until next time, happy exploring!

Living in Minneapolis · Uncategorized

Minnesota is Progessive!

I’m going to touch the third rail and discuss politics. Brace yourselves. I think it’s like ignoring the elephant in the room to not talk about this when discussing why people move to, or away from, MN so I’m going to give you an overview of recent laws and public policy moves here that will attract some people to the state and undoubtedly repel others.¬†

What made me decide to write this:

I recently saw TWO reddit threads Рone for Minneapolis and one for Minnesota and BOTH were posts asking about moving to Minnesota or the Twin Cities because of the political climate where the people that posted live at the moment (in this case Tennessee and Arkansas) making them feel unsafe or not accepted.

This struck a chord with me because I regularly help people move to Minnesota from the south (nearly everything is south of Minnesota) and I know that people move for all sorts of reasons – jobs (we have a¬†GREAT economy here), the environment (we are on the globe so we do have our share of problems associated with Global warming, but they generally don’t include water shortages or wild fires).¬†

***If YOU want to move to MN, I have a free relocation guide that you can download HERE. I encourage you to reach out with questions or check out my YouTube channel where I do videos of different areas etc. ***

Also (this will shock some of you!) but many people enjoy winter and snow sports and a lot of people love having 4 distinct seasons even though spring lasts about 2 weeks and also like a very outdoorsy lifestyle.  We also enjoy having working power grids in all sorts of weather (sorry Texas, and apparently California as some have said in response to my video). 

I had to laugh because a lot of people were quite enraged at this idea Рstating that the fastest growing states are Texas and Florida. Guess what? BOTH  THINGS CAN BE TRUE AT THE SAME TIME. People move here and people also move away from here. 

The news is filled with one story after another about other states regulating things that we have taken for granted and pouring fuel on the fire of social issues. Some states have taken actions in one direction and MN has decidedly gone on the opposite path for many of these issues. 

Is every Minnesotan a Democrat?

MN has a reputation as a progressive state, and MN typically goes for the Democrat in the presidential election, but we often have Republican governors OR one of our state houses controlled by the Republican party, so the idea that EVERYONE here is a liberal is very much incorrect. However, our Governor now has a one member majority in the MN Senate now and that means that a lot of DFL (Democrat / Farmer / Labor) party priorities are getting codified.  Minnesota also has a reputation as a very homogenous state compared to others however, the new crop of lawmakers brought a series of firsts at the Capitol: including the first time both chambers are set to be led by women, the first person of color elected president of the Senate, the largest group of people of color to serve in the Legislature (35 of 201), 11 lawmakers who identify as LGBTQ and a record number of female lawmakers. 

Women’s Health Policies

With the Supreme Court overturning Roe V Wade, MN has taken an extra step in reaffirming their commitment to protecting women’s healthcare choices.¬†The right to abortion has been reviewed by the MN State Supreme Court and found to be constitutional, in addition to this the PRO Act was passed in early 2023 to make sure that the right to reproductive health care is protected.¬†The bill goes a step further than current law in protecting access to birth control, sterilization and¬†family planning help. It would prohibit local governments from imposing additional restrictions on reproductive health care.

In addition, The Minnesota House recently passed a bill that would shield women who travel to the state for abortions, as well as their nurses and doctors. It still needs approval from the state Senate and the signature of Gov. Tim Walz to become law. The bill prohibits Minnesota judges from issuing warrants and law enforcement from making arrests of people charged with crimes in other state‚Äôs for accessing reproductive health care in Minnesota. The governor may not extradite a person charged with a crime involving reproductive health care, either.

