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Old 01-14-2016, 02:43 PM
 
109 posts, read 177,430 times
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So, I have an opportunity to move to MSP. I want to check with folks that have experience living in DC metro area (DC, MoCo, FFCo, Arlington, Alexandria or PgCo) and move to Minneapolis area. I am married with a child (elementary school). I like the Fairfax Co area, planned neighborhood

I have live in KY, NC (Raleigh), Maryland and currently at DC metro area

The closest I have been to MSP are at the airport and Sioux Falls and Brookings, SD

Here are some of my questions
1) I know there a lot transit projects going on right now but how are their Metro and Northstar system? Are they pretty reliable? I think it will be the green line

2) How far your money goes? Minus the housing which I know it's cheaper there compared to where I am...1:1 salary comparison

3) How bad is the winter? Number of months of heavy snow or cold? If so, what are the activities one can do? I like a lot outdoors activities too. Since winter is long, how bad is the heating bill? What's your average utilities bill cost you? Water/gas/electrical....not internet since everyone have internet

4) If I choose to live downtown area, what are some good neighborhood I should I look into? How about outside of the downtown area? I am pretty open to anywhere...need to be clean and walking distance to stores/restaurants ....like ABC store lol

5) I'm probably will be renting for first couple years but in comparison, I live in high rise condo and our rent currently goes for $2k+ 2br2bath, what's the comparable semi to luxury type condo?

Last edited by xxengineerxx; 01-14-2016 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 01-15-2016, 11:02 AM
 
2,493 posts, read 1,808,123 times
Reputation: 3711
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxengineerxx View Post
So, I have an opportunity to move to MSP. I want to check with folks that have experience living in DC metro area (DC, MoCo, FFCo, Arlington, Alexandria or PgCo) and move to Minneapolis area. I am married with a child (elementary school). I like the Fairfax Co area, planned neighborhood

I have live in KY, NC (Raleigh), Maryland and currently at DC metro area

The closest I have been to MSP are at the airport and Sioux Falls and Brookings, SD

Here are some of my questions
1) I know there a lot transit projects going on right now but how are their Metro and Northstar system? Are they pretty reliable? I think it will be the green line

2) How far your money goes? Minus the housing which I know it's cheaper there compared to where I am...1:1 salary comparison

3) How bad is the winter? Number of months of heavy snow or cold? If so, what are the activities one can do? I like a lot outdoors activities too. Since winter is long, how bad is the heating bill? What's your average utilities bill cost you? Water/gas/electrical....not internet since everyone have internet

4) If I choose to live downtown area, what are some good neighborhood I should I look into? How about outside of the downtown area? I am pretty open to anywhere...need to be clean and walking distance to stores/restaurants ....like ABC store lol

5) I'm probably will be renting for first couple years but in comparison, I live in high rise condo and our rent currently goes for $2k+ 2br2bath, what's the comparable semi to luxury type condo?
I haven't lived in DC, but I have family that does so I've spent quite a bit of time there, and I've traveled to all 50 states so hopefully I can add a little perspective:

1) We have 2 light rail lines which are both very reliable. We also have a great bus system. Both systems are modern and clean when compared to DC. The biggest difference you'll notice is this, unless you choose to live along a small handful of transportation routes that run all the time, our system is great at getting you from A to B, not so much if you need to get from A to C. That involves transfers and lots of time

2) Money goes far hear given that we have a strong job market with high paying jobs. As you mentioned housing is cheaper, but that's about it for the most part. I notice however there is a lot less of "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality here. In DC, a lot more flashiness to fit in

3) The downsides of winter are much more gray skies and cold than it is snow. In fact, the northeast gets more snow than we do, our air is drier and colder so less moisture to produce as much snow. That being said, the difficult months to tolerate are really from Thanksgiving through Feb. A few times/year we have stretches of 7 days at a time that are overcast and -2 degrees. When it's 25+ and sunny, life is good! Fro my 2K sq ft house, heating bill is $85/mo, electric is about $70.

4) In downtown would be Loring Park and the North Loop neighborhoods, by far your best options. Options outside downtown would be: Uptown, NE Minneapolis, Lynn Lake, and Highland Park (st. paul). These are all very walkable with lots of ammenities

5) I'm not the best person to answer this one as I live in the burbs in a house

Another thing you will notice, unlike other cities where downtown is the center of all life, here, DT Minne and St. Paul are only relevant during the 9-5 M-F. In other words, our downtowns are ghost towns on the weekends. Yes, there is a club scene at night, but really uptown is a better option for having lots of stuff going on. This stems from lots of things: (it's cold, we have a skyway system (look it up), the mall of america killed DT shopping, we have a very spread out metro in general). But something to note.

