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Old 08-20-2009, 06:09 PM
 
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Hello all,
Just looking for a friendly advice here...
We are a couple in mid 30s with a 4 month old baby, currently living in San Francisco. For many reasons after 10 years spent here we decided to move. My husband is in software business and I'm staying home with the baby. Overall we are looking for a safe, family oriented, quiet place to live with affordable rent housing (hoping to buy a house in the future). My husband is looking for a job in Twin Cities area but we are open to move anywhere in Minnesota, as long as it's close enough to his job. We are not afraid of the cold and snow though learning how to drive on ice is going to be fun... We like hills and lakes, being able to do the shopping within 10-15 minute drive and living in a safe neighborhood.
I'm also concerned about tornadoes a lot, especially if we'll be renting an apartment with no basement... Or is there a place in MN where tornadoes don't hit?
All the comments will be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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There are a few tornadoes in the metro area allthough not often, just the other day there was one. I remember about fifteen years ago there was a tornado in the metro area and KARE 11 news helicopter was flying right next to it to get the news story. In the background of the fliming you could see trees flying around. LOL

Just a few days ago there was a tornado in the Mpls. area but these will be fairly rare events I dont think they happen there every year.

There are way less tornadoes in the Duluth MN. area, in fact there has not been one in over twelve years here that I know of. A few years ago there was a tornado over near Siren Wsc. that did alot of damage.


There are not as many hills in the metro area so driving on icy roads on hills wont be the same as driving on icy, hilly roads in Duluth.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Here is a good link to find out more information on tornadoes in the State of Minnesota.

Including on June 28, 1979 when 16 of them came through MN. in a 6.5 hour period.

A F5 tornado also hit in Chandler MN. a few years ago in 92'.

Minnesota Tornado History and Statistics

Mn Historical Society photo
http://collections.mnhs.org/visualre...archType=Basic

Last edited by demtion35; 08-20-2009 at 06:48 PM.. Reason: ad
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Old 08-20-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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But aside from the storm stuff (which is incredible actually) you mentioned hills and lakes.

Duluth has the hills and lakes including Lake Superior. Here there is close access to hiking and camping and freedom to do and go where you like. Its a dog friendly area and many of the lakes are only minutes away offering the chance to be near no one else.

The area is taylor made for canoe and kayak activity. I cant comment on the type of work you do. Clueless.

Living up here is a real blessing with so many choices to be made. Remote hiking is endless, water trails to follow. Being on and near Lake Superior in the face of a blizzard with -60 wind chill is something most of us cant wait for. Crazy?? Not at all houndreds of us go into Canal Park to see the waves and to be able to see this large lake at its best.

Being from SF do you surf at all? Well in all the months of winter including Jan.-March they surf on the lake. Always love to see that.


We have many festivals that happen year round. Winter is not to be afraid of its one of the many reasons we choose to stay here and spend lifetime together.

Driving up the Northshore there are many Parks and trail heads heading onto the Superior Hiking Trail. This is a hiking trail that starts here and continues up to the Canadian Border. Its rated as one of the top ten hiking trails in the world.

Forty miles of this trail is in Duluth giving views to some of the best overlooks and scenic views available.

In the winter time choosing where to go ice climbing is within the city also. So many of the rivers offer cliffs and conditions perfect for climbing the ice, and snowshoing is often the best when the rivers are frozen and following its path through the rock walls on either side is just incredible.

Mountain biking trails paved and single track are also prime in this area. Mountain biking routes are through the city and in the extensive COGGS trail systems and others.

Form Duluth it is a short drive up into the Superior National Forest for a weekend of camping and hiking. Many of the campgrounds offered in the SNF are free of charge and very very lovely, with being on the edge of the Boundry Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a vast area set aside for the water based caming with a canoe or kayak, offering many nights stay at campsites in the summertime and dogsled or cross country skiing in the wintertime. The BW are also home to some to the most remote hiking trails some of them are Pow Wow trail, The Kek, Border trails and others.

