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Old 02-15-2007, 01:34 PM
 
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Please compare/contrast Fargo, ND, and Moorhead, MN for me. What is the personality of each of the towns? How about safety issues, education, parks--how do the towns compare? If a person works in Moorhead and lives in Fargo, do they pay state taxes in the state they work in or the state they live in--or both?

Also, I've noticed that property taxes seem kind of high up there. It seems there is some kind of special assessment. What is that for? (My guess is flooding.)

Thanks!
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Old 02-15-2007, 02:30 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowlandcook View Post
Please compare/contrast Fargo, ND, and Moorhead, MN for me. What is the personality of each of the towns? How about safety issues, education, parks--how do the towns compare? If a person works in Moorhead and lives in Fargo, do they pay state taxes in the state they work in or the state they live in--or both?

Also, I've noticed that property taxes seem kind of high up there. It seems there is some kind of special assessment. What is that for? (My guess is flooding.)

Thanks!

Fargo is the shopping and economic hub of the F-M area with that city and surrounding areas experience steady growth through the 90s and into this decade. Fargo has NDSU which is the second largest public university in the state with around 11,500 students full time. Fargo is clean and vibrant with downtown area quite nice and trying to find its niche. South side of Fargo (13th Ave S - southward is the newer area with 13 th, 45 st South and surrouding areas near the I-94 and I-29 interchange the big shopping area. West Acres is the located there and is the largest mall in ND and the region. Very nice place.

Now when I moved to Grand Forks area in 1998, remember from the news that Moorhead had a minor gang problem but since then that has been driven out and have not heard anything for a number of years. I really havent frequented Moorhead much as shopping is in Fargo, but the past two years has seen a more aggressive growth idea it seems come to Moorhead with development of homes and a golf course on the south end of town.

I dont know what the stats say...but both cities are very safe and would believe per 100,000 people, Fargo would have lower crime rates than Moorhead. But that does not mean Moorhead is unsafe....both are just fine and wouldnt worry. Small petty crime can happen anytime anywhere, but certainly major crimes are very rare. Both cities have nice parks and schools are good on both sides....cant go too wrong with either city on that. Fargo being bigger has more golf courses and parks than Moorhead. Fargo South High School is the largest in ND.

People who live in Fargo and Moorhead are better to tell what it is like to live there than I can. Our local tv stations come from F-M and I have visited there a lot but never lived there.

As for taxes....I lived in Grand Forks ND but moved and built a new home across the river in East Grand Forks MN. MN property taxes are cheaper than ND...but income tax in MN is more....so the net result was equal. We just found cheaper land. Fargo tax rates are comparable to Grand Forks and in Grand Forks assessed home of say 180,000 would have around 4,000 in property taxes (give or take) while in East Grand Forks MN the same assessed home has about 2,300 in property taxes. I am not familiar with Moorhead tax rates on property.

Special assessments are levied by local governments when roads or other public infrastructure are put in. If you have home in a new subdivision most likely it will have "specials", unless the builder or prev owner paid them off beforehand. But specials will vary greatly and each city is different. From my experience with our new home, the city put in a 40 feet wide concrete street with gutters/storm drains and project was assessed equally to homeowners along the street and it came to $13,000 over 20 years, or about 2500 per year which is added on to your tax bill. That is a home built in a completely new area. Buying a home 10 to 15 years old in a more established area may have specials leftover but they would be lower. Each house or subdivision is different. Now for the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks flood levee system...the city of Grand Forks did bill each homeowner in GF 3 installments of a little over 800 each to help cover the local city portion of the bill. I am unsure of flood assessments in F-M area....

As for living in one state and working in the other....that is what I do (live in MN and work in ND). There is an agreement between the two states to tax your income in the state you live. I do have to file a form each year with my employer so that ND taxes are not taken out and only MN taxes are taken out. So it is pretty easy.

That is all I can share....others can give you other ideas. But in summary both cities are nice and safe....in Fargo you would be closer to shopping, etc with lots of stores.


