Over the past few years there have evolved a few sites on the web that give anyone relatively easy access to real estate listings all over the country. Recently the site Trulia has taken things a step further by incorporating the mounds of data from the MLS (local Real Estate listing service) and google maps together on one site. Since its launch in September of 2005, the site has grown to 1.5 million unique monthly visitors with 2 million properties for sale. The site’s “heat maps” allow users to compare prices and popularity by state, county, city or neighborhood. The local real estate guides provide information such as sales statistics, real estate price trends and community information such as crime statistics. Click the picture below for a tour.
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Real Estate Search + Google Maps
The Big Dilemma: Minneapolis or St Paul?
Okay, so you have begun the google search for your next move when you start seeing some significant pricing differences between listings in Minneapolis and those in St Paul. Case in point: the typical 1000 square foot condo in St Paul sells on average for 180k however that same condo in Minneapolis sells for a whooping 230k! Yikes! Why such a difference in price you ask? The answer has always been the same: LOCATION, Location, location!
The next question that buyers almost always ask me is: So which city should I really be investing in? Minneapolis or St Paul? The answer is it really depends on a number of fundamental buying questions you need to be asking yourself.
The first question you need to ask yourself is: what is my true motivation for going urban? Is it merely wanting to have a shorter commute to work every day? Or is it because you want easy access to all the restaurants and cafes the city has to offer? Or are you just short for spare time and looking to avoid those maintenance related issues if you took the house option in lieu of a condo. I think these are all good and rational points to be had. However depending on how you answer this could determine which city makes the most sense. If you happen to work for a company such as Lawson Software its logical to think St Paul. However its Minneapolis that has plenty of restaurants and cafes to keep anyone busy trying new eats all the time.
The root of this discussion comes down to two different paradigms buyers fall into one way or another. One rational is that because pricing in St Paul runs a bit lower I can get more condo for my money. The other rational is to buy in Minneapolis with the understanding that you are paying a premium for the area and more importantly the lifestyle that goes along with it. Minneapolis has a fair amount of condos relative to St Paul. Minneapolis has plenty of infrastructure for many residents to work and live downtown without running out the to burbs for much. On the price spectrum Minneapolis does have many more higher-bracket condos which influence median prices as well. Looking at past data as well Minneapolis has done better for appreciation than St Paul on any price point. So ultimately if you do buy in Minneapolis there is a premium paid however you are buying in a more desirable area the long term appreciation should offset the premium.
Filed under Condo News, Minneapolis Condos