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E. Jun 28th, 2002 02:02 AM

Relocating to MN--advice appreciated!
Hi! We are relocating to Minnesota, specifically to the vicinity of Mankato, and neither of us has ever set foot in the state before! (Well, OK, we've flown through the airport.)Can anyone offer advice on real estate (buy vs. rent), and which towns to consider or avoid? Positive feedback on the area would be a boost, too; negative w/b beside the point, as we will go there regardless.<BR>(If you're offended that this isn't strictly-speaking travel-related, please don't beat me up, just ignore me.) <BR>Thanks for the help, we really need it! Once we get there, I'll be asking for restaurant and cultural ideas, too, to include the Twin Cities.

Jim Rosenberg Jun 28th, 2002 04:26 AM

Depending on where you are moving from, you may find buying a far better option than renting, if you plan to be in that area for a few years. Mankato is certainly not a "bright lights-big city" kind of place, but it's friendly and its leaders have been paying attention to keeping it vital. For example, when a downtown mall began to whither, it was adapted into re-use and now houses many offices and the city hall. You will be within a reasonable drive to the Twin Cities if you want to enjoy more cosmopolitan surroundings for a visit. As the home of Mankato State University, you have the extra vitality brought by that campus. (Its hockey team is a member of the WCHA -- a really top-flight level of play.) Games take place in a facility that is really very impressive for the size of the community and the arena is also used for various performances and big-name entertainment options that would otherwise not be common in a typical city of that magnitude. It's a "midwestern values" kind of a place. You'll quickly become accustomed to the Monday morning hand-wringing over the Vikings in the fall months and the non-stop "Ole & Lena" jokes. :o)

Nancy Jun 28th, 2002 05:33 AM

Mankato is a wonderful town with great people, shopping and schools. It has a low crime rate so you will not have to worry about your kids outside or locking your doors.

Lisa Jun 28th, 2002 07:05 AM

I've lived in the Twin Cities my entire life and have just recently moved to an area about an hour north east of Mankato. While I've never been there personally, everyone absolutly loves it. I'd recommend living in Mankato, opposed to the outskirts as I believe that it will primarily be farming country. Lakes...most in the southern half of the state tend to be less than desirable (for swimming)and as a city slicker, most of us migrate "up north" or to Wisconsin. Mankato is a nice communtiy and typically you'll encounter friendly "Minnesota Nice" regardless of which city you choose.

HUH? Jun 28th, 2002 07:24 AM

Go to the Twin Cities for Cosmopolitan activties? What a joke! I can say this because I grew up in Minneapolis and called it home until 6 years ago. As a late 20s single female there is little or nothing to offer there as far as entertainment. I now live in DC and love it.<BR><BR>I know the original poster didn't want to hear anything negative but I'm sorry. Maybe E is looking for a slower pace and is more of a country person. In that case Mankato may be right for you though I hope you don't mind cold weather and gray skies. Mankato is a nice is you are not into cultural activities, lots of entertainment, and good shopping. I have heard many people say the Twin Cities are a great area to raise children with a small town environment. If that is wha tyou are looking for you may fit in fine. E. you don't say where you are coming from or your status (children/no children) Maybe some more info?

Jane Jun 28th, 2002 08:55 AM

I have to disagree with Huh?. I currently live in Mpls and although I am *still* adjusting to the weather (moved up here 5 years ago from TX), I think that within the last 5 years, Mpls and St Paul really has improved in terms of restaurants, entertainment, etc. The theater scene here is good, as is the music scene. I agree- it doesn't have the feel of DC or NYC, but I wouldn't say that it's a the dearth that Huh describes either. <BR><BR>Many areas of the city are being revitalized through the renovation of older buildings, the influx of new local businesses, etc. Lyndale and Lake is a great example and Eat Street on Nicollet. St Paul has really done a lot too- Cathedral Hill area, Grand Ave, etc.<BR><BR>E.- if you have any questions about the Twin Cities, I'd be glad to try and help answer them. Sorry- don't know a whole lot about Mankato but good luck to you!<BR>

Marie Jun 28th, 2002 10:42 AM

I too must respectfully disagree with HUH? The Twin Cities are NOT just the Mall of America. Everything is relative and I'm sure that Minneapolis doesn't really compare to DC or NYC, but it definitely doesn't lack for "cospolitan" activities, and, like Jane said, has improved even more over the past decade. There is a very active theater and music environment here and a breadth of restaurant choices (you just have to know where to go). I moved here 15 years ago from Iowa and currently live in a NW suburb.<BR><BR>As for Mankato, my brother lived for a few years in North Mankato, and I always thought it was a nice town. It's a college town, and that always helps. (BTW, North Mankato, while a suburb, is actually in a different county.)<BR><BR>My brother also lived for a while in New Ulm (about 20 minutes west of Mankato) and you might want to look there also. New Ulm is a smaller town. It's also a tourist destination. Many New Ulm'ers are of German heritage and that is celebrated in the town.<BR><BR>

Barry Jun 28th, 2002 11:21 AM

I remember growing up in Mankato and during the 50s and 60s there were basically no ethnic minorities in town. If you are black or asian they may stare at you.

Ann Jun 28th, 2002 02:07 PM

Don't live there, but have friends who relocated to St. Paul from DC. They said that the dumbest thing they did when they moved was not to find a place with a garage. They spent hours every morning when it snowed cleaning off their cars.<BR><BR>BTW, she loves St. Paul and never wants to leave, and he wants to come back to DC, as he's a political junkie.

E. Jun 28th, 2002 09:24 PM

Thanks very, very much, everyone! Your comments made me feel better about the whole thing. I also acquired a Fodor's/Compass Guide, and now want to live in New Ulm to be closer to Hermann the German :-)(the stautue, not the cultural stereotype)<BR>I'm more a city person than a country person, but Minneapolis sounds like a life-saver, and well, DC and NYC are just not options right now.<BR>Thanks again, and keep the comments coming!

Fran Jun 29th, 2002 05:02 AM

New Ulm is physically one of the nicest small towns in America. Everything is so neat and clean. There are no tacky strips or run down parts of town. Downtown New Ulm is very nice also. Crime in New Ulm is perhaps the lowest in the State of Minnesota. Schools are great!<BR><BR>With that said unless you can trace your ethnic background to Germany and you are from around there, you are an outsider. It is a cold community.<BR><BR>According to the 2000 census 75% of the people who live in New Ulm are German blood, and it is the least diverse city in the state!

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