Uncategorized

DON’T move to Minnesota if you can’t handle these things!

I hear some interesting assumptions/stereotypes? when talking to people about Minnesota so I’m here today to set you straight about a couple of them at least! Some of these may be controversial! Don’t shoot the messenger. 

Let’s start out slow, shall we?  The weather. If there is one consistent thing I hear it’s that Minnesota is COLD. I don’t feel like other states spark this much fear about weather, and I’m not quite sure why we do? Yes – it does get cold here in the winter. Sometimes VERY cold, in the double digits below zero for days or a couple of weeks at a time. This is manageable – we have heated homes, heated cars, and we dress appropriately. We have a saying (not proprietary to MN!) that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices. I’ll have to do an entire video on dressing for your first winter in Minnesota! A client actually requested that (hi Linda!).  

And yes, we also do get snow, and people DO enjoy being out in it. Minnesotans as a rule are very outdoorsy and I think that even if you’re not one to want to sit on the ice in the middle of a lake in winter trying to catch a fish, you WILL probably find that spending time outside is the way to go.  I have helped a lot of people move here from very hot climates, many specifically because they wanted relief from the unrelenting heat and the ability to enjoy being outside most of the year.  I’ll have to check with them on the first winter experiences. 

A myth that I hear is that you don’t need AC here. This will shock some, but we don’t live in a bubble of cold air year round, in fact I would say that we get some pretty extreme temperature changes and people that live here love to make jokes about the the fact that the windchill can be deep in the double digits below freezing and then 6 months later have a heat index of 115. We don’t mess around. You DO need air conditioning here.  if you really want to fit in, when it’s bitterly cold make sure you say something like “it wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the wind”, “could be worse” applies to all seasons, and in summer throw out “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!” Add an “Uffda” in there and no one will be the wiser that you’re from out of state.

Tornadoes

Speaking of weather – I’ve had some surprised clients when I tell them to be prepared for tornadoes. Spring and fall are very active weather seasons in MN as cold and hot air start trading places – spinning, if you will! The twin cities area tests their tornado sirens every first wednesday of the month at 1pm. It’s good to know this so you don’t wonder what the heck is happening and why no one at Target is panicking when they hear that. Most minnesota homes have basements and that is a GOOD THING. Even if you don’t love them (and if you don’t love them, keep that to yourself, people here seem to really love basements! remember – conform conform. lol) You’ll want to have an underground lair to escape to if you hear a legit tornado siren. It seems like they only happen at night. I like that we have a comfy bed there so I can sleep while I wait for the tornadoes to potentially demolish my house. When tornado warning sounds it means that they have SEEN A TORNADO AND YOU SHOULD SEEK SHELTER. DO NOT GO STAND ON YOUR PORCH AND LOOK FOR IT!!

Other potential natural disasters are flooding, drought, blizzard and severe thunderstorm. But look at the bright side! no real earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wild fires or hurricanes! 

Politics

OK – Here I go – I’m going to touch the third rail and tell you about the political climate here!  Minnesota has a reputation as a progressive and liberal state.  This is true in the urban areas but less so as you move out to the the rural parts of the state where it becomes quite conservative. I think this is true of most places in the united states and possibly the world. We currently have a divided government with a Democratic Governor, the State Senate is majority Republican and the State House is majority Democrat.  People have to compromise.  The state voted for Joe Biden by a significant margin in the 2020 Presidential election, but make no mistake, Republicans do have a strong voice in the state government here. 

2020 election

Progressive policies

Minnesota IS quite progressive in many ways, and the Twin Cities area even more so. The Human Rights Campaign gives both Minneapolis and St. Paul a score of 100 for LGBTQ policies and the state as a whole scores highly in pro equality laws. We aren’t perfect, but this is an inclusive place to live. 

Minneapolis passed a minimum wage increase to $15/hour which is being phased in by 2024 and is currently $13.50/hour. 

The focus on education here has been in place since the so called “Minnesota Miracle” in 1971 wherein the state government readjusted taxes to benefit the schools. This emphasis has faded a bit over time, but education remains a high priority in MN – at least as compared to the other 5 states I’ve lived in. 

Lastly on the progressive policies – while we aren’t Colorado, medical marijuana is legal in Minnesota as are low dose THC edibles. 

