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.

Minnesota · Uncategorized

Minneapolis vs Saint Paul: a fresh look after 8 years

Minneapolis established in 1867 and St. Paul established a bit earlier in 1854, often referred to as the Twin Cities, share many similarities but also have distinct differences that might sway someone’s preference for living in one city over the other. The downtowns are only 7 miles apart but there are a lot of differences between the two cities and I think a lot of it comes down to “vibe”. Like, maybe “chill” vs “not chill”.

Differences Between Minneapolis and St. Paul (Saint Paul was formerly known as PIGS EYE! Good decision to change that name!):

  1. Cityscape and Vibe: Minneapolis tends to have a more modern and cosmopolitan feel with a vibrant downtown area, skyscrapers, and a bustling arts and nightlife scene. St. Paul, as the state capital, has a more historic charm with beautiful architecture, cozy neighborhoods, and a quieter atmosphere.
  2. Cultural Offerings: Minneapolis is known for its thriving arts scene, hosting major theaters, galleries, and music venues like the Guthrie Theater and First Avenue. St. Paul, on the other hand, embraces its history and heritage with iconic landmarks such as the Cathedral of Saint Paul and the Minnesota History Center.
  3. Dining and Cuisine: Both cities offer diverse culinary experiences, but Minneapolis is often recognized for its trendy restaurants, food trucks, and fusion cuisine, catering to a more adventurous palate. St. Paul leans towards classic diners, family-owned eateries, and establishments that celebrate traditional comfort foods.
  4. Outdoor Recreation: Minneapolis is renowned for its chain of lakes, extensive parks, and bike-friendly trails, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities like jogging, biking, and water sports. St. Paul boasts a scenic riverfront and more spacious parks, offering a quieter and more serene outdoor experience.
  5. Community and Lifestyle: Minneapolis is known for its diverse and cosmopolitan population, attracting people from various backgrounds and fostering a bustling city life. St. Paul, with its strong sense of community and neighborhood pride, tends to offer a cozier and more tight-knit atmosphere.
  6. Festivals: Saint Paul: Winter CarnivalSt. Patrick’s Day ParadeIrish FairTwin Cities Jazz FestHmong New Year Minneapolis: Twin Cities Pride, Loppet Ski Festival, Aquatennial, Basilica Block Party, U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
  7. LAKES: Saint Paul – 7 measly lakes. Minneapolis: coming in at 13 glorious and large lakes, earning one of it’s nicknames “The City of Lakes”.
  8. Population: St. Paul = 303,176 and Minneapolis = 425,096.
  9. Fortune 500 HQs: St. Paul has 4 and Minneapolis is the big poppa coming in at 6. The state of Minnesota is home to 15 Fortune 500 companies.
  10. Breweries: People like their beer in St. Paul – they have 17 breweries, but Minneapolis likes it more apparently, there are 32 breweries in Minneapolis. Try them all! But not on the same day.
  11. Colleges: The twin Cities is FULL of well-educated smarties, but more of them are larnin’ over in STP – there are 9 colleges located in the city limits of St. Paul while there are “only” 7 colleges in Minneapolis. Although, again, Minneapolis is home to the big dog, er, GOPHER, in the form of the University of Minnesota. The colleges on the St. Paul side of the river tend to be smaller, private colleges like St. Thomas, McCalester College and St. Catherines.

Some other differences of note:

  1. Housing Affordability and Age of Homes: St. Paul tends to have slightly more affordable housing compared to Minneapolis, with home prices typically being lower. Additionally, homes in St. Paul often lean towards older and more historic structures, offering a different architectural feel compared to the relatively newer housing options in Minneapolis
  2. Infrastructure and Winter Accessibility: Both cities boast skyway systems in their downtown areas, allowing residents and visitors to navigate the urban core without stepping outside, especially during harsh winter months. This feature provides convenience and shelter from extreme weather conditions, a significant advantage for those living and working in the downtown areas. The light rail does travel down University Avenue between both cities.
  3. Winter Maintenance: While the skyway system helps in navigating the winter, one common complaint (from ME) about St. Paul, is its snow plowing efforts. Prepare for some bumpy driving. Some residents have experienced “challenges” with the city’s snow removal services, resulting in difficulties commuting or driving during heavy snowfalls compared to Minneapolis, which might prioritize snow clearance more efficiently. But after living in Chicago for a long time where they take snow removal VERY seriously, I’m not giving either city a gold star.

Choosing Between Minneapolis and St. Paul with Additional Insights:

  • Choose Minneapolis If: You prefer a vibrant urban lifestyle with a bustling arts scene, trendy dining options, and a more modern cityscape. Minneapolis might be the ideal choice for those seeking a diverse, fast-paced city life with plenty of entertainment options and a youthful vibe.
  • Choose St. Paul If: You appreciate historic charm, a quieter pace of life, and a stronger sense of community. St. Paul might appeal to those who enjoy a more intimate city feel, where neighborhoods are tight-knit, cultural heritage is cherished, and a slower-paced lifestyle is embraced.
  • Consider St. Paul If: You’re looking for more affordable housing options with a touch of historical charm. St. Paul might appeal to those who prefer older homes and a more budget-friendly housing market. The skyway system can also be a significant advantage during cold winters if you work or spend considerable time downtown.
  • Consider Minneapolis If: You’re interested in newer housing options and a more efficient approach to winter snow removal. Minneapolis may be a better fit for individuals seeking a more modern living environment and possibly smoother winter travel experiences.
  • Winter Considerations: It’s important to note that while both cities offer skyway systems for winter convenience, St. Paul’s potential challenges with snow removal could impact commuting and daily activities during harsh winter conditions.

