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Old 11-23-2006, 12:54 AM
 
Location: HarborEast
581 posts, read 1,310,654 times
Reputation: 282

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Hello,

I was looking for some advice of what area of the Minneapolis area to
look for a new home. I do not live in the area yet but I am looking to
move there next summer..

I would be looking for a nice home for about 400-500k.
I would like to be in a nice suburb no more than 30-35mins from downtown
where everything is new and clean.. (White Collar/Working class)

I don't need a big home.. Maybe 2,000 sq foot on a 1/2 acre lot. I
am looking for a home 0-5 years old. What area (suburb) should I be
looking at?


Thanks
Tom
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:32 AM
 
20,797 posts, read 32,810,594 times
Reputation: 9904
A lot of it depends on what other qualifications you are looking at, schools, activities, etc. Any of the suburbs are going to offer what you want, especially if you are willing to go as high as $500K on a 2000 sq ft house.

I think that one thing you will find about the Twin Cities metro area is everywhere is clean. I have done quite a bit of traveling and one thing I notice going into other larger metro areas is how much trash, etc. is along the roads/freeways. You don't see that here.

One of the easiest places to commute from in the twin cities is the Inver Grove Heights area. The only drawback is that the schools are just ok, there are better districts around. Mendota Heights would be another good choice, great schools, great location, a little on the expensive side but you should be ok in your price range.

Rosemount is the fastest growing town in MN right now and one of the fastest growing in the country. Commutes to Minneapolis, non-rush hour are going to be right at 30 minutes so if you have some flexibility in your start time, either starting at say 7 am or 9 am and leaving earlier/later, you will be good. If you are strictly 8-5, it will be a 50 minute commute.

The western suburbs are fairly new as well but traffic around there is ALWAYS bad. Northern suburbs, same story, brand new areas, bad traffic but again, if you have an off-peak hours job, they are fine too. Your best schools are going to be in the 196 district (Eagan, Apple Valley, Rosemount-all good choices) or Eden Prairie, but this is THE most expensive suburb.
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
8,410 posts, read 14,337,714 times
Reputation: 10634
I would be happy to sell you my house.

You won't have any problem buying something nice. Home prices are stagnant/falling here and you should be able to get a good deal. Shop! It's a buyers marker! You should even be able to get waterfront for the money you are willing to spend.

My house was on the market for 6 months. The listing just expired. We had 2showings! I will relist in the spring and hope for better luck.
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Old 11-26-2006, 02:08 PM
HKB
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
212 posts, read 518,858 times
Reputation: 110
It kind of depends on which side of the Twin Cities you're looking at. If you're working on the Minneapolis side (west), some newer, growing suburbs would be Eden Prairie, Chaska, Chanhassen, Maple Grove, Blaine, and Lakeville. If you're working on the St. Paul side (east), you might want to look at Woodbury, Cottage Grove, Lake Elmo, Stillwater, Afton, or Hudson (WI).

Pros & cons of some of these suburbs (in my humble opinion, of course)....

Eden Prairie - A "new money" suburb. Has a great school system, good shopping, and is close to where the jobs are (relatively short commute to Mpls and the I-494 strip in Bloomington). Cons: With all of the shopping and homes out there, it's a "busy" area of town. Traffic can get kind of bad. Also, homes are overpriced.

I haven't spent enough time in Chaska & Chanhassen to have an opinion, but the commute would probably be even longer from them, as they are farther out than Eden Prairie.

Maple Grove - Similar to Eden Prairie.

Blaine - A suburb that has really transformed itself in the last 10 years. Used to be known as a rural blue-collar working class suburb. Development has gone crazy since they opened the TPC golf course and the huge National Sports Center complex up there (a hockey/soccer players dream). Most new homes are in the 300k-$500k range, and many new developments are being constructed just north of the NSC. Good interstate access. If I worked in the north or west side of the Twin Cities, I probably would have considered moving there.

Lakeville - Rapid development. Just built a second high school recently. Lots of cookie-cutter $300k-$500k houses there. Lakeville is pretty far south, so traffic can be an issue.

Woodbury - Maple Grove's east side twin. Woodbury was the fastest-growing city for much of the 1990's, and surrounding suburbs have viewed it as an example of what not to do when it comes to city planning. Too many townhouses and strip malls, all of the houses are beige, etc...

Cottage Grove - The northwest part has older blue-collar areas, but the city has a lot of potential. More affordable than Woodbury, and the city has a lot of undeveloped land on the eastern side that will be developed in the next 10 years. There are some new housing developments going up, and the recently completed highway 61 project will make commuting much easier.