Wildlife and Cautions

What should you be afraid of here? Well, not all wildlife is benign in Minnesota and it’s not all confined to the northern wilderness areas of the state.  Suburbs of the Twin Cities metro area have frequently reported black bear sightings, coyotes are regular visitors (and typically harmless to humans), and we do have cougars. The cat. And probably the women too – but that’s your business. 

We don’t really have venomous insects (a few spiders that will bite and leave you with the equivalent of a bee sting) but we DO have a LOT of TICKS.  If you’re walking through high grass it’s best to have long sleeved shirts and long pants on, tucked into socks is ideal. Permethrin is a spray that you can put on your shoes and clothing to repel ticks and if you’re spending time outdoors its probably a good idea. Ticks do not jump, rather they attach as you walk by and brush against the grass. They then like to burrow in warm dark areas of your body… I’ll let you think of the possibilities here.  Ticks are mainly a problem because they spread diseases like Lyme Disease among many other illnesses. A key indicator that you may have Lyme is if you’ve been where ticks may be (everywhere) and you see a bullseye shaped inflamation on your body. Go to a dr and get treated – Lyme disease can have long lasting effects that attack your joints and make you feel miserable.

If you can’t handle these things maybe you should consider a different state? But in my opinion it’s well worth the risks to live here. We love it! 

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. 🙂

Uncategorized

MINNESOTA IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a couple of reasons – the first is that I wonder if my enthusiasm for Minnesota leads to blinders about things that people may not like? And the other is me thinking about times when I have lived in other places and have just felt slightly “off”. I was OK there, but it really didn’t feel like MY place. So here are some things to think about before you make the leap!

Weather

It is no secret that Minnesota gets cold. It’s kind of our claim to fame. It’s also a topic that I sometimes hear talked about with some level of fear or worry. I suppose that is as valid of a feeling as any other, but in my experience if you look it in the face and just know that “hey – that’s a big part of living here” and prepare yourself, you’re a step ahead.

Figure out how you can make it work for you. Learn a new winter sport, decide that you like puffy, down-filled fashion statements, and, if you REALLY don’t like being outside (which I think is unfortunate – Minnesota is really beautiful, even in winter! It’s just not “glamorous” beautiful. And to me – that is a bonus!) anyway – if you REALLY don’t like being outside, then you’ll need to figure out ways that you can be happy by being inside. Finding a place to walk indoors, join a gym, find an indoor sports league – there are a lot of them for adults including fun games that aren’t insane (hi hockey! looking at you!) like pickleball.

Yes! I know I’m writing this during a pandemic and this is all limited right now, but hope in the form of a vaccine is on it’s way! Another side note that I hope looks super quaint super quick is that our state vaccinated more than 40,000 people in one day yesterday and numbers are going up quickly, so hopefully we can put this behind us.

The other thing that I have (easily) embraced in winter is seeking the cozy. We like to build a fire in the wood stove in the evening, light candles, have warm drinks – anything that gives you that cozy feeling at home. It can be hard to go out when it gets dark early in winter, but if you’re a person that likes and needs to be around a lot of people (when this is over) make sure you get that cozy feeling from the inside of a bar or restaurant.

If your brain is giving an existential scream at the thought of several months of cold… Minnesota may not be the right place for you.

Landscape

lots of the left side in the west, lots of the right in the north
LAKES everywhere, WATER everywhere

If you need to see mountains or rolling hills, this may not be the place for you. It’s not exactly flat, but the south & western side of the state is nearly flat. It’s farm land for the most part and that part of the state is bordering on the beginning of the Great Plains. The south and eastern side is more rolling as it is part of the “kettle moraine” area where the glaciers receded and left “puddles”. One of the towns I want to profile because I’m a little in love with what I’ve seen online (haven’t been there myself yet!) is Lanesboro, MN. Charming small town on a river, there are bluffs and lots of trees and interesting terrain.

The area that is probably most well known outside the city is the “north shore”. This is some wild country bordering Lake Superior and Canada in what we call the “arrowhead” of the state. Lots of dense forests, and not a lot of people once you’re outside of Duluth. Some of the towns up that way cater to people going out on the Boundary Waters. The northern part of the state has a lot of lakes and that is where people head on the weekends here, “up nort”.

