The question "Where is the best place to rent or buy in St. Paul?" is a hard one to answer -- it all depends on which of the following 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? Do you need a big garage for your cars and kids' toys, or stairs wide enough to get your bike up to your apartment?
The good news is, all of this and more is available in St. Paul. Below, find a snapshot of just several of the different area neighborhoods (there are 17 in all!), what they are like, what special attractions and amenities they offer, and how house prices compare to the city as a whole. Then, you'll have an idea of where to start searching for your home.
Real Estate in Sunray/Battle Creek/Highwood
Thinking about buying a home in Battle Creek? This neighborhood is in the southeast of St. Paul. A large section of the neighborhood surrounding the river is industrial with a wastewater treatment plant, factories, and rail yards. The Pigs Eye Lake area was used by the city of St. Paul as a hazardous materials dump for many years and is far from being cleaned up, although the city says that it only poses a health risk to those who actually trespass on the site.
On the positive side, housing in Battle Creek is more affordable than the average for St.
Paul. The area immediately surrounding, and north of I-94 has a higher-than-average crime rate, but there are many quiet, affordable family homes south of I-94, and there are larger, attractive homes in the southwest of the neighborhood on the river bluffs.
Real Estate in Como
Thinking about buying a home in Como?
The Como neighborhood surrounds St. Paul's large Como Park and Como Zoo, and Lake Como and is adjacent to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Small apartments line Snelling Avenue, the main road through the neighborhood, but much of the area is single family homes of various sizes, some converted into duplexes. Como is one of the more desirable neighborhoods in St. Paul, especially for families, and home prices are slightly above average for St. Paul.
The Como area is a quiet residential place, except during the Minnesota State Fair in late August through Labor Day, and the eastern half of the neighborhood is turned into a no parking zone -- although many local residents make some quick cash by letting fair goers park on their front yard.
House prices in Como are moderate to slightly above average for St. Paul.
Real Estate in Dayton’s Bluff
Thinking about buying a home in Dayton's Bluff? Dayton's Bluff is a hilly neighborhood immediately east of downtown St. Paul. The neighborhood has been settled by Europeans almost as long as St. Paul has, and has an interesting history.
Before the area was settled by Europeans, it was home to Native Americans of the Hopewell Tradition, and several Hopewell burial mounds are located on the river bluffs, in Indian Mounds Park.
In the twentieth century, Dayton's Bluff had a reputation for slum housing and immigrants suffering squalid conditions.
Today, Dayton's Bluff is still home to many recent immigrants and is a diverse community. The character of the neighborhood is diverse as its residents -- some parts of Dayton's Bluff are quiet, safe neighborhoods, some areas experience problems with crime and drugs.
Dayton's Bluff has a mix of older housing and newer post-war homes. Areas on the Mississippi River bluffs have older, attractive houses, and generally, prices for the neighborhood are lower than average for St. Paul.
Real Estate in Downtown St. Paul
Thinking about buying a home in Downtown St. Paul? Downtown St. Paul doesn't have the amount of residential buildings that Downtown Minneapolis has, but a growing number of people are choosing to make downtown St.
Until recently, Downtown St. Paul was very quiet with very few amenities for residents. But lately, new bars, restaurants, and stores have been opening in downtown St. Paul making it more attractive for young urbanites.
Lowertown St. Paul, the eastern end of downtown, has seen the most change, with artists moving into studios and the very popular St. Paul's Farmer's market in the summer.
Most homes are condos or apartments in converted historical factories, office buildings of warehouses. A home in Downtown St. Paul costs more than the average St. Paul condo but is less expensive than the equivalent in Downtown Minneapolis.
Real Estate in Greater East Side
Thinking about buying a home in the Greater East Side? The Greater East Side is in the northeast corner of the city of St. Paul.
The southwest corner of the neighborhood, closest to the center of the city, has problems with crime, and there are many reposed housing units here. On the other side of the neighborhood, near the border of St. Paul, the tone changes to a much more suburban feel and although this area is much quieter, the perception of the neighborhood as a whole keeps house prices low compared to St. Paul's average.
Real Estate in Hamline-Midway
Thinking about buying a home in Hamline-Midway? Hamline-Midway is a neighborhood on the west side of St. Paul, with University Avenue as the southern border, and bisected by Hamline Avenue. Hamline University gives the neighborhood its name, and many residents are students. The areas immediately north of University Avenue have some of the highest crime rates in St. Paul. The northern parts of the neighborhood are much quieter, although next to the rail yards, warehouses and light industrial buildings in the north.
Small and medium family homes and apartment buildings are the types of homes you'll find in Hamline-Midway, with prices significantly lower than St. Paul's average nearest University Avenue and rising slightly as you go north.
