Where is the best place to rent or to buy a house in Minneapolis?
Well, that's a hard question because I don't know what you want. Do you want a stylish urban loft? Do you want a quiet, residential street or a couple of bars on the same block? Do you want your neighbors to be sensible and conservative or liberal hippies? Do you care if you can walk to a coffee shop or ride the train to work? Do you need a big garage for your cars and toys or just stairs wide enough to get your bike up to your apartment?
All of this is available in Minneapolis, and, since I don't know what you want, here's a list of the communities in Minneapolis, what they are like, what special attractions and amenities they have, and how prices compare to the city as a whole. Then, you'll have an idea of where to start searching for your home.
So first, let's start with the city of Minneapolis. The city of Minneapolis is divided into 11 communities, and then each community is divided into small neighborhoods, equaling a total of 81 neighborhoods in Minneapolis.
And then, in alphabetical order, here's a list of the communities of Minneapolis, what the real estate market is like in each of them, what kind of housing is available, and what it might be like to live in each community of Minneapolis.
Calhoun-Isles Real Estate
Calhoun-Isles is an upscale, affluent area of Minneapolis, southwest of Downtown. This community contains the Uptown district. Most of Minneapolis's nightlife, the upscale shops, and the restaurants to be seen in are here. Three of the city's lakes, Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Cedar Lake, are in this community. As a general rule, the nearer a home is to a lake, the more expensive it is.
The nine neighborhoods in Calhoun-Isles are Bryn Mawr, CARAG, Cedar-Isles-Dean, East Calhoun/ECCO, East Isles, Kenwood, Lowry Hill, Lowry Hill East, and West Calhoun.
Bryn Mawr and Kenwood on the western side of the lakes have larger, expensive single-family houses. On the eastern side of the lakes, prices and home sizes fall slightly, and there are also many elegant apartment buildings and some mid-century, not-so-elegant apartment buildings. Calhoun-Isles has some new construction, mostly fashionable, modern apartments around Lyndale Avenue with fashionable price tags.
The western neighborhoods Lowry Hill East, usually known as the Wedge, and CARAG, in between Hennepin Avenue and Lyndale Avenue, have a mix of housing, with homes and multi-family buildings ranging from moderately priced to expensive.
Camden Real Estate
The Camden community is in the north corner of the city, on the east bank of the Mississippi. The neighborhood is mostly residential, although it contains two industrial areas and the large Crystal Lake Cemetery. Camden is one of Minneapolis's most diverse neighborhoods.
Overall, Camden house prices are moderate to low for Minneapolis. The area is separated from central Minneapolis by the Near North community, one of the most depressed areas of Minneapolis; it doesn't have the lakes or as many of the amenities that the rest of Minneapolis enjoys, and it is relatively isolated in the city. Recently, families and developers have been buying older houses and renovating them, and house prices in the area are slowly rising.
Neighborhoods in Camden are Cleveland, Folwell, Lind-Bohanon, McKinley, Shingle Creek, Victory, and Webber-Camden. The southern neighborhoods, Cleveland, Follwell, and McKinley, bordering Near North, have the lowest house prices, while the other neighborhoods in Camden have slightly higher house prices.
Central Real Estate
The Central community, as the name suggests, is in the middle of Minneapolis and contains the downtown area, the warehouse district, and many notable parks, museums, and historic buildings. Neighborhoods in the Central community are Downtown East, Downtown West, Elliot Park, Loring Park, North Loop, and Stevens Square/Loring Heights.
The neighborhoods of Stevens Square, Elliot Park, and Loring Park have a similar feel. The housing here is almost exclusively multi-family buildings, apartment blocks, and high-rises, and is the most densely populated part of Minneapolis. Along with many older buildings, there is also a large amount of new construction, again multi-family buildings. This area was once very deprived but has recently been receiving a substantial amount of new investment. There are parts with expensive condos, particularly around I-94 and Nicollet Avenue, but there are still many parts that have barely changed.
Real estate prices here can be anything from low to expensive, depending on the building and the street that it is on.
Downtown Minneapolis has a large residential population, mostly close to the Mississippi River. All the housing is either high-rise or large apartment or condo buildings. Some are renovated warehouses; some are new construction. And as you'd expect, prices are high and reflect living on the river and the amenities and cache of downtown Minneapolis.
North Loop, on the west of downtown Minneapolis, has many converted industrial buildings and warehouses and also some new construction apartments and rowhouses. North Loop contains the soon-to-open Minnesota Twins ballpark and is attracting new restaurants and bars as well as the new housing development. Currently, house prices here are lower than within downtown Minneapolis, but, as this area becomes more fashionable, they are sure to rise.
