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Old 02-13-2012, 11:46 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
2 posts, read 6,521 times
Reputation: 10

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I've been following a number of these threads, but I still have to reach out for some first hand insight in a potential move to Minneapolis. My husband and I are relocating from Albany, NY (upstate) so we can stop paying out the nose in property taxes and excessive cost of living for the pitiful salaries we can make here as well as so he can finish his PhD (no longer an option locally as the state budget cuts are slicing away at his department's funding). I have my heart set on Minneapolis and he has his heart set on South Carolina. So here it goes...

We have 3 kids (9, 5, and 1). I run a democratic elementary school but will go back to school for a Master's in Social Work for a welcome career change. He's an archeologist. University of Minnesota is amazing for both of us and affordable. We are used to living in the inner-city, me born and raised back home in ghetto Philadelphia but he's a country boy. I love the cold, he is used to it but prefers sun and warmth. I need to make sure I live in a diverse community - I am half Arab, heavily tattooed, and used to a very urban environment. He is white, nerdy, and prefers a diverse environment but is used to cows, rural colloquialisms, and bicycles. We can't wait to move, but the decision is going to made based on answers to a few questions.

How progressive is Minneapolis? I have no issue living in a diverse area socio-economically but don't know how well I would fare in an all-white environment. How is North Minneapolis? The price is right, it seems working class, which I prefer, but I am ready not to have to step over crack heads with my kids on the way to school or have to deal with regular gun shootings as we do here in Albany. I'd like a slight step up (our plan is to rent for awhile before committing to owning another home right away). We are starting from scratch socially. Is it really true way people say that Minnesota folk are closed off to new friendships?
Is there any secular Arab population in Minneapolis? Simply a plus for me, but I'd love to have my kids meet other kids of middle eastern heritage.

Finally, property taxes. We own a beautiful, large Victorian house in one of the worst neighborhoods in Albany. The house is worth only $190,000 because of the high risk neighborhood, yet we pay nearly $8000 a year in taxes. Upstate NY is out of control this way. How do property taxes in Minneapolis compare. Real estate websites have been helpful, but then again I don't have any reference point for the neighborhoods I am looking at.

I appreciate any feedback people have that can help me to understand this potential place to move before I have a chance to fly out there and see it for myself.

Thanks!!!!
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:40 AM
 
20,797 posts, read 32,810,594 times
Reputation: 9904
Property taxes on a $190,000 house here would be in the $2000 range, give or take a few hundred depending on were you land.

North Minneapolis, if you are used to the ghettos in Philly will seem pretty upscale, your DH probably won't like it though. Parts of North your kids will be stepping over crack heads and listening to gun shots other parts, not so much. There are better places to live in Minneapolis.

Minnesota on the whole is pretty progressive and educated. If you are not an in your face kind of person, outgoing without being overbearing and don't sit around and complain because you have no friends, without making any effort to find friends, you will be just fine here.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
989 posts, read 1,891,017 times
Reputation: 309
Property tax in MN is pretty complicated in terms of the forumula. It is made up of State, County and City pieces and there can also be special levy for things like road improvements, voter approved school levy etc. Changes recently have put some upward pressure on them as well. If you want a general feel I would say 1% - 1.2% of property value per year is a ballpark on what you should be seeing. At the end of the day, the largest consideration is going to be market value of the home. 150K home in Minneapolis will be a lot different than a 150K home in a suburb, but the taxes would be fairly close (+/- a fraction of a percent at most). Basically you need to decide what it is you value in a home and community. For sure you can find some nice older homes in areas of Minneapolis that are very affordable. Parts Minneapolis have issues that are often greatly exaggerated, but they do have some basis in reality. Very important to develop a sense of who to listen to on this topic.

State Income tax is around 6.5% on average. "progressive" based on income levels, but seems like most pay at least 6%.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis / St Paul
283 posts, read 182,312 times
Reputation: 103
Therapists are rather thick on the ground here (I think per capita density is higher than many cities--you can google for this info--and many of them want to work centrally); you might want to check into employment prospects. Most of the local schools don't provide placement assistance or stats (for a reason).

It's a pretty progressive area...as just two examples, there's a large and active LGBTQ community, as well as humanists/freethinkers/skeptics/atheists.

Folks are generally friendly. I've lived here most of my life and do find many of them a bit insular in terms of openness to new friendships. But then I consider myself a bit of a non-mainstream person. So you will need to expend some effort to find and connect with the types of groups that you'll have something in common with.

I don't have first-hand experience of South Carolina to compare to.
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
2 posts, read 6,521 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you. All of this information has been very helpful. We will be visiting in April to get a feel and have decided to rent for no less than 2 years so we can get a feel for different neighborhoods before buying. I have read some negative posts about Minneapolis, but I haves yet to meet a person who has spent time there and has anything negative to say. Thanks again for the insight!
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
4,933 posts, read 8,691,768 times
Reputation: 1642
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckazza7 View Post
Thank you. All of this information has been very helpful. We will be visiting in April to get a feel and have decided to rent for no less than 2 years so we can get a feel for different neighborhoods before buying. I have read some negative posts about Minneapolis, but I haves yet to meet a person who has spent time there and has anything negative to say. Thanks again for the insight!
Yeah, the people who speak negatively about Minneapolis are typically people who live out in the suburbs or outside the metro area. I live in Minneapolis and like it alot. I have co-workers and friends who live on the northside and they all seem to like it. I'm sure you'll be fine there.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:29 PM
 
10,141 posts, read 14,904,073 times
Reputation: 6125
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckazza7 View Post
I've been following a number of these threads, but I still have to reach out for some first hand insight in a potential move to Minneapolis. My husband and I are relocating from Albany, NY (upstate) so we can stop paying out the nose in property taxes and excessive cost of living for the pitiful salaries we can make here as well as so he can finish his PhD (no longer an option locally as the state budget cuts are slicing away at his department's funding). I have my heart set on Minneapolis and he has his heart set on South Carolina. So here it goes...

