Places to live in Minneapolis – The Best Neighborhoods
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Safe Minneapolis Neighborhoods with Affordable Rent
Minneapolis is known for having neighborhoods that retain distinct character, and because Minneapolis is a city that spans a large area, character matters. Let's review the best neighborhoods to live in Minneapolis. Whether you are looking to buy a Minneapolis home, rent an apartment, or buy a condo, each of these cool neighborhoods has something different to offer, so before you move to Minneapolis learn the character of each neighborhood and select the one that is best for you.
Downtown: With many apartments in the Loring Park area, and a growing number of apartments and condos in the warehouse district, downtown has diverse housing options. But they all have one thing in common. They are expensive. New condo projects going up near the Mississippi River and the current economy ensure that resale values of condos will be depressed for a long time. If you buy downtown, be ready to stay for a while.
Uptown: This was once a haven for the hipster crowd–a neighborhood with more Mohawks than pant suits. The character of the neighborhood is changing, however, as new condos and chain restaurants crowd out those with meager incomes and radical politics.
Whittier: Just across the street from Uptown, I expect this neighborhood to be the most immediate refuge for displaced hipsters. The neighborhood has a small community garden next to the greenway. The greenway, a fantastic feature for runners and bikers, cuts East-West across this neighborhood at 29th St. Eat Street (Nicollet Ave., that is) has great restaurants. Try Peninsula and Pancho Villa.
Phillips: Like Whittier, although, this neighborhood has a large Latino population that brings great food to Lake St. The Chicago, occupying what once was the Sears building, has brought high-end condos to this neighborhood, and the Global Market that occupies lower floors has groceries, delis, and restaurants.
North: This neighborhood is traditionally predominantly African-American, though that is changing with the times. While crime has hurt this neighborhood, low rent and proximity to downtown make it an attractive place to live. I especially recommend the Harrison Neighborhood.
Northeast: This was once a working class neighborhood that housed the laborers that worked the warehouses and mills that still dot this neighborhood. Today Nye's Polonaise still has live polka, but there are new trendy eateries to compliment. Closer to the river there are condos and apartments. Farther north there are houses, many of them affordable. I particularly like Brasa, a rotisserie that serves the best pulled pork outside of the Carolinas.
Seward: This neighborhood, bordered by downtown on the North and the Mississippi River on the East, is a great place to call home. The Seward Coop has been dispensing natural foods for more than 30 years. The neighborhood has access to I-94 and is near the Light Rail Train. There is a mixture of houses and apartments with prices higher prices closer to the river.
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Buying a Home in Minneapolis
Outside of Downtown, Minneapolis is a city full of affordable single family houses. Throw in condos, townhomes, and duplexes, and the options are endless. While many of the neighborhoods listed above have houses for sale, even more houses are for sale farther south in the city.
The Hiawatha, Nokomis, and Longfellow neighborhoods have great options and easy access to the light rail (LRT). These neighborhoods also include beautiful parks and lakes. Hiawatha has a golf course.
The inner-ring suburbs of Bloomington, Columbia Heights, and Edina also have affordable options and all of them tout well-funded school systems. Just west of the city is St. Louis Park. This inner-ring suburb will only grow more attractive if the city completes its plan to connect St. Louis Park to downtown through a new light rail line.
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul offer incentives for people to buy homes in the city through their CityLiving Program. St. Paul even offers $15,000 to teachers who buy in the city.
Which Neighborhoods Are Retaining Their Home Values?
According to Minnesota Monthly Magazine all Minneapolis neighborhoods are losing value, but some have lost more than others.
Citywide home values are down 19%. But the Calhoun-Isles neighborhood (Uptown) has lost just 6%. The Nokomis neighborhood has likewise lost meager 7%.
Homes in North Mpls, Camden, and Phillips have lost around 50% of their value in the last 12 months.
Isn't it too cold in Minneapolis?
Minneapolis does get cold in the winter, but no city knows how to handle the cold like Minneapolis. For one, the downtown area is connected by a series of skyways that make it easy to go from business meeting, to haircut, to lunch without ever stepping foot outside. Many places apartment and condo buildings have underground parking, as do many businesses.
If all else fails, embrace the cold. Minneapolis is the number one biking city in the country even through a sub-zero winter. Join the many who bike, cross-country ski, run, walk dogs, ice fish, snow mobile, and otherwise enjoy all four seasons.
Best Neighborhoods for Light Rail Access
Minneapolis has a North-South light rail line, the Hiawatha Line, already. With the addition of the Central Corridor slated for 2014 and a planned Southwest Line, some neighborhoods will be big winners. The neighborhoods through which the Hiawatha Line passes have seen a building boom that was slow to take hold, but has had a lasting effect. New condo buildings and apartments have gone up next to the light rail, as well as a YWCA, grocery stores, and a Target store. Other lines would also likely attract real estate development in commercial and residential properties. Businesses are complaining currently that the construction will hurt business, but those business that survive will see more people moving to those areas of the city that have easy access to downtown via mass transit. Oil prices keep climbing, and a property adjacent to public transit looks more attractive than ever.
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- Crime Statistics and Reports
Minneapolis police department keeps weekly statistics on crimes that happen in each neighborhood. A sampling from a few weeks will give a good idea of what kind of crime happens in each neighborhood.