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Thread summary:

Family relocating from Indianapolis to Minneapolis Saint Paul, information on; housing costs, housing budget 300K, job opportunities, nursing programs, school districts

 
Old 02-27-2009, 10:56 PM
 
Location: B'More
179 posts, read 355,950 times
Reputation: 147

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Just to clarify with the helpful folks here: I read many posts here, checked out the sites some of you suggested, did a forum search on certain cities, but I'm still not sure about where I want to live...

I'm currently living in Indianapolis, can't beat the house prices here, but I got an offer to move to MSP (actually the company is in Oakdale) and I really like the opportunity so I've convinced my wife to move. We've got 2 little boys, one will be kindergarten age next year and the other is not yet 2, so school district is important but not *that* important at this point. I like to live close to work if possible, and my budget for a home is around $300K. My wife wants to go back to school and get a nursing degree, so she wants to be close to a state school if possible. I looked at the usual places: Plymouth, Edina, Eden Prairie, Woodbury (closest to Oakdale), Rochester, etc. but I'm still not convinced I've read enough information...so any help will be greatly appreciated.

Another reason for the move is food: the selection in Indy is...limited from an ethnic diversity perspective, and I heard there are some nice Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Mexican restaurants in the MSP area. There are also more job opportunities in the Twin Cities compared with Indy at this point.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:46 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 61,282,830 times
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Other then Oakdale, which doesn't have the best schools in the area, Woodbury is the only one that has a reasonable commute. Check out Stillwater, Mahtomedi and Mounds View schools. They are all easy commutes to Oakdale and great schools. You should be able to find a home in your price range in each of the areas.

Also, make sure you check out the Early Childhood Family Education, ECFE, program when you move. It is a great program for the kids and a great way to meet people with kids of similar ages.

If your wife is going to get a nursing degree, she will not be far from the U of M and all the private colleges in the metro that offer a program in nursing. Don't discount the private schools because of cost, as a non-traditional student she will have plenty of opportunities for scholarships, etc.

MN is a great state for nursing-high pay, plenty of jobs and a wide variety of places to work.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Omaha
53 posts, read 151,462 times
Reputation: 25
How about Cottage Grove? The commute would be better than Edina and Eden Praire for sure. I was just looking at houses in the area myself and noticed some really good deals. You'll be close to Inver Hills Community College, but not too far from the state schools either.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
3 posts, read 10,777 times
Reputation: 16
I agree with checking out the Stillwater, Mahtomedi and Mounds View schools. Stillwater (MN's first town) is a larger city, on the river's border to Wisconsin but still only 20 minutes or so from the cities. It has a thriving downtown on the riverfront with art, restuarants, and many independent shops. Since it's out of the city, you'll also find bluffs, caves, hiking trails, and many water activities here. Mahtomedi is next to Stillwater, a smaller town of about 10,000 (and therefore a *much* smaller school setting than Stillwater - each class has less than 300 students) on White Bear Lake. Also a historic city, Mahtomedi has a close-knit community feel while still close to the cities. Both cities show strong academics and sports, and are family-oriented. These two towns are more individual than the first-tier of suburbs outside the city as they have long-rooted histories in the state and were not built up out of need. This may be good or bad for your family depending on what you're looking for. However, Stillwater has a large strip on the highway providing stores (grocery, Target, hotels, restuarants, car lots, etc. etc.) that is much more standardized like other cities. And Mahtomedi is next to Oakdale, White Bear Lake, and Maplewood - the latter two of which have all of the standard stuff, too - mall, restuarants, autos, etc. so you can find whatever you're looking for.

What may be revelant in your choice is how your wife plans on pursuing her nursing degree. With the assumption that she is planning on becoming an RN (not an LPN?), she is probably deciding between getting her associate's vs post-bachelor's. Both lead to the same licensing exam, but the schooling and time commitment will be different, as I'm sure she knows.
If she's planning on doing an associate's program, Century College in White Bear Lake borders the town of Mahtomedi, so the commute would be no time at all. Century ranks as one of the state's leading technical schools and their nursing program is highly competitive but held in high regard. Other AA RN nursing programs in the TC area are Anoka-Ramsey (Coon Rapids - further away), North Hennepin (Brooklyn Park - further away), and Minneapolis Community College.
If your wife is interested in getting a post-bachelor's degree, the Univ. of Minn. offers a 1.5 yr long Master's program in which she'd go through training for undergrad and grad level nursing and receive a Master's degree. Metro State University (also in Minneapolis) offers a similar program for a Master's.
St. Kate's (private, St. Paul) offers a second bachelor's degree for nursing. The tuition rates would increase, but this school is also well-known for thorough nursing programs.
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Old 02-28-2009, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
3 posts, read 10,777 times
Reputation: 16
Oh and I should mention - almost all of the diversity in food selections will be found in Minneapolis and St. Paul - it is much harder to find non-chain restaurants once you leave the cities, which may propel you to stay closer to the cities. And if your family has any desire to live IN the cities (not closest to work, but at least it'd be against traffic and 20 some minutes?), you may want to check out St. Paul, especially the areas around Highland Park and the areas around Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas (only a few blocks from the other, and both put you right near Grand Avenue where a lot of thriving eateries are - it's St. Paul's big area. Also, Portland and Ashland Sts between Lexington and Dale are mostly single-family homes yet not as pricey as the parallel Summit Avenue right next door. This exact area is where Grand Avenue (other side of Summit) begins its parade of restaurants, cafes, shops, services, etc., all with an independent sort of feel in a welcoming, people-oriented neighborhood.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:59 PM
 
