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Moving to Minnesota
The vast majority of Minnesota is made up of rural areas and bodies of water, with most of the action going on in the southeastern sections. If you have a love of the outdoors, nature and sports, you will no doubt enjoy moving to Minnesota and all it has to offer in this capacity.
When moving to Minnesota, check with your new neighborhood area or building landlord for any specific parking permits you will need. Get these permits ahead of time to avoid any unnecessary parking tickets once you begin to get settled. Visit the Licenses, Permits and Regulations section of the state’s website for all the necessary permits you may need for your move to Minnesota.
Because Minnesota is an extreme winter weather state, move during the spring, summer or fall to avoid the complications that come with snow and ice. It tends to stay colder longer here, so spring in Minnesota will be cooler and drier than you may be used to. If you can’t help but move in the winter, The Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources Website will educate you on the proper methods of traveling through areas with snow and ice.
Will you be hiring a professional moving company? Stick to those that have been pre-screened, licensed and bonded, and offer full US moving services. All reputable moving companies will give you a free quote for your move, so it’s important to call a few first to get the best price.
Avoid any interruptions of your mail service by alerting the USPS of your new address as soon as you know it. This can be easily completed online. Additionally, a moving packet is available to pick up at any US Post Office.
Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.
Cities and Metro Areas
Whether you love nature and the outdoors or city life, there’s an area of Minnesota for you. There are the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which consistently rank high on list of best places for healthy, green and family-friendly living. If suburbia is what you’re looking for, you might choose to call Brooklyn Park home, a beautiful ‘burb filled with parks, trails and biking paths. And don’t rule out the smaller towns located along the state’s many lakes when moving to Minnesota.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Minnesota will vary greatly depending on which city you choose to call home. The various taxes (property, income, state, etc.) can add up, particularly in Minneapolis/St. Paul, but keep in mind that salaries tend to be higher here, particularly for those working in the business, medical and technology fields.
Taxes, food and housing costs tend to be slightly higher in Minnesota than the national average, while utility costs (heating, electricity, water, sewer, garbage) tend to be noticeably lower. When you consider the long winter months of heating bills, the lower utilities costs goes a long way.
There is a definite four-season weather pattern in Minnesota, but winter tends to be very long, with colder temperatures sometimes lasting up to six months of the year. Summers are fast and furious with heavy rainfall. Spring and fall are the least extreme, but tend to bring several thunderstorms and tornadoes.
Winter brings opportunities for fun, outdoor activities like downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating and ice fishing. The winters are sunny, and even though the temperatures are low, the sun makes it feel warmer. That being said, it’s still smart to dress in layers (wool works best for keeping warm in the dry Minnesota cold). Always keep a coat, blanket, gloves, hat, boots, jumper cables, and an ice scraper in your car in case you get stuck. People are really pretty good about helping out when they see a stranded motorist, but don’t be caught off guard.
In summer, it can get quite humid and hot, but the many lakes and the jet streams all over Minnesota help to keep temperatures from getting too extreme. The northern half of the state sees less humidity than the southern half and experiences less rainfall. May through August tends to bring several tornadoes and thunderstorms because nearly half of the year’s overall rainfall occurs during the late spring and summer months. Most Minnesotans are out in droves during the summer because of the relatively short span of warm weather.
Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota’s open enrollment statute. This makes choosing a desirable school for your child/children when moving to Minnesota easier without the limitations of home address. Here are a few of Minnesota’s top performing high schools throughout the state:
- Southwest High School in Minneapolis (grades 9-12) was rated the number-one high school in the state of Minnesota by the Washington Post in 2011.
- Math and Science Academy near St. Paul (grades 6-12)
- Woodbury Senior High near St. Paul (grades 9-12)
- Mounds View Senior High northeast of Minneapolis/St. Paul (grades 10 and 11 combined)
- Edina Senior High between Minnetonka & Bloomington (grades 10-12)
Minnesota as a whole highly prizes education, and offers 32 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, and five major campuses of the University of Minnesota. The main U of MN campus is in Minneapolis. There are more than 20 private colleges and universities in MN, with roughly 10 of them located in the Twin Cities.
The U of MN is exceptional, offering a high-caliber education to its more than 50,000 students. It can be difficult to get into their graduate programs, but well worth the effort, as the U of MN is highly respected across the country and helpful to have on your resume.
Saint Paul is second in the United States in the number of higher education institutions per capita. Well-known colleges and universities include:
- Saint Catherine University
- Concordia University
- Hamline University
- Macalester College
- University of St. Thomas
Also located in St. Paul are The Metropolitan State University and Saint Paul College, which focus on non-traditional students. Additionally, there are two law schools: William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline University School of Law.
The Saint Paul Public Schools district is the state’s second-largest school district and serves approximately 42,000 students. The district is extremely diverse with students from families speaking 70 different languages, although only four languages are used for most school communication: English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali.
There are numerous services that the government provides for those moving to Minnesota, all with corresponding websites. Moving to Minnesota (or any state that you are unfamiliar with) can be a daunting task, so take advantage of the valuable information that has been made available online to help make your transition as smooth as possible. The following are a few helpful links to get you started:
- The State of Minnesota’s Official Website is a portal to government information and services.
- The Department of Natural Resources’ Licenses, Permits and Regulations page and the Minnesota DMV can help you with several of your permit needs.
- For help with all of your voting and registration needs visit the Elections & Voter Registration Website.