Other differences. We obviously are not reliant on the ocean, so limited seafood when compared to DC. Parking and traffic are way cheaper/better here. In general, less pretentiousness here as well. I always like to tell people that even with 3.5 Million people, it's still a city where I can leave my suburban house a half hour before a twins/Twolves game, pay $5 for parking, and in my seat before game time.
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Carver County, MN
1,395 posts, read 2,336,993 times
Reputation: 1257
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citykid3785 View Post
I haven't lived in DC, but I have family that does so I've spent quite a bit of time there, and I've traveled to all 50 states so hopefully I can add a little perspective:

1) We have 2 light rail lines which are both very reliable. We also have a great bus system. Both systems are modern and clean when compared to DC. The biggest difference you'll notice is this, unless you choose to live along a small handful of transportation routes that run all the time, our system is great at getting you from A to B, not so much if you need to get from A to C. That involves transfers and lots of time

2) Money goes far hear given that we have a strong job market with high paying jobs. As you mentioned housing is cheaper, but that's about it for the most part. I notice however there is a lot less of "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality here. In DC, a lot more flashiness to fit in

3) The downsides of winter are much more gray skies and cold than it is snow. In fact, the northeast gets more snow than we do, our air is drier and colder so less moisture to produce as much snow. That being said, the difficult months to tolerate are really from Thanksgiving through Feb. A few times/year we have stretches of 7 days at a time that are overcast and -2 degrees. When it's 25+ and sunny, life is good! Fro my 2K sq ft house, heating bill is $85/mo, electric is about $70.

4) In downtown would be Loring Park and the North Loop neighborhoods, by far your best options. Options outside downtown would be: Uptown, NE Minneapolis, Lynn Lake, and Highland Park (st. paul). These are all very walkable with lots of ammenities

5) I'm not the best person to answer this one as I live in the burbs in a house

Another thing you will notice, unlike other cities where downtown is the center of all life, here, DT Minne and St. Paul are only relevant during the 9-5 M-F. In other words, our downtowns are ghost towns on the weekends. Yes, there is a club scene at night, but really uptown is a better option for having lots of stuff going on. This stems from lots of things: (it's cold, we have a skyway system (look it up), the mall of america killed DT shopping, we have a very spread out metro in general). But something to note.

Other differences. We obviously are not reliant on the ocean, so limited seafood when compared to DC. Parking and traffic are way cheaper/better here. In general, less pretentiousness here as well. I always like to tell people that even with 3.5 Million people, it's still a city where I can leave my suburban house a half hour before a twins/Twolves game, pay $5 for parking, and in my seat before game time.
To be fair, the Downtown areas are making a comeback as far as becoming more than a 9-5 area. Yes, certain parts of Downtown are dead after the work day, but Downtown Minneapolis alone has 40,000 residents with new residential buildings going up left and right, so it's better than it was. If you want to see a downtown that dies after 5, go to Kansas City (but they have the Plaza which would be kind of like Uptown).
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:25 AM
 
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I've lived in both areas. I lived in Minnesota before they built the light rail system, so I'm not totally familiar with it, but no doubt mass transit is not nearly as extensive as it is in DC. But it doesn't have to be, because you won't experience anything near the traffic problems you have in the DC area, which has the worst traffic in the country outside of LA.

Cost of housing is probably 1.5 - 2x cheaper in MSP. Food, gas, etc is slightly lower. Both suburban areas are known for excellent public education, if that matters to you.

Contrary to CityKid, I'd say gray skies are not the problem in Winter. You'll see a lot more sunny days in Minn than you do in DC, but I like the typical January day (15 degrees, dry and sunny) vs that in DC (40 degrees, damp and overcast). The problem with winter in Minn is the length - April1, when you're enjoying the cherry blossoms around the Tidal Basin, the lakes in Minn are still frozen and you can expect one or two more significant snowfalls.

Your reference to the ABC store is funny: you should be warned that Minnesota has the most arcane liquor laws in the country. You can't buy anything except non-alcoholic beer in the grocery store (beware of so-called 3.2 beer). Beer, wine and booze must be bought in a liquor store, which close by 9pm and are all closed on Sundays.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:51 PM
 
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I haven't lived in DC for about ten years, so I'll skip the price comparisons (other than to say it's much cheaper here; I periodically take a look at the housing out there just out of curiosity and while prices have gone up, they've gone up both places).

It can be hot and humid here in the summer, but not for as long as in DC and not as extreme. It gets much colder here in the winter, but you learn to live with it. I miss DC's beautiful springs; the weather here feels great in the spring, but it's not nearly as pretty.

Public transportation is not as good here, but it's okay if you live in a convenient location. The Green Line is great.

One really good thing about living here is the quality of the public schools; they're not all good, but you will have many good options for living that also are zoned for decent K-12 schools. That includes in city areas, too, and realistically if you want walkable some of the city neighborhoods will be your best bet.
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Old 01-19-2016, 07:09 AM
 
109 posts, read 177,430 times
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Hi guys

thanks for all the suggestions.