Longfellow Real Estate
Longfellow is very centrally located and has great connections to downtown Minneapolis and the rest of the city and to St. Paul, just over the river. The Hiawatha Light Rail line runs along the western border of Longfellow, connecting it to downtown Minneapolis. House prices decrease the further west you travel, being high by the river, moderate in the middle of Longfellow and low on the western side by Hiawatha Avenue. While the housing in Longfellow is mostly attractive single-family homes and duplexes, most are small.
It's a quiet neighborhood with not much excitement or much to do other than live there, so prices stay moderate.
The neighborhoods in Longfellow are Cooper, Hiawatha, Howe, Longfellow, and Seward. The first four are very similar and are all usually referred to together as Longfellow. Seward, in the north of the community, has a different character. There is a mix of larger and smaller houses, usually occupied by old hippies and trendy young families, and house prices in Seward are slightly higher than Longfellow.
Near North Real Estate
Near North is a community made of six neighborhoods northeast of downtown Minneapolis. The area is mainly residential.
Neighborhoods in Near North are Harrison, Hawthorne, Jordan, Near North, Sumner-Glenwood, and Willard-Hay.
Near North is notorious for having the highest levels of violent crime in Minneapolis, and it has the lowest house prices in the city. Most homes are occupied by renters rather than owned by the occupants. The extreme south of the neighborhood is the quietest and contains some affordable family homes.
Nokomis Real Estate
Nokomis occupies the southeast corner of Minneapolis and is named after Lake Nokomis, a popular recreational lake. It is residential, and most housing here was built in the early part of the 20th century. Neighborhoods in Nokomis are Diamond Lake, Ericsson, Field, Hale, Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park, Northrop, Page, Regina, and Wenonah.
Nokomis could be considered a quiet community, in that there is low crime and it is mostly residential, except that Nokomis is snuggled up to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and is right under the main flight path. The Metropolitan Airport Commission, MAC, has paid for new windows and roof insulation for most homes in Nokomis to reduce airplane noise, known as being "MACed," but the air traffic may affect your enjoyment of your back yard. Diamond Lake, Page, Hale, Wenonah, and Keewaydin get the most aircraft noise.
Most housing in Nokomis is average-sized, single-family homes and duplexes. House prices in Nokomis are moderate and depend on how much airport noise the home gets. Prices are lower in the extreme south of the neighborhood in the blocks surrounding Highway 62 and higher for homes built near the attractive lakes and parkland and along Minnehaha Creek.
Northeast Real Estate
Northeast is in the northeast corner of Minneapolis. Surprised? It is an older, mostly Victorian, area of Minneapolis. Northeast is the traditional home of immigrants to the area, and sometimes it is called Nordeast in reference to early Scandinavian settlers, many of whose descendants still live in the area. Northeast has residential, industrial, commercial, and arts districts. The area is becoming popular with young people and families, and it still attracts new immigrants from around the world.
The neighborhoods in Northeast are Audubon Park, Beltrami, Bottineau, Columbia Park, Holland, Logan Park, Marshall Terrace, Northeast Park, Sheridan, St. Anthony East, St. Anthony West, Waite Park, and Windom Park.
St. Anthony West, across from downtown, is the most desirable neighborhood especially for young urbanites. And then in the northeast of Northeast, are Waite Park and Audubon Park, both with plentiful, attractive, single-family homes, and these are very popular too, with moderate house prices. Windom Park is similar and has larger houses.
The Mississippi River is mostly surrounded by industrial areas and railroads in Northeast, and the western parts of the neighborhood, near the river, are the least desirable areas with lower house prices.
The most fashionable part of Northeast is the Northeast Arts District, which is most of Sheridan, Logan Park, Holland Park, and Bottineau. Sherridan and Logan Park are the hippest areas with the most prominent galleries and moderate house prices. Holland Park and Bottineau are home to lofts, studios, starving artists, and lower house prices.
Housing around Central Avenue, the main road through Northeast, which is packed with international restaurants and independent stores, is also very popular and houses here cost a little more.
Beltrami is close to the University of Minnesota's campus. Many students live here, and much of the housing is rented multi-family buildings, although there are some nicer single-family homes here, often owned by someone who works at the University.
Phillips Real Estate
Phillips is just south of downtown Minneapolis, and the area is often referred to as Midtown. This area has a mix of commercial, industrial, and residential areas and is one of the most diverse communities, with residents of many nationalities.
