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Old 11-29-2012, 04:41 PM
 
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I'm in need of a little help here... My husband and I are looking to relocate to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area from Atlanta. We have three children- a 12 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old.


The first thing I would like to know is what are the "best" areas to live for a family with young children? By that, I'm meaning low to no crime rate, great schools, great housing, etc.


Another thing is the seasons. How is the winter?? I've heard that it could get pretty bad during the winter with the snow and the cold air. (We're not used to that kind of weather, being from the southeast and all.) Is there a spring? A summer? A fall?


Is there much entertainment there? (Like the symphony, theater, sports, fine dining, etc.)

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! (I'm pretty sure I'll have more questions later.)

Last edited by TheMizzez1019; 11-29-2012 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:00 PM
 
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Pretty much anywhere outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul, minus a couple suburbs are going to meet your housing requirements, the Twin Cities has more theater seats per capita outside of NYC, along with the MN Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and several smaller community groups. You won't lack for things to do here.

Winter, well, it's MN, it could be 50 one day and -20 the next. Learn how to layer your clothing and you will be fine. Your kids will love the snow.

Where will you be working and how much do you want to spend on a house. Keep in mind that generally housing costs here are a lot higher than most places in the south.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
Where will you be working and how much do you want to spend on a house. Keep in mind that generally housing costs here are a lot higher than most places in the south.
I've noticed that the housing is way higher than I'm used to. I'll be working for the public transit company up there. Here in Atlanta, a home for $200,000 to $250,000 (3-4BR/2-3BA) is plenty! But it seems that, spending that much, I wouldn't get anywhere near what I would here. Sooo, I dunno...
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 24,178,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMizzez1019 View Post
I'm in need of a little help here... My husband and I are looking to relocate to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area from Atlanta. We have three children- a 12 year old, a 3 year old, and a 1 year old.


The first thing I would like to know is what are the "best" areas to live for a family with young children? By that, I'm meaning low to no crime rate, great schools, great housing, etc.
Most of the suburbs and most of the two cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) would fit your description. The Twin Cities is not like Atlanta in that there aren't a lot of noticeably wealthy or poor areas adjacent to each other, crime is generally lower, and schools are much more consistent across school districts.

Home prices will be higher. When I moved from the Twin Cities to Atlanta back in 2004, I was shocked at how inexpensive housing was down here. The difference between metros was about 20% back then ... I have no idea what it is now, since both metro areas took a hit in real estate values.

Quote:
Another thing is the seasons. How is the winter?? I've heard that it could get pretty bad during the winter with the snow and the cold air. (We're not used to that kind of weather, being from the southeast and all.) Is there a spring? A summer? A fall?
Minnesota has four very real and distinct seasons, believe me.

Spring in the Twin Cities is similar to a spring in Atlanta, though I think summer hits faster in Atlanta then it does in the Twin Cities. Because of the snow, spring in the Twin Cities can also be a dirty season due to the sand released by melting snow along the roads.

Summer in the Twin Cities will be noticeably cooler on average than Atlanta, but it can still spike into the 90's or even above 100 late in July or in August. Summers highs can sometimes be down in the 70's, tho, which is heaven compared to the continuous 90's that occur in Atlanta week after week after week after... You probably won't see the roads steam up there after a rainfall, either.

Fall in Minnesota is similar to fall+winter in Atlanta. The leaves fall, there's a snap in the air, and you may see some minor snowfalls in late October or early November. Temps can vary wildly. The famed Halloween Blizzard of 1991 was NOT a normal occurrence!

Atlanta has no equivalent for a Minnesota winter. Minnesota doesn't get THAT much snow on average, but it can vary tremendously. In the winter of 2010-2011 there were at least two feet of snow on the ground when I flew up to visit friends and family in the SW suburbs, and it got down into at least the teens below zero. Last year, I hear the snow levels were very low. So snow will depend on the year. Compared to Atlanta, tho, it *will* be colder. I've seen temps as low as 11F here in the Atlanta suburbs. IN the Twin Cities suburbs, I know I've seen -25F, and I'm sure it's been colder. That number is burned in my head, tho, as the temp that effectively killed my 85 Accord back in the winter of 1996.

Quote:
Is there much entertainment there? (Like the symphony, theater, sports, fine dining, etc.)
You won't have a problem there.

