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Old 08-19-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Southwest Minneapolis
511 posts, read 609,069 times
Reputation: 1411

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It looks like Stillwater and Hudson are pretty much equidistant to most things in the metro area. Between the two I get the impression (perhaps wrong) that Stillwater is more of an upscale/resorty town whereas Hudson may be a little more Wisconsin-ish? Does that sound right? In either case I would want to live right in or very close to town. It looks like the housing stock in Hudson is better in our price range than Stillwater, which is the primary reason for the interest. I know property taxes are higher in WI, but the lower income taxes should just about offset. Lots of beer options 7 days a week definitely holds some appeal over fewer options 6 days a week!

Its interesting that you bring up St. Paul Thedosious. No one had mentioned yet. Coincidentally, I was just giving houses and schools in St. Paul a good look last night. The issue I ran into is that the public schools in Como and Highland park appear to range between sub-mediocre and awful. I'm sure golfgal will have something to say about that.

In any case I would like to at least have the option of public schools wherever we end up.

I don't know if this is off base, but it seems to me that the lines between the good and not so good neighborhoods may be a little less clear cut in St. Paul than in MPLS. From afar, it looks like almost anywhere in Southwest Minneapolis is pretty A-ok, but I get the sense that you can't make such broad generalizations of large areas in St. Paul. Again, I defer to the people who have actually been there for an opinion on that.

As far as the short term rental thing, that will most likely be a minimum of six months and may end up being 12 because of limited availability for properties taking less than a year lease. This is one of the things I am very conflicted about.

I want to make this move as easy as possible for my 2.5 year old daughter. I think it would be better to not get too settled in one place, only to uproot her a year or so later. She is at the age where friends, activities and routines are becoming more important. I already know there are no Gymoborees in the MSP area, and she loves her "Gymboree class," as she calls it.

In my imaginary perfect world, we would find a decent place on a six month lease in a decent semi-central location. We would take a few months to get settled and get to know the areas that interest us and find a home there. This would be the dead of winter, which is a horrible time to sell a house, but can be a great time to buy one. I would like to have at least a month or so to do some work on the house so that it is all minted out before we move in. I'm sure none of that will work exactly as planned.
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Old 08-19-2014, 12:40 PM
 
137 posts, read 178,827 times
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Let me be the third to wonder why St. Paul had not yet been mentioned in the discussion. I cannot comment on the specifics with any authority, but it certainly seems to align with the OP's mix of priorities. I'm a small town kid, but none of the residential areas of St. Paul I've visited seem too urban. The houses are a little older and closer together, but the people inside still eat hotdish, drink pop, and won't take the last bar. Minneapolis neighborhoods would not be that much different. Your wife actually may not mind the right house in the right neighborhood. If not, there are plenty of other good options in the suburbs and exurbs that others have already suggested.
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Old 08-19-2014, 02:54 PM
 
464 posts, read 675,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestRedux View Post
I took a quick look and the 48th and Chicago looks quite appealing. At quick glance, it looks like you get more for your money there than in the depths of SW MPLS. The first house I saw was two stories, renovated, almost 2,000 sq ft and under 300k. The neighborhood elementary and middle schools look strong, at least according to GreatSchools. I guess I have more than a decade to worry about high schools, so the Washburn High factor really shouldn't matter. In any case, this area is definitely worth a look.
48th and Chicago is a very nice area -- a friend of mine lives around there, and her children have gone to the neighborhood schools with no issues. More kids around than I would have originally thought, too.

Last edited by QuietBlue; 08-19-2014 at 02:55 PM.. Reason: fixed quote tag
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:25 PM
 
104 posts, read 128,254 times
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Minnetonka has a terrific school system and community education programs that in conjunction with Hopkins rivals and surpasses anything Gymboree and/or The Little Gym can offer...TLG is here...trails, parks and recreation are bountiful as to are walkable neighborhoods ...EP does too and there are several neighborhoods which are as picturesque as 6A ...it's convenient (less than 20 min) to Minneapolis as well as St Paul and of course the lakes.

And there is affordable housing...
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:46 PM
 
357 posts, read 419,544 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestRedux View Post
The issue I ran into is that the public schools in Como and Highland park appear to range between sub-mediocre and awful. I'm sure golfgal will have something to say about that.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Southwest Minneapolis
511 posts, read 609,069 times
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48th and Chicago, St. Paul and Minnetonka are all on the list to get a close look.

While they're not perfect indicators, I'm basing my opinion about St Paul schools on MCA scores and Greatschools ratings. In all of the areas I looked at one or more of the schools looked pretty bad based on that data. Because those numbers probably don't tell the whole story, I'd be interested to hear from people that have direct experience with St. Paul Public Schools.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:20 AM
 
20 posts, read 30,804 times
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I think, if you are coming from the East Coast, that St. Paul and Stillwater will be closest what you are looking for, particularly St. Paul. The western suburbs and Hudson will be depressing. I spent some time in suburbs as a teenager and recently moved to Minneapolis city and I"m stunned at how great it is compared with the suburbs. Boston has that cute New England feel to its far flung towns that our suburbs don't have.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Southwest Minneapolis
511 posts, read 609,069 times
Reputation: 1411
Quote:
Originally Posted by anne.kelly View Post
I think, if you are coming from the East Coast, that St. Paul and Stillwater will be closest what you are looking for, particularly St. Paul. The western suburbs and Hudson will be depressing. I spent some time in suburbs as a teenager and recently moved to Minneapolis city and I"m stunned at how great it is compared with the suburbs. Boston has that cute New England feel to its far flung towns that our suburbs don't have.
You have addressed a couple of my general and specific fears in this post. Having come from Milwaukee, I don't think a day goes by that I don't savor the beauty of New England. I've lived in Westborough for about five years and walk into town almost everyday year round. I think its been about two years since I drove to the gym. The walk is quaint and beautiful.

Many of the western MPLS suburbs appear to offer great value for the money and meet every other need we would have, except for that.

As far as Hudson goes, I have always found the state of Wisconsin in general to be depressing. It may be a great state for some people, but just never worked for me. That's why I left as soon as I could as a young adult. Even now when I go back to the Milwaukee area, I'm nostalgic for a day or two and then can't wait to leave.

For those reasons, my guess is you and others that have said the same are probably going to be proven right.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:01 AM
 
357 posts, read 419,544 times
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Regarding the advice to consider the Como neighborhood or Highland Park in Saint Paul, the previous posters were probably thinking you could consider elementary schools like Saint Anthony Park elementary (located on Como Avenue) or schools like Horace Mann, Highland Park Elementary, or Randolph Heights. Chelsea Heights near the Como Zoo also is good. In Highland, parents also like Nova Classical Academy and Upper Mississippi Academy charter schools. I've never heard any of these schools described as mediocre.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Southwest Minneapolis
511 posts, read 609,069 times
Reputation: 1411
I stand corrected on that point cheddar. Upon further review, there are some very good elementary schools in those areas. I had only looked very quickly at first. It seems like as the kids get older (middle and high school) and the schools get bigger, there are more problems. With a two year old, that's pretty far down the line, so probably shouldn't be a major consideration.
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