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Old 02-15-2012, 09:06 PM
 
29 posts, read 24,228 times
Reputation: 11
Default Evaluating a move to Minneapolis

Hey everyone,

My wife and I are currently considering a job offer I have in the Minneapolis area.

First, a brief bit of background:
  • Recent graduates--read: student loans. Otherwise no debt obligations to speak of.
  • Just my wife and I (well, two cats, too). Working under the assumption that my wife will not have a job.
  • Job is in Bloomington, west of 35W and south of 494.
  • Salary offer is ~45k
  • Family is near Indianapolis, so there would be semi-annual visits--likely via car
As such, I was wondering if I might be able to come to everyone for some insight:
  1. What would the average cost of a 2 bed, 1-1.5 bath rental be? Ideally a standalone house would be preferred, but if an apartment complex, would prefer a duplex or otherwise minimal wall-sharing unit.
  2. What would the average utilities be for such a unit? I'm currently paying ~$40/mo elec, $120 winter/$35 summer gas, $30/mo water for ~1000 sq. ft house.
  3. What are the prospects of the ESL job market in the area? This is the field my wife is currently considering.
  4. For those familiar, how's the drive from Indiana? I know it's ~11 hours, but some drives just feel different (here's looking at you, Kansas).
  5. Based on the above, is 40-45k reasonable for my wife and I based on the cost of living? Ideally I'd like to be in a place where we can occasionally go out to eat (1-2 month?), maybe help folks out coming to visit a few times a year. Perhaps some long weekends camping in the lovely areas there. Basically, comfortable, but nothing extravagant.
I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say!
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:59 AM
 
20,798 posts, read 31,366,486 times
Reputation: 9864
Assuming you want to be closeish to work, count on $1000+ for a 2 br, especially in a house/duplex, chances are you could buy a townhome for less than renting right now. Utilities will be ballpark of what you are paying now for a normally insulated place. ESL market is pretty open and there are a lot of different districts within an easy drive of Bloomington where she could sub or possibly find a job.

I've only driven to IN once but have gone that general direction (Chicago) several times. The drive across WI is beautiful, then you hit Chicago and past that again, lovely areas. It's all interstate so it's a smooth drive, minimal corn fields.

$45K is "reasonable" as long as you budget and don't rack up the debt and that you are reasonable in your expectations for what your rental will have. If you need a top of the line place, no, that is not enough, if you can live with an "average" place, you will be ok.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Cleveland
4,667 posts, read 3,431,466 times
Reputation: 2519
  1. What would the average cost of a 2 bed, 1-1.5 bath rental be? Ideally a standalone house would be preferred, but if an apartment complex, would prefer a duplex or otherwise minimal wall-sharing unit. (COST, like as in, to buy? With only $45K in income you may find it very difficult to afford a mortgage and still have money for savings and entertainment, but I'm not your financial advisor and that's your business. I'd say a 2BR, 1.5BA in Richfield or Bloomington (near where you'll be working) may now go for around $125K-$150K...depending on the area. When I had your income, I was living in an apartment and (stupidly) paying about $900/mo for a 1BR + den, 1BA...and when my wife joined me, we got a 2BR, 1BA for $1300 near Lake Calhoun, which was expensive for our budget, and our budget was higher with her income).
  2. What would the average utilities be for such a unit? I'm currently paying ~$40/mo elec, $120 winter/$35 summer gas, $30/mo water for ~1000 sq. ft house. (I'm curious to this myself, since I've never owned a home either.)
  3. What are the prospects of the ESL job market in the area? This is the field my wife is currently considering. (unsure what ESL is)
  4. For those familiar, how's the drive from Indiana? I know it's ~11 hours, but some drives just feel different (here's looking at you, Kansas). I have made that drive quite a few times when I lived in Columbus, OH -- the Indy-Chicago part is BORING, but I find Chicago (err, Madison) to Minneapolis to be quite beautiful and interesting, personally. Indy is literally halfway between Chicago and C-bus, which is pretty much 6 hours for most people. Minneapolis to Chicago is about 6.5 hours for most people, so you should expect 9.5-10 hours one way. It's doable, but tiresome.) I'm in Cleveland right now and we drive to MN, not fly, because it's still cheaper. It's completely doable, especially if you have family/friends in Chicago to stay with if you can't make it in one leg).
  5. Based on the above, is 40-45k reasonable for my wife and I based on the cost of living? Ideally I'd like to be in a place where we can occasionally go out to eat (1-2 month?), maybe help folks out coming to visit a few times a year. Perhaps some long weekends camping in the lovely areas there. Basically, comfortable, but nothing extravagant. (I mean, this depends so much on other factors that it's impossible to say. It sounds like you don't have debt, which helps, but what about a car payment? Medical bills? Savings? If you don't do much with your money besides spend it on living and utilities, then you may be okay. If/when your wife works, it'll make both of your lives MUCH easier, IMO, as Minneapolis is still moderately expensive for a Midwestern city. I think it'll be hard at first, honestly, and hopefully your wife can work for the forseeable future until you make enough for you two to comfortably live on).
I look forward to hearing
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
10,054 posts, read 7,890,834 times
Reputation: 12526
stick to the tolls through Chicago as they are generally much less crowded and the $6.20 or whatever it is, is money well spent. You are able to use the Fast-Pass lanes and log into their web-site up to 7 days later and pay your toll (jot down the plaza name and approx time as you go thru) on-line, very convenient.
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