Moving to the Twin Cities

Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 12:46 AM
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Moving to the Twin Cities

My wife, daughter, and I will be moving to the Twin Cities this August while I attend graduate school at the U. We are flying to town this week to secure housing and I could definitely use some advice. I know absolutely nothing about the cities except what I have read in the archives from this site and glossy brochures. I would love to hear suggestions on nice neighborhoods (but I will be a poor grad student) and neighborhoods to definitely avoid. Safety is a priority. Thank you very much.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 05:01 AM
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Congratulations on your move to the Cities, as locals call it. You will love the area. For the kind of advice you are looking for, have you thought about posting on a Minnesota board? There should be a ton of good advice from the locals.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 07:25 AM
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TwinCitiesBound-
I live in Mpls and would be glad to help you out. What are your basic criteria other than safety? Are you looking to rent or buy? How close do you want to be to the U?

I came up here for grad school also. Areas surrounding the U are ok- mostly younger undergrad students and not very family oriented in my opinion. Some areas near the West Bank of the U are not that desirable in terms of safety and housing options. There are some very nice areas near Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet. Linden Hills, near Lake Harriet, is a very nice area with a charming downtown, older houses and apartments. Some of the other surburbs near Mpls would do you nicely as well.

I am not familiar with St Paul neighborhoods but that could be an option for you as well.
Jane

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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 07:40 AM
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The U of M has housing for married students which is between the St. Paul and Mpls campuses, and on the U of M bus route. Check it out. It is a complex of two story apartments and very nice.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:26 PM
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We have friends who are also in Mpls. for graduate school and they live in Eagan and love it. They have a town house. My sister and brother in law live in Edina and love it but it is pricey so probably not good for someone still in school. I graduated from the U of MN quite a few years ago and lived near the University but don't know if I'd want to live in that area now. Think there are some suburbs that would be more appealing to a family.
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Old Jun 24th, 2003, 12:40 AM
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Thank you for some of the suggestions that you all have already given. I could not find a Minnesota bulletin board per se, or perhaps I lack the technical prowess I am on the waiting list for married student housing but the wait is 14-16 months. We will likely be renting due to the relatively short time period that we anticipate being in the Cities. I am mostly interested in single-family homes, but would consider nice townhomes or side-by-side duplex. I am assuming a garage is an absolute necessity? What is commuting like? I would like to be close to the school, but not at the expense of safety or $$$.
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Old Jun 25th, 2003, 07:13 AM
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Not to be a spoiler, but Eagan and Edina are a significant drive from the U. Especially with the 35W-62 construction mess, I wouldn't recommend it. Not sure if you're looking for a an urban or suburban environment.

With a kid, I'd suggest looking in the St. Paul (15 minutes to U) neighborhoods of Highland Park, Mac-Groveland, Macalester. I have several friends who have rented there while attending the U. There are several cute, older homes and you can get to the U w/o having to get on the highway.

In Mpls, you will find rentals by Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Uptown neighborhood. St. Louis Park is also an option, you get the benefit of being close to the Lakes w/o the high prices. To give you some perspective, Uptown and the Lakes area is where I moved after I graduated from college. It's a young, vibrant area with lots of young people and funky restaurants.

The closest suburb to the U is Roseville. It's your standard suburb w/ mall, chain restaurants, newer homes, etc.

Hope this helps, feel free to email me if you have any questions.

[email protected]
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Old Jun 25th, 2003, 07:45 AM
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The Prospect Park area is adjacent to the University's East Bank campus and should have some rentals available. I think the school choices are okay, and it's an interesting older neighborhood
with quite a few faculty members, grad
students, and lots of long-term residents. In terms of needing a garage - we are just moving after 31 years of being a 2-car family with a 1-car garage. If you don't have an engine heater (costs about $15-20) and won't have a garage, get a heater installed and just plug it in. We'd plug in the outside car anytime it was to get down close to 0 degrees and never had a problem. A big snowbrush helps also. Our recent winters haven't been that severe (global warming?)
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Old Jun 25th, 2003, 01:40 PM
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RE: Nuanda99's post:
Edina is spendy but I don't think parts of it (near 50th and France) are substantially further away than St Louis Park, Lake Calhoun, Linden Hills area, etc. from the U. Of course, again, it is spendy and it may be difficult to find a reasonably priced rental. I agree- Eagan is a little far.

As for a garage, to me, it is a luxury but not necessarily a necessity. While I was in grad school, I lived two years without one. It was a pain but my car (a little 4 cylinder Dodge) started just fine. I didn't have to plug it in. Having a garage now is wonderful though so if you can swing it, it's great.
Jane
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Old Jun 29th, 2003, 11:52 PM
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Thanks to all who replied. We had a great 4 day visit to the cities. The search for housing was a little nerve racking. We ended up with a house on the edge of Hopkins and Edina. Very family friendly neighborhood from appearances. Now I will just have to deal with that commute! After 3 days of looking we were able to give my daughter a break on the 4th day and took her to the Children's museum. She loved it! Looking forward to exploring more.
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Old Jun 30th, 2003, 02:40 PM
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Glad you had a good visit and found a house. I think you will like the neighborhood you have chosen. I don't think the commute will be terrible - maybe I am jaded since I live in Southern CA now, but we do spend a lot of time in MN and the traffic is never as bad as here. You'll learn some back routes quickly too. Enjoy your time at the U of M
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