Better get used to hearing this: Minnesota is one of the nation's most livable states. Chances are a year from now you'll espouse the very same virtues that everyone from your recruiter to your realtor is saying now: Sane commutes, lots of green space, a vital arts and culture scene, good and diverse restaurants across all price points, the list of pluses goes on and on. When looking at places to live, another benefit that becomes immediately apparent is the range of local housing stock, whether you're looking to build a custom home on a leafy lot or rent a loft inside, or outside, city limits. The national press has done a great job educating people about the growth of lofts and condos in metropolitan areas. The Twin Cities has seen its fair share or rehabbed and brand new properties and, as a result, both cities have a great deal to offer for rent and lo own. As an added bonus, the housing locations buzz with activity and yet still come outfitted with parks, walking and biking paths, and even sunsets over the Mississippi River or a local lake.
According to the 2000 census, the Twin Cities are the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. Affordable housing and Local corporations like Target, 3M, Cargill, Best Buy, General Mills and Medtronic help keep the Twin Cities vibrant. With over 200 medical research centers and a large employment concentration in surgical and medical instrument manufacturing, Business Week Magazine has dubbed the Twin Cities “Medical Alley.” People enjoy the lakes, snow, trees, restaurants, theaters, orchestras, music, shopping, art, schools, and so much more. Perhaps the most inviting however are the friendly people that live and work here. Over 136,900 acres of parks, lakes, ski areas, and golf courses all within the metro area. There are two internationally acclaimed orchestras and almost as many theater seats as New York City. The Twin Cities have a vibrant local music scene, and a robust economy. The Twin Cities support the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Minnesota Gophers. Sports, culture, recreation, art, jobs and affordable housing make the Twin Cities a wonderful place to live.
Minneapolis has a great network of skyways in downtown which shoppers and commuters use to keep them not only out of harm's way but any inclement weather while walking in the core of the city. In addition, there is a number of walking/bicycle trails within and surrounding the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities have the highest number of theaters per capita than any other city in the US! There are numerous weekly free outdoor concerts at the amphitheater on Lake Harriet, where each week you might hear jazz, bluegrass, barbershop, etc. performed in a beautiful setting on the water's edge. People come from all around with their dogs, children, significant others or just by themselves.
If you're looking for something just outside the downtown areas, there are also many neighborhoods to choose from, featuring a fair amount of older housing stock that comes complete with old growth trees and front stoops. Some older homes may have only one car garages or may lack air conditioning, but what they lack in terms normality they more than compensate for in charm and character. Details such as original hardwood floors and built-in buffets, as well as nice-to-haves like gracious backyards and grocery stores, health clubs, bakeries, movie theaters and restaurants all within walking distance, add to the appeal. The diverse mix of young singles, couples, families and retirees that fill these neighborhoods is another perk.
If you are considering relocating to Minnesota I would recommend living in the City of Minneapolis, or if you are looking for suburban living, the Western Suburbs. The first ring Western Suburbs are great, you may want to look into St. Louis Park or Edina, MN. They both offer quick access to the feeling of urban/city life as wall as the suburban feel, a good mix. These two cities also have the top ranked public schools in Minnesota according to Newsweek Magazine, with St. Louis Park and Edina Senior High Schools ranking in the top 305 public high schools in the country. The parks in Minneapolis/St. Louis Park/Edina are great as well. It’s a great place to live, although winters can be long, the summer where temps average in the 80s and the beautiful spring and fall seasons more than make-up for it. There are some fabulous neighborhoods in the Minneapolis area. If you are single and looking for some interesting, fun, casual living you should look around the Uptown area, which is located right next to the city lakes (Harriet, Lake of the Isles, etc.). It's a fabulous area for young people to meet people, bike, run, relax, and work. I think uptown is a good starting place for people who want to learn the area and enjoy all that Minneapolis has to offer. If you decide on a suburb you are more likely to run into the sprawl and longer travel times. If you have children the quality of living is very, very good. Education is fairly high here and different types of education are readily available, as well as decent higher education opportunities. Most people that have moved to MN love it, but there are the few here and there that just cannot handle the winters. Make sure it's something that's right for you. If it is, make the best of it. We have plenty of winter activities to keep you busy (skiing, sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, a nice winter festival, and lots of room for snow angels!). If you would like to contact me for more information on activities here, please do. Mpls/St. Paul has plenty of museums, coffee shops, night clubs, outdoor adventures, shopping, and sporting events to keep you busy all year round.
The outlying suburbs, most within a 30-minute drive or the city, also tantalize transplants with a diverse selection of homes available both to rent and own. In addition to being convenient and decked out with space and small luxuries, many of the newer developments within suburban communities were designed as mixed-use developments with an eye on lifestyle amenities that are attractive to buyers. We've observed a lot of local custom home builders creating amenities for their residents like a pool and recreation area that can serve as a gathering place for neighbors.
Large realty companies, such as RE/MAX Results Relocation Specialists like the Minnesota Property Group, help clients identify their housing needs. Realtors like Joe Houghton and his team also provide essential relocation tools and detailed information about specific communities and neighborhoods. At the Minnesota Property Group of Re/max Results, we start by conducting a needs assessment on all incoming buyers that includes everything from what their family demands are and how they live, right down to the number of bathrooms they're looking for. We also provide area orientation tours and familiarize clients with the market. Rental resources offer the same types of services to people who want to rent, rather than buy, a home or apartment in the Twin Cities. Easy access to information has made relocation easier for both clients and realtors. A lot of people are looking for information on the Internet long before they get here. There is so much information that's available to them that they have a world of it before they set foot in Minnesota.