Gunflint Trail runs for 55 miles and ends up at Trails End a large remote style very nice campground on the edge of the BW. Up NNW of Grand Marias.

If you decide to live up here or just visit for the day trip, you will be pleased.

Thanks
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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Thanks a lot!
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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Duluth is nice but VERY cold and there aren't many jobs.

Before you move here I would very much suggest you spend a couple weeks in your prospective city in the Winter. It's Winter for about half the year so make sure you like it and can deal with it long term.

Best of luck and living in MN is cheaper than San Francisco.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:39 PM
 
Location: midwest
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The previous posters are correct for the most part and you'll do well to read up on other similar threads. I won't go into much more detail on the Minnesota winters, you really ought to know what you're getting into - but don't get scared, it's not like you're in any danger if you're a smart gal.

Also don't worry about tornadoes. Yes the midwest get's them, we don't get big ones out here and they mainly come around in the spring when the cold air is battling the warm. It's been a weird year so don't take away much from '09 statistics. You'll be moving away from the risk of falling into the ocean so hey! It even's out!

I've been here 15 years. Many old-timers say the snow hasn't been as thick during this time as in former years. We might be due for a good cold trend sometime soon. This year might be showing signs of that happening for us. If so then heating expenses will be tighter than ever with no sign of relief. Just letting you know for buget reasons because it hurts the bills 6 months out of the year.

Your hubby is in software? Good market in MSP for that, lot's of techie positions all over in the cities. If you have a very nice lifestyle and want to keep it that way - nice house, nice car, nice school someday with parks and comfortable commutes all that.... you need to focus on the suburbs and not the inner cities. I know a lot will tell you about downtown charm and blah blah blah.. Trust me you want to keep closer to a middle class of overwhelmingly normal people with newer energy efficient homes and that know how to take care of their yards and care about education. You won't be finding that in the city. I know a lot depends on the ultimate job location. I hope you find yourself in the southwest suburbs, north of the MN river. Lots of places are nice to live near or in, only a few are actually affordable or with great schools. By the way, I helped start a school so I kinda know about the good ones and bad ones....

Since it's so early to tell where you need to be looking, I won't cast a vote on a city yet. Feel free to DM me when you know. I'm very familiar with Eden Prairie, Chaska, Chanhassen, Minnetonka, Excelsior, Minnetrista, Waconia, Victoria, Cologne, Norwood Young America, Watertown, Shakopee, Savage, Burnsville, Lakeville, Apple Valley & Prior Lake. I'll help you with knowing anything you need to know about anything....

PS - congrats on your new little one and I applaud you for staying home with them. My wife does the same thing. We now have 3. Oh, and you can always buy my split entry 3 bedroom home because I've got it up for sale! I've taken really good care of it!!
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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Hmmm. I'm from SoCal (Los Angeles) and I've been here for one year. I'm in Eden Prairie and the tornadoes always seem to skip us. Some locals have told me we're not in the tornado path in Eden Prairie, not sure what that means. In my apartment, our unit is actually basement level. The patio looks out at a hill and on the other side, the bedroom windows are where the ground begins. So, really, a portion of my apartment is underground. THe bathroom would be the safest place in my apartment. If you guys are set on the twin cities, Eden Prairie is a great place to live and work. I work closer to downtown Minneapolis and the commute isn't so bad. I wish I worked in my city though.

The weather will be something for you guys to get used to though. It's very difficult for me. ACtually, I am basically irritated from January through March... It's depressing.

On the upside, great place to raise kids. Cost of living is way lower than Cali and I think there are more jobs here.