Location: B'More
179 posts, read 355,950 times
Reputation: 147
Wow thank you all very much for the great input! My wife already has a master's degree so she's looking to do a fast track course. Here in Indy there's a 14-month program for people already with college degrees who're looking to change careers (she wants to do RN and sit on the board exam after she's done), so she's hoping she can find something similar in MSP.

We are also thinking about buying a new development home vs. buying a pre-owned home. I read somewhere on this board that the builders seem to be more willing to wheel & deal as opposed to private sellers. I know for a fact that builders in Indy are trying to offload the lots with huge incentives (3.9% APR, finished basement, $1 basement, etc. etc. etc.), and most of the home owners selling aren't willing to deal due to the lack of equity and cash to pony up for the loss sale.
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Old 03-01-2009, 06:17 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 61,282,830 times
Reputation: 10695
Quote:
Originally Posted by casualsurfer View Post
Wow thank you all very much for the great input! My wife already has a master's degree so she's looking to do a fast track course. Here in Indy there's a 14-month program for people already with college degrees who're looking to change careers (she wants to do RN and sit on the board exam after she's done), so she's hoping she can find something similar in MSP.

We are also thinking about buying a new development home vs. buying a pre-owned home. I read somewhere on this board that the builders seem to be more willing to wheel & deal as opposed to private sellers. I know for a fact that builders in Indy are trying to offload the lots with huge incentives (3.9% APR, finished basement, $1 basement, etc. etc. etc.), and most of the home owners selling aren't willing to deal due to the lack of equity and cash to pony up for the loss sale.

I am pretty sure the U of M has a similar fast track program, you might be able to find something like that at St. Cate's, St. Mary's or St. Scholastica as well. As for buying new vs "used", I think you are right, builders are willing to throw in a lot of extra's however, keep in mind that generally new construction is more expensive then existing housing stock so your 'deal' might not be all that great.
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Old 03-01-2009, 02:13 PM
 
6,613 posts, read 16,573,741 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualsurfer View Post
Wow thank you all very much for the great input! My wife already has a master's degree so she's looking to do a fast track course. Here in Indy there's a 14-month program for people already with college degrees who're looking to change careers (she wants to do RN and sit on the board exam after she's done), so she's hoping she can find something similar in MSP.

We are also thinking about buying a new development home vs. buying a pre-owned home. I read somewhere on this board that the builders seem to be more willing to wheel & deal as opposed to private sellers. I know for a fact that builders in Indy are trying to offload the lots with huge incentives (3.9% APR, finished basement, $1 basement, etc. etc. etc.), and most of the home owners selling aren't willing to deal due to the lack of equity and cash to pony up for the loss sale.
Yes, lots of unsold new homes all over the Metro area, but you'd be buying into a less convenient location, at least in terms of city amenities. One are that might not be too bad, though, are the new developments in western Stillwater. They would be pretty convenient to Oakdale (guessing 3M, right? ) and not too bad of a haul to St. Paul, especially non-rush hour.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:04 PM
HKB
 
221 posts, read 802,505 times
Reputation: 148
Keep in mind that there are other risks to buying new construction in this current market. There are new developments all over the metro area that begun during the housing boom (2002-2006), that are currently sitting half empty. New construction has pretty much come to a stand still, so those developments could potentially be sitting half empty for years to come. Not only does the neighborhood feel incomplete, but it will probably be much harder to sell your home if you ever wanted to. You would be competing against new construction, and trying to sell a home with unattractive vacant lots all around you.
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:27 PM
 
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
989 posts, read 2,960,660 times
Reputation: 329
Quote:
Originally Posted by casualsurfer View Post
Wow thank you all very much for the great input! My wife already has a master's degree so she's looking to do a fast track course. Here in Indy there's a 14-month program for people already with college degrees who're looking to change careers (she wants to do RN and sit on the board exam after she's done), so she's hoping she can find something similar in MSP.

We are also thinking about buying a new development home vs. buying a pre-owned home. I read somewhere on this board that the builders seem to be more willing to wheel & deal as opposed to private sellers. I know for a fact that builders in Indy are trying to offload the lots with huge incentives (3.9% APR, finished basement, $1 basement, etc. etc. etc.), and most of the home owners selling aren't willing to deal due to the lack of equity and cash to pony up for the loss sale.
We built in 2008 and I think you are right on with comments that existing homes are harder to get the discount on due to equity limitations. Builders have more incentive to deal because they want to keep crews busy, and have profit built into the lot sale. It certianly makes sense to explor this. I do also agree with another post regarding building new in a stagnent development that could take a long time to finish up. There are some smaller developments where this is less of an issue.
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