Real Estate in Highland ParkThinking about buying a home in Highland Park? Highland Park can feel like a separate place from St. Paul, tucked into a bend in the Mississippi River in the south west of the city. The neighborhood is mostly Victorian, a blend of single family homes and some smaller apartment blocks. Highland Park is an expanse of wooded parkland, and there's a convenient commercial district with a good selection of stores and restaurants on Ford Parkway.
The Mississippi River isn't commercialized here, with the exception of the Ford Motor Company plant which may or may not be closing and may or may not be redeveloped into something (plans are far from certain).
So in most places, the trails along the river are pleasant for walking, running and cycling.
Highland Park has some of the lowest crime rates in the city, and is known for being politically one of the most conservative areas of St. Paul, traditionally a moderate liberal city.
The calm, quiet neighborhood, with mostly attractive housing and tree-lined streets, is very desirable for families, professionals and seniors, and house prices are higher than average for St. Paul.
Real Estate in Macalester-GrovelandThinking about buying a home in Macalester-Groveland? Macalester-Groveland takes it's name from Macalester College, a large private liberal arts college, and the neighborhood has a large student population. The name of the neighborhood is usually abbreviated to Mac-Groveland.
Macalester-Groveland was developed in the early twentieth century. The neighborhood has Summit Avenue as the northern border, and the western part of Grand Avenue, a popular commercial district, runs through the center of the neighborhood.
Macalester-Groveland has many large houses, and some smaller and medium family homes. Many houses have been converted to duplexes and fourplexes, and there are also many small apartment buildings.
While rents can be reasonable due to demand from students, house prices are significantly higher than the average for St.
Real Estate in Merriam ParkThinking about buying a home in Merriam Park? Merriam Park is very similar to Macalester-Groveland, but with bigger houses. Merriam Park is St. Paul's oldest neighborhood, and the original developer specified that the houses built there be large and of high quality. Most residents took good care of their homes, and for a well maintained Victorian house, Merriam Park is a great place to look.
For a smaller home in Merriam Park, many of the large houses have been divided into duplexes or fourplexes, being just too big for today's smaller families. There are also a few early twentieth century apartment buildings with one or two bedroom units.
Merriam Park is on the Mississippi River, with scenic river trails, it's an easy commute to downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, and it's a very pretty neighborhood, so unsurprisingly, home prices in Merriam Park are amongst the highest in St. Paul.
Real Estate in North EndThinking about buying a home in North End? The North End is in between I-35E and Como Park. The neighborhood is mostly residential with some light industry and railroads.
The east of the neighborhood, the Western Avenue and Rice Street corridor, has problems with drugs and crime, although it's far from being the worst part of St.
Paul. Away from this area, to the east of the neighborhood until I-35, it becomes a quieter residential neighborhood with smaller homes, an affordable choice with young families and for those buying their first home.
House prices in North End are below average for St. Paul.
Real Estate in Payne-PhalenThinking about buying a home in Payne-Phalen? Payne-Phalen is northeast of Downtown St. Paul. Payne-Phalen contains Phalen Park and Lake Phalen, one of St. Paul's largest lakes, and home to several annual events like a Hmong cultural festival, a solar boat regatta, ice boat races, and a huge holiday light display.
Parts of Payne Phalen are affected by crime, and some parts are livable, quiet neighborhoods. Like Dayton's Bluff, the neighborhood is experiencing problems with crime, having some of the highest rates in St.
Paul. Although the crime rate for the whole neighborhood is high, the character of the neighborhood can change markedly from block to block, and there are areas with quiet streets. The south of the neighborhood, around Maryland Avenue and Case Avenue, experiences the most problems.
Most housing in the Greater East Side is early twentieth century, smaller family homes, and small or medium apartment blocks. If you choose carefully, you should be able to find a good value home on a quiet street in Payne Phalen, especially in the northern half of the neighborhood. House prices for Payne-Phalen are lower than the average for St. Paul.
Real Estate in St. Anthony ParkThinking about buying a home in St. Anthony Park? St. Anthony Park is in the northwest of St. Paul, on the border with southeast Minneapolis. The neighborhood adjoins the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota, and is home to students and many faculty members, being convenient for the Minneapolis campus too.
The St. Anthony Park neighborhood was originally planned as a suburb for wealthy residents, and the gentle hills and curving streets have many historic houses, almost all larger single family homes. The Hampden Park co-op serves local residents, and a small commercial area with shopping and restaurants on Como Avenue.
House prices for St. Anthony Park are higher than average for St. Paul.
