Good Question! The short answer is "yes". For starters, let's forget about crime statistics, and look at North Mpls. in terms of whether or not the homes there represent a good value, generally. The answer to that is... "yes". in a general sense, the cost per finished square foot of homes for sale in North Mpls. is about the lowest you'll find anywhere in the Metro area. So, you get a whole lotta house for your buck! Additionally a lot of money is being spent to re-vitalize that area. There's low interest loans, there's special rehab loans, there's grants, there's deals on HUD homes...(especially if you happen to be employed in the areas of law enforcement, education, or health care, or if you happen to be a fireman).
I see that you are in St. Paul. I lived in St. Paul for the first 25 years of my life. I remember going through the Selby-Dale-Western area and being very afraid. There were violent crimes in that area in the 50's, 60's, and 70's....then, it got re-vitalized with the same types of loans, grants, and special programs that North Mpls. has today. Today the Selby-Dale-Western area is quite nice and you won't find anything nearly as cheap as it once was. North Mpls. properties could very well provide a very good return on investment.
The homes in North Minneapolis are often very nice homes! Many are larger that you'll find most places. There's an abundance of two-story homes and most were built during an era of sturdy construction techniques. Most of the homes will likely still be standing a century from now. The style of the homes generally is such that they have "character" which appeals to many people as opposed to more modern "cookie cutter" suburban homes.
I always tell my buyer clients to look at the neighborhood because no matter what they do to the house, they can't change the neighborhood. While that's true, the City, the State, the Federal Government and other entities with deep pockets, can. Right now though, the North Mpls area has a lot to offer. It's INSIDE the 494/694 "beltway"....making it centrally located in the greater metro area and very convenient to nearly any metro destination. It has established schools, places of worship, an established business community, parks, playgrounds, etc.
In the end, you are the one that gets to decide where you want to live. You need to base you decision on the things that matter most, TO YOU. You may not like North Oaks, you may love Brooklyn Center, you might like Blaine but not Coon Rapids. These likes or dislikes are personal decisions but I wouldn't rule anyplace out until YOU are sure it should be. Everywhere is going to have "advantages" and "disadvantages" in YOUR mind. That's all that matters. YOU decide...don't ask others whether or not THEY think you should or should not choose a particular place to live. I'd start by keeping an open mind to anywhere that makes reasonable sense to you.
If you are unsure about a particular neighborhood, go to a park and talk to the people who live there. Ask 'em what they like and what they dislike about living there. Look at homes in many areas and when you find the right home, it' won't let you quit thinking about it.
If you would like my (no cost to you) help, guidance, advice, and representation, just contact me.