Minneapolis is one of the fastest growing metro areas in the Midwest and those moving here will find many different options when it comes to housing. That said, the city's population growth has pushed up the cost of accommodation in Minneapolis due to growing demand. The good news, though, is that with new developments springing up throughout the city, renters have more choice. Some landlords may even offer low rental prices to fill up the building, so it's worth scouting around for a bargain.
Types of accommodation in Minneapolis
There is a variety of different housing in Minneapolis. Modern high-rise buildings offering apartments with full amenities are available in the city’s downtown areas. There are a number of converted warehouses and industrial buildings that offer trendy loft apartments. In the surrounding suburbs, family homes range from large and spacious freestanding houses to neat and compact townhouses.
Generally, the closer one lives to a lake or the river in Minneapolis, the more expensive the accommodation.
Finding accommodation in Minneapolis
The easiest way to find accommodation in Minneapolis is online. There are numerous websites that list current properties for sale or rent. House hunters will even find websites that offer reviews of apartment buildings from current and former tenants.
Local newspapers usually contain property listings, while some local supermarkets and coffee shops have bulletin boards that include adverts for rental properties.
New arrivals can also hire a real-estate agent to do the legwork for them in scouting and arranging viewings for accommodation, but this will come at an additional cost.
Renting property in Minneapolis
Making an application
Once prospective tenants have found a suitable property they will need to file an application via the agent or directly approach the landlord. An applicant-screening process follows, whereby certain reference and credit checks are carried out. It is usually expected that an individual or family unit has a combined income that is at least three times the cost of the rental rate. Expats are advised to have their social security number and US bank account set up ahead of time in order to speed up this process.
Leases and deposits
Leases are generally signed for a 12-month period, but it is possible to negotiate a shorter term or month-to-month contract in some cases. A deposit of one month’s rent is usually required to secure the property and cover any damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear. Because landlords are allowed to make reasonable deductions for any damages to the property, tenants are advised to ensure that a detailed inventory is carried out at the start and end of a tenancy agreement.
It’s important to establish what utilities or services are included in the rental costs and who is responsible for maintenance and repair costs. Utilities are often something that the tenant is expected to pay for separately. Minneapolis is very cold during the winter and electricity bills are bound to be high as a result. New arrivals should take this into consideration and ensure their rental accommodation has adequate central heating.
Buying property in Minneapolis
Foreigners are able to buy property in the US quite easily and expats living in Minneapolis long term may consider property a good investment, given the city's rapid population growth. Financing can be obtained from a bank, but expats will need to go to considerable lengths to show that they are able to commit to the purchase of a new house.
►For information on the different transport options in the Twin Cities, see Getting Around in Minneapolis
Are you an expat living in Minneapolis?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Minneapolis. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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