Dan
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Default assessments and other stuff...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninEGF View Post
Special assessments are levied by local governments when roads or other public infrastructure are put in. If you have home in a new subdivision most likely it will have "specials", unless the builder or prev owner paid them off beforehand. But specials will vary greatly and each city is different. From my experience with our new home, the city put in a 40 feet wide concrete street with gutters/storm drains and project was assessed equally to homeowners along the street and it came to $13,000 over 20 years, or about 2500 per year which is added on to your tax bill. That is a home built in a completely new area. Buying a home 10 to 15 years old in a more established area may have specials leftover but they would be lower. Each house or subdivision is different. Now for the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks flood levee system...the city of Grand Forks did bill each homeowner in GF 3 installments of a little over 800 each to help cover the local city portion of the bill. I am unsure of flood assessments in F-M area....
Thanks, Dan. Lots of useful info here. Question about the special assessment: Wouldn't the seller have to pay off any assessment at the time they sell their home? We were assessed $16,000 3 years ago when we were annexed (from township) to city, but we paid it off right away. You mean we could have passed that stinkin' burden onto the next homeowner? Since we paid off the assessment on our current home, we would naturally want to purchase our next home with no assessment (or with any assessments paid off already). Does that make sense?

We are contemplating a move for a job at MN State University (Moorhead), but when I look at homes (for sale) online, I generally like the homes in Fargo better. There seem to be more trees in Fargo than in Moorhead!

We like biking, hiking, and the arts (theatre, music)--is there much of that up there? And I love to shop--so I was happy to hear there is a great mall in Fargo!

Thanks--
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Old 02-15-2007, 09:58 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowlandcook View Post
Thanks, Dan. Lots of useful info here. Question about the special assessment: Wouldn't the seller have to pay off any assessment at the time they sell their home? We were assessed $16,000 3 years ago when we were annexed (from township) to city, but we paid it off right away. You mean we could have passed that stinkin' burden onto the next homeowner? Since we paid off the assessment on our current home, we would naturally want to purchase our next home with no assessment (or with any assessments paid off already). Does that make sense?

We are contemplating a move for a job at MN State University (Moorhead), but when I look at homes (for sale) online, I generally like the homes in Fargo better. There seem to be more trees in Fargo than in Moorhead!

We like biking, hiking, and the arts (theatre, music)--is there much of that up there? And I love to shop--so I was happy to hear there is a great mall in Fargo!

Thanks--
Glad to be of help....I know some post here who live in the area who can provide more specific help regarding neighborhoods, etc that being a non-resident doesnt know about. But regarding the arts.....here is a link to the Lake Agassiz Arts Council which serves F-M area...

http://www.fm-arts.com/

If you clink on the above, and then on the upper right click on a date during the month it will bring up all activities. There is a lot going on. There is the F-M Community Theatre, plays/musicals at MSUM and NDSU, and national musical acts come to the Fargodome occasionally. So dont think you will be dissappointed with the F-M area on that end (unless maybe you come from a very large city).

But regarding special assessments, yes it is common to pass them along to a new owner when selling a house. Some owners when selling may offer to pay off specials as a way to make their home more buyer attractive, but that is their choice. Most do not. Certainly want to pay attention to specials remaining if looking at newer homes and homes in new developments. Each area may be different, so check carefully. The MLS listing should contain that info for each house.....at least the MLS listings for the greater Grand Forks area does.

As for hiking, etc...while the red river valley doesnt offer much in that regard, about 45 minutes east is Detroit Lakes, which is where "Lakes country" begins. There are many county and state parks and lots of lakes and woods in the Detroit Lakes to Bemidji, Park Rapids, Fergus Falls areas. Lake Itasca St Park southwest of Bemidji is a great place to bike and hike. You have some elevation and hills (not mountains mind you) but still plenty of opportunities.

Dan
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:15 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska (moving to Ohio)
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Property taxes are lower in Minnesota and thats a commonly known fact.

