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thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

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Orlando
posts: 1
reviews: 1
thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

Hi...I'm seriously considering moving to Rochester with my wife and two teenage daughters. This Florida heat is oppressive. We don't really want to spend more than 150K on a house; we'd like to use some of the proceeds from the sale of this house to buy a rental property as well. Are there any areas of Rochester that we should stay away from(for our residence), or is the entire city safe? (which I would find hard to believe). What are the taxes like? Utility bills for a 4/2? best high school? Is there a lot of live music?(I'm a professional musician) Right now I'm just trying to do a lot of research. Rochester is always near the top of the list as one of the best cities to live in America...and those four seasons, I really miss those. Thanks for your halp.

SJ

Milwaukee WI
posts: 6
1. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

What I can tell you is that crime is very low, and there are not really any bad neighborhoods. Very safe city.

Rochester,MN
posts: 1
reviews: 17
2. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

I live in Rochester currently. It is a great city to reside in. The only thing we are missing is a nice lake which is rather ironic. I would advise you to stay away from certain parts of the SE side of town. Anybody who lives here would be able to give you more detail. Some parts of the SE side are very nice but others have higher crime. Overall the city is wonderful and we do enjoy a low crime rate.

Minneapolis
posts: 31
3. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

I have never lived in Rochester, but ill gove you my impression. It is a rather conservative place politically and suburban feeling. The economy is supported by the Mayo Clinic and IBM. Winter is no joke here, be prepared. On the converse summers are damn hot.You'll either love it or have it.

Pine Island...
posts: 41
reviews: 4
4. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

I have lived in Rochester in the past, you'll find the NW section of the city to be the nicest - with the lowest crime and the nicer schools. Look for addresses with NW in the address. (ie NW 53rd Ave) I really don't think you'll be able to find a decent house for $150K however, housing is quite expensive here in MN!

Good luck with your search.

Julie Y

Minnetonka MN

Keno, OR
posts: 411
5. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

The Rochester area is lovely, you definitely have four seasons--have you been through a true Minnesota winter before?--they can be life threatening...but crime, as such, seems to be almost non-existent, comparatively speaking. We lived in Roch for almost 15 years before moving to Oregon and it is by the far the nicest city we've lived in, or near. (We love to go back and visit!). Housing prices have really jumped since we moved, and lots of folks choose bedroom communities for less expensive housing (Stewartville, Chatfield, Spring Valley, etc.). It all depends on how much of a commute you might want to do, if you're trying to get acreage, and how much you'd like winter driving! We do agree with the assessments and reports that Rochester is one of the nicest places to live in for U.S. cities, however, weather obviously doesn't factor much in those calculations (can be very cold in winter, and hot and humid in the summmer. Spring and Fall are usually pretty great though). Even though we're native Minnesotans, I don't think we're tough enough to handle the winters anymore!

We also really like Red Wing, MN--midway between Rochester and the Cities, but still a great smaller-sized town and totally gorgeous with the Mississippi right there. We have family in both locales, and I am not sure how I would choose between the two if I was moving back...we really value our Minnesota roots and Minnesotans are some of the truest and most solid citizens of this country...lots of good, hard-working folk there...Good luck on your relocation and be sure and stock up on your winter gear!

Rochester
posts: 5
reviews: 1
6. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

I moved to Rochester almost 10 years ago and it is a great city. Especially now that the huge hwy. 52 project is done, the traffic is a non issue. I moved from the twin cities where traffic was a major issue. Rochester tends to have milder winters than the minnesota winter stories that you hear. But it is still very cold at times.

I would avoid the area in the sw part of town near cub foods area. The neighborhood I live in has a home for sale in the 160-170 range and that is a very modest split on a cul de sac. Finding homes in the 150 range could be very difficult if you don't want to do alot of the fix up yourself. Taxes for our modest split are around 1600. Utilities - gas 90/ electric, water and sewer 110/ garbage 20/ There is an active arts/ music/ drama culture in the downtown area. I would say any of the high schools would be fine. My husband and all of his family have attended John Marshall. There are also private high schools in town, the largest being Lourdes (Catholic).

