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Old 04-10-2013, 06:40 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,138 times
Reputation: 10

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We are likely relocating to Minnesota in the next couple months. I'd love it if someone could give us a place to start when looking for homes!

My husband will be working downtown St. Paul and I stay at home. We have 4 children ages 1, 6, 8, and 10. Most important - a good school district (we prefer public for our kids but are willing to look at private) that has good services for our special needs daughter. For a house our price range is right around 800K.

As far as neighborhood I want a place that's safe, where my kids can bike down the street to a friend's house. My husband and I are active and I like to be able to walk out my front door and find a running/bike path. Our kids are involved with things like art, dance, tennis, swimming. I love Minneapolis and can see myself doing things like walking around the lakes during the nicer months or heading to the Mall of America during the winter months so I don't want to be more than 30 minutes or so from those either.

A little background - my husband grew up in the northern suburbs and doesn't really have a desire to go back up there - although he has been drooling over some homes in North Oaks. 10 years ago we had a house in South Minneapolis and I LOVED the location, although I can see us being more of a "suburb" family now that we have kids. I've been looking some online and Woodbury is attractive to me, although I know some people are not a fan. Right now I feel like we live in a "Woodbury" in the south - a city with mostly chain restaurants, a neighborhood built up by a bunch of houses that look pretty similar. We don't mind it, we feel safe and it's not a big deal for us to drive ~25 minutes to go to a show or a better restaurant. But if there are other places in the cities you'd recommend I'd love to hear about them! Sorry I think I wrote a book!
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:16 AM
 
Location: STP, Minnesnowta
15 posts, read 26,423 times
Reputation: 30
Woodbury was going to be one of my recommendations but it looks like you are already considering that. The other cities you may like are Eagan and Apple Valley. Eagan is close to both downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis. It also borders Bloomington (which of course is where MOA is located). All in all I would say Eagan is your best bet. In fact it is my favorite of all Twin Cities suburbs.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Vadnais Heights, MN
27 posts, read 42,630 times
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hahaha I love the "drooling" comment on North Oaks. Damn I was going to say the Mounds View School district too since I grew up and still live up in Vadnais Heights. I am like 2 blocks away from that development.

Well I know that you have a budget that will allow you freedom to do pretty much whatever you want. You sure don't have to spend that money though unless you want to, because there are plenty of options lower than the 800k mark. I also know you will be looking for a big house with all those kids. I may be a little biased, but most of the straight south metro suburbs has that feel to me of what you were explaining.

I would need a lot more information with that sort of budget, but my initial thoughts are the SW burbs and NW burbs. I am leaning towards the SW just based off of your comments on MOA and the lakes in Minneapolis. Until I knew more information that is the quadrant of the metro suburb wise that I would reccomend.

The good news from my standpoint at least is you already know the areas compared to someone relocating for the first time. I think you just don't want to live in a cookie-cutter neighborhood where all the homes are similar. Whether you decide to have a realtor help you now rather than later is up to you, but this is how I would approach it.

1) Start with a broad search of all the cities you are contemplating. You can certainly max out at 800k if you want just to see what is up there, but I still think you can find a lot of quality homes much lower. Most of the schools are going to be great where I am thinking, but certainly researching the schools programs for special needs will be top priority as you said. I may do this FIRST. You can set this up yourself or get the help of a realtor. It may be nice having someone already here do some of the legwork for you. We pretty much do whatever is necessary as realtors.

2) You will then narrow the search down once you identify the school/schools you ideally want to be a part of, because now you are searching the cities that fit into the school ID.

3) From there it is just a matter of the ideal home you want to buy, and then breaking the cities down into neighborhoods that have what you want. Bike paths, trails for walking, and just overall character.

4) There will be tons of wild cards to consider. Edina and Linden Hills are hot right now for scrapes and new construction that is right around your price range. These are custom homes built right into neighborhoods that have all the character you want. Location wise talk about a slam dunk for what you enjoy doing in the summer with the lakes! Linden Hills is one of my most favorite neighborhoods in Minneapolis.

Something to consider? Depends on what the "suburban life" means to you. Also, I would think if you did decide to go new construction you would probably want the build to start soon while you are out of state. I have no idea what your living situation will be once you are actually in Minnesota.

Regardless you are doing everything right by gathering information and planning now. I would love to help you out on the home-buying, but regardless I just like helping people here on City Date. Hopefully I have given you some things to think about!
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Old 04-10-2013, 10:07 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 56,833,439 times
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I would agree with Woodbury, areas in the Mounds View district but also Mahtomedi, Stillwater, Eagan, Rosemount and Apple Valley--maybe into Lakeville. All would have great services for your special needs daughter and have fantastic programs in the schools. There is no need to look at private schools here, the pubic schools are excellent with the exception of a handful of districts.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:43 PM
 
3,841 posts, read 5,167,195 times
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North Oaks and Shoreview have an extensive trail and park system. Shoreview had/has 100% resident satisfaction when I lived there for 18 years. They are both in the Mounds View school district.

But the town of Mounds View is different than the school district of Mounds View so be mindful of that, even though they share the west border of Shoreview only a part of Mounds View is in the Mounds View school district.

For Elementary school be mindful of the boundaries for Turtle Lake School, which I would recommend over Pinewood.
For High School again look at boundaries for Mounds View High School which I would recommend over Ironwood. (Mounds View High School is not in Mounds view it is in Arden Hills.)

Confusing, I know. Here is a map of the 621 School District
Community Education - Mounds View Public Schools
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