Lake Elmo - Still mostly rural. Thanks to a anti-development city council, spraw has bypassed Lake Elmo and gone farther east and south. If you're looking for 1/2 acre lots, this is probably a good place to go. Cons: Because of the close access to St. Paul and the rural atmosphere, housing prices might be out of your price range.

Stillwater - Quaint historic downtown (it's Minnesota's oldest city, if I remember correctly) on the picturesque St. Croix river. There is new development west of downtown, but housing prices are probably above-average. Reasonable commute to St. Paul.

Afton - Very similar to Lake Elmo.

Hudson (WI) - Just across the St. Croix river on I-94. Rapidly growing area with a reputable school system. About a 10 minute drive to Woodbury, and 20 minutes to St. Paul. Much like Stillwater in that there are scenic views and a historic downtown. New home prices are cheaper than on the Minnesota side of the river. My wife and I are actually in the process of building a house here (the same house costs $60k more in Blaine). Cons: Property taxes are 2-3x more in WI than in MN, although this is offset somewhat by lower income taxes, lower insurance costs, and a slightly lower sales tax. WI does tax food and clothing, and their gas tax is higher, but if you're in MN every day for work/shopping, these are easily avoidable.
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:09 AM
 
5 posts, read 26,388 times
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We just moved to Eden Prairie in October and found the prices of houses to be about 30%-50% too high, so we don't plan on buying anytime soon. It is definitely not a buyers market, but then from your post, it looks like you are willing to overpay, so it might not be so bad for you.
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Old 12-06-2006, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Lakeville, MN - 4th nicest place in the nation to raise a family
285 posts, read 855,469 times
Reputation: 96
Default *NOT* a buyers market?

How can you say that it is NOT a buyers market in the Cities?

I've helped dozens of people buy homes this year. Many got their homes for a *steal* AFTER the it had been on the market 90+ days. In Eden Prairie, one of my clients bought an $850,000 house for $700,000 (and the seller agreed to finish the basement, to boot!).

Now is a *great* time to buy.

Robert
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:40 AM
 
5 posts, read 26,388 times
Reputation: 12
The house I'm in now is supposedly worth $339k, but I doubt that I would pay $200k for it. Another person I spoke with said his land alone was worth $400k, but it looks like it is only worth about $100k. Everything here is overpriced.
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Old 12-07-2006, 08:16 AM
HKB
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
212 posts, read 518,858 times
Reputation: 110
It IS a buyers market here, but that doesn't necessarily mean that homes still aren't overpriced. From 1998-2005 there was an unrealistic (double-digit) annual appreciation in home prices here. I believe it's going to take 3-5 years of stagnant prices before the market corrects itself and incomes catch up with home prices. That kind of appreciation is not sustainable.

jskab... Eden Prairie is a particularly overpriced suburb to begin with. You could buy a lot more house for your money elsewhere.

Last edited by HKB; 12-07-2006 at 09:25 AM..
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Lakeville, MN - 4th nicest place in the nation to raise a family
285 posts, read 855,469 times
Reputation: 96
Default Home prices in the cities

Buyers/Sellers markets - homes overpriced:

Here's how I go about figuring it out. I look at the average time that homes in a particular area have been on the market. Really, the term "buyers/sellers market" simply refers to the number of homes on the market versus the number of available, qualified buyers. When I see areas with homes that have been on the market for a really long time, it leads me to believe that the homes are potentially over-priced.

Getting to my point: If homes in a particular area are selling in 45 days or less, then the homes are priced reasonably. Does that mean that I think half the homes in Edina are actually worth it? Not really - but people are willing to pay for it - and that determines market price.

Robert

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKB View Post
It IS a buyers market here, but that doesn't necessarily mean that homes still aren't overpriced. From 1998-2005 there was an unrealistic (double-digit) annual appreciation in home prices here. I believe it's going to take 3-5 years of stagnant prices before the market corrects itself and incomes catch up with home prices. That kind of appreciation is not substainable.

jskab... Eden Prairie is a particularly overpriced suburb to begin with. You could buy a lot more house for your money elsewhere.
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Old 12-07-2006, 09:26 AM
HKB
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
212 posts, read 518,858 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert P Stewart View Post
Does that mean that I think half the homes in Edina are actually worth it? Not really - but people are willing to pay for it - and that determines market price.
Good point. Never underestimate human stupidity.
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