I wouldn't disagree with some agents that Nokomis and Hiawatha are "affordable", but it SOOOOO depends on your particular financial situation to determine what affordable is for you.
As for experiencing rise in values, that's happening in many areas of Mpls. I still say SW Mpls is the best bang for your buck. If you find a bargain down there, you'll stand the best chance of recovering the sweat equity you put in to it over the years when you go to sell. Does that help?
Here's what you need to know. Even in the best area appriciation over the next 5 years probably won't cover the fees associated with a transaction.
The right way to buy in my opinion for your families future is to buy a home you can live in today, improve over the long run, and in a safe area with good schools that's inexpensive relative to it's surroundings.
A neighbohood with a wide band width of prices low to high, provides the opportunity to transform a good home from the a low to the high price point by making the right improvements for the neighborhood. Add to that sales volume as a metric of demand and you can find the best zone of opportunity for your budget. Yes it's a labor intensive process but it's the only way to insure the highest potential for sucess (ie equity growth!)
There are good areas to look at in most price ranges throughout SW Mpls and Edina. Once you're set in an area, be patient, wait for the right home at the right price. The purchase is the first, and biggest step in this game. Do it well and your set, do it wrong and you'll find it hard to recover.
Best of luck!
Sotheby's International Realty
Close to the Nokomis lakes properties are somewhat more expensive than north minneapolis but this is not about property value, it is about rise in values. Will need more detail to where would you be thinking to buy and why.