*I* think the landscape is pretty, but I know people that have said they just feel too exposed without a lot of hills. To which I say – seek a home elsewhere where you can be happy!

Color

Lake Superior on the right … Split Rock Lighthouse

You have to be able to appreciate a more stark type of beauty to like living in MN – at least in the winter.

MN loses a lot of it’s color in winter too – it goes from very vibrantly colored deep green to fairly monochromatic. Winter makes me think in white, dark purples, violet and bright cold blue. Many times it’s also gray. We can go days in a row without a lot of sun, but plenty of clouds. You have to know that you’ll have those days. The silver lining to it is that clouds hold in the heat, so if you have a cloudy day, you’re likely having a warmer day! Every time I think of the phrase “bright side of life” I get Monty Python stuck in my head. Do yourself a favor and listen to that! 😉

Light

4:30 in winter…

We are a northern people. With that comes the tilt of the earth on its axis and the slant away from the sun in the winter. In December when we hit the winter solstice the sun sets around 4:45 and it doesn’t rise again til nearly 8. It’s a long period of darkness. Some people HATE that. I sleep well during winter, so I’m in favor. The flip side is that we get ridiculously long days in the sweet time of summer – the sun is up early around 5:30 and sets after 9:30 at night. So much time to be outdoors and enjoying the weather. And Minnesotans take advantage – we know what is coming and don’t waste summer and that beautiful light.

Some people that live here (and love it) still need to spend some time in front of a “happy light” during winter mornings as they have their coffee. I’m basically a mole and don’t mind the dim of winter. You need to think about how you react to that type of environment. A colleague here heads to Mexico in the beginning of December and stays through May – he needs the sun but wants to be back here in summer.

Progressive politics

OK – I normally stay faaaar away from this topic, but hey, it is what it is and I’m just giving you information that you can take or leave. Minnesota has a reputation for being a “blue” state. Our current governor is a Democrat. The metro areas lean progressive- Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth.

As you move out across the suburbs the first rings are bluer than the exurbs and when you’re in rural MN, you are likely to be in some fairly solid red country. This is really no different than any other state if you look at demographics, but if you’re thinking of moving here to be in a blue bubble – well, that’s a stereotype and you’ll have to choose your home wisely.

Likewise, if you’re not feeling the progressive vibe, you are not alone, your people just tend to congregate in areas that are not as densely populated and I’m sure you’re not surprised by this news. Because MOST of the population of the state resides in the metro areas, and most of the people are progressives, you’ll likely also see policies that follow, but we do have loyal opposition in the form of a Republican controlled state Senate and that leads to a more balanced set of policies.

“Minnesota Nice”

I’m sarcastic and an introvert so people here don’t faze me, but you need to know that while people are “nice” they are also passive aggressive. That can be annoying if you let it. I don’t let it. I’m also going to add that sometimes there is a sense that MN has a lock on this attitude/behavior – NOPE. I lived in Atlanta. Land of “bless your heart” (“you idiot” = implied). I also did not find the famously hospitable south to be any more hospitable than any other place I’ve lived. People are people. You have to do the work when you’re new, it’s just a fact. That means you have to JOIN things and INVITE people to do stuff if you want to have friends outside of your house. I don’t think people are any more or less likely to knock on your door here and golly-gee you. Although I will say that when we moved here TWO of our neighbors dropped off food and offered a welcome. That IS two more than have ever done that anywhere else I’ve lived, so maybe it is nicer here?

Housing prices are high

It is not cheap to get into a home here. I don’t know if I’m the only one that was shocked by that information when I moved here, or not. Things are not easing at all, in fact they are getting worse as more buyers enter the market and the number of listings can’t meet the demand. People are staying in their homes longer, and here at least, people are reluctant to list until they have found a new place to live because the market is so tight that their home will be gone in a hurry and they may not find what they want from what is available. Add to all of that extremely low interest rates and people spending way too much time inside and you have demand that is insane. (If you’re thinking of listing – let me know lol! Not joking!) If you’ve ever taken a basic economics class you know that high demand + low supply = high prices.

I’m struggling to come up with anything else. I’m sure someone can help, ha ha! Comment below if you have a reason to stay the heck out of MN.