Real Estate in Summit Hill (Crocus Hill/Grand Avenue)Thinking about buying a home in Summit Hill? Summit Hill is the official name for this neighborhood, but it's often referred to as Crocus Hill by local merchants. Summit Hill is the neighborhood on the south side of Summit Avenue, bordered by I-35E and Ayd Mill Road. Summit Avenue is lined with Victorian mansions, and has always been the place to live for St. Paul's wealthy residents.
Grand Avenue is the neighborhood's main attraction, a street lined with independent businesses, restaurants and stores.
Summit Hill was developed in the early twentieth century and has many attractive small condos, together with larger single family homes. And there's some gigantic houses on Summit Avenue. Many of the larger houses have been divided into duplexes or fourplexes, which is the most likely option for a two- or three- bedroom home in the area.
Considering the fashionable Grand Avenue, and grand Summit Avenue, real estate in Summit Hill is pricey. A mansion is always going to be expensive, and more normal sized family homes cost significantly more than the average for St. Paul.
Real Estate in Summit-UniversityThinking about buying a home in Summit-University? Summit-University is the neighborhood to the north of Summit Avenue, and encompasses the area up to University Avenue. Summit-University is like two different neighborhoods, with large houses on the blocks north of Summit Avenue until just south of I-94, and feeling very similar to Summit Hill. Immediatly around and north of the freeway, things change significantly.
The area around the freeway was once the heart of the African-American community in St.
Paul until the 1960s. The neighborhood was decimated by the construction of I-94 which was built on top of the neighborhood's commercial corridor, Rondo Avenue. Businesses were lost, jobs disappeared and many people were forced to relocate. The area is now home to a large percentage of St. Paul's Hmong and Vietnamese population, and Asian businesses and community organizations line University Avenue, the main commercial street.
House prices are higher than average in the area of Summit Avenue, falling towards the freeway, and are then significantly lower north of I-94.
Real Estate in Thomas-DaleThinking about buying a home in Thomas-Dale? Thomas-Dale, also known as Frogtown, is a neighborhood bordering a stretch of University Avenue west of the Minnesota State Capitol. Thomas-Dale was first developed with cheap housing for workers in the late nineteenth century, and has remained a blue-collar neighborhood. Thomas-Dale has some of the highest crime rates in St. Paul, and there are many reposed houses in this area.
The Greater Frogtown Community Development Commission and other community organizations are working hard to preserve low and moderate income housing in the area, and help support existing and new local businesses, and gradually, things are changing in the area.
In 2014, the light rail line connecting downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul will be completed, running along University Avenue and serving the Thomas-Dale neighborhood.
House prices in Thomas-Dale are among the lowest in St. Paul.
Real Estate in West SeventhThinking about buying a home in West Seventh? West Seventh is a diagonal neighborhood following the east bank of the Mississippi River out of downtown St. Paul. There's little in the way of attractive river view housing, more rail yards and industrial areas, many now disused. The neighborhood does have many historical homes and buildings, most along West Seventh street and around the High Bridge.
The landmark of West Seventh is the vacant Schmidt's Brewery, currently the subject of plans for redevelopment into apartments and commercial units.
This area is one of St. Paul's up-and-coming neighborhoods, particularly the central and eastern areas, driven by the interest in restoring St. Paul's industrial buildings, and proximity to downtown and ease of access to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.
Several new independent businesses have opened recently, joining many older, unique stores and bars on the main thoroughfare, West Seventh Street. Artists favor the area for the industrial/urban vibe, and popular co-op Mississippi Market recently opened a store in the area. The neighborhood has a broad appeal, with families moving in as well as artists and young professionals.
House prices are above average for St. Paul, but are among the more affordable on the south and west of downtown St. Paul.
West SideThinking about buying a home in West Side? West Side isn't on the west side of St. Paul. Rather, it's on the west bank of the meandering Mississippi River, which puts it south of downtown, and separated from the rest of St. Paul by the river. Four road crossings over the Mississippi River link Wests Side to downtown St. Paul - the High Bridge, Robert Street Bridge, the Wasbasha Street Bridge and Highway 52.
Being relatively isolated gives West Side a different character, and some parts feel rather suburban. There are pockets of new development, and some new low and moderate income housing.
West Seventh has a higher elevation than downtown St. Paul and there are some larger homes near the river with a great view.
The eastern part of the neighborhood contains a small airport, St. Paul Downtown Airport or Holman Field.
The central part of the neighborhood is the heart of St. Paul's Mexican community, and is known as the District del Sol. The annual Cinco de Mayo fiesta in the district is one of St. Paul's largest celebrations.
House prices are good value for St. Paul, being lower than average for the city.