Hi, I'm moving to Minneapolis/St. Paul in August. I'll be working in New Brighton. Seems cheaper to buy a condo/townhouse than to rent any advice?

Asked by TrinaA, Minneapolis, MN Fri Apr 26, 2013

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Claire Basti…, Agent, Fridley, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
Hi Trina A,

How long do you plan on living in the area? That would be my first question, if your move is permanent, then it makes perfect sense to purchase now while prices are lower and rates are lower.
You will likely find something in your price range that you can afford within easier driving distance of New Brighton. You can compare rent vs buy pricing and then decide.

It all depends on where you choose to live and how much you wish to invest if you purchase, there is a shortage of inventory here at the moment and sellers are getting multiple offers in some cases. But prices are still good and interest rates won't stay low forever.

Your first step should be to choose an agent who represents your interests and ONLY your interests.
Everyone who calls themself a Buyers Agent is not necessarilly an Exclusive Buyers Agent or EBA, therefor, they often cannot provide advice or full disclosure as there can be a conflict. Only an EBA can give you 100% of the fiduciary disclosure and protection as we represent only buyers and never have any listings.

I am an EBA, I have affiliations with lenders who charge no loan origination fee if you work with me, and, I have a rental property finder on my website in case you should decide that renting is in your best interest initially.

Please let me know if I can help you further and check out my website at http://www.FindYourMinnesotaHome.com as soon as you can to read more about our market!

Thanks for the great question and hope to hear from you.

Claire Bastien
1 vote
Hi Claire,
Thanks for your thorough response! I'm going to be teaching in New Brighton so I'm anticipating a long stay in the area. Definitely beyond 3 years.
Flag Fri Apr 26, 2013
Forrest Lehm…, , Minneapolis, MN
Thu Jun 6, 2013
Hi Trina,

My advice would be talk to a loan officer and get some numbers on the current rates and your buying power. After you know your financial situation. Click on the link below and search away. Once you are on the site feel free to set up whatever parameters you want to search the cities you decide will work best for you. I put 6-8 cities in the New Brighton area. Feel free to contact me with any questions and good luck!


Have a great day!

Forrest Lehman
Homes Plus Realty
0 votes
Betty Johnson, Agent, Arden Hills, MN
Tue May 7, 2013
Good observation! The single family house is in great demand however the condo/townhome market is still lagging behind. I have 2 amazing T.H's in Fridley under$110K updated with new furnace, AC, water heater new kitchens and bath updates. Want to see them?
0 votes
Cody Anderson, Agent, Minneapolis, MN
Tue May 7, 2013
advice... save up 3.5% down minimum and get pre approved waaay before you start looking :)

My home search is free and much more current than public websites.


Check Out My Latest Blog: http://www.trulia.com/blog/cody_anderson/

Cody Anderson, MN Licensed Realtor

Metropolitan Home Team

Phone: 612-242-5752
0 votes
Kim Eisen, Agent, Twin Cities, MN
Thu May 2, 2013
Hi Trina,

Have been selling homes in the Twin Cities since 1980 and would love to
help you with any questions at all.

You can search for New Brighton and surrounding area homes at

Let me know if I can help.


Kim Eisen
Realtor since 1980 in the Twin Cities
Bridge Realty
(651) 457-HOME (4663)
0 votes
John Trenti, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Mon Apr 29, 2013
Please set up your condo/townhome search on my website: http://www.visitminnesotahomes.com
You can familiarize yourself with the market(s) you are looking in and you can always call or email me with any questions you may have on specific properties. You can even "save" the ones in your search program that you may want to go look at with me once you arrive in the area! Thank you for your time Trina!
0 votes
Betty Johnson, Agent, Arden Hills, MN
Sat Apr 27, 2013
Best kept secret! Northern Twin Cities is a great place find reasonable housing! Plenty of townhomes to choose from in New Brighton and the surrounding area of Mounds View, Fridley, Saint Anthony. I personally live in New Brighton and have for 40 years and have been selling the area for 20 years. Would love to prove that you can find a townhome with payments equal to less than your rent payment.
0 votes
Mike Kelcher, Agent, Burnesville, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013

New Brighton is a suburb that doesn't have a lot of townhouses and condos. It's not like "other" suburbs where townhomes and condos seem to be everywhere. While it does make finding one a bit harder, it often means higher resale values down the road because usually there aren't 100+ identical units for sale at any one time.