Good luck!!! Congrats on the baby and it's awesome you're staying home!
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Old 08-22-2009, 02:08 AM
 
10,629 posts, read 25,176,827 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mucya View Post
Hello all,
Just looking for a friendly advice here...
We are a couple in mid 30s with a 4 month old baby, currently living in San Francisco. For many reasons after 10 years spent here we decided to move. My husband is in software business and I'm staying home with the baby. Overall we are looking for a safe, family oriented, quiet place to live with affordable rent housing (hoping to buy a house in the future). My husband is looking for a job in Twin Cities area but we are open to move anywhere in Minnesota, as long as it's close enough to his job. We are not afraid of the cold and snow though learning how to drive on ice is going to be fun... We like hills and lakes, being able to do the shopping within 10-15 minute drive and living in a safe neighborhood.
I'm also concerned about tornadoes a lot, especially if we'll be renting an apartment with no basement... Or is there a place in MN where tornadoes don't hit?
All the comments will be greatly appreciated, thanks.
Tornadoes can hit anywhere, including the city (as seen earlier this week). Don't worry about it, though; also, while there may be apartments out there without basements, I don't think it's the norm. Tornadoes can happen but the damage is usually localized, it's highly unlikely you'll ever see one, let alone be hurt by one, and you'll quickly learn what to do in case the sirens go off or one is spotted. (and, as an aside, I find it mildly amusing that you're concerned about tornadoes; not the fact that you're nervous, as I can understand that, but because I'm a native Minnesotan who has lived in both LA and SF and was terrified about earthquakes! If it makes you feel better, my geology professor told us that MN was one of the safest places to live if you're concerned about natural disasters, so don't worry too much.)

Where in San Francisco do you live? Do you want a similar type of neighborhood or city? I'm also in my 30s, with a kid, and have experience with both California and San Francisco. You'll want to figure out job first, of course, but if you give some more specifics on what you're looking for we can give you some targeted recommendations. I know San Francisco, or at least the city itself, pretty well, and can try my best to give some comparative recommendations,a nd I'm sure there are some other former Bay Area residents (or visitors) on here who can help as well. Otherwise, the more info you can give about what you want, especially about type of neighborhood, and maybe rough idea of what you define as affordable, the better.

On the issue of affordability, MN is going to feel much, much cheaper than San Francisco, both in terms of housing (the big one) as well as just overall cost of living.

I 100% do not agree with Zara that you should avoid the cities themselves. Maybe you prefer a suburb, and that's fine, but there's absolutely no reason to avoid the cities for fear of crime, bad schools, quality housing, lack of "normal" people, or anything else. Minneapolis and St. Paul are very nice cities, very livable, have wonderful neighborhoods, lots of good schools, plenty of "normal" people, and certainly lots of people who care very deeply about education, their community, etc. Depending on what you mean by "affordable," for example (given that you're used to SF prices!) you could even live in a wonderfully safe area of Minneapolis (the area around Lake of the Isles: East Isles, Kenwood, and a few other neighborhoods - not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but some affordable (depending on definition) duplexes for rent, despite it being one of the area's most posh neighborhoods - sort of the Pacific Heights of Minneapolis) with a neighborhood newspaper called the Hill and Lake Press. (sounds like a perfect match...)

There are plenty of other nice, cheaper, but also safe, quiet, convenient, and overall nice neighborhoods within the city that may be of interest. (in the suburbs, too, of course, but again, you don't "have" to live in the suburbs to find them.) You'll find lakes and and parks all over the metro area (and state), and overall MN is known for having good public schools. There's not the pressure to move somewhere just for the school district, as you can find good schools pretty much everywhere. I'm not sure if you live in SF itself, but the Minneapolis Public Schools also offer some great magnet options and school choices, but don't have the horrendously complex lottery system like you find in the city of SF.

Last edited by uptown_urbanist; 08-22-2009 at 02:25 AM..
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:12 AM
 
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I have lived in MN most of my life and have never had to experience a tornado. Wednesday's tornadoes are probably as close as I have ever come and they were still 20 miles away or so-we didn't have anything at our house at all. Yes they hit the cities, generally the worst is in late July/early August when the heat and humidity are at their peak but they are rare.

Once your husband finds a job it will be easier to suggest places to live but for the most part, anywhere in MN is going to give you what you want.
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