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Old 04-28-2010, 03:38 PM
 
252 posts, read 564,185 times
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Now we're getting somewhere! All great advice. I definately plan to look into public transit, now moreso than before I read your feedback. Special thanks to WannBe and Family of Five. Question for FOF - did you have any kids when you were in law school? Honestly if I diddn't have Kids I wouldn't much care where I lived. I'll definately look into Medina, Dayton, and Corcoran.

The whole premise of buying vs. renting is multi-facited.

a) We own a place here in DSM and converting back to apartment life after owning a home is kind of like putting toothpaste back in a tube, not to mention the pain of having a kid in an apartment.

b) We feel that if we can buy a foreclosed property for 145k that is worth 180k thatwe would have the instant equity to make good financial sense for putting a down payment on a bigger house right after school.

c) We may not move right after school, but perhaps a few years thereafter making our total time in that home about 4-6 years. We also plan on doing some equity-building repairs and enhancements on whatever we buy to make a profit on that end as well.

FOF - how late did your husband usually come home? I found some standard and express lines that take us where we want to go, but they diddn't run past a certain time. My biggest hesitation would be needing to get home quick if my kid needed picked up from Pre-school (i.e. sick); AND being possibly stranded if I needed to make an occasional late-night law school cram session (i.e. during finals).

Thanks again for all the help. I'll definately look into these places. We plan on getting pre-approved next week sometime and finding a realtor immediately thereafter to seriously start shopping. I'll start a new thread after that time regarding the actual house hunting.
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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I've never used it, but Metro Transit has the Guaranteed Ride program for things like preschool emergencies. Metro Transit - Guaranteed Ride Home
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Old 04-28-2010, 09:43 PM
 
136 posts, read 313,058 times
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The first year, my husband would be ready to come home between 8-9 PM. We didn't have children, so I would go pick him up. We lived very close by so it was easy to do. The 2nd and 3rd years he was generally home earlier - many nights he was home before 6. He would study after dinner at home.

I understand your reasons for wanting to buy a home, and I personally could not live without my kids being able to spend half the day outside in our front and back yards. Maybe you could find an apartment complex with a playground or open space, or right across the street from a park. I think that owning a home, trying to fix it up, being responsible for the maintainance of the home, having a significant/expensive commute AND going to law school at the U would be a recipe for disaster.

You are moving here to go to law school - make that your first priority and let the other things take a back seat. Children are extremely adaptable and where ever you live he'll be fine. I always think of this when we are traveling and staying in a hotel - seriously, my kids would hardly blink if we told them that the hotel was our new home (my oldest is 8, and he would ask about school). As long as they have mom and dad, and mom and dad are reassuring them with words and actions, not much else matters. If you rent for three years and then move, your child will barely have any memories of that time when he is older. The most important thing for him over the next three years will be getting to spend as much time with you as possible. That is why it is absolutely imperative that you minimize your commute. I wouldn't recommend 7 Corners simply because I doubt there is a preschool anywhere near there (although I didn't google that, I am just visualizing that area). I am positive that you can find something no more than 20 minutes from the law school, on a bus line. You can either study during the commute, or use that time to separate from school so that you can give your child your full attention once you get home.

I am going to stand by my original advice:
1) rent
2) live where there is excellent public transportation to the west bank (law school)

We can't predict what the housing market will be like in 3-4 years, but if it stays like it is now, I predict that you will be stuck with your house, unable to sell it. I appreciate your optimistic view, but I wouldn't risk it. Also, you will probably never recover your closing costs if you plan on selling in a few years.

My husband just chimed in - he said he "didn't know a soul" who owned a house while he was in law school. He also pointed out that after law school, you want to have the freedom to job search outside the twin cities and the freedom to be able to take a job if it is offered to you. Owning a home may be a barrier to that. A law school friend was over the other night, and this friend was chatting with a U law prof at some event. The prof said that about 70% of the current class had job offers, which is very, very low. My husbands year it was probably close to 100%. You'll want to be able to cast a wide net when you job search, without worrying about the stress of selling your home.

