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Old 03-16-2007, 05:59 AM
Location: England
7 posts, read 20,722 times
Reputation: 10


Originally Posted by Bhaalspawn View Post
Consequently, do you hear talk about how people would like to start their own businesses or change jobs but decide not to because they are afraid of losing their health insurace? It's an issue here in the States where the prospect of losing your health insurance creates a large barrier to changing jobs or to opening your own business.
Many people here have private coverage at lets say $300 a month and then private dental at $120 and pay the tax of course as well.
If the determining factor for your job is healthcare concerns then I think something is very wrong.
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:41 PM
118 posts, read 346,231 times
Reputation: 86
Originally Posted by Bhaalspawn View Post
Wow, you mean people are actually using that rail line to commute into downtown? Is it possible to actually find a parking space at the park-and-ride lots or are they jam-packed? What do they charge for the parking? Are there any plans to build additional lines?
It does not appear that anyone has addressed your questions. Many people both within and outside Minneapolis take the light rail to work into downtown Minneapolis. Though not nearly as many, some take the light rail to the VA, Fort Snelling, and Mall of America to work as well. During morning and evening rush hours the train runs in 7-8 minute intervals, making it very easy to catch a train, but not necessarily easy to catch a seat. Metro Transit was supposed to add another six cars to the line during rush hour, but I do not know whether or not this has happened yet.

The Hiawatha park-and-ride lots are pretty busy but I have not seen them fill up completely. Both the Bloomington (28th Avenue Station) and Fort Snelling park-and-ride locations have multiple parking lots at each location, so you can usually find a parking spot. The Bloomington lot is going to add a multi-story parking ramp in the next few years, which will dramatically increase the parking capacity at that location. Parking at all light rail park-and-ride lots is free.

Many rail lines are in the works. The Northstar commuter rail line (not light rail) from Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis could be operating as soon as 2009. The Central Corridor light rail line running from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul is scheduled to be operational in the next 5-10 years. The remaining rail lines will not get built anytime soon, if at all, and are in various stages of planning: Southwest Corridor light rail (Eden Prarie to Minneapolis), Red Rock commuter rail (Hastings to Minneapolis via St. Paul), and Rush Line commuter rail (Hinckley to St. Paul).

Last edited by AVguy; 03-18-2007 at 09:54 PM..
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:39 PM
90 posts, read 252,990 times
Reputation: 49
Originally Posted by Hoosier_guy View Post
The northern 'burbs are definitely less expensive. The Metro Transit is fantastic here. I loved it when I was working in downtown Minneapolis, much better than hassling with all the other commuters. You could get a 2,000 sq ft house in your price range in Champlin, possibly Andover, Blaine is a good option, some areas of Coon Rapids are fairly nice too. Elk River is a bit more of a trek...if you do mass transit you're looking at about a 2 hour ride. If you drive you can cut that down immensely...it all depends on what you're comfortable with. You may find something for $250,000 in Maple Grove.

The commute can make or break you so choose wisely where you buy.

I agree. Look at the north metro. I live in Coon Rapids (right on the Blaine border) and I really love this area. Really family friendly yet still affordable and very safe. We rarely need to leave this area because everything is here. A commute from our house to either downtown would be about a half hour. Elk River is a nice area, but I wouldn't move there because of the commute. You'd easily be looking at 45 minutes to an hour on a good day. On a poor weather winter day, plan for several hours on the road.

As far as what you can afford, there are too many variables to guess at this. Unless you have a very lavish lifestyle I think one could live very well on 75K a year. But it all depends on your spending habits, the mortgage you acquire, etc. When I first quit working to stay at home with our kids we made half of that and did just fine Of course, houses were cheaper back then and we bought in '97 before the market exploded so times are a little different now. Still, I think you would do ok.

Good luck. Be prepared for long, cold winters and dark, grey days. Visiting here and being ok for a few days isn't the same as living here and being cold for half the year. It's a nice place to live and raise a family, though. I could really do without the winters.
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:42 PM
90 posts, read 252,990 times
Reputation: 49
Originally Posted by Robert P Stewart View Post
Cost of living. Those words always confused me.

My wife and I live in Lakeville with our 3 kids. My profession is entirely commission based and we do quite well (mid 6 figs). I have absolutely no interest in living like others who make the same amount. No matter what kind of year I have, I pay myself about $1000 per week. Everything else goes back out the door to investments and funds.

I think we have a wonderful lifestyle - very comfortable. We buy used vehicles and clip coupons. We paid about 189,000 for the place where we live. I enjoy being fairly conservative and the lifestyle it affords.