Unfortunately, Phillips has the distinction of being one of the most crime-ridden areas of Minneapolis and is one of the areas Minneapolis Police are targeting to reduce the city's crime rates.
But many are optimistic that things will change in Phillips. The neighborhood has been seeing a lot of development in recent years, with the new construction of condos and apartments along Franklin Avenue and the new Midtown Global Market and apartment development on Lake Street. Phillips has several major employers like Wells Fargo Mortgage and Abbot Northwestern Hospital, and it has the potential to become a much calmer neighborhood in the coming years. But now, house prices are much lower than the average in Minneapolis.
Neighborhoods in Phillips are East Phillips, Midtown Phillips, Phillips West, and Ventura Village.
Powderhorn Real Estate
The Powderhorn community is south of downtown. Powderhorn contains these neighborhoods: Bancroft, Bryant, Central, Corcoran, Lyndale, Powderhorn Park, Standish, and Whittier.
Powderhorn is bisected by I-35W, and the areas to the east and west of the freeway are noticeably different. To the west, Whittier and Lyndale were once very depressed but are now arty, fashionable areas home to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and "Eat Street," a stretch of Nicollet Avenue with an enormous variety of ethnic restaurants, benefitting from their proximity to Uptown.
On the other side of I-35W, Central has a higher-than-average crime rate and low house prices, Bryant does too, as does the western half of Powderhorn Park. The eastern side of Powderhorn Park is popular with artists and hippies - evinced by the annual May Day parade in the neighborhood. House prices are lower than average in these neighborhoods.
Corcoran, Bancroft, and Standish are all quieter, residential neighborhoods with a mix of single-family and multi-family housing. House prices here are slightly lower than average for Minneapolis.
Southwest Real Estate
Another ingenious name, the Southwest community is in the southwest corner of Minneapolis. This is an almost entirely residential neighborhood, mostly built before World War II. Most of this area is middle class, and some areas are very affluent. All the housing in Southwest is more expensive than the average home in Minneapolis.
Neighborhoods in Southwest are, Armatage, East Harriet, Fulton, Kenny, King Field, Linden Hills, Lynnhurst, Tangletown, and Windom.
Lake Harriet is in the center of Southwest, and, as with other parts of south Minneapolis, the closer a house is to the lake shore, or Minnehaha Creek, the more expensive it will be.
The neighborhoods surrounding Lake Harriet, East Harriet, Fulton, Linden Hills, and Lynnhurst are mostly larger single-family homes and have higher than average house prices.
Linden Hills has an upscale commercial district, and the 50th and France shopping area is on the Community's southwest corner.
Tangletown, named for its twisting streets, has plenty of larger, expensive houses and has an exclusive feel - the only people there are those who live there, as through traffic stays on the grid system.
The northern parts of Armatage, Kenny, and Windom have more large houses. As you go south, newer, smaller 1950s houses have been built near Highway 62, and house prices start to fall. The far south of the neighborhoods also experiences a lot of airport noise. And King Field has Southwest's other section of the more affordable housing, particularly in the east of the neighborhood.
University Real Estate
The University community contains the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, Nicollet Island, and the Weismann Art Museum. It has been gentrified significantly in recent years, mostly due to its proximity to the downtown area. Unsurprisingly, many students live here, and cheap restaurants, bars, and coffee shops abound.
The University Community neighborhoods are, Cedar-Riverside, Como, Marcy-Holmes, Mid-City Industrial, Nicollet Island/East Bank, Prospect Park, and University.
University is occupied by the University of Minneapolis's main campus. Students live in Como and Marcy Holmes, where most housing is renter occupied and, predictably, not very well cared for. But any houses for sale here still cost more than average for Minneapolis. Staff who can afford it live in Prospect Park, a hilly neighborhood with large, attractive houses that is one of the more expensive neighborhoods of Minneapolis.
Another desirable part of town is Nicollet Island/East Bank, which doesn't have a large volume housing, but real estate here, the mix of new condominium construction, converted industrial buildings, or the historic buildings on Nicollet Island, is sought after.
Cedar Riverside has always been a gateway community for immigrants to Minneapolis. It has a smaller University of Minnesota Campus, a private college, Augsburg University, the Minneapolis campus of St. Katherine's University, and an arts and entertainment district with several bars and theaters. Housing in Cedar-Riverside is dominated by rental properties, highrises, and multi-family buildings, with a small number of single-family homes.