Like I said I have been here 10 years now and I don't see myself going anywhere. It is a great place to raise kids, friendly minnesota attitude, twin cities just over an hour away, mississippi river around an hour. Gettng more things to do and place to eat every year. Awesome bike paths, in town and in the surrounding areas. Lanesboro has our favorite paths.

Keno, OR
posts: 411
7. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

It seems like the only thing about Rochester that hasn't improved over the last decade or two is the weather--check out the forecast for this weekend! What is the projected wind chill temp? Do they even have wind chill predictions/calculations in Florida? We never hear about wind chill out here in Oregon, mostly because wind is generally a non-issue (and we ARE having some cold temps. here right now--might even get into the single digits tonight--but nothing like MN is going to get hit with this weekend). I wonder if they will have to close schools, just because of the cold? I tell my friends here how the governor of MN sometimes closes all schools in the state because it's too cold for kids to wait outside for the buses, and they can't fathom it. Hang in there, Minnesotans, and think warm, Spring thoughts!

Minneapolis...
posts: 331
reviews: 83
8. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

Just a note about the weather. In FL you spend most of the time in the air conditioning escaping the heat. In MN you will spend Dec-Mar escaping the cold inside the heated house. However, spring, summer, and fall are all very beautiful and quite enjoyable. I would pick the midwest over FL any day! Summer does get warm and sometimes humid, but your brain thinks back to the 10 below weather and makes it more enjoyable.

Rochester, MN
posts: 6
reviews: 3
9. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

I am a 16 year resident of Rochester. I've recently moved into the "responsible adult" realm (including buying houses) so I feel I can give you an accurate review of our fair city.

As others have said, the weather is nice in spring and fall with hot and humid summers.

As far as safety goes, you will have a hard time finding any place in the city without ANY crime. My parents live in the NW part of Rochester (north of 55th street) and they have had crime out there, despite the $400K+ houses.

There are certain areas, of course, that are less desirable locations. One was mentioned of the SE Cub Foods area. The house we currently have on the market (good rental property!!!) is in the SE area but it is close to Mayo and about a three to four block radius is fairly nice. However, if you go a little further north, things start to turn south. So again, it all depends on the neighborhood, not really the "area" (as in NW, SW, SE, NE, etc.).

For $150 you are going to get something of a fixer-upper unless you go for a townhouse. The house we just bought is a 4/2 walk-out split built in 2000 for $169K (which was really a great deal considering the other properties we looked at). There is a walkout ranch right across the street from my parents in their NW neighborhood going for $160K right now.

As far as the music scene is concerned, I doubt you'll find much to suite your taste, but occassionally there is some live music in the downtown area and I do know that Rochester is starting to stretch it's conservative shell a bit, so this might be improving.

One thing I do have to say is that your teenagers will probably find little to do here. There is one club (which I would never set foot into) and little to do besides going to movies. Pretty much all of the schools are nice. JM is showing it's age, Mayo has recently renovated and is very nice now. Century is the newest school (NE). People will disagree as far as which school is the best. I went to Century, so I tend to lean that way. However, Century has a reputation for being the "rich" school.

Please feel free to reply if you have any other questions.

New Haven...
posts: 46
reviews: 1
10. Re: thinking of moving to Rochester, MN...

My husband is looking at possible places for medical residency, and Mayo is in the top 5 right now. We are currently in NC by way of Wash DC, and NC is more conservative than we would prefer! From what I'm reading, Mayo is in a dumpy part of town, and the rest of the town is suburbs and pretty conservative. We are early 30s with no kids. Since my husband won't be around, and I'll be left to my own devices for entertainment, should we keep looking, or is Rochester worth a look after all? How far is it to the twin cities from Rochester? Is there a Rochester airport with convenient flights to the east coast (ie larger than a regional airport)?

I don't mean to sound abrupt; I'm tired and should probably reword this before sending it but I'm just looking for info on so many places. Thanks in advance for your input!