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Old 09-03-2014, 02:40 PM
 
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There are lots of affordable homes on acreage in these areas north and northwest of the cities, from outside of St Cloud, to Princeton down to Big lake and Becker. I am considering the area for retirement and buying a home with a little acreage around there. Are these areas any less colder then say Alexandria, Duluth and etc. in the winter...???? Are the winters any shorter there at those areas? People friendly? Are there high personal property taxes on cars? Looking at home with natural gas and or electric....are prices fair in the winter when heating? I am a disabled vet, so I would not have to pay property taxes. Thanks for help.....hoping folks will chime in here, cause I am pressed for time, and need to decide if this region of MN is a good fit for me in retirement...

Last edited by folkguitarist555; 09-03-2014 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:57 PM
 
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Any folks have any replies?

Last edited by folkguitarist555; 09-03-2014 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:11 PM
 
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Hi there - I lived for a while in St Michael (nw exurb), so not as far out but the same direction from msp/st paul.

For what it's worth....I'd say that winter won't be too different from Alexandria(only a few hours NW), although a *slight* bit warmer than Duluth. The big difference from Duluth is they get the fog/more clouds. But it's relative - the last two winters have been pretty long/brutal, so you'll have to be ok with cold and snow in any of these places.

As for friendly people? It will take effort on your part, but if you like fishing, hunting, snowmobiling that will help. The six years I lived out there most neighbors were wrapped up in their families, and if you don't have kids(I don't) they'd just wave as they mowed their lawn or left for work. It's also one of the more conservative areas (as far as MN goes) if that matters to you.

Heating costs can get up there. We had a top ten(?) coldest winter ever last year, and there isn't really a way around large gas bills if that's your heat source. If that's a concern, maybe a property where you have a second heating option? (wood burning fireplace)

best of luck!
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:28 AM
 
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would this be high heating costs with natural gas or with propane? As I try to avoid homes with propane.....I imagine the electricity rates are not too cheap either in MN...
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:21 PM
 
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I have relatives in Big Lake, and know somebody with a house in Becker. I grew up in Monticello, which is right in that area.

Winter gets cold, because this is MN. But winters do not get as cold as Alexandria, and definitely not as cold as Duluth. The good news is that most homes in MN are very well insulated, so it stays pretty warm indoors. As a disabled vet, I think you would probably be able to get energy assistance to help with winter heating bills, but I don't know very much about that. You should probably check into that.

I don't know much about Becker (or Princeton), but I think people in Big Lake seem pretty friendly. The American Legion would probably be a good place to make friends. As mentioned; outdoor sports like hunting, fishing, boating, and snowmobiling; are very popular in that area.
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:52 PM
 
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the long city cold winters is what is hindering my decision, but still contemplating
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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It's all cold, no matter where you live in MN. Sometimes the southern part of the state is warmer but they get a lot of snow and cold as well. Alex is cold I have relatives there, but when it's under zero in my opinion it's just splitting hairs. The winters are not shorter in any part of MN. St. Cloud to Princeton is a nice area, about an hour to get the cities for shopping and whatnot.
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Old 09-26-2014, 06:10 PM
 
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well I get a huge property tax break as a disabled vet in MN, it is one of I think around 8 other states where we would not have a pay anything on property taxes....
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:22 PM
 
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does anyone like St Cloud? and the surrounding areas?? Good VA there......seems like lots of open spaces and lakes....good quality of living, save the winters.....please chime in...anyone from St Cloud or the outskirts??
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:38 AM
 
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My Dad was in the Vet Hospital in St. Cloud and they were very nice, a great place. St. Cloud is a great town. Some say too much drinking and too many bars. But on the flip side of that problem the Vet's hospital there has a great treatment program. And again only an hour away from the cities.
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