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Marcia McLean
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INSIDE 494/694 LOOP

Crystal

This first tier suburb, just west of downtown Minneapolis is small – less than 6 square miles.  

The City has committed itself to redevelopment, updating the infrastructure, and maintaining the vitality and livability of its neighborhoods through strict code enforcement. In a nutshell, Crystal is in a ‘rebuilding’ phase. Residents enjoy the Crystal Cove Aquatic Center, Crystal Community Center, parks and trails, a variety of programs and services for all ages, well-groomed sports fields, and the redeveloped Crystal Shopping Center.

Housing stock is modest, and mostly one story ramblers or split levels. Neighborhoods are clean and neat, and the proximity to downtown and other metro hot-spots make Crystal a great place for first time homebuyers.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Crystal: $150,000

Public Schools: Robbinsdale Independent School District

Edina

A first-ring suburb immediately southwest of Minneapolis, Edina is known for being home to the first indoor shopping mall built in the US in 1956. Often regarded as one of the most affluent communities in the Twin Cities metro by locals, residents are drawn to Edina for the award winning schools, solid home values and easy access to four major highways – 494, 169, 62 and 394. Edina is composed of 42 unique neighborhoods - like Country Club and Morningside (1920s construction), to Indian Hills (1970s) plus everything in between. And if you’re willing to spend $800,000 or more, tear-downs and new construction on single lots can be found in every neighborhood

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Edina: $576,000

Public Schools: The Edina Independent School District

Private Schools: Our Lady of Grace, Calvin Christian and St. Peters Lutheran

Falcon Heights

Considered to be a St. Paul suburb, Falcon Heights is home to the University of Minnesota St.Paul campus, MN State Fairgrounds and the Gibbs Museum. With fewer than 2,000 households its residents are known to be among the most highly educated group in the nation (proximity to U of M). Located exactly half-way between Minneapolis and St. Paul downtowns, housing stock tends to lean towards the more affluent with prices for single family homes ranging between $275,000 and $700,000.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Falcon Heights: $226,000

Public Schools: Roseville Area School District

Golden Valley

This first-ring suburb directly west of Minneapolis is a favorite for executives who want a quick commute downtown or to just about any work site along the 394 corridor. Golden Valley is the world headquarters for General Mills and the U.S. headquarters for Pentair. Almost 30,000 work in Golden Valley each day with the largest employers being General Mills, Allianz Life, OptumHealth and Honeywell.

Upper-end residential neighborhoods like North Tyrol or Hidden Lakes are popular for families who prefer to send their kids to private schools. But there are other, more modest options with homes in all price points. Like other communities, housing prices in Golden Valley trend with school district options.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Golden Valley: $302,000

Public Schools: Hopkins Independent School District, Robbinsdale Independent School District

Private Schools: Breck College Prep, Good Shepard Elementary

Hopkins

West of Minneapolis, this small suburban city is just 4 square miles in size. Residents love to walk to downtown Hopkins to enjoy the restaurants, bars, shops and theaters.  While Hopkins does not have a large housing stock its’ homes townhomes, and condos, do tend to be more affordable than neighboring cities like Minnetonka or St. Louis Park.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Hopkins: $271,000

Public Schools: The Hopkins Independent School District

Private Schools: The Blake School (multiple locations), St. John’s Catholic School

Medicine Lake

This tiny hamlet of just 160 households is located just 8 miles west of downtown Minneapolis and completely surrounded by city of Plymouth. It forms a peninsula that juts in to Medicine Lake – the second largest recreational lake in the Twin Cities.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Medicine Lake: $570,000

Public Schools: Served by Hopkins Independent School District and Wayzata Independent School District

Minnetonka

Minnetonka is a mid-size suburb, 8 miles west of downtown Minneapolis and despite the name, only a tiny northwest corner borders Lake Minnetonka. Home to three large employers; Cargill – the largest privately held company in the U.S., United Healthcare and Carlson Companies, this community is popular for workers and executives of all levels. Residents enjoy the city run Williston Fitness Center and Aquatic Center and Shady Oak Beach. Or, for a different kind of challenge, canoe down Minnehaha Creek – a 22 mile trek that will take you all the way to south Minneapolis.