Most people today live WAY outside of their means. And for them, the cost of living is a much more important term. We are a nation of spenders. And that's sad.

I completely agree with you, Robert. It's sad to watch, really. We are much like you. We live well beneath our means and save around $50K a year which we put right back into our house to pay it off. We'll be completely debt free in a year and that will be incredibly liberating. Yet, we know people who make the same or more as we do and live paycheck to paycheck
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Old 03-19-2007, 05:50 PM
90 posts, read 252,990 times
Reputation: 49
Originally Posted by Old Paint View Post
How about utility cost up there?

If I had an approx. 2000sq ft house w/ 4 people living.

On average what would be a reasonable guess for the cost of


I know it could greatly be dependant on usage, we're moderately energy conscious.
We have a 2,600 square foot home. Newer siding, roof and windows. Here are our monthly expenses:

Electricity - $77 a month on the budget plan (same amount every month year round). I am always cold so we don't run the central air much and I keep the house set at 78 degrees in the summer when I do run it.
Gas- $150 a month on the budget plan but this includes service plus (insurance) on our furnace, washer and two appliances. Without that gas would run around $120 a month. We have a gas stove, gas dryer and gas water heater. I keep the house set at 70 degrees in the winter and keep the fan running all the time. It greatly helps to ciruculate the warm air.
Water & Sewer- anywhere from $90-120 every 3 months. I homeschool my children so we are always here and I do LOTS of laundry.
Trash- $16 a month

You didn't ask but we pay $2,200 a year in property taxes.
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Old 03-19-2007, 06:41 PM
424 posts, read 1,631,718 times
Reputation: 196
Default Congrats

Have you ever thought about living in Eagan? If your offer is in MPLS, it is affordable, close to lite rail, low crime and hubby and I survived on 50,000. last year in a 3bdr 1 ba rambler. Tough but duable. Homes run about 230,000.00 and we paid 1200. last year in property tax. Dist 191, 196 and 197 for schools. Daycare in MN is expensive. I pay 900.00 a month for older kid after school and 700. monthly for a 4 year old 3 days a week! This is new for us since last year. We drive old cars, too. I'm about 10 min from groceries, 10 min from commuting station and 15 minutes from Mall of America. Commute time to downtown is about 45 min rush hour via 77 or cedar ave and about 1 hour by lite rail.
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:24 AM
10 posts, read 33,014 times
Reputation: 14
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
Highland is lovely these days. I wasn't here 27 years ago, but if Highland has gone downhill then, it must've been incredible back then. Both my kids went to Horace Mann--it is still one of the best schools in the district (measured by test scores), but there are also more choices with the advent of the charter schools.

Hartford & Edgcumbe is a stable, pleasant neighborhood. If it's like the areas of Highland I've lived in, if anything, the houses are better kept, as the area has seen a large influx of young families move in as the older folks have passed on over the past decade or two. You can always tell which houses have been bought by the younger families. They paint, landscape, re-roof, etc. We bought our house from an elderly couple who had lived in it for 35 years. They hadn't done much to the inside or outside for probably 20 years before they sold it to us. They woudn't recognize it if they saw it today. Same goes for most of the other houses on my block. The values have appreciated quite well over the past few years, at higher rates than much of the rest of the Metro.

You may recall Highland has a mix of mansions, all the way to 1500 foot 3 bedroom homes. The last time we saw any home in Highland for an asking price of less than $225k was about 3 years ago.
Thanks for replying! My great grandparents lived there, and I always liked the way the inside of their house looked like something from the 1920's, with a little 1940's thrown in. It was enchanting. I'm afraid to see what it must be like, now. They had two lots, one with a garden on it, and when we moved, and my grands died, some uninspired relatives built a little house on the extra lot, to rent out as I recall... and it just seemed to me that all that did was make the place ugly. It was simply enchanting the way my grands had it set up. Well, what are ya gonna do? If the house had gone to me, apart from up dating maintenance issues, I'd have kept everything the same. Humans, in the main, seem wont to leave behind things they should have kept and to keep the things they should have left behind.

I went to a school called Edgecumb, which was there in the 40's, I believe, but was shut down when I was there and so we were moved to Horace Mann. This was 1977, I believe. Good gravy! I've thought about looking up one or two kids I knew then. Lordy, they're 40, now.

So, I expect, then, that Highland is a place that professionals live in. My grandfather worked for the water department, but that was in the early to mid 20th century when you could save up enough money to pay cash for a house without having a degree or creating an international software corporation. While we're making lawyer jokes, the bankers are widening the gap between the rich and poor...

It must be getting late... Thanks again.
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