LGBTQIA rights: 

Same sex marriage is codified into law not just at the federal level, but also at the state level here in MN. In addition, Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order protecting the rights of LGBTQ people from Minnesota and other states to receive gender affirming health care, as he slammed the tide of other states rolling back transgender rights.

lgbt flag
Photo by Alexander Grey on Pexels.com

‚ÄúWe want every Minnesotan to grow up feeling safe, valued, protected, celebrated, and free to exist as their authentic versions of themselves,‚ÄĚ Walz said. ‚ÄúProtecting and supporting access to gender affirming health care is essential to being a welcoming and supportive state.‚ÄĚ  A separate bill banning so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ children and vulnerable adults won approval in the Minnesota House last month and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate and the MN house just passed a ‚ÄúTrans Refuge‚ÄĚ bill which will move on to the Senate and the Governor. ‚ÄúThe law would make it so that people who live in states who have banned or restricted gender-affirming care can come to Minnesota to access that care and be protected from the laws that govern their home states,‚ÄĚ bill sponsor Finke said. 

Education / budget surplus

Minnesota has a budget surplus of $17.8 BILLION dollars. The governor put forward their budget months ahead of schedule and details still need to be refined, but his budget proposal would fund increases to schools, housing initiatives and tax relief. 

They propose $3 billion more toward pre-K through 12 public schools and college aid, as well as another $1 billion for housing initiatives. 

They have earmarked $3 billion for tax cuts that they said could include direct rebate checks, tax credits, property tax relief and increases to local government aid. The targets also include nearly $670 million to launch a paid family and medical leave program, which would be fueled by a new payroll tax once it is off the ground. 

girl in white sleeveless shirt glass tumbler
Photo by Yan Krukau on Pexels.com

 Within the last week the governor signed a law guaranteeing Free breakfast & lunch for all children in the state of MN in pk-12.

Climate: 

alternative energy blade blue clouds
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Minnesota Democrats successfully passed a bill for a carbon-free electric grid by 2040, directing a speedy energy transition in at least one sector of the state‚Äôs economy. 

Cannabis: 

shallow focus photography of cannabis plant
Photo by Michael Fischer on Pexels.com

THC Gummies are currently legal and we are seeing THC laced beers and seltzers as well.

There is a proposed legalized recreational marijuana, supported by the governor who also references millions of dollars in tax revenues from the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in Minnesota.

Anti-discrimmination

The Crown Act was passed and signed into law and provides further racial protections under the MN Human Rights Act by prohibiting discrimination based on natural hair or braids.

portrait of woman wearing headband
Photo by TUBARONES PHOTOGRAPHY on Pexels.com

Minnesota is a welcoming state. Not everyone has the same opinions on every issue, not everyone agrees with the policies that the governor and the legislature are working on now, but Minnesota does seek to distinguish itself from its neighbors. We are surrounded by states with the opposite philosophy about the role of government in people’s lives, and there needs to be room for everyone. If you’re thinking about making a move, let me know how I can help. I have helped a lot of people relocate from out of state, I am certain that some would be willing to have a conversation about their personal experiences with moving here.

Living in Minneapolis · Neighborhood Tours

Indian Hills and Indian Trails in Edina

If you’re looking for something a little “extra” in your next home, you might be interested in taking a look at these neighborhoods in Edina. Some amazing homes and lots of variety in architecture from traditional to very modern on huge wooded lots. The location can’t be beat either!

A video tour of Indian Hills and Indian Trails

WHERE IS INDIAN TRAILS / INDIAN HILLS?

Indian Trails & Indian Hills are residential neighborhoods located in the city of Edina, Minnesota. They are located in the southwestern part of the city, near the border with the neighboring city of Eden Prairie. The neighborhood is bounded by Highway 169 to the west, Rt. 62 to the north, roughly the high school to the east, and about Valley View Rd to the south around Braemar park.

Indian Trails is located approximately 13 miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis and 11 miles southeast of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP). Commuting to downtown Minneapolis or the airport from the neighborhood is relatively easy, thanks to its convenient location near the major highways of 169 & 494, along with easy access to 100, 62 or 35.

The neighborhood is located just west of Highway 169, which provides direct access to downtown Minneapolis. Commuters can reach downtown in approximately 20-25 minutes by car, depending on traffic conditions.