Neighborhood Tours · Uncategorized

Plymouth MN: one of Niche.com’s best suburbs in Minnesota

Plymouth is another big, popular suburb that lies directly west of the city of Minneapolis.

Who lives here? Download my neighborhood report and find out! It’s full of all kinds of information about the people and housing in Plymouth!

Why do people choose Plymouth MN when looking at Minneapolis suburbs? A lot of reasons! I have my usual suspects that I like to highlight when I do area snapshots and Plymouth scores highly on just about everything.

One thing I’ve started really taking note of lately is the differences between the east and west sides of the city. The western suburbs seem to me to be more established and solidly residential and with that comes a lot of the things that I think make neighborhoods nice to live in. Of course, this is not hard and fast, the eastern side of the city has established neighborhoods as well, but it also has a lot of new construction, which means homes that are built on former farm land, not many mature trees, and infrastructure still being built around it.

Parks

For quality of life, I think having a lot of green space and parks are important. Being packed into neighborhoods without having these spaces to enjoy the outdoors and time with family and friends makes an area less appealing to me.

Plymouth has some great options for green space. Because Plymouth is located out in what I think of as the “lakes area” of the metro – near Lake Minnetonka and the smaller lakes around it – the terrain is more rolling and seems to have more mature trees.

Plymouth has used that to their advantage with 1,855 acres of park land, including 174 miles of trails. Part of the trail system that goes through Plymouth is called the Luce Line Trail which is a 63 mile long converted railway to use for walking, bicycling, cross country skiing, and snow mobiling. Some sections have parallel trails for use by horseback riders as well. There are 12 parking lots along the trail for easy access. Check out the web site to see more info on this trail and get a map of entry points.

Another massive undertaking is the Northwest Greenway – they are currently on the 5th addition to this and per the Plymouth Parks and Rec web site have added something that sounds super fun and a great way to get kids outdoors, a Challenge Course!

“The Northwest Greenway Challenge Course, a new park amenity for ages 13 and older, offers unique activity challenges involving netting, climbing, balancing and agility on a variety of structures. The Challenge Course is located on the east side of Peony Lane, south of 54th Ave. N. — view on Google Maps.”

Plymouth also has three public beaches, three dog parks, seven ice rinks maintained by parks & rec. that are open from December to February, as well as the Ice Center which has 3 pro-sized ice sheets that are used for open skating, adult hockey leagues and home hockey games for Wayzata High School & Providence Academy.

Housing

Plymouth housing prices are above the Twin Cities median prices (most suburbs are). Plymouth does have a variety of housing, from townhomes & small single-level homes, to what I think of as a “typical” suburban neighborhoods and on up to very large single family homes. My video has content showing what each of these look like, but I’ll add the median home price graphs here for pricing over the past 3 years.

Median price over all
Townhomes in Plymouth vs the Twin Cities metro
Single Family Homes in Plymouth

Schools

If you are considering Plymouth it may be because of the great reputation of the schools there. One thing to know is that children attend school in one of three school districts (Wayzata, Osseo & Robbinsdale schools) depending on where they live in Plymouth. It’s important to do your own research and know which schools will meet the needs of your children. Some of the schools are considered to be among the best in the state and others don’t rank that high. Your agent can include or exclude homes based on the school districts that you prefer or want to eliminate.

Shopping

I like to cook, and most people like to eat. 😉 Everyone has a different budget and a different place that they feel great shopping in. I did a video on the most common grocery stores that you will see in the Twin Cities, so you can check that out if you want to get more of a feel for what is around here. I don’t think MN has the best reputation for having a wide variety of foods available (Nordic people seemed to like things relatively bland?) but things are changing. Most stores have more “obscure” seasonings and ingredients now, but there are also specialty groceries that are around and personally – I love to go into them and pick out somethings to try. You can see from the map below that Plymouth has no lack of options and you shouldn’t have to drive more than a couple of miles to get ingredients to get dinner on the table, I was geeked up when I saw Indian Bazaar, Kadai Foods and the Russian Market. Little treats like this make me really happy. My mouth likes spices and variety.