Fargo has a very, very low crime rate. In fact, North Dakota is usually always the safest state in the country and Fargo is one of the safest incorperated places in North Dakota. Moorhead has a slightly higher "actually not as low" crime rate, but still very, very safe compared to most places. Moorhead has more college students as a percentage then Fargo so that might be the reason for the slightly higher numbers.

Moorhead: I would say the cost of housing is slightly more then Fargo. They have two retail corridors in Moorhead. I would consider Moorhead as having more retail then downtown Fargo also. Two Universities: Concordia and MSUM. Moorhead seems much friendlier then Fargo, for some reason just crossing the bridge into Minnesota means friendlier people and better neighbors

Fargo. Cost of housing is a little lower for the most part except property taxes. Fargo has more slightly run-down looking areas (on the east side), but Fargo is a very safe town despite the east-side having alot of vacancies and having a slightly run-down appearence. Fargo has a major retail corridor on 13th avenue south that goes from 25th all the way to West Fargo.
I dont think Fargo takes as much pride in their town as Moorhead does and also Fargoans for some reason are just not as friendly. Fargo has NDSU a college of 12,000 students, there isnt a heavy influence of NDSU doesnt that goes beyond the campus line. In fact, most of the students live closer to the mall then the campus.

I would say for housing costs a 3 bedroom house (houses tend to be small in Fargo around 1000 square feet) from the 1950s or 60s would run around 100,000 dollars. Closer to 175,000-200,000 for a medium sized new home.

Fargo has alot more new devolopment then Moorhead does, despite the property tax issues.

Additionally, Moorhead has had more devolopment in their downtown area then Fargo has. The downtown's are right next to each other (one on the east side of the river another on the west side)

Overall, Fargo has a very good park system and a park that goes along Red River. Additionally, Lindenwood Park and another park just south downtown are very nice and very well-kept. I am sure if you called the parks and recreation department they would send you information about the parks.

Last edited by MattDen; 02-16-2007 at 01:28 AM..
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:24 AM
 
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Default historic homes and concerts

Is there an area in each of the towns (F-M) that has well-kept historic homes? We'd like to move into an established neighborhood--but not one that is run-down. We envision large, older homes (early 1900s) with nice lawns and big trees--where the owners take pride in their homes and keep up with them inside and out. Would such homes be in the middle of the flood zone?

We've done the new house thing already. My spouse designs homes (for a living)! The problem with building new is that the lots generally have no trees, people tend to max out their budget with the house and don't leave any money for landscaping and/or upkeep, and when they sell, the next owners tend to care even less. That's been our experience anyway--and it's really frustrating to end up with neighboring homes that reduce the value of your own.

We'd love something like the Summit Ave area in St Paul--but at a fraction of the cost! Maybe a 2200 s.f. home for around $300,000?

Also--I looked at the arts calendar and saw lots of plays. This is good! How about concerts? Are there many big name concerts? (Classic rock, folk, jazz, blues...)
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Moorhead, MN
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I live east of Moorhead a bit and I work in Fargo. I also lived in a few different areas of Fargo for about five years before moving east. My wife and I are considering moving back into Fargo-Moorhead, and we want to move to Moorhead rather than Fargo. The reason for that is simply that we want to live in Minnesota. We like being Minnesotans. There are some neighborhoods in Moorhead that we like, but if I’m being honest and I drop my pro-Minnesota bias, I would have to say that I like Fargo better than Moorhead. Fargo has more to offer. Besides having a lot more retail and, in general, more amenities, Fargo has some nice neighborhoods to live in, and it just has more housing options than Moorhead.

I don’t think I would agree with some of the comments from the previous poster about the friendliness and pride of Fargo vs. Moorhead. I don’t think there’s a significant difference. There are some slightly run-down looking areas of Fargo like just north of downtown or maybe close to NDSU (where a lot of houses are rented to students), but in general, I think Fargo is a more attractive city with nicer neighborhoods. Moorhead has been making improvements in recent years, though. Both cities, in fact, have improved their downtowns quite a bit recently. Moorhead is experiencing growth to the south and east, and they seem to have a good growth plan for these areas. I f I’m buying a house in Moorhead, I might be looking in the areas south of I-94 and on the east side in the area of 34th street (there are some areas here that are established, though not old, and others that are new). There are plans in the works for new parks in these areas.