The airport is also easily accessible from Indian Trails, with several transportation options available. The fastest option is to drive, which typically takes around 16-25 minutes depending on traffic. Additionally, if you wanted to park and take the METRO Blue Line light rail system, it provides direct access to the airport from the nearby Mall of America station, which is approximately 8 miles from Indian Trails. The journey from the Mall of America to the airport takes around 12 minutes. Finally, there are also several taxi and rideshare services available in the area, which can provide convenient transportation to the airport.

WHY LIVE THERE?

Indian Trails / Indian Hills area is known for its large, wooded lots and quiet streets. Many of the homes in the neighborhood were built in the 1950s and 1960s, and feature traditional architecture and well-manicured yards. Some of the homes in the neighborhood are valued at well over $1 million. The median sales price in this area is $982,500, well above the median for the Twin Cities metro, so a little “spendy” as the Minnesotans might say, but if this is in your budget it’s worth looking at, and if it’s NOT, it’s fun to look at the homes anyway! ūüôā

If you want to learn about other neighborhoods and suburbs of the Twin Cities, check out my YouTube channel – I have an entire playlist of them that I add to regularly.

One of the things you’ll note about this area are the mature trees, the hilly landscape, and the curving roadways that give this neighborhood a sense of being nestled away from the suburban bustle, even though it has easy access to everything you might want. It definitely has a quiet, secluded and cozy feel.

Parks

The Edina area is home to several parks, including the 29-acre Arden Park, which features trails, picnic areas, and sports fields. But the closest is nearby Braemar Golf Course and Braemar Ice Arena which provide opportunities for golfing and ice skating, respectively.

Braemar Arena has three sheets of indoor ice and one outdoor seasonally.

The Braemar Golf Dome is the largest and longest-hitting indoor practice facility in the Twin Cities with 44 tee areas on two levels.

If you‚Äôre not a golfer, it also has an almost quarter-mile turf track which is open from the beginning of November through the end of April under the dome. 

I‚Äôm not a golfer, and not a mall walker, sometimes you just want a place to stretch your legs that is ‚Äúsemi‚ÄĚ outside feeling but without the risk of breaking your neck or your leg on icy sidewalks.

The track is free and open to the public. Make sure you wear layers as the facility maintains a temperature 40 degrees above the outside temperature. That sounds kind of toasty when it’s 35 degrees out, but maybe not as much when it’s below zero? You are allowed to use a stroller if you want to bundle up your little and walk.

Schools

Indian Trails is located within the Edina Public Schools district, and is served by Creek Valley Elementary School, Valley View Middle School, and Edina High School.

Shopping

Indian Trails is located near several shopping destinations in Edina and the surrounding areas. Here are a few options:

Southdale Center: Located approximately 5 miles north of Indian Trails, Southdale Center is a large indoor shopping mall with over 100 stores, including anchor tenants like Macy’s, JCPenney, and AMC Theatres. It takes up a large area between York & France Aves just south of 66th street. You‚Äôll also find store like Target, whole foods, Lunds and Byerly‚Äôs groceries in this area. Trader Joes and Total Wine & Spirits is just south of this area at France & 494.  In addition there is some upscale shopping all along France including inside the Galleria Mall.

Another option is to head about 6 miles west to Eden Prairie Center. Eden Prairie Center is another large indoor shopping mall with over 90 stores, including anchor tenants like Von Maur, JCPenney, and Target.

If you like an outdoor shopping area that is easy to navigate on foot, check out the intersection of 50th & France approximately 4 miles northeast of Indian Trails. It is a popular shopping district in Edina with a mix of independent shops and restaurants. In addition there is a small independent movie theater (The Edina Theater) that has recently been updated and is a real contribution to the area if you like movies and are also interested in seeing some of the smaller films that may not be blockbusters. Located in the same area is another Lunds and Byerly’s grocery.

Libraries

If you need your Public Library fix, the neighborhood is located almost exactly equidistant from the Eden Prairie Library just west of 169 across the street from the Eden Prairie Mall. It’s convenient if you’re running to Target over there or grabbing a bite at one of the many restaurants nearby. I believe that this library recently had a fairly significant update, and it was pretty nice to begin with! This is not a small library, but one of the larger libraries in the Hennepin County library system.