Ultimately, the choice between Minneapolis and St. Paul often comes down to personal preferences in terms of lifestyle, community, entertainment, and the overall atmosphere one seeks in a city to call home. Both cities offer unique experiences and opportunities, making the Twin Cities region a dynamic and diverse place to live.

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!

Minnesota · Uncategorized

Minnesota is the 5th Best State to Live In – US News and World Report

We all love a list and Minnesotans LOVE to rank on a list!

US News and World Report has ranked MN as the 5th best state in the US in which to live.

Coming in first would obviously be better and the transplanted Minnesotan in me doesn’t even want to look at who beat us (it’s UTAH?!?! WHUT?), I just want to join my fellow¬†North Star state residents in the chest thumping a bit.¬†

If you’re thinking about moving¬†to the 5th best state in the US (according to US NEWS I’m surprised there isn’t an¬†uprising of Minnesotans protesting this ranking) I do have a free¬†relocation¬†guide you can download, just click that link.

What inspired them to rank MN so highly? (but not high enough!) The rankings are based on criteria like the economy, education, fiscal stability, health care, infrastructure, natural environment and opportunity.

I’m going to hit these in order and give some context around what US News decided and why they may need to re-evaluate in the future.¬†

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The economy includes things like job growth, unemployment rate, and labor force participation as well as the business environment. Minnesota ranked 15th in the nation by this metric.

I don’t know when they did that ranking but I just checked the unemployment rate here and we are at 2.8%, so Minnesota is HIRING. If you’re looking for job opportunities this is a good place to look. We are also the HQ for 12 Fortune 500 companies and I believe that is the highest number for a mid-sized city. We are lucky in that our economy is very diverse and we aren’t tied to the fortunes of any one industry.¬†

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Education:¬†We ranked 21st for education and I am actually surprised by this ranking! MN prides itself on it’s educational system. This ranking takes into account k-12 and higher ed.¬†For k-12¬†It measures state performance across the life cycle of a young person‚Äôs education, encompassing¬†preschool enrollment,¬†standardized testscores among eighth-graders,¬†high school graduation rate¬†and¬†college readiness.

The higher education subcategory comprises metrics reflecting the share of citizens in each state holding college degrees, as well as college graduation rates, the cost of in-state tuition and fees, and the burden of debt that college graduates carry. Minnesota actually ranks #2 behind Massachusetts when you look at the number of residents aged 22-54 that have a college degree Р54% of people have one per the MN office of Higher Ed. 

The state legislature JUST passed a 2.2 BILLION dollar funding bill in support of k-12 education in MN. A big component of this bill is a change in the way that education is funded, it ties funding to inflation so that education funding stays somewhat more current. It will be interesting to see how these changes affect the student outcomes and if it translates in the rankings later on. 

Fiscal Stability

Again Рa curious ranking at 21! We had a budget surplus of 17.5 BILLION dollars. The rankings looked at the ability of a state to meet their short and long term fiscal obligations. One thing we may have gotten dinged on was that a bonding bill at the super low interest rates last year did not pass. 

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Health Care

We ranked 15th for health care.  U.S. News examined metrics reflecting health care access, health care quality and public health outcomes. We ranked very well on mental health, we have low infant mortality, low obesity, low smoking rate, low mortality rates and a low suicide rate.

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Infrastructure

¬†We ranked #1 for infrastructure! We’re number 1, we’re number 1! This metric¬†takes into account metrics such as a state‚Äôs¬†use of renewable energy, the¬†quality of its roads¬†and¬†bridges, and its residents‚Äô¬†access to high-speed internet. The state of MN is focused on renewable energy and providing high speed internet access to everyone in the state. The legislature just passed major investments in both and the state has set the goal of¬†

  • establishing a standard to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity and 55% renewable electricity by 2040.
  • adapting our grid through transmission upgrades to enable greater reliability and renewable energy access and integration.
  • improving building codes and standards so that all new commercial and large multi-family buildings produce net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2036.
calm river
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We ranked #7 for natural environment.

This takes into account air and water pollution. Not bad for an overall ranking, MN is trying to mitigate this and there are ongoing disputes about mining in Northern MN and what it does to the water.

woman draw a light bulb in white board
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We ranked #9 for Opportunity. 

The opportunity category encompasses metrics reflecting economic opportunity, affordability and equality within a state. This category focuses on gender and racial equity and access to education, the ability to achieve equal pay and the ability to access adequate housing.

When they look at these as a whole we end up at #5 in the nation!¬†I’ll take it! Will you?¬†If you have questions about anything related to living in or moving to MN, reach out. I love talking to people who meet me on YouTube or the blog!

Real Life Relocation

True tales of a move from TEXAS to Minnesota

Every once in a while I am able to convince one of my clients that YES! They REALLY want to be featured on my YouTube Channel and let everyone know about their experiences moving to MN and if they have major REGRETS or if this was the right move.

My client Susanna and her family are one of many families that I have helped move up to the Twin Cities from Texas over the past couple of years and I convinced her to sit down for a conversation about how they managed their move and what it was like to live here through their first winter. One that was particularly tough and made even native Minnesotans question their sanity.

I did add chapters to this video, so if we are discussing a topic that isn’t hitting your question, you can look in the description box below the video and find the chapter that maybe answers the question you have. If you have other questions, I’d love to hear what they are! That helps me a lot to know what kinds of things people are curious about.

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
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 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
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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!

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!

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. ūüôā