Author Topic: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.  (Read 2707 times)

onemorebike

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We are parents of two young children and dual home owners (though selling the rental next week, yay!) right now and considering a move from 365 day a year sunshine to Minnesota for family reasons. Over the past years we've put a decent amount of money into our home and into our rental to keep them humming along. As we consider a possible move I wonder two things:

1) Is it crazy to assume we can maintain our level of cycling/walking in Minneapolis given the harsh winters? Any great ideas for how to locate ourselves so this isn't a huge loss?

2) Should we consider becoming renters to avoid the ongoing pain of homeownership so that we have more time and energy for our family and interests?

One side note is we will come out of the rental sale with about 100000 in profit that I originally presumed we would roll into the next house - allowing us a reduced mortgage and hopefully a bit of an F U stance on what ever jobs we may find, now I'm not sure if that is the best approach.

-onemorebike

Fishingmn

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 06:30:03 AM »
Hello onemore.

I would seek out a MMM user named windawake (you can probably search the name and send her a Private Message). She is an avid bike rider and lives/rents just south of downtown Minneapolis. She bikes all year long except on the worst weather days when she reverts to public transportation. Just sold her car so she pretty much relies on bike as the primary transport (I know so much because she's my DD).

As far as the rent vs own question - to me the biggest question to start with is how long you might be living here. If you aren't sure whether you'll be here at least 4+ years then I'd probably rent. I think it probably makes sense to at least rent at first to get you bearings on the area and figure out what makes sense.

BlueBeard

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 06:51:20 AM »
Where do you live now?  365 days of sunshine sounds really nice compared to the soon to be winter up here.

rubybeth

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 08:10:04 AM »
I don't live in Minneapolis but my sister lives in a suburb and I've lived in Minnesota basically my whole life. The biking culture in Minneapolis is for real--they recently repainted a bunch of bike lanes to make them more visible for drivers, and I have some hardcore friends that bike even when it's super cold (like -30 and snowing). But they are also improving mass transit all the time--bus routes, light rail, etc. I'd take a good look at where you'll be working, and rent/buy near your job or at least near multiple transit options that would allow you some leeway with biking. Also, ride shares are an option, as well, if you're working in a major business area.

I live in central Minnesota and live less than a mile from where I work and have been known to walk to work even in the winter, because walking is easier and faster than clearing off the snow-covered car, de-icing the windows, waiting for the engine to warm up, etc. Get good winter coats and boots, and dress appropriately for the weather.

Also, I'd add that Minnesotans love the outdoors in general, and you'll see people out on the lakes, on park trails, and just out and about all year round. I personally love all of our seasons, and winter is a good time for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and on the coldest days, go to a concert, library, museum, or just stay home with a good book. And you better believe that first 40 degree day in the spring involves driving with the windows down! Fall is absolutely beautiful, as well, with all of the changing colors.

As for renting vs. buying, I think only you can answer that. Why not rent to begin with, and then see if you like the area and scope out the market when you're actually there? You can walk or bike through neighborhoods to get a feel for them, and you'll have a better sense of the schools, parks, etc. in an area once you're on the ground and living it.

PindyStache

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 08:58:20 AM »
Hello!

1) No it is not crazy. You may need some additional gear, but nothing too fancy. I bike commute full time, including most days this past winter. I'm always surprised by how many other bikers I see! It is different than taking a leisurely ride to the park, but winter biking has a very special charm and I am actually missing it at the moment! Usually the streets are well plowed and the city plows the bike paths and trails all winter long as well.

Minneapolis has great bike infrastructure, which means there are a lot of options for decent biking, based on where you work.

Because I don't know where you're looking to work/what else you want to frequent, I'll just share a couple maps:

City bike routes: http://www.minneapolis.org/sites/default/files/u7/pdfs/Mpls-Trails.pdf
Bicycle accident maps: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@publicworks/documents/images/wcms1p-102355.pdf
(Bicycling overall is quite safe here, but this gives you some indication of which roads are more stressful to bike around.)