In Minnetonka, you’ll find all kinds of housing options – with prices starting at about $200,000 and going up to well over $1 million. For new construction, land is hard to come by so most homes or townhomes are one-offs custom built by building like JMS Custom Homes, Boyer Building Corp, LDK Builders and Gonyea

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Minnetonka: $401,000

Public Schools: Minnetonka is served by three school districts; The Minnetonka School District, Hopkins

Independent School District, Wayzata Independent School District

New Hope

This small community is about 8 miles northwest of downtown Minneapolis, and borders highway 169. Housing in New Hope is affordable and can be a nice community for first-time buyers and those who want to be centrally located.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in New Hope: $186,000

Public Schools: Robbindale School District

Plymouth

This large suburb is 15 miles west of downtown Minneapolis and has twice been ranked in Money Magazine as one of “America’s Best Places to Live” (#1 in 2008 and #11 in 2010). City planners have done a nice job integrating residential neighborhoods with business, industry, parks and schools, which has all helped make Plymouth a self-sufficient, autonomous city. Residents, young and old, take full advantage of the many wonderful parks and rec programs at one of the 53 city parks, 4 special use facilities, 9 ball fields or 35 neighborhood/school parks.

Plymouth is chock full of just about all types of housing, from 1940s ramblers to brand new executive homes, twin homes, town houses and condos. If you’re looking for mid-priced new construction, check out Cedar Hollow, Creek Ridge, Elm Creek Highlands and The Reserves at Spring Meadows. Or, for executive priced new homes priced $750,000 to $2MM, your main options are small developments like  O’Donnel Woods, Terra Vista and Rusten Wood on Hadley Lake

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Plymouth: $416,000

Public Schools: Four Independent School Districts serve Plymouth, depending on geographic boundaries

  • Wayzata Independent School District
  • Osseo Area School District
  • Hopkins Independent School District
  • Robbinsdale Independent School District

Private Schools: Providence Academy, West Lutheran Academy

Richfield

Richfield is a small close-in suburb located between Bloomington and Edina. Most of the housing stock is modest ramblers and 1.5 story homes built in the 1950s or 1960s. Homes are typically priced under $250,000 and residents enjoy a short commute to just about anywhere they want to go! The airport and Mall of America are just five minutes away, downtown a quick ten or fifteen minute commute.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Richfield: $182,000

Public Schools: The Richfield Independent School District

Private Schools: Academy of Holy Angels, Blessed Trinity Catholic

Roseville

Considered to be a St.Paul suburb, Roseville sits almost in the middle of downtown St.Paul and Minneapolis. As a fairly large community of 33,000 people it’s known for being family friendly and community focused. Residential property taxes are just about the lowest in the entire metro area due to a nice mix of commercial and light industrial land use. Roseville is home to dozens of parks, Roseville Mall and the John Rose Oval – the largest sheet of outdoor ice in North America! Whether you want to buy or rent, housing options are abundant and affordable in Roseville.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in Roseville: $$239,000

Average Sale Price of a Town House in Roseville: $194,000

Average Sale Price of a Condo in Roseville: $84,000

Public Schools: Roseville Area School District

Private School: Concordia High School

St. Louis Park

This first-ring suburb is west of downtown Minneapolis and happens to be the birthplace, or childhood home, of movie directors Joel & Ethan Coen, Senator Al Franken, songwriter Dan Isreal, NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman and many notable others! The St.Louis Park School District, home to seven public schools, is the only school district in Minnesota in which every public school has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the Department of Education.

In St. Louis Park, you’ll find all kinds of rental options, condos and single family homes. Most of the single family homes were built from 1920 to 1960 but scattered about, there is plenty of new construction. If you want a condo or loft built in the last 10 years, check out Village In The Park, Excelsior & Grand or Wooddale Flats all of which fall along the highway 100 corridor. Or, at highway 169 & Shelard Parkway you’ll find Parkside Lofts and a host of other housing. From here, it’s just a few minutes to many of the big employers in town like General Mills, Carlson Companies, United Health Group, Supervalu and Carlson Companies.

Average Sale Price of a Single Family Home in St. Louis Park: $267,000

Public Schools:  The St. Louis Park Independent School District

Private Schools:  Groves Academy, Benilde-St.Margarets, Torah Academy, Talmud Torah, Timothy  

                              Lutheran, Bais Yaakov High School, The French Academy of MN, Holy Family Academy, 

                              Minneapolis Jewish Day School.