You must be a bit of a smartie, to be accepted to the U, so I know that whatever you decide to do you'll be able to make it work. Don't bite off more than you can chew, though - you cannot even imagine what your first year is going to like.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:16 PM
 
252 posts, read 564,185 times
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*UPDATE*
Several weeks have passed since my last commentary. Since then I have been accepted to Drake Law SChool (in Des Moines), and Southern Methodist University (in Texas). I have decided to withdrawl my application from both schools and stick with the U.

We tried to secure financing for a home mortgage. As it turns out, they don't want to give you one unless the main income earner (will be my wife since I'll be in school) has a job lined up in MSP. No real shock there, we just can't buy a house until she gets a job. Coincidentally, she's been looking since April and hasn't received 1 call. Therefore, we have decided to take the following route: Option A - she gets a job before law school starts in September, we buy a house, and move up to it before then. Option B - she doesn't get a job before I start in September, I move up to an apartment in Eden Prairie (I'd actually like to rent a townhouse), and she joins me when she gets a job. Option C - she doesn't have a job by New Years and she moves up and starts attending UMN to finish up her Bachelor's degree & we live entirely off of student loans, part time jobs, and VA checks for 2-3 years. I belive that Option B will prevail because I believe that employer's aren't going to seriously consider an out-of-state candidate unless something opens up with her current company in that neck of the woods.

Either way, we are going to make this happen come hell or high water.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,988 posts, read 12,785,789 times
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Congrats, I guess? I hope it goes well for you. As far as hiring an out-of-state candidate - it's probably not going to happen. I had to move here before finding a job - no one would touch me when I lived out of state.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:50 PM
 
252 posts, read 564,185 times
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Yeah. I'm pretty sure that once I move up there and start school and she can put my apartment address on her resume/application, that more calls will roll in.

Its really just like the Army. Improvise, adapt, overcome.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:50 PM
 
371 posts, read 509,369 times
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Default Transit

So are you going to look into the public transportation situation from Eden Prairie before you sign a lease? I work on the West Bank and many faculty and grad students take a bus to get there. You are not going to be going back there after dinner from Eden Prairie. Good luck!

One city that hasn't been mentioned before is the Village of Saint Anthony. This is definitely located within close commuting range to the law school and is a nice community with good schools. This is not the same as the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood of Saint Paul mentioned by someone else.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:36 AM
 
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I admire the OP's convictions and desire to do something he wants to do and it takes him out of his comfort zone.

I have no specifics about this area but I am also looking to move there. I have though moved a few times to new areas and I cannot recommend enough about renting when first going to someplace new this includes any of the scenarios you mentioned. I understand all of your reasons and agree with all them for owning over renting. But you do not want to buy a home that does not end up working for you (area, commute, wife's job) or you are hit with some high repairs with your economic ability severely diminished. Also have you factored in what probably is much higher property taxes then where you live now?

I would recommend renting, you can find places that allow six month leases.Once your wife has moved up there, found a job she likes and plans to be there for awhile, you are comfortable with how you can commute and time to school and balance family time not just now theoretical and both you and your wife learn more about the area and adjust to the area you can make a wiser decision of what and where to buy your home.

You and your family are going to go through some big time adjustments of money, time and facing a new city, you do not need to add to that stress by risking buying a home that might not be in the area you like or works for you and your wife transportation/time commuting. You are already making such big adjustments renting for months or a year is not that big of a thing.
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:43 AM
 
21 posts, read 48,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrogers1122 View Post
Yeah. I'm pretty sure that once I move up there and start school and she can put my apartment address on her resume/application, that more calls will roll in.

Its really just like the Army. Improvise, adapt, overcome.
I face the same thing. In good economic times people are wary of people applying from not in the area no matter what reason they give. Unless someone brings unique skills and experience or the field they are in is unique or has a huge shortage it is tough to be taken seriously. In a recession it is only worse.

The odds will improve greatly when you are actually living in the area you want to work in.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:42 PM
 
252 posts, read 564,185 times
Reputation: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheddar View Post
So are you going to look into the public transportation situation from Eden Prairie before you sign a lease? I work on the West Bank and many faculty and grad students take a bus to get there. You are not going to be going back there after dinner from Eden Prairie. Good luck!

One city that hasn't been mentioned before is the Village of Saint Anthony. This is definitely located within close commuting range to the law school and is a nice community with good schools. This is not the same as the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood of Saint Paul mentioned by someone else.
Great! Where is the Village of Saint Anthony located on the map?
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