Last edited by rcsteiner; 11-29-2012 at 05:32 PM..
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:01 PM
 
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What kind of neighborhood do you like, what kind of housing, and what kind of budget?

I personally think the ultimate, best "family-friendly" neighborhood (all the basics -- great schools, safe, lots of parks, lots of other families -- plus extras like Lake Harriet, a historic trolley, one of the country's best children's bookstores, a destination toy store, and lots of other things) is the Linden Hills neighborhood in Minneapolis. Great housing, too, by my book (lots of beautiful historic houses, as well as some big new houses for those who like the new stuff). But... you pay for the privilege of living in Linden Hills, and your money will almost certainly go farther -- in terms of space and lot size -- elsewhere in the metro area. But if it's family-friendly you're after, and oozing with character, top schools, perfect Twin Cities location on the banks of beautiful Lake Harriet well, Linden Hills has you covered.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
What kind of neighborhood do you like, what kind of housing, and what kind of budget?

I personally think the ultimate, best "family-friendly" neighborhood (all the basics -- great schools, safe, lots of parks, lots of other families -- plus extras like Lake Harriet, a historic trolley, one of the country's best children's bookstores, a destination toy store, and lots of other things) is the Linden Hills neighborhood in Minneapolis. Great housing, too, by my book (lots of beautiful historic houses, as well as some big new houses for those who like the new stuff). But... you pay for the privilege of living in Linden Hills, and your money will almost certainly go farther -- in terms of space and lot size -- elsewhere in the metro area. But if it's family-friendly you're after, and oozing with character, top schools, perfect Twin Cities location on the banks of beautiful Lake Harriet well, Linden Hills has you covered.
Top schools, um, not even close.....

New 4-year formula slashes high school grad rates | StarTribune.com

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) | Intellectual Takeout (ITO)

Downtown Journal : stories

etc.....
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:42 AM
 
10,629 posts, read 25,211,770 times
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What are you talking about?! I know you have a personal vendetta against the city, and clearly you prefer your 'hood (which is reasonable enough; we all have our own preferences), but it's silly to suggest that the schools in Linden Hills are lacking. Yes, Linden Hills clearly has excellent schools. Check out Lake Harriet Community School for the K-8 crowd, and Southwest High School for the older kids. People move to Linden Hills partly for the schools. Now are the local schools the ONLY great schools around? No, of course not. But the schools are top-notch, and the neighborhood perfect, I think, for families. Of course every family has different preferences (and a different budget), so whether it's right for this family depends on their tastes.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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It does get below zero here, every winter, but those are isolated cold snaps that usually only last a few days. A more normal temperature would be the high teens or twenties. To deal with it you either ignore it and do indoor things like shopping and cultural things, or embrace it and go skiing or whatever on days that it's not ridiculously cold out. On a normal day you go from your heated house to your heated car to your heated workplace, so it's not necessary to dress up for an arctic expedition every day. I normally just wear a leather jacket, and maybe hat and gloves if I'm not going to be out in the cold for a long time.

The vehicles you see here are do tend to be different. You don't see a lot of big rear wheel drive cars, at least not in the winter, and remote starters and engine block heaters are common. 4WD and big tires are of course nice, but most people just get by with FWD cars;
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mdcastle View Post
It does get below zero here, every winter, but those are isolated cold snaps that usually only last a few days. A more normal temperature would be the high teens or twenties. To deal with it you either ignore it and do indoor things like shopping and cultural things, or embrace it and go skiing or whatever on days that it's not ridiculously cold out. On a normal day you go from your heated house to your heated car to your heated workplace, so it's not necessary to dress up for an arctic expedition every day. I normally just wear a leather jacket, and maybe hat and gloves if I'm not going to be out in the cold for a long time.

The vehicles you see here are do tend to be different. You don't see a lot of big rear wheel drive cars, at least not in the winter, and remote starters and engine block heaters are common. 4WD and big tires are of course nice, but most people just get by with FWD cars;
Or people use their garages for actually parking their cars so they don't need one
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Old 11-30-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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@rcsteiner (or anyone else that might know...) What areas would you say are comparable to Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Mableton, Douglasville, etc., considering the types of neighborhoods they are and the homes?
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