Eden Prairie Library:

Edina Library

The other options are the Edina Public Library which is just west of 100 where it crosses 50th street, also a lovely building that is a pleasure to spend time in or the 3rd option in Edina is the Southdale Library on York.  This may be the only time you hear me say anything negative about a library, but I am not a fan. It‚Äôs pretty ugly, it doesn‚Äôt feel like a place I want to spend time. It harkens back to the earlier days when it was paired with a court building. Something about that doesn‚Äôt fit well. I dare you to disagree with me … THIS is the Southdale Library. (thumbs down).

They had planned to move this library into an empty department store at Southdale Mall before the pandemic, and then shelved those plans. I thought that was an innovative way to fill a large empty anchor spot at that mall and draw more people over there. While we are talking about that mall, it hosts a fairly new edition in the form of the LifeTime fitness health club. This place is a palace, with restaurants, co-working space, pools, soccer fields, spa, tennis and pickleball courts etc.

This mall also has the closest Apple Store in case you need some help or a new piece of tech. However, a library in there wouldn‚Äôt hurt. ūüėČ

Overall, Indian Trails is a highly desirable neighborhood in Edina, known for its peaceful surroundings, natural beauty, and strong sense of community.

Do you have another community that you‚Äôre interested in? Drop a comment down below and I will add it to my list ‚Äď I love getting content ideas from people that read my blog or watch my videos because it helps me give you what you‚Äôre looking for!

Living in Minneapolis · Neighborhood Tours

Highland Park Neighborhood St. Paul

I suffer from nostalgia and I’m a sucker for charming old homes and neighborhoods that remind me of movie sets. And that’s why I feel squishy inside when I spend time in Highland Park in St. Paul.¬† It’s a condition, don’t mock me!¬†¬†

Types of homes

The Highland Park neighborhood of St Paul is right next to the MacGroveland neighborhood and shares so many of the same characteristics.  The homes are here older and filled with all of that original charm. St. Paul was settled before Minneapolis and the housing stock there reflects it in many areas.

Many of the homes were built in the early 1900’s and often have original hard wood¬†floors, beautiful wide wood moldings,¬†built-ins, plaster walls, detached garages and other features of homes built at that time. Another feature that I love on old homes that you’ll often see here are porches where you can sit and enjoy the gorgeous weather that we have here spring through fall. I think porches and sidewalks encourage a sense of community and give opportunities to see and talk to neighbors.¬†

As you enter the neighborhood from the west on Ford Parkway you’ll notice a large construction site which is a planned community / new construction development, so if you want the city lifestyle and access but AREN’T interested in old homes, this can be a great option for you. It’s called Highland Bridge and its a couple of different developments including row homes and a senior living development, community park, shops and restaurants. This won’t be where you¬†find a bargain –¬† row homes are at the upper end of the pricing for this part of St. Paul at $1.5M+, there are also custom single family homes being built with lot prices starting at around $500K.

Amenities

One of the things I like about city¬†living is the access to sidewalks and bike lanes as well as the ability to get to restaurants¬†parks and shops relatively easily, on foot, on bike, or in a vehicle. Highland¬†Park¬†is home to all of these things, it has a robust commercial area so you won’t need to go far to grab a bite or do some shopping and recreation is convenient as well, it has a golf course, and¬† easy access to the massive park system along the Mississippi¬†River with all of the bike trails that run throughout (72 miles along the Mississippi rover alone!) and connect to so many local and regional trails in the Minneapolis St Paul region.¬†


Another stand out to me was the local library branch and the Highland Park Rec Center which offers¬†Highland Park Community¬†Center offers educational programs, after school activities,¬†open gym,¬†tot-times, family events,¬†fitness center memberships, youth and adult¬†athletics,¬†S’more¬†Fun¬†childcare,¬†Highland Park Community Center¬†Theatre,¬†field rentals,¬†rental space¬†for parties, meetings, and events, and so much more.

Home prices

The average home price in Highland Park for the typical house is a little more than $441K, its charming neighbor, MacGroveland is just a little bit more from an average home price perspective. 