Even if it's not cheaper on a monthly basis to own vs rent, when one factors in the tax advantages of home ownership, it usually makes more sense. However, it's a good idea to have an experienced agent guide and advise you. While it's fairly easy to simply buy a townhome, there are also some pitfalls that a good agent can help with. For starters, when you purchase a townhome or condo, you more or less become a financial partner in the association. That's not normally a problem, but...when an association hasn't been managed well or is in poor financial shape, it can be problematic.

I'd be happy to help you locate a place that's right for you and your budget, without pressure, and at virtually no cost to you. I'm familiar with the area and the St. Anthony-New Brighton school district (if that matters), seems to have a great reputation....well...OK...my wife works as a teacher there. :-)

Contact me if I can help in any way.
0 votes
Susan Hoffla…, Agent, Shoreview, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
Hi, Trina!
Can't disagree with you!!! I have several relocation clients who, initially thought they might rent, but have quickly changed their minds and decided to buy! Why??
1. Because prices, while still low, are on their way up.
2. Because mortgage interest rates are CRAZY low
3. Because the rental market is so tight right now that rents are higher, in many cases, than a mortgage payment would be for a similar or even better property!

I'd say your logic is sound.

Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.homestosellmn.com
0 votes
Chris Block, , Saint Paul, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
Bottom line if you have a question of rent versus buy we look at what is available and compare it to rent. I live in Vadnais Heights so know the area extremely well. I rent and so does a lot of my friends.

If you can find something for 150k that is usually the safest bet. Anyone can send you listings, but if you want to have a great buyer's agent I would love the opportunity to work with you:)

Great Question!

Chris Block
Realtor N/NE suburbs
0 votes
Cameron Piper, Agent, Forest Lake, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
The largest question you need to answer is how long you plan to be here. If you see yourself leaving in the next year or two, renting is likely a better option. If you plan to be here for the next 2-5 years it might make sense for you to buy a place. If you'll definitely be here for more than 5 years, looking for a home would be a good idea.

Townhouses generally are cheaper per square foot, bedroom, etc. than a single family home. There are exceptions to every rule however and what you ultimately choose should serve your lifeself for the next few years at minimum.

Cameron Piper
Keller Williams Premier Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.CamPiper.com
0 votes
Lenny Frolov, Agent, Brooklyn Park, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
With interest rates at historic lows it does seem better to buy than to rent. Another benefit in owning vs renting is that you wont have a landlord who raises your rent yearly.
0 votes
Alex Ruter, Agent, Lakeville, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
If you are open to other options, purchasing a duplex could be one way to live less expensively than buying a condo or townhome. Rental rates are moving up which would offset your expenses greatly.
0 votes
Rick Thram, Agent, Savage, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
The rental vacancy rate is at historic lows which means available rentals are either overpriced or dogs (ie you wouldn't let your dog live there)! So, step up and buy a place! If you don't like it, you can always rent it out!
0 votes
Chad Kenning, Agent, Blaine, MN
Fri Apr 26, 2013
I would say that you are correct in your perception. The housing market has started to recover in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area so price seem to be done going down. Also, the rental market is also very strong since there are so many people looking for a place to rent. I could easily send you a list of townhomes and condos in New Brighton that are new on the market if you would like.

If you want to look into this further I can also suggest a great mortgage person to help you figure out more exact payments.

Let me know if I can help you out further.

Chad Kenning
Greater Midwest Realty
0 votes
Sure send me the information! Thanks!
Flag Fri Apr 26, 2013
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