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Old 01-18-2015, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Congratulations!

Those locations aren't within a 30ish minute commute from campus, however, unless the "ish" part is really flexible -- those are all 30+ miles away from the city, and you should expect traffic.

If you don't want to spend more than 30 minutes in the car you could also drive to a park-and-ride and take the commuter bus in; they have commuter buses going to the U of MN from all parts of the metro area, and I think most of the longer-distance buses to the outer 'burbs have wifi. You could get some work done and the buses get to go in the HOV lanes.
Yes, congratulations.

But with those locations, UU is right. You are looking at an hour each way in rush hour in good weather. The rush hour congestion in the Twin Cities is serious. And parking at the university for students exists, but adds another 10 minutes of walking/campus connector minimum, depending on which program you are in (East Bank, West Bank). If St. Paul is the campus, you are in much better shape.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:57 PM
 
Location: I am right here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laskigal View Post
We are officially on our way! I was accepted into the PhD program I applied to at UMN (just awaiting to hear if I get a GA). We officially have an offer on our house in OH and are headed for a house-hunting excursion in a couple weeks.


Because we are in an area that requires at least a 15 minute drive to get a gallon of milk and about a two-hour trek to the nearest mid-sized city, we are wanting to be somewhere midway between Hutchinson and UMN. Hutchinson is just too far out to live, but a 30ish minute commute is fine. We are thinking Waconia, Mayer, Watertown. We want to reserve some funds for experiences, so we are looking at a housing budget between 200-225k, single-family, three bedrooms. nice neighborhoods/schools, walkable small-town nearby.

This all said, advice and guidance are more than welcome!! Thank you!
Waconia is a nice town, but farther than 30 minutes from the U of MN! More like an hour.

Mayer is a little farther than Waconia.

Watertown will be about 40 minutes with no traffic.

Add in normal traffic, and you are looking at a serious commute. Throw in some snow, and you are looking at a miserable commute!

How about Maple Plain? Loretto? The Corcoran area? Maple Grove? Chaska?

http://www.homes.com/property/320-ed...-600022118111/

http://www.homes.com/property/22463-...-600022297537/

http://www.homes.com/property/112223...-600021896842/
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:01 PM
 
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Great input! This is what I need. We'll be in to look for homes and get a feel for the area a week from this coming Friday!

I was shooting for someplace that would give my husband a shorter commute (under 45 min) since he'll travel 5 days a week to Hutchinson. I'll be traveling to UMN less often and am fine with longer commutes. And, the bus sounds like a great option! I get way better info here than trying to figure out Google maps travel times

So, that leaves cities. Anyone have any thoughts on the best ones for families? Right now we are limited in just about every way. We have one mall (very small and the next one is about 2 hours away). There is one or possibly two places to take music/art classes or lessons, gymnastics, dance--so not a lot for kids except community soccer teams. It would just be nice to have options that won't have us driving an hour plus every other day to participate. The people here are nice, but it is a fairly homogenous town and we don't live in a true neighborhood where you see children playing outside (maybe they just don't do that as much anymore!) Any ideas for the best town that will give us this and not be over 45 to Hutchinson or horribly long to UMN? (and I will happily take the bus! I haven't read a REAL book that doesn't involve dinosaurs or princess fairies in I don't know how long!).

I've got a list of towns from the responses, just hoping for one or two to have our realtor focus on when looking for a good community. THANK YOU! You have all been great!
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:49 PM
 
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At least one thing you have going for you is presumably the traffic to Hutchinson won't be bad, or at least isn't going to the congestion you'll find going into the city.

I forgot you had the Hutchinson commute; since that's the everyday commute, you may well find it's worth your while to stick with one of your original ideas and just steel yourself for a long U commute -- especially since for that commute you could take the bus for a good portion of it and at least get some reading time out of it. You can catch U of MN expresses as far out as Victoria or Chaska. Now those would still be a long trek for Hutchinson, but even if you drove 20 minutes to get to the park-and-ride it would still be worth it.

Honestly, it may even be worth your while to just live in Hutchinson (especially if you can cluster your time at the U down to a couple days each week); it may be easier to get involved in your new home if you're not both dealing with long commutes. A really long commute for you obviously isn't ideal, but I knew multiple people during my grad school days who were in the same scenario. You could even splurge for a hotel room once in awhile during the semester and still be okay, cost-wise, given that your housing would be cheaper out that way.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:43 PM
 
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^^I wholeheartedly agree with UU.

As much as I love living in Chanhassen (which is about the center point, commute-wise, between your husband's job and your school)-- it's still a solid hour to get to Hutchinson from Chan-- and a solid hour to get to the U from here, too-- neither are ideal commutes, but as your husband's commute is the 'permanent' one and yours is more temporary, if I were in your shoes, I'd live in Hutch and commute into the city (and stay overnight, if need be)-- I have a friend who lives out in Hutch and, while it's further out, your housing dollar goes very far out there and it's a close knit community.

There's no simple nor ideal solution, but, personally, I wouldn't want two long commutes-- but if you want to live more 'in town' (at least relative to Hutch!) then check out Victoria, Chaska and Chanhassen. Waconia isn't a bad option either but, from what I've gathered, it's a bit more of a small town than a true suburb of the Twin Cities (please note: I've only lived in MN for 7 months, so I'm just going on what I've gleaned from others!)

I will say that we've REALLY enjoyed living in Chan-- and will likely move to Victoria within the next year. It's a nice balance between suburban living without being surrounded by big box stores (but everything that you can possibly want/need is within 10-20 minutes), with a great school district, TONS and TONS of activities for the kids-- and relatively easy access to all that Minneapolis and St Paul have to offer. If you'd like to PM me, you're more than welcome to do so-- I'm new here but I did a TON of research before moving here and (I'd like to think that) we've become very well integrated into the community in a relatively short amount of time
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:41 PM
 
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At which campus is your program?

Does it offer any coursework you may complete without coming to campus?

Check the Digital Campus (University of Minnesota Digital Campus), which lists complete programs but there are lots of classes at the graduate level which my be done at a distance and combined with on campus courses, research, etc. which do not show up there (becasue the departments don't have a full program available at a distance). Also, there are departments ow offering more hybrid/reduced seat time courses at undergrad and grad levels. Really varies by department and college.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:35 AM
 
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@WoodburyWoody, I am in the college of ed and there are courses that are online and/or hybrid versions. Also, if it is like my current program then courses are maybe one or two days a week. I am hoping to land a GA which may mean I'm in the city more often, but as of right now I am 35 minutes from my school and I have it worked out so I only have to travel maybe two days a week. I stay all day each day, but it works. However, I have ZERO traffic to deal with.

Are there OFF times when traffic isn't so bad heading into the city? According to Google maps the commute from Hutchinson to UMN is 1:15. I'm clearly not believing that anymore. What, realistically would it be? An hour is very doable for me (I used to sit in traffic in Chicago for an hour while staring at my building which I swear I could have walked to faster). Just need to plan my audio books and podcasts

Our nearest large city right now is Columbus, OH. It takes about 2 hours to get to pretty much anything there (minus traffic). Next closest is Charleston, WV and it takes about 1:30.
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Old 01-21-2015, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laskigal View Post

Are there OFF times when traffic isn't so bad heading into the city? According to Google maps the commute from Hutchinson to UMN is 1:15. I'm clearly not believing that anymore. What, realistically would it be? An hour is very doable for me (I used to sit in traffic in Chicago for an hour while staring at my building which I swear I could have walked to faster). Just need to plan my audio books and podcasts
One of the nice aspects of living in the Twin Cities is that traffic levels outside of rush hour are quite manageable and even light in certain areas (assuming there are no accidents/inclement weather/other factors that would inhibit travel times). It is not like New York or LA where traffic is heavy 24 hours a day.

I think you could reasonably make your particular commute in about an hour during off peak times into the city.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhody2Mn View Post
One of the nice aspects of living in the Twin Cities is that traffic levels outside of rush hour are quite manageable and even light in certain areas (assuming there are no accidents/inclement weather/other factors that would inhibit travel times). It is not like New York or LA where traffic is heavy 24 hours a day.

I think you could reasonably make your particular commute in about an hour during off peak times into the city.
I can't speak to the west side of the Twin Cities, but in regard to traveling between MPLS and Woodbury (to the east), I agree with Rhody. Rush hour is very bad for me and it can be halved if/when I can go outside rush hour. More flexible work schedules would either really make life easier for a lot of people or really anger those who drive outside of rush hour.

CEHD in on the East Bank in Minneapolis. Parking is really tight there, especially for students. It is possible that you would need to park several blocks from class. The University does have free campus connector buses that run between the three campuses, including several stops within the East Bank and during classes, the connectors are supposed to run every five minutes. They get a lot of use.

But, it may end up being easier if there in an express bus coming to the East Bank from Chanhassen or Chaska or somewhere in the SW metro... for time, for convenience, for cost (the University has a metro pass option for students that is really inexpensive University of Minnesota - Parking and Transportation Services), for weather (buses seem to run pretty well in snow storms here, from what I see). Those drop off at the bottom of the mall on the East Bank, a five-to-ten minute walk to the buildings on the East Bank where CEHD has many/most courses (Burton, Appleby, Folwell, Wulling, STSS ... which is a two-minute walk). In good weather, the mall is a nice walk. In bad weather, you can take tunnels for a big chunk of it if to the more northerly buildings.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:54 AM
 
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Our agent just sent us a list of homes with a couple "possibilities" listed as pre-forclusure or foreclosure.

Now, in the past that seems something I'd want to avoid, but some of these homes are in AMAZING condition! It actually reminds me of the influx of homes going into foreclosure back home in MI--Chesterfield, MI--a place that was featured on a lot of news outlets when the housing market crashed. Nice areas where some people just got in over their heads and/or the job market tanked--still great neighborhoods.

What's the story in the outlying burbs and a bit beyond--seeing them out in Mound, Waconia, Watertown, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Chaska?

I'm not so sure it'll be our thing with our need for a quicker closing, but then again, they are empty

Insight?
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