If you like trees, you might like north Fargo the best. This is an established area, though the housing would be post-1950. There are also some houses on the far northern side of Moorhead that are in a more rural setting.

In general, I don’t think there’s a huge difference in terms of safety, education, and parks. I think you should be open to living in either city and pick the house and neighborhood that you like best. You will pay higher property taxes in North Dakota (though new developments in Moorhead could have high special assessments), but you’ll also pay lower income taxes.

After reading your last post, I think the area you might want to live in is the Hawthorne neighborhood in Fargo. This would be the neighborhood just south of downtown, near Island Park. It’s a historic area, but not run-down. It’s a nice neighborhood. I think it’s nicer than the other areas with early 1900s housing. I don’t think you would need to worry about flooding. You might also like the Longfellow neighborhood of north Fargo, though it's not as historic.

You can go to this website to find info about the different neighborhoods in Fargo.
http://www.cityoffargo.com/Residenti...rNeighborhood/
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jwmn View Post
After reading your last post, I think the area you might want to live in is the Hawthorne neighborhood in Fargo. This would be the neighborhood just south of downtown, near Island Park. Itís a historic area, but not run-down. Itís a nice neighborhood. I think itís nicer than the other areas with early 1900s housing. I donít think you would need to worry about flooding. You might also like the Longfellow neighborhood of north Fargo, though it's not as historic.

You can go to this website to find info about the different neighborhoods in Fargo.
http://www.cityoffargo.com/Residenti...rNeighborhood/
Thanks! What would be a similar area (or areas) in Moorhead? While I admit that the homes in Fargo have more appeal (to me) than the homes in Moorhead (based on my online search), I must also admit that--politically--I'd rather be Minnesotan.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Moorhead, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowlandcook View Post
Thanks! What would be a similar area (or areas) in Moorhead? While I admit that the homes in Fargo have more appeal (to me) than the homes in Moorhead (based on my online search), I must also admit that--politically--I'd rather be Minnesotan.
I haven't spent as much time in Moorhead as I have in Fargo, but my impression is that there isn't a similar area in Moorhead. You might find a few nice older homes in Moorhead, but probably not a neighborhood like Hawthorne or a street like Fargo's 8th street south. Maybe a realtor or someone with more extensive knowledge could provide better information. I'd also add that I've never been down Summit Ave in St. Paul, so for all I know, the Hawthorne neighborhood might pale in comparison to that, but I think it's the closest in F-M to what you described.

Last edited by jwmn; 02-16-2007 at 02:40 PM..
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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Wink Fargo

Hi,
I moved to north Fargo from the west coast 2 years ago and really like it. There are some neighborhoods in south that have beautiful mature trees too but are not as quiet as north Fargo. The houses around here were built mostly in the 70s-the 90s so you don't have that historic feel but it is pedestrian friendly and much less car-centric than south and west Fargo. This is east of Elm St. and north of 25th Ave. near Trollwood park. Also, you don't need to worry about "specials" with older homes. Thre are some really beautiful homes north of 13th ave south that were built in the 20's. A look on realtor.com will give you a good idea of what is out there except that in this area a lot of people sell by owner too. Moorhead doesn't appeal to me asthetically at all except for the area right on the other side of the Main St. bridge. Also, downtown Fargo is great and NDSU has bought three wonderful historic buildings to use as part of the NDSU campus so it is fun to be near downtown Fargo rather than south where there is mostly big box stores and the mall. The NDSU arts building is awesome and it's right around the corner from the Plains Art Museum. There are some good restaurants and high end clothing boutiques downtown too. The stigma that surrounds Fargo, and North Dakota for that matter, is silly and to be ignored. Having lived in many other beautiful places, I would say Fargo is much prettier than Moorhead. You can always use Minnesota's natural resources anytime you want, it's only 45 minutes away.
Best wishes to you and yours
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