2) Hard to say. I know people who rent and are plenty happy, and I know people who own who are plenty happy as well. Overall, the rental market in Minneapolis is quite "hot" at the moment and unfortunately most of the new construction underway is in the super-luxury sector of the market. Really this is up to you. If you are new to town I'd probably recommend renting somewhere to get a feel for some of the neighborhoods.

I personally live in the Hale-Page-Diamond Lake neighborhood and it has a great family feel (parks are always packed in summer with kids & parents who took them there on bike trailers and cargo bikes...) and good level of affordability for us. Most folks here own single-family homes, but some homes are rented. Lots of other good neighborhood options in town too.

so.mpls

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 09:48:35 AM »
Hi onemorebike,

1) A lot of people here bike year-round, so it's not totally crazy to assume you'll be able to keep up your current level of biking.  However, you'll have to spend some money on good equipment to do so.  It'll also be too cold to bring the kids anywhere via bike in the really cold months (Dec - Mar).  Keeping that in mind, the cycling infrastructure here is fantastic and the bike culture is really strong.  It's a cycling paradise in that respect for 8-9 months out of the year.

2) As others have said, it depends on how long you're planning to stay in MN, but even if you're planning to stay for the long haul it might not be a bad idea to rent for a year or two and figure out where you really want to live.  It's hard to recommend an area without knowing where you'll be working, but something in NE  or SE near the light rail is a good bet.

onemorebike

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 04:56:42 AM »
We've lived here over three years now, and damn am i glad we bought in South minneapolis! What a fantastic neighborhood. Can't remember how I ended up back on this thread but thought I'd add to so.mpls that it turns out the kids can ride through winter (begrudgingly some days, but most days we roll with smiles!).

Thanks for the advice everyone, I love this town.

onemorebike

Hi onemorebike,

1) A lot of people here bike year-round, so it's not totally crazy to assume you'll be able to keep up your current level of biking.  However, you'll have to spend some money on good equipment to do so.  It'll also be too cold to bring the kids anywhere via bike in the really cold months (Dec - Mar).  Keeping that in mind, the cycling infrastructure here is fantastic and the bike culture is really strong.  It's a cycling paradise in that respect for 8-9 months out of the year.

2) As others have said, it depends on how long you're planning to stay in MN, but even if you're planning to stay for the long haul it might not be a bad idea to rent for a year or two and figure out where you really want to live.  It's hard to recommend an area without knowing where you'll be working, but something in NE  or SE near the light rail is a good bet.

adventurestache

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 09:11:08 AM »
Greetings from St. Paul!

1. I bike year round here, and it is definitely doable. The cold isn't too big a deal, just get a some good extremity protection and you'll be fine! The bigger problem is biking through snow or ice, which is typically manageable most days. Dedicated bike trails such as the Mississippi River Parkways get plowed just as often as the roads, so they are typically passable year round barring an unusual amount of melting and refreezing into ice. Sometimes bike lanes can get a bit narrow if it is a snowy winter, but only in certain roads/areas.

2. Overall rent is pretty reasonable here. I'm not in your situation, but I rent a 1 bedroom with my wife in a nice area for ~900 a month. There's a bit of a housing shortage at the moment, but also a lot of development. I second that renting first would be wise, neighborhoods can have a distinct feel and you may want flexibility to move after a while.

Definitely message me if you'd like more specific advice!

onemorebike

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 09:17:38 AM »
Adventurestache, thanks for the tips but I've been here for 3 years now and I've worked out winter biking. I should probably blog about it. :) did you make the twin cities stache meet up a month or so ago?

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adventurestache

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 09:26:42 AM »
Yikes! I just saw your original question and ignored the date :)

I did not go to the meet up, but I'll have to keep that on my radar and go to the next one!

adventurestache

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 09:45:32 AM »
When / where is the next one? I'd love to go with my wife!

Mgmny

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2018, 11:06:59 AM »
When / where is the next one? I'd love to go with my wife!

Did you join the facebook group? They are usually sourced there, i think.

adventurestache

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Re: Mustachianism in Minneapolis? A question about potential move.
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2018, 05:31:41 PM »
I'm not on Facebook, but I'll try and keep my eyes open around the web and this forum :)