Are you gearing up for your Minneapolis apartment search and ready to embark on the adventure of finding your dream apartment in the bustling city? With its thriving arts scene, dynamic neighborhoods, and thriving job market, it’s no wonder the “City of Lakes” has captured so many hearts. But navigating the rental landscape can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the area.
That’s why we’ve compiled these 10 essential tips to help make your dreams of living in Minneapolis a reality. From creating a budget to exploring different neighborhoods, these tips will guide you through the process and help you find your perfect Minneapolis apartment in no time.
1. Create a budget
As a starting point, you need to figure out what you can afford. The 30% Rule says that you should spend a maximum of 30% of your pretax income on housing, which includes not only rent but also parking, furniture, moving costs, etc. Other factors to consider during your Minneapolis apartment search are whether utilities are included in your rent and whether you’ll need to pay any special fees or upfront costs when you sign a lease.
2. Make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves
If you’re looking for an apartment in Minneapolis, it’s important to make a list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves to help you find the perfect place. Minneapolis is known for its extreme weather conditions, so you might want to prioritize amenities like air conditioning, onsite parking, and laundry facilities to make your daily life more comfortable.
Additionally, many apartments in Minneapolis come with outdoor space, which is great for enjoying the city’s beautiful parks and lakes during the summer months. If you’re a pet owner, be sure to look for apartments with pet-friendly policies, as many buildings in the city have strict pet restrictions. Finally, if you enjoy working out, consider searching for apartments with a fitness center or pool to help you stay active and healthy.
3. Find the neighborhood that’s right for you
Do some research and choose one that fits your lifestyle. Minneapolis has a wide variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and conveniences.
- If you love shopping and going out to eat, Nicollet is a perfect fit. You can browse bookstores and co-ops featuring local vendors and never get bored with the dense, eclectic stretch of restaurants on “Eat Street.”
- If you’re looking for a trendier scene, check out the North Loop. This neighborhood features modern industrial architecture, nationally acclaimed restaurants featuring locally inspired cuisine, microbreweries, and independent coffee shops galore, as well as the historic Hewing, which National Geographic recently named one of the Most Instagrammable Hotels in the U.S.
- If you’re looking for a vibrant and diverse neighborhood, Loring Park is the place for you. This area is home to a beautiful park, world-class museums, and a wide range of restaurants and cafes. From its annual festivals to its historic architecture, Loring Park has something for everyone. Plus, its proximity to downtown Minneapolis and easy access to public transportation make it an ideal location for both work and play.
4. Consider your commute
Traffic in Minneapolis can be heavy, so it’s important to find a location that enables an easy commute to work or school, as well as access to necessities like groceries, the gym, etc. Fortunately, many neighborhoods are walkable and accessible by public transportation. If you do need to drive outside the city regularly, pick an area close to one of the many highways that enter the city.
5. Do some online detective work
When searching for a place to live in Minneapolis, it’s a good idea to read reviews from current and past tenants to get an idea of what it’s like to live in the building or neighborhood. Watch out for recurring complaints of unresponsive management, pest problems, broken appliances, poor building maintenance, etc. With Minneapolis’s varied weather patterns, it’s also worth paying attention to comments about heating and cooling systems in the building.
6. Tour the apartment in person when possible
During your Minneapolis apartment search, it’s a good idea to visit units in person when possible. Touring in person allows you to look at the hallways, front entrances, