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Old 10-15-2011, 03:52 PM
5 posts, read 7,638 times
Reputation: 10


I am mid-30 and had been stay-home wife and mom for a few years. I went back to school about two years ago and luckily found a job upon graduation in this economy. I will start working next Jan in downtown Minneapolis.

I am relocating from North Dakota. So I guess in general weather won't be an issue. However, I am not very good in driving during winter and I am a little bit scared by "big city". I will be living by myself for the first year and hopefully my husband and child can move to Minneapolis after that. By the way, I will be working in the public accounting field. My profession requires 60-70 hours/week minimum from Jan to Apr (busy season). This means I really need a place hassle -free.

So, I am looking for a 1 bedroom for 6-12 months lease (with furniture if possible). Safety, Convenience, less than 10 minutes commute, quiet and privacy (my family will come to visit frequently) will be my priority. I don't think I will spend much time in pub or night life for the first 4 months since I will be working all the time. Price could be up to $1200, or even higher if necessary.

I did some research here and on the web. I am considering two options:

1. My first option will be living in Minneapolis downtown

Pros: close to work (could be really close and use skyways to walk to work, very attractive!), garage parking even heated (with some extra cost but good in winter), very convenient (have everything here, shopping, eating, entertainment.), if it's a secured building safety won't be an issue.

Cons: pricey ($1200 might be just the minimum), guest parking (my family will drive here to visit), hard to find a good apartment ( I googled and see many apartment listed in downtown, however, reviews of those apartment are really poor. I don't know who to believe. For example, I think I saw somebody here recommend laurel village (hennepin crossing), but some people on apartmentratings complain about poor management and security. Another apartment I found is Marquette Place, it seems have good reviews.) Also, I am not sure how safe it is if I use skyways at night (9pm for say)?

2. My second option is to rent some apartment west to U of M. I found some apartments such as Seven Corners.
Pros: relatively cheap price ($700-800), convenient (close to shops and restaurant), security is ok (only concern is some don't have garage parking), commute less than 10 minutes
cons: mostly student live there (even though most law and business grads, no party concern. I would rather live with professional people so that I can networking and make friends that way. Considering I stayed at home for few years, that's a big deal for me). Also, I cannot find many good reviews about the apartments. Students complain about managers in seven corners as well, for instance.

Please give me some advices. Which option shall I go for? What apartments you had experienced with or your friends/family had experienced and would like to recommend to me. I need a place in 2 1/2 months. I've been to twin cities twice and really don't know that much. I am still finishing up my school and don't have much time left for apartment hunting.

And as I mentioned earlier, I am really concerned with networking and making friends. I was out of the work place for a while, and I really want to meet some professionals and make friends with same career goals. It seems to have young professional meetups, but looks like only for mid-20s and half for dating. Not want I was looking for. Please advice on that as well. What are some opportunities in twin cities?

Thank you all so much for reading my post!
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:02 PM
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FWIW, take those reviews with a grain of salt -- I think most people who go to the trouble to post a public review about something are doing so because they're angry about something. The vast majority of people could absolutely love living there, but human nature is that they're simply less likely to bother seeking out a review site and commenting.

Downtown seems to be the best fit. You could mostly walk to work (save money, time, hassle!) and many of your neighbors will also be working professionals.

I haven't lived in this building myself, but we thought about touring the Churchill Apartments downtown; it has great views of downtown and the river, and there's a top-floor pool (could be fun for when your kids visit). If your job is towards the other end of downtown, there are some great places along the Loring Greenway. (not sure about age of your kids, but there's a very nice playground in the Greenway itself, as well as all the options at Loring Park nearby).

Don't forget to also check out Craigslist as the time gets nearer; a lot of places aren't on those apartment sites. The big places will, but there are a number of condo buildings downtown, and some may have units for rent by the owner, and those are (I think) more likely to show up on CL. Wanting a furnished place may limit your options, so if you find you're running into that you may find it's worth just getting an unfurnished place and buying some basics at IKEA.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:11 PM
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thank you, uptown_urbanist! That was a really quick advice. I will be working in US bank plaza. I will be sure to check Craigslist and ignore those ratings!
And thanks for mentioning IKEA, being ND makes me almost forget how wonderful IKEA could be for reasonable price furnitures.
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Old 10-15-2011, 04:52 PM
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I was in corporate housing for a few months when I relocated here. It was downtown (not the best place) but I loved being downtown and would recommend it. I would be pretty thorough in searching - try Craigslist or a property management company who also handles condos.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:02 PM
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Congrats on the job, StartingMN! I've been working in downtown MN (down on the south end) for the last couple months, and it seems like it would be a great place to live. I haven't been in any of the apartment buildings or condos over along the river, but I love biking and running all along there over lunch breaks. Seems like pretty much everything you need would be within a few blocks, and you'd have lots of public transportation options (lightrail, buses, etc) if you wanted to get down to the MOA or over to campus or something and didn't feel like driving.

I'm not familiar with the Seven Corners area at all (I think I just stumbled by it for the first time, today), so I can't really compare, but DT Minneapolis seems like a great option.

Best of luck!

P.S. Check out the Good to Go deli in the US Bank Plaza sometime for lunch...tasty Mediterranean food!
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:28 PM
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I think downtown would be a better fit for you based on what you're saying. Seven Corners does have some student vibe (there's a large student-focused complex there), but overall I wouldn't classify it as totally student-y. Most of that is across the river north of the East Bank campus.

That said, I think downtown would suit you more, albeit at a higher price.

You've got some wonderful responses already so I won't drag on too much. However, one thing to point out is that the skyway will be wonderful to use, especially in the winter, but it will have its limitations. The system is fragmented in ownership--each building runs its own system--so there's no guarantee you could use it at 9 p.m. In fact, I think many sections will have long been locked up. And even if you were able to get into the system, you would find very little is open at 9, as the system is overwhelmingly aimed at the corporate, 9-5 sort of crowd. About the only thing open in the skyway at 9 is Target, but if I remember correctly, they block off their access.

That said, I do think downtown would work best. At the very least, you'd be close to work and have access to the skyway in normal business hours, so you wouldn't have to brave the cold too much.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:31 PM
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Thank you so much, everyone! Seems like it's pretty consistent that downtown is the best bet. Xandrex, thank you for pointing out the limitation of Skyways. I think it will be hard for a new comers to know that insight. I will take StilltheSame's advice to check out condos as well.

By the way, how safe is lightrail or buses at night? I am little concerned being a single female waiting for buses to come at night.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:02 AM
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You shouldn't have too many issues with bus stops and light-rail stations, especially downtown. I'm a male, so I can't comment specifically on how safe females would feel, but I know I've never had any problems. All of the major bus stops downtown are in lit areas and usually have a few people waiting at them at any given time. The light rail stops are the same: well lit and always a few people waiting there (especially the Hennepin Ave and Nicollet Mall stations...Government Plaza and DTE/Metrodome stations are a bit quieter, but still well lit).

As long as you're not in any sketchy areas of town (which seems pretty unlikely), you'll find you should have very little trouble with public transportation. If you do plan to rely on it, I'd recommend you keep your search to the northern and/or western parts of downtown. The major transit "spines" in downtown right now are Hennepin Ave for north/south and 4th St for east/west. The light rail is located along 5th St.
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Old 10-16-2011, 01:52 PM
Location: Minnesota
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I would try to find a place close to your work downtown, so you don't have to spend a lot of time commuting. There are condos that are on the market that the owners are willing to rent for a while, that may work for you. In some cases they may be furnished. Check out the various meet up groups online, there are lots of different ones so you could find some like minded people to be friends with.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:06 AM
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thank you, both Xandrex and WendyRLee. I plan to have trip to MN earliy nov and hopefully will get this rent settled.
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