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Old 04-21-2010, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
4,927 posts, read 8,145,046 times
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That also adds to the level of uncertainty for where the OP will end up finding a job. It would be a shame to buy a townhouse in Apple Valley or Northfield and then end up finding a job in Minnetonka or Andover as an example. That's why I say the logical thing to do for the OP is rent first and figure out where the job will be and then start looking into maybe buying.
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:44 AM
 
9,945 posts, read 13,575,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
It has nothing to do with being "convenient" and everything to do with the fact that their employers are in Apple Valley, Eagan, Rosemount, Northfield vs downtown. I KNOW people that work in downtown, they are just not in our circle of friends. A woman in my golf league lives in Apple Valley, takes the commuter bus to downtown Minneapolis, from her door to her desk is 40 minutes. There is a big misconception that all the jobs are in downtown and that is the point I am trying to make, more people work in the suburbs then do in downtown.
My point was not that most jobs are downtown, but rather that jobs are scattered across the region (with downtown still having the largest concentration). And while there are more jobs in the suburbs than in downtown, they're not concentrated in one specific location. To locate in an outer suburb on one side of the metro area before having a job lined up will effectively eliminate a lot of potential jobs from consideration based purely on commute. The fact that so many jobs aren't located downtown makes a central location even more practical.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:32 AM
 
20,804 posts, read 29,259,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
My point was not that most jobs are downtown, but rather that jobs are scattered across the region (with downtown still having the largest concentration). And while there are more jobs in the suburbs than in downtown, they're not concentrated in one specific location. To locate in an outer suburb on one side of the metro area before having a job lined up will effectively eliminate a lot of potential jobs from consideration based purely on commute. The fact that so many jobs aren't located downtown makes a central location even more practical.
And the point you have all missed is that her husband travels to Iowa, Illinois and WI, thus the NORTHFIELD recommendation. It would be silly to move to Buffalo and have to travel to Iowa on a regular basis adding 1 to 1/2 hours to your already long drive.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:00 AM
 
Location: 44.9800 N, 93.2636 W
2,654 posts, read 3,451,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Actually buying a townhome now is a great investment if you are willing to become a landlord one day.

yeah nah...a lot of townhome associations do not allow the property to be rented out to tenants, which is why a lot of them are listed for such low prices.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:40 PM
 
9,945 posts, read 13,575,047 times
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Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
And the point you have all missed is that her husband travels to Iowa, Illinois and WI, thus the NORTHFIELD recommendation. It would be silly to move to Buffalo and have to travel to Iowa on a regular basis adding 1 to 1/2 hours to your already long drive.
No, got that point loud and clear -- also got the "don't want to live out in the country because I'm looking for a job myself" point. He also travels to all of MN. It sounds like he has a lot of flexibility, so from a practical standpoint it makes more sense to pick something central for her job rather than all of us try to guess how often he's driving to Iowa versus how often he's heading north or to the airport. Northfield is a very nice town, but living there WILL limit her job opportunities.

I wouldn't recommend Buffalo either, and have not done so. Northfield is not in my view, a practical choice unless she gets a job out that way OR is willing to risk limited job opportunities and a potentially longer job search or commute because she decides she really loves Northfield. Currently they sound very flexible and open to lots of options, so I don't really understand why Northfield is coming up as a strong candidate here other than for her husband's potential commute.

The larger point is that it's only fair to let someone new to the area know that somewhere like Northfield is not in any way central to the Twin Cities metro area. (and most people do not consider it part of the metro area, even if some people there do commute in to the Twin Cities for work.) Assuming that her job will be a regular daily commute to a fixed location it makes sense to rent somewhere that would leave as many options open for her as possible.

That's the beauty of renting first; once she knows where she'll be working and once they know the area better then they can settle down for the longer-term in a location that is convenient for the whole family.

Last edited by uptown_urbanist; 04-23-2010 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:03 PM
 
9,945 posts, read 13,575,047 times
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I think all this discussion is getting a little confusing (or maybe it's just me?) -- does the OP really want to know about Northfield, or are we all going off on a tangent? Northfield is a nice small college town and it's worth checking out the jobs there to see what's available.

Otherwise I think the budget here is the main limiting thing, but by going either to the 2-BR or by bumping up a slight bit the OP will have far more options.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:46 PM
 
Location: New Hope, MN
1,834 posts, read 2,489,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
The larger point is that it's only fair to let someone new to the area know that somewhere like Northfield is not in any way central to the Twin Cities metro area. (and most people do not consider it part of the metro area, even if some people there do commute in to the Twin Cities for work.) Assuming that her job will be a regular daily commute to a fixed location it makes sense to rent somewhere that would leave as many options open for her as possible.
I used to live in Annandale and I knew people who lived there that worked in places like Plymouth and Bloomington, but Annandale definitely is NOT part of the metro. Northfield isn't either, doesn't matter if people who live their commute to the cities for work. I agree with uptown urbanist 100%, just because people commute to the twin cities for work, doesn't make it part of the metro.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:28 AM
 
7 posts, read 5,873 times
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Oh, I have loved this discussion! Am learning about the area, and that's awesome. My husband actually flew into Minneapolis this week for work, and now for today and tomorrow he is driving through all the areas to get a feel for it. He is also checking w/ his employer to understand how many stores he has, and where the "trouble" ones are that he would need to visit more often - which will help us a little in ruling in or out a city like Northfield. I think Northfield is probably very comparable to Denton here in Dallas - it's a city all unto itself and perhaps half the people living there consider themselves an extension of the metro, and half the people don't associate with the metro. I think there are pros/cons to that.

I think we have decided that in general, South/Southwest is probably our best bet for combining affordability + school district (and maybe northeast of St. Paul?). Although I certainly have learned that $1,000 isn't going to cut it. We've upped our limit to $1500 in order to get the amenities we want/need - and I think that should cover us whether we end up in a close-in townhome, or a suburban house....I'm anxious to get up there myself and check it all out.

Overall, we are excited to move. I know the winters are brutal, but the few months of I-can't-take-it sound identical to our few months here of heat/humidity. Just a different extreme weather to adjust to / gives you something to gripe about in line at the coffee shop!
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Old 04-23-2010, 11:11 AM
 
9,945 posts, read 13,575,047 times
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You've just dramatically increased your options with the $1500 rent.

I see, for example, there's this listing on Craigslist (http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/apa/1704131191.html - broken link) (just as a sample of what's out there) for a house by light rail (which would make life easy when getting to/from the airport, or commuting downtown) l and in a very family-friendly, safe, quieter (but with local businesses) bike-friendly (and right by the creek) neighborhood in south Minneapolis.

If you were to try to narrow it down to exactly what you would like, in an ideal world, what would it be? You'll be able to choose from a lot of different types of neighborhoods that all meet your parameters so far, so you can be a bit choosy about what type of place you'd prefer if given a choice. Older house? Newer place? Walkable neighborhood or does it matter? Might as well throw out whatever specifics you can think of and we can try to throw out some targeted suggestions that might help you with the search.
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:03 PM
 
Location: New Hope, MN
1,834 posts, read 2,489,980 times
Reputation: 532
1500 is a much better budget
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