You’ll also notice Target on here- we have more Target stores per capita than any other state. I made that up. But it’s probably true since the HQ is here. There are several shopping centers with the usual big box stores and smaller shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for a mall, the closest one will be Ridgedale Center Mall – right off 394 just on the eastern side of 494. That’s also where you’ll likely find the closest Whole Foods, if that’s your thing.

Library

photo HCLIB.ORG

I love my public libraries! Plymouth library does not disappoint! It is fairly new, the current building was completed in 2010. It’s a bright, clean, open space with meeting rooms and a great children’s area. I’ve been up there for library sponsored talks and they do a great job bringing in content and programming that people may be interested in. The Plymouth Library is one branch of the 41 library Hennepin County library system. Because Hennepin County uses a main library / branch system everything you want is not necessarily at the branch closest to your home, but chances are that they have it and you can get it sent to your local branch fairly quickly.

Commute

OK – last bit. Many of us are working from home, but a lot of people still commute to their job. In Plymouth that means getting in your personal car and driving there. 75% of residents commute 30 minutes or less to their job, and if you look at the map up top you can see why – Plymouth has easy access to the major highways that crisscross the metro, so no matter where you need to be it’s likely about 30 minutes max to get there.

Uncategorized

Cobblestone Lake Apple Valley

When you think of the suburbs what adjectives come to mind? Generic? Homogenous? Cookie cutter? Boring?!?! I admit that sometimes I think the same thing.

it’s NOT like this….

I like having access to parks, bike trails, restaurants etc either right outside my door or very close, I like sidewalks, and old trees, established neighborhoods and the character of older homes appeals to me. Those things don’t really make me think of suburbia. But in this case, maybe they should…. because Cobblestone Lake is something special.

Take a look around.

Unique

I’ve seen a lot of NICE neighborhoods in suburban Minneapolis, but this one really stood out! It’s a planned community and it has all types of housing. There are senior apartments, townhouses, small single level homes, and large custom homes. Most are very distinct from each other and that really appeals to me. Modern amenities on the inside with the attention to detail and character of old homes on the exterior.

Active

The lake has a charming gazebo and a fishing pier and there are canoe/kayak storage bays if you like to paddle often and don’t want to have to load up your boat every time you want to go. I can imagine some pretty idyllic paddles in the early morning or evening on the lake.

The neighborhood surrounds Cobblestone Lake and the lake is a major feature for the whole neighborhood. It has a bike path as well as a walking path around the lake. A resident I spoke with said that the path around the lake is about a mile and a half long. The bike trail also dips under busy 160th street and into the neighborhood across the way where you can continue riding / blading / walking around a pretty extensive trail system surrounding East Lake.

They also have a community pool! I don’t see a LOT of this here, and it would definitely be a selling point for me and anyone that likes to make the most our summers here.

Housing prices

Sale prices in the past year range from $247,000 for a 1664 sf townhouse with 2 beds and 2 baths and 2 car garage to $660,000 a year ago for a 3300 SF 3 bed 3 bath home, that had a lot of custom touches. In addition to the variety of single family homes, if you have a senior member of your family and want to have them live nearby while still maintaining their independence, or even if they need assisted living or memory care, there is a senior building on the edge of the development that would make it easy to keep a close eye and yet have everyone maintain their independent spaces.

Not a lot comes on the market in this neighborhood, so if you want to live there, have your agent put you on an MLS alert for the minute a listing comes up and be ready to pounce.

Convenient to shopping

Most of the homes in Cobblestone Lake are a very easy walk / bike/ or drive to shops. Target is just outside the neighborhood, along with several smaller restaurants, coffee shops (all three of the big ones in the Twin Cities – Caribou, Dunn Brothers and Starbucks… pick your fancy!), exercise studios and larger venues like Crooked Pint. The newest grocery store to come to the Twin Cities, HyVee, has a large store just outside the neighborhood as well.

Easy commuting

If you need to commute to downtown, the Mall of America or the MSP airport the MVTA Red Line commuter bus runs straight down 77 / Cedar into Apple Valley and there is a large “ramp”, or parking garage if you’re not a native Minnesotan, next to the station where you can leave your car.

