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Old 01-06-2010, 01:33 PM
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I was pretty much all set to buy a place in Minneapolis and settle down for good, but there's an intriguing opportunity in the F-M area that has me wondering if we should give up there a look, at least for a few years. I've never been there, so everything I know is coming from online or from conversations with people who haven't lived up there recently, and it sounds like there's been quite a bit of changes in recent years.

I don't currently drive, although I'm going to break down and learn how. Still, I'd prefer not to have to drive much, if possible. I don't mind walking, even in the cold. Are there neighborhoods, pleasant, livable neighborhoods, ideally with historic homes, that are truly walkable? What's the relationship with the schools? Do Fargo and Moorhead feel like college towns?

What sorts of neighborhoods are adjacent to downtown Fargo? Do any families with kids live downtown or in the areas nearby? I don't need an active nightlife, as we do have a young son. I would, however, like to live within walking distance of a variety or restaurants, ideally a library, a park or playground, and stores (although not into malls or big box shopping, and would prefer to keep it local). From some of the posts on here and elsewhere it sounds like downtown Fargo would be the best place on the walkability issue, but while I don't need to live in a neighborhood, block, or building with huge numbers of children, it would be nice to have at least a couple of other people with kids around.

From what I've seen so far it looks like I'm more likely to be happy in Fargo than in Moorhead; is that a fair statement? Or are there parts of Moorhead we should consider?

At this point I'm mostly doing a little initial exploration to get a sense of whether or not it's worth pursuing this any further. Any suggestions, resources, neighborhood tips, or other advice would be much appreciated.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:10 PM
Location: Fargo, ND
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As I've posted in other threads before, take a strong look at the Historic Hawthorne neighborhood. It is on the south of downtown (bordered by the Red River, 13th Ave. South, 10th Street S., and Main Ave.). It has historic homes, apartment buildings, newer condos -- so housing can range from the low 100's to 800K. Hawthorne Elementary is sort of the center core of the neighborhood, and houses grades K-2 (grades 3-5 go its paired building Clara Barton on 14th Ave @ 6th St.). Within the neighborhood are Island Park, the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, a seasonal Farmer's Market, and Fargo's only skate park. The New Main of the Fargo Public Library and the Plains Art Museum are right in downtown. There certainly is boutique shopping downtown, but all of the big box retail is out SW by the West Acres Mall. As other threads have observed, there is a lack of any sort of grocery downtown. Let me know what other questions you might have, and here are some links worth a check:Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, house prices, home value estimator, recent sales, cost of living, crime, race, income, photos, education, maps, weather, houses, schools, neighborhoods, and more (Fargo Public Schools)
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:33 PM
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hmm, well I go to school in Fargo (live downtown), and I'm from the Minneapolis area.

There is quite a bit of walking paths, etc. down by the river.

You'd absolutely HAVE to learn to drive because the bus system isn't great and it doesn't run all that often (especially compared to MPLS).

As for Moorhead, downtown Fargo or Moorhead doesn't matter all that much I guess cuz you can just walk across the bridge in about 5 minutes and be in the other downtown area...but overall, Fargo has more to offer.

I'd say look just south of downtown, 1st Ave South and below, some neighborhoods down there...but again, restaurants, etc., as a matter of fact anything, you'll have to drive to from any neighborhood.

For me, it would have to be a REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY good offer in Fargo for me to stay here...MPLS has a million times more to offer...I'd think long and hard about if it's worth moving here and giving up on the Minneapolis lifestyle...but if you're looking for a quieter lifestyle than what you have in Uptown with much less going on, then yes, check Fargo out.

And also, absolutely come here and visit for a weekend before making the jump...spend some time downtown (both day and night) on Broadway, and check out the mall area over near West Fargo.

Any other questions, let me know. Good Luck!
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:08 PM
Location: Fargo, ND
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If you are raising a kid there are few places better than Fargo, the school system is very good and the city is very safe.

I would agree with the previous poster about the Hawthorne neighborhood, there are some very nice old homes and it is pretty close to downtown and Island Park.

You could probably get around walking just fine the summer and most of the spring and fall. Winter it gets pretty cold though, so you would definitely need a car. There are also aren't any grocery stores in downtown at the moment, so you would need to a car for that.

I think you would like downtown Fargo, Moorhead doesn't really offer much. In fact I would say the Hawthorne neighborhood meets a lot of what you are talking about.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:50 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'll take a closer look at Hawthorne. It does sound like it would be a good fit. I won't make any decisions without checking things out in person, but this at least gives me a little more to think about.

At the very least Fargo is sounding intriguing enough that we'll make a visit up there at some point, even if just as tourists, to check it out. If we do a vacation trip, though, I think we'll do in the summer!

For those of you with Minneapolis experience, does Hawthorne remind you of any specific Twin Cities neighborhoods?

Uptown is even a little quiet for my taste, but I'd be open to a new experience, and the job opportunity seems worth a relocation. It's so early in the game that this is all pure speculation, but I didn't want to waste my time or their time if I wasn't serious about at least considering a move to the area.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:14 AM
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I enjoy downtown Fargo for the most part. I too go to school here and live downtown and its not bad. There are some restaurants that are close and a cool record store and coffee shops. There are plenty of bars up and down Broadway and if you like live music a place called The Aquarium offers regular shows with touring punk and indie bands. There is also a nice art house theatre. Granted, it is quieter than Minneapolis, but it is smaller than Minneapolis. For its size it does offer a lot. My biggest problem with downtown is no grocery store as of yet. There are a couple natural foods stores, but no full scale grocery. I would say it feels like a college town, especially in the downtown area on a weekend.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:08 AM
Location: Fargo, ND
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Uptown Urbanist asked:
For those of you with Minneapolis experience, does Hawthorne remind you of any specific Twin Cities neighborhoods?
One of my colleagues currently lives toward the north edge Hawthorne, but did live in Minneapolis 10 yrs ago, so take her assessment FWIW--
She would characterize it as being similar to the neighborhoods a 1/2 mile or so off of Hennepin, between downtown and the lakes--overall well-maintained older housing stock, mix of housing options, and a mix of families & singles. Looking at a City of Minneapolis site--is that defined as West Calhoun or East Calhoun?
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:15 PM
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^ Those areas would cover East Calhoun, East Isles and parts of the Wedge and CARAG in Minneapolis (so yes, east of the lakes); those are my some of my favorite parts of Minneapolis (for the reasons listed), so Hawthorne is sounding quite nice. I like college towns, too, so having several colleges and universities in town is a plus.

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback.
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