As for winter times, I reckon there are a lot of indoor activities. Also, i am assuming a lot of the roads will be cleared and plowed pretty efficiently compared to DC metro area? We literally will get school closed even for 0.5" of snow sometimes! I can't stand DC summer (humid and long)...

One of the reason for staying near a rail line is we have only 1 car (due to parking space where we live) and will cost us additional $200 for space if we have 2 cars..and I am planning to keep it that way (1 car only) as I am getting us to it. Commuting to work via public transit helps a lot as well, like getting daily walk exercise and save money via commuter benefits!

As for temporary housing (1-2 years) where should I look for initially, which area or neighborhood? I would like to make a trip out there sometime in Spring to check it out before I made the commitment.
walkable community and near a transit line ...Maybe I should mentioned the office is near 394/100 area.

Good ABC tip.. I have family in PA and they have some crazy laws as well..
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Old 01-19-2016, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL- For NOW
744 posts, read 833,966 times
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These are all very fair points. I grew up in Minnesota and have lived all over the country including the Dc metro on 3 different occasions. Including this last year until August. We almost moved back to MN but ultimately chose Denver instead.
I do however still go back to Minneapolis often (3-5 times a year) to see family and friends and was just back again over thanksgiving. I think if you like DC then you would love Minneapolis as far as entertainment and activities go. The one thing MSP is lacking in comparison is architecture. Not to say that there aren't some sights to see, but obviously DC stand tall in this area.


We lived in Fairfax but spent most of our time hanging out in Arlington (Ballston mostly) and Old Town Alexandria. Im not sure there are a lot of comparisons to Old Town, but you can find several areas in Minneapolis that compare to Arlington for nightlife, shopping, dining and fun.


I think the light rail is great in Minneapolis, high functioning, easy and clean. It even extends out a ways. It really doesn't compare to the Metro in DC as far as expansiveness, but it will get you where you need to go with no doubt.


Now the bigger question.... I also lived in NC like you and really miss the weather there. When you think of Minnesota winters you have to take into consideration that they are very long as well as cold. But the severe cold is really only from late December until around mid Feb. However it can still be cold enough to snow form October-April and that's no exaggeration. I am not saying you will be pounded with snow all april, but it is not uncommon to get a handful of snowfalls well into April. I only dwell on this because my birthday is at thee end of April and I seemed like I was always shoveling on my birthday. The snow is really quite nice though if you like it and it is very manageable because unlike DC, Minnesota DOT knows how to take care of the roads. In DC when it snows the whole city shuts down, In Minnesota life happens and people carry on as usual.


I wouldn't let people scare you about winter. Average winter temps in Minnesota aren't any different than those in DC or Denver or even Dallas and Atlanta this year. It just drops every so often for about a week at a time where it can be below zero and you will question why on earth you ever chose MN. But when the spring comes and the cool summer and the beautiful fall weather ad all the awesome Mn activities take place, you will know why you went there.


Everyone is correct about the money too. It will go a lot further in MN but more importantly, something no one understands unless you have lived in DC, your sanity will return in MN. It is so stressful in DC and getting from point A to point B can be such a inconvenience every day. The chaos of people and lines you stand in at stores, the traffic you sit in, etc. You don't deal with all of that in MN. It is pretty easy pace of life


Good luck in your decision.
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:39 PM
 
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My Husband and I moved from DC to the twin cities last spring. I do not miss DC. We were both originally from the Midwest and had spent the last decade in DC. We were ready to get away from the craziness of traffic and all the hassles that go with that metro area. We lived in Fairfax, Falls Church, Arlington and Alexandria while there.

We live in the suburbs so we are not that close to light rail, but we do have some nice commuter buses. If my employer did not pay for my parking spot downtown St. Paul I would easily be a bus commuter. We live 2 miles from a transit center with express buses to both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

We went ahead and bought a house and for what our mortgage is on 3bd/3ba house with a nice lot, it would have gotten us maybe a decent 1 bd/1ba in an OK neighborhood in DC. Maybe close to metro but not an easy walking distance. And it would not have covered 2 parking spaces.

Utilities are more but it is hard to make the comparison since we are paying for a lot more square footage. But the places I lived in DC were not insulated very well so square footage wise we are still in much better shape.

Life is so much easier here. We no longer have to plan an 1+ commute each way and at the mercy of the beltway. The hassles of waiting in line everywhere, the rent, finding parking, and the general feeling of entitledness of some of the people in the metro area. You save so much more time for living and are much more relaxed.

I will say I do miss some of the restaurants. I have found the middle eastern, indian, peruvian, and korean options to be limited here. But there are still decent options for going out to eat. I have found good mexican, vietnamese, and thai here. The beer scene is also way less pretentious than DC. Overall the trade-off was worth it.
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