Community Feel

I visited the neighborhood on a weekday morning, and neighbors were out walking and talking to each other, riding bikes, and enjoying the neighborhood. Sometimes subdivisions can feel like places where neighbors drive into their garages and that’s the last that you see of them – that was definitely not the impression I got while I was there – it looks like a place that will give you a sense of community and where it would be easy to make friends.

Neighborhood Tours

Why in the world would you live in Mounds View, MN?!

I live on the SW side of the city but have been working on the north side a LOT the past couple of months, and one of my clients just bought a home in Mounds View. Good choice! I just had to share the top 5 reasons to consider Mounds View if you are looking for a northern suburb to call home.

The homes and lots! Um, if you want a LARGE, flat lot – this is the place. Every home I looked at in Mounds View had an incredible yard. For an area that is technically a city, and close to Minneapolis itself, the SPACE here was amazing to me! Not to mention that a lot of the city streets benefit from the shade and beauty of old growth trees, particularly huge red oaks. It really adds a gracious feel to the streets.

The homes were primarily built in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and they are built to last! Lots of brick homes and not a lot of cookie cutter architecture. Every home has it’s own individual flavor, you won’t be searching for a way to distinguish yours from your neighbor’s when telling guests how to get there. Despite the age of the homes, they are well cared for and many had updated kitchens and baths. People that live there see the value in their neighborhoods and making sure that their home appreciates along with it.

Schools Mounds View schools are well known for quality education and are a big draw to new families with kids. Check out their ratings on Niche.com. Schools really are the backbone of a community because good ones draw and retain people to the area and also help keep property values high. The student teacher ratio is 17 / 1. The schools rank #9/352 for best school districts in Minnesota. And Mounds View ranks high in diversity of students as well.

Parks! the neighborhoods themselves have little community parks with play lots, tennis courts, ball fields and basketball courts.

The park that really stood out to me as a gem is Mounds View adjacent – Long Lake Park. Long Lake is a BIG lake, which means that you can have motorized boats and jet skis on it. Many of the local lakes limit boat traffic to sails, canoes, kayaks and similar. So if you like to hot dog around on a jet ski – this would be a convenient place to play with your toys. The park is enormous, and has all of the things you’d be looking for in a park, including a beach with a lifeguard and a little cafe. Parking is free.

I can see this being a huge draw for anyone living in the area – whether you want to use the bike paths, playgrounds, walking trails or get in the water.

Drive Time Mounds View has easy access to freeways and is an 18 minute drive from downtown Minneapolis and only about 26 minutes to the airport! Not a bad commute!

Affordable! The median price for a home in Mounds View is only $250,000! The median for the twin cities metro area is about $287K, so Mounds View is a STEAL. However, it’s not a secret and I have been in multiple offer situations twice in the past few weeks there, people know this a great place to live at a decent price.

Neighborhood Tours

Ahhhh… Victoria. Seriously one of my very favorite towns!

I don’t live there, but I think it would be way better than a sharp stick to the eye. (My mom says that… sorry if you’re grossed out).

I do, however, spend time in Victoria whenever I get the chance.

My favorite things to do there are camp in the Carver Park Reserve – it’s not crowded, it’s clean, there is a really nice little beach, and a LOT of walking/hiking trails.

I also like camping there because it’s short trip into this adorable town for a civilized lunch, a glass of beer and / or an ice cream cone. I like my camping with a side of delicious food that I don’t have to cook. Haters… save it.

Victoria is located near the Landscape Arboretum and the UMN Apple House so you can get first dibs on the apple crop. Minnesotans are very in tune with apple varieties and that may be because the U breeds apples (is that the right term?) – they experiment and develop new varieties. Love your Honey Crisp? Thank the UMN. Into SweeTango’s … UMN.

Anyway – I’ve been out there a lot lately and not minding a bit. Check out what Victoria has to offer. Let me know if you have questions or ideas about another place you’d like to see. 🙂

Uncategorized

Moving to Minneapolis?

Little joke for you – How do you get a Minnesotan to apologize? Step on their foot! ha ha! OPE!

We moved to MPLS several years ago for my husband’s job and before that happened I had given Minnesota approximately ZERO thought and had no idea what to expect.  We came from Chicago and even though it’s also an upper-midwestern city, something about MINNESOTA seemed like a whole different animal – a COLD animal that lives in the middle of “fly-over” country.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised and today I’m going to share a little about why. And, yes, it gets cold, but honestly, I love having 4 really distinct and wonderful seasons to fully enjoy and it seems that Minnesotans feel the same.