We have 3 kids (9, 5, and 1). I run a democratic elementary school but will go back to school for a Master's in Social Work for a welcome career change. He's an archeologist. University of Minnesota is amazing for both of us and affordable. We are used to living in the inner-city, me born and raised back home in ghetto Philadelphia but he's a country boy. I love the cold, he is used to it but prefers sun and warmth. I need to make sure I live in a diverse community - I am half Arab, heavily tattooed, and used to a very urban environment. He is white, nerdy, and prefers a diverse environment but is used to cows, rural colloquialisms, and bicycles. We can't wait to move, but the decision is going to made based on answers to a few questions.

How progressive is Minneapolis? I have no issue living in a diverse area socio-economically but don't know how well I would fare in an all-white environment. How is North Minneapolis? The price is right, it seems working class, which I prefer, but I am ready not to have to step over crack heads with my kids on the way to school or have to deal with regular gun shootings as we do here in Albany. I'd like a slight step up (our plan is to rent for awhile before committing to owning another home right away). We are starting from scratch socially. Is it really true way people say that Minnesota folk are closed off to new friendships?
Is there any secular Arab population in Minneapolis? Simply a plus for me, but I'd love to have my kids meet other kids of middle eastern heritage.

Finally, property taxes. We own a beautiful, large Victorian house in one of the worst neighborhoods in Albany. The house is worth only $190,000 because of the high risk neighborhood, yet we pay nearly $8000 a year in taxes. Upstate NY is out of control this way. How do property taxes in Minneapolis compare. Real estate websites have been helpful, but then again I don't have any reference point for the neighborhoods I am looking at.

I appreciate any feedback people have that can help me to understand this potential place to move before I have a chance to fly out there and see it for myself.

Thanks!!!!
If you'll be attending the U, I'd strongly consider moving into one of the family housing cooperatives by the St. Paul campus. It's cheap, it's an instant community of fellow student families, it's diverse, and it could be the best of both worlds for a family that likes both urban environments and cows. I'm not really kidding -- the St. Paul campus itself is the "ag" campus, and there are cows there. It's quieter over there, but it's connected to the Minneapolis campus via a transitway, so you could quickly bike to the main campus or hop on a bus.

As far as progressive, Minneapolis is extremely progressive. It's also not all white, although some areas are whiter than others. There's not a large secular Arab population, although they are certainly out there.

I would probably focus on other parts of Minneapolis or St. Paul before North Minneapolis, in part because I think you can probably find something that fits your needs closer to campus. Check out Seward, for example. Definitely rent first, wherever you choose.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:40 PM
 
774 posts, read 726,551 times
Reputation: 547
I live in Roseville, a nearby suburb to the St. Paul Campus area, and I think I might agree with UU on considering the area by the St. Paul Campus, pretty much for the reasons she mentioned. The University not only owns the land with the buildings, of course, but also owns a fairly big swath of land they use each summer to grow crops, presumably for study.

This seems to be in line with what you're looking for in housing and neighborhood. At least check it out when you visit. UU is correct it's a bit quieter relatively speaking but easy enough to get around. I would think you certainly wouldn't do "wrong" to start there for a year and then have time to get a better feel for the neigbhorhoods.

If your heart is set on Minneapolis, I would also agree with UU on considering Seward, possibly Marcy-Holmes or Como neighborhoods (though those two are very much geared to traditional student housing). For your purposes, I think these neighborhoods would be a better fit than North Minneapolis (and that's not necessarily a rip on North, just I don't think it's the right fit for the OP).
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Old 02-26-2012, 03:39 AM
 
1,812 posts, read 1,398,804 times
Reputation: 746
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBCommenter View Post
If your heart is set on Minneapolis, I would also agree with UU on considering Seward, possibly Marcy-Holmes or Como neighborhoods (though those two are very much geared to traditional student housing). For your purposes, I think these neighborhoods would be a better fit than North Minneapolis (and that's not necessarily a rip on North, just I don't think it's the right fit for the OP).
I agree that Seward would be a great option, but I do have to vouch for Marcy-Holmes. The western part of the neighborhood (where I happen to live) is a great place. It's both suburban and urban at the same time, with quiet streets, but right next to the action of the University and St. Anthony/NE (plus downtown). Though there are U students in the area, it isn't loud. I live in a building that has a few students, but seems to be primarily late 20-somethings. In fact, the neighbor I share a wall with (fortunately the one...have the stairwell on the other side) is an guy probably in his 60s. It's hardly just for undergrads in this area (and for that, I'm happy, as I can stay here for a while after graduation).
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:53 AM
 
10,141 posts, read 14,904,073 times
Reputation: 6125
I lived in Marcy-Holmes about ten years, and loved it there. I agree that if you're in the western part of the neighborhood it's not too student-oriented. Marcy School is over there, and while I don't have personal experience, I've heard good things about it. There are some beautiful houses tucked back in there, too, and lots of rentals. House prices there are not cheap, but rentals can be found at a good price.

Como is also a good suggestion, and the more I think about it, perhaps even the best one. That area definitely does have its share of student party houses and the like, but there some good deals and there are families there, too. There aren't as many amenities right in the immediate neighborhood, but everything is nearby. It's worth a look. They have a number of community gardens (which may or may not be of interest to OP, but I think is a major plus) and my overall sense of the neighborhood is that it's a bit quirky, with a combination of a lot of transient student renters mixed in with some VERY dedicated community members who are in it for the long-run. Lots of interesting environmental things going on over there in particular. I think houses are fairly affordable, if OP were to rent first and then want to buy in the neighborhood.
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