Access

This neighborhood also has easy access to both Minneapolis and St. Paul for work – as well as the freeways that lead to the South, SW and SE suburbs, or anywhere that you want to go within the metro area. Typically if you work on one side of the river you try to live on that side for easy commuting, but I think Highland Park benefits from a great central location from a commuting perspective.  Light rail is also within 1 mile of the neighborhood and there is a bus system in St. Paul.

It seems like one of the big benefits of the suburbs would be easy access to stores like Target, and Highland Park actually has an adorable little Target in their main commercial area off of Ford Parkway & Cleveland. 

Shopping

Groceries are within easy reach at the Target, Lunds and Byerlys or a short drive to Kowalskis. 

Schools

Children living in this area will attend St. Paul public schools Horace Mann Elementary, Highland Park Middle School, and Highland Park Senior High.

Whether you like historic homes with that old fashioned charm or you’re looking for new construction urban townhomes, this neighborhood has both, along with all the things that people choose city living for. 

Uncategorized

Snow School!

I routinely help people move to MN from out of state and because nearly every state is south of us, warmer than us, and doesn’t have quite the winter that we do, most people aren’t mentally or physically¬†prepared for winter here in MN. I sense a lot of excitement, but also fear?

In this video I’m taking you to SNOW SCHOOL and giving you the tips that you’ll need to get through winter comfortably and safely!¬†

Let me reassure you that people in MN aren’t some mutant breed, we aren’t the huskies of the human race that want to roll around in ice in summer. We just like seasons and recognize that winter is one of them, and have found ways to make it comfortable, safe and doable. In this video I’m taking you to SNOW SCHOOL and giving you the tips that you’ll need to get through winter comfortably and safely!¬†

Winter and snow can be downright magical if you can sit inside a warm house with a cup of coffee and a fire blazing watching it fall from the sky.  But eventually you have to leave the house.  I’m going to start off with how to DRESS for winter here and I’ll do another video on other considerations like driving in it, managing it around your home and preparing your actual house for winter as well as staying safe outside in winter. 

It’s September¬†and that means it is HIGH time to start preparing for winter. Costco has their gloves and hats out, Christmas decor is usually up right around now and its a great reminder to get your act together while the getting’s¬†good.¬†

Today I’m going to start with the basics!  How should you plan to dress here in winter?  

It will vary across the season, with peak winter gear needed in January when we often see stretches of well below zero weather.  Our seasons are pretty prompt here, with a definite change in the air that hits right at the 3 month mark of any season.  I’m recording this at the beginning of September, and the weatherman here pointed out that we have just seen our last after 8pm sunset until next April and that means that we are on our way into fall.  Our temps have been in the mid-50’s overnight lately (and I LOVE IT) with highs in the mid 70’s. Northern MN has the high 30’s for overnight temps – winter is coming!

I don’t mind the short days (in the depths of winter it’s starting to get dark here by around 4:30 and it won’t be light til well after 8am), I sleep well in winter! I may be part bear. We do have the flip side in summer with extremely long days, so if that’s your cup of tea you’ll have it to look forward to.¬†

Everyone has their own definition of cold, but I would say that it starts to get cold at the end of October (highs in the 30’s lows in the 20’s overnight).¬† We often see at least some snow around Halloween. And fun fact – if you see snow it means it’s NOT THAT COLD.¬† It actually will NOT snow when it is truly cold here, there needs to be some moisture¬†in the air to achieve snow and intense cold is also intensely DRY.¬†

Your mom may have mentioned wearing LAYERS to you, and she knew what she was talking about.¬† If you’ll be outside in very cold weather you should plan to have 3 layers on. The first layer is a snug base layer. Do not wear cotton as it holds moisture and having damp skin or clothes is dangerous. Pick a synthetic material that wicks moisture away from the skin.¬†

Your second layer should be your fleece or other clothing (sweater, sweatshirt, something!) that insulates and holds pockets of warm air close to your body. Do you need 2 layers on your legs -yep! If it’s cold, having warm legs makes a world of difference. I feel like there is an artificial focus on the upper body for warmth, but having your legs warm (I mean 50% of your body?!) makes a HUGE difference in comfort if you’re going to be outside.

My dogs don’t seem to mind cold weather at all and still want their walks, and having snow pants on changes everything. They come in varying styles and weights.¬† I’m a dork and wear the¬†thick (and WARM) snow pants you see on kids. You probably have more shame/fashion sense than me and You can get some “sleeker” pants that insulate and block wind, those can be pricey but you’ll look as amazing as you CAN look while wearing snow pants. If I’m going to be out walking dogs or clearing the sidewalk I’ll wear a base layer – long johns, leggings or even tights – and then pull the snow pants over that and I’m super comfy.¬†

Final layer! You’ll want something WIND and WATER proof! These two elements can literally be the death of you if you don’t prepare. Down is a wonderful insulating material but if it gets wet, it’s worse than useless. Blocking wind and water will be what keeps you feeling toasty warm. And when I say water – I don’t mean rain.¬† Snow can be quite wet and soak right through your coat. I can think of nothing worse than being cold and wet at the same time.

man wearing parka
Photo by Dan Smith on Pexels.com

When looking at coats for actual winter weather here, you probably want a parka vs a “jacket”.  A parka is generally longer and will cover your backside better. I would actually say that having both is not a bad idea. If you’re running around doing errands and will be in and out of the car and heated spaces you can scurry around in your jacket and be fine, but for warmth – I like a parka. Parkas also come with hoods (often detachable) and when the wind is ripping around I’ll use it. If you buy from a quality place they often have ratings on their winter items and you can see that clothing is rated to X degrees below zero. You’ll need that in winter. My favorite combination is down with a wind and waterproof shell.

For your extremities, you definitely need a beanie or tuque¬†(interchangeable – you’ll hear both words!), gloves or if you really want warm hands, get mittens. Having your digits all together in one pocket of fabric makes for a much warmer hand. Feet should have wicking socks. The best are wool or smart wool (they aren’t itchy – I promise!) and then boots that are insulated and waterproof. I see lots of feet looking stylish and warm in Sorel’s but North Face are super popular here as are less expensive brands like Lands End.¬†

man looking left side
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

My husband hates the cold and we also stock up on the hand warmer things in winter and he will keep those in his pocket when walking the dogs or clearing.  So if you tend toward the chilly side, that’s another option. 

My last tip is don’t wait! When winter things appear in the store, buy them. They disappear pretty fast next thing you know it’s -20 and the stores are stocked with swim suits for spring break. 

I’ll do another post and video for driving and dealing with cold in general shortly, I also did one a while back on getting your house ready for winter, you can check out my YouTube Playlist for life in Minneapolis and you’ll see that!

Home Buying · Real Life Relocation · Uncategorized

Moving to MN from St. Louis MO

I specialize in helping people relocate to MN from other parts of the United States and the world thanks to people finding me on my YouTube channel. It’s a niche that I love to serve, people are choosing Minnesota and I love to welcome them here.

I know that this can be a difficult thing to do – uprooting your life to make a change to a completely different everything! The climate, the people, the way that Minnesotans live – which is very much OUTDOORS. Many people make the choice for that very reason. One of the other themes that I hear often is affordability and high quality of life.

If you’re curious about the perspective of this couple, what things felt like challenges, how they overcame those, what made them choose MN, what surprised them when they got here and what they have enjoyed so far, you’ll probably enjoy this video!

If this is a move you are considering making and you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask! It’s what I do day in and day out. ūüôā

Living in Minneapolis · Neighborhood Tours

The Armatage Neighborhood in SW Minneapolis!

I’m sticking closer to home today and taking you on a tour of the Armatage neighborhood in Southwest Minneapolis!¬† If you want to see what the homes and area look like – watch this video!

Homes in the Armatage neighborhood began to be built in the 1940s, and by 1960 most of the neighborhood was estab¬≠lished.¬†The homes in the area really reflect the time period, a lot of post-war (WWII!) bungalows and as the construction reached the ’60’s they began putting up what Minnesotans call “ramblers” and the rest of the country calls “ranch” homes. You still see some 1 car garages, and most garages are accessed off the alley which gives the street and yard areas of the homes a really beautiful feel because they aren’t broken up with driveways, cars and trashcans.

Easy commutes!

Prices

I did a comparison of median home prices for Armatage and the surrounding areas including Edina which is the suburb which borders the neighborhood on the west, the Kenny neighborhood to the east and the city of Minneapolis over all. You can see where Armatage stacks up and how it compares to prices in the city overall. 

The highest priced home on the market in Armatage today is a house that was originally built in 1948, but has since undergone a complete renovation and has had a second floor added. It was priced at $799,900. It has 5 bedrooms, 5 baths, a 4 car garage and nearly 3,000 sf. This is not a typical home in the area, but we have seen a lot of homes pop upward like this as people try to stay in the neighborhood but want more living space than the 1940’s or 1950’s bungalows provide. 

A more typical house for sale right now is a bungalow priced near the median at $445K, built in 1951 and still reflecting the character of the day. It has about 2000 sf and has 3 beds, 3 baths and a 2 car garage. The lowest priced home I saw currently listed is at $285, a 3 bed, 1 bath home that has been used as a rental and can probably use a bit of TLC. 

Neighborhood association

Armatage has a very active neighborhood association and they hold several events throughout the year including a chili cook off, a holiday light display competition, free movies in the park in summer, a fire-on-ice winter celebration with bonfires and ice skating at the park rink, food truck nights and a summer festival.  If you have children the park district  has after school programs through community education at Armatage Park Community Center and they also have all day programming there throughout the summer. 

children s team building on green grassland
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

In addition to the focus on kids, the community center also hosts events like “Tech Help for Seniors” and a community garden tool swap.¬†

Schools

boy in green shirt
Photo by CDC on Pexels.com

Children in the neighborhood are currently zoned for Armatage Elementary (formerly a Montessori magnet school) In 1952, the Armatage Community School was built, children move on to Susan B Anthony Middle School which is International Baccalaureate School, and then Southwest High School. 

Neighborhood Amenities

Armatage has a close community feel and has the benefit of easily accessible¬†local favorites for restaurants including Pizzeria Lola, Red Wagon Pizza, Book Club, Colita, &¬† Cafe Ceres. It’s a quick ride to shopping to Edina for Southdale Mall or any of the surrounding shops and restaurants including the Galleria for more upscale shopping. Groceries are easy to find at nearby Lunds and Byerly’s or Kowalskis, or if you’re just down the street in Edina you can hit Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Costco people will find the St. Louis Park location the closest – but in my opinion it’s also the craziest one – always mobbed and worth it to drive to Eagan or Eden Prairie instead.¬†

cup of aromatic cappuccino on table in cafe
Photo by Maria Orlova on Pexels.com

In addition to the large community park, Armatage is well located to reach the paths around Lake Harriet or Minnehaha Creek. As with all areas of Minneapolis, there is a large focus on bicycling and public streets have bike lanes which are heavily used. The city of Minneapolis also has sidewalks lining both sides of the street so you’ll be safe if you decide to walk up to the lake or creek as well. 

white bicycle road sign
Photo by Cristiana Raluca on Pexels.com

If you’re curious about other area of the city or suburbs, check out my playlist on YouTube! I cover a bunch of them and I’m always adding more, if there is an area that you’re interested in and you don’t see a video – reach out and I may add it to the list, but can at least answer questions.¬†

Uncategorized

Is MN affordable? Cost of Living update Minneapolis 2022

A lot of people say that they choose to move to Minneapolis because it’s a nice sized city with an affordable cost of living. Most of the people that I work with are moving to Minnesota from out of state and are often coming from more expensive parts of the country. But not everyone is! Today I want to take a look at the cost of living in the Twin Cities and how it compares to some other areas that I see people coming from as well as other cities in the Midwest.

How is Cost of Living determined?

“Cost of living” is a term used by economists and it’s actually an INDEX, so every place in the US is compared to the national average, which is considered 100%.  If a city has a cost of living lower than the national average, it will be expressed as some percentage less than 100 and a higher than the national average cost of living will be a number that expresses HOW MUCH higher than the national average it is as in 100+ x%.

Cost of living in Minneapolis

The magic number for Minneapolis is close to 103% of the national average. This index is broken down into segments like housing, transportation, food, and entertainment and then the number given is the one that consolidates all of these.

Having a cost of living index of 103% of the national average is really a comforting number if you’re looking for an affordable city! I’m going to give you the current COL #’s for other cities in the US as well as cities specifically in the Midwest so you can see how we stack up. Remember that this is looking at ALL areas of the country and typically urban areas are much more expensive. 

Housing

black handled key on key hole
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

Housing is the most expensive part of nearly everyone’s budget. Minneapolis is at 117% of the national average. If you’ve ever seen one of my market update videos you’ll understand what drives that, but its a combination of low housing supply, low interest rates and a big bubble of first time buyers that are hitting the market right now.

Food

Here in Minneapolis we are right near the national average for food pricing, sitting at 101% of the national average. 

info from Numbeo 2/6/22

Transportation

For transportation costs, Minneapolis sits higher than the national average at 108%. This includes an average of cost of gasoline, car insurance and maintenance expenses, and mass transit fare for the area. I was a little surprised by this one because I just returned from a trip to NE Ohio and gas prices were consistently higher than what I have paid in MN everywhere east of us. According to AAA, auto fuel prices in MN are LOWER than the national average. 

info from AAA

Healthcare

computer desk laptop stethoscope
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

Healthcare is at a wonderful 75% of the national average!  The past couple of years have shown us all how important this piece is for everyone, and not only are our costs lower here, but we also have access to some of the best healthcare in the world with the Mayo Clinic being located within easy driving distance of Minneapolis and many high quality hospital systems within the twin cities area itself.

Micellaneous Costs

people in concert
Photo by Sebastian Ervi on Pexels.com

Miscellaneous costs come in at 108% these include those goods and services not included in the other cost of living categories, including clothing, restaurants, repairs, entertainment, and other services.

Compared to other large metros across the US

If we compare Minneapolis to large metro areas like New York, San Diego, or Chicago we see that, no surprise, it’s more affordable here.

Housing in NYC is 441% HIGHER than Minneapolis, and cost of living there is 141% higher, San Diego is 35% higher overall with housing 110% higher, and Chicago – where I came from – is 15% higher overall but housing in particular is 54% higher than Minneapolis. 

Housing is the biggest driver of whether an area is affordable or not – we all need a roof over our heads! 

Coming from Texas

I see a lot of people coming to Minneapolis from Texas, most commonly the Austin area, but definitely from all over and Austin is actually coming in at 4% less expensive than Minneapolis. Rents are higher in Austin, but median price to purchase a home is slightly lower there. 

Other Midwestern Cities

Looking closer to home, at smaller cities in the Midwest, Madison WI is actually MORE expensive to live in than Minneapolis – housing is 8% higher, food 3% more expensive and healthcare a whopping 19% more expensive. 

Minnesotans will definitely question why anyone would pay MORE to live in Wisconsin. I mean. It just doesn’t make sense. 

Milwaukee WI (if you love your Pabst!) is the bargain area with overall costs being 2% less, but still getting you where it hurts if you need to go to the dr. 

Bargain Cities of the Midwest

Saint Louis has a 17% lower cost of living index than Minneapolis. Everything from housing, transportation, entertainment is lower – they do come in slightly higher on food and Des Moines Iowa is also a bargain, coming in with a lower cost of living on every metric and the net saving is 24%!

grey arc building under blue sky
Photo by Brittany Moore on Pexels.com

If you have questions about living in or moving to Minneapolis or the twin cities reach out! I’m happy to help! If you’re curious about different neighborhoods or suburbs, check out my playlist on my YouTube channel where I talk about exactly that!