The Last few decades have been good to Minneapolis and St. Paul Neighborhoods. The Twin Cities, along with the rest of the nation have prospered. Crime rates declined a little and the tax base increased a lot. Many area communities used their newfound revenue for projects, such as renovating housing, historic preservation and rediscovering/making accessible the Mississippi River. There are still sections that old-timers usually tell newcomers to avoid: North Minneapolis, north of Highway 55, between Wirth Parkway on the west and the Mississippi River, extending into Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Center; South Minneapolis, south of 1-94 and east of Lyndale to the Mississippi River, as far down as 46th Street; St. Paul, along University Avenue east of Snelling and north of 1-94 as well as the northeastern quadrant of St. Paul, north of l-94 and east of l-35E. While these regions do, in fact, include active neighborhoods with strong associations, particularly Seward and Powderhorn in south Minneapolis, there may be safer Twin Cities Locales.
A few suggestions to get you started with your hunt while this is an oversimplification, most people will say that you won't go wrong if you stay west of Hennepin in Minneapolis. Many young single professionals choose to go straight to Uptown or the southwest districts of St Paul. Bryn Mawr has been voted one of the most livable neighborhoods by the Twin Cities Reader; Nicollet Island is a treasure trove of Victorians worthy of restoration, and Northeast is generally considered a stable place to look for affordable housing.
As you explore the Twin Cities, you may notice certain types of housing cropping up again and again. In fact, it's nearly impossible to differentiate among neighborhoods by their housing styles. The Midwestern square is an example you will find throughout the Twin Cities and some older suburbs. These simple houses, consisting of a two-story wood structure with a front porch, dormer windows, and high ceilings, date to the turn of the century, and many have been split into duplexes. Arts and Crafts bungalows, often with stucco siding, were mostly built between 1910 and 1930, and are common on the quieter streets close to the edges of both cities. Typically, the bungalows have handsome built-in buffets and window seats. Near Lake Harriet and Lake of the Isles, you will find Prairie style houses. These low-lying, natural wood and stone houses with narrow windows, pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright early in the 20th century, are distinctly Midwestern. Colonials, two-story box-like houses with symmetrically arranged windows and a central door, line many older streets of the inner city such as Pillsbury Avenue in Minneapolis. Also in the older neighborhoods, you will see many Tudors-the houses with steep roofs and sides decorated with dark wood timbers and stone arches. Some Tudor-style houses were built as recently as the 1940s. Finally, grandiose Victorian wood-frame houses, dating to the late 19th century and adorned with gables, towers, and outside bric-a-brac, stand out in older neighborhoods. Victorian-era houses can also look quite plain, with only a small wooden decoration under the eaves and a tall front porch. And bad news for our car-dependent society: older city houses usually have one-car garages.
When asked where they live, residents in Minneapolis and St Paul are more likely to give the names of their neighborhoods than their street addresses. This can be confusing, but don't worry, it's actually quite orderly. Minneapolis, which has six geographic areas: Central, South, Southwest, North, Northeast and Southeast, is further divided into 11 communities and 81 neighborhoods, which are organized around parks and schools. The Central community, for example, includes the following neighborhoods: Downtown East, Downtown West, Elliot Park, Loring Park North Loop and Stevens Square
There is a particular excitement that surrounds buying a home that makes other major life purchases pale in comparison. Expect to be excited and joyful about the prospect. If by chance, you are lucky enough to find a home that feels perfect as soon ... Read More