Minneapolis and the Twin Cities metro area are pretty big! There are about 3.4Million people living here.  It’s not Podunk.

All of those people support a pretty thriving economy with low unemployment, the HQ of many large companies like Target, Best Buy, United Healthcare, 3M, Cargill etc… and thriving mid and small sized businesses as well.

While the Twin Cities aren’t on the same scale as Chicago, we enjoy a lot of the same benefits – an international airport, fine dining – if you’re a foodie you’ll be glad to know that we have James Beard award winning restaurants. If you’re a beer lover – there are 56 breweries here.

There are Lots of theaters from smaller local theater companies to larger venues that host traveling companies and Broadway productions.

There are 55 museums in the Twin Cities! The Walker hosts contemporary art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has art spanning 5,000 years and 6 continents and it’s FREE! Some other highlights that we enjoyed a lot when my kid was younger were the Children’s Theater (located inside the MIA), the Children’s Museum and the most amazing hands on museum – the Science Museum of Minnesota, that one shouldn’t be missed!

Bicycling is HUGE in the Twin Cities – year ’round!- and there are 4,000 miles of bike trails in the metro area – from designated lanes on city streets, converted rail lines like the Midtown Greenway and Luce Line Trails, and the 40 miles of paved bike/ walk paths called the Grand Rounds that wind around the many lakes residing within the city of Minneapolis.

Speaking of the lakes (and parks!) the Minneapolis Park District wins strings of awards every year and are an integral part of living here.  Most people live within 10 minutes of a park, and have access to community centers, park programming, tennis and pickleball courts, wading pools, beaches and restaurants.  If you visit Lake Harriet or Bde Mka Ska you can rent sail boats, kayaks, or paddle boards and have a great day on the lake while taking in the skyline.

If you are a sports fan – we have you covered! We have professional football, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and hockey teams. No matter what the season, there is no reason not watch your favorite sport.  And if that’s not enough we are neck deep in college sports as well!

There are 34 colleges and universities in the TC area, including the main campus’ of the University of Minnesota – of the best public research universities in the US. The U has many famous alum – including Bob Dylan, Chief Justice Warren Burger and if that’s not enough to convince you – Ric Flair! Minneapolis has a very educated population – 70% of all adults have at least some college education!

Ric Flair – Photo Credit WWE.com

Minneapolitans and Minnesotans are “outsiders” all year long – winter doesn’t keep anyone inside.  From the Art Shanties on Lake Harriet, to Holidazzle and Winter Carnival, and the Luminary Loppet – people here don’t let winter stand in the way of having a good time.  Of course, summer is outside all the time either at the lakes and parks or festivals like block parties, the Aquatennial, Minnesota Fringe Fest, or get something fried on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair.

The Housing market in Minneapolis is currently very “hot”, the average home price is nearly $280,000 in the Twin Cities, but that varies drastically by neighborhood.  If you like being in the heart of the city there are a lot of brand new buildings or repurposed industrial buildings and flour mills downtown on Mississippi River for condo living in the middle of everything.

As you move outward to the north – there are more affordable neighborhoods, and Northeast is somewhat hip and artsy.  To the south and west of downtown are well established neighborhoods with large gracious homes and as you move further south you gradually get into fairly solidly single family neighborhoods, with a lot of home built in the early & mid 20th century. 

Rentals in MPLS are generally between $1400 and $2500/mo.  St. Paul is less expensive for rentals and homes than Minneapolis as a general rule.

The first is that there is great access to good healthcare in the Twin Cities – from the University of Minnesota Medical center, to Abbott Northwestern, to the renowned Mayo Clinic to our south in Rochester MN.

If you love shopping – you’ll be happy to know that MN does not tax clothing purchases, so you can go to the Mall of America and shop yourself silly without paying a dime to the government. There is also no tax on groceries in MN – not the case everywhere, so it’s nice to not have regressive taxes.

If you have questions about any aspect of life in the TC or have a topic you’d be interested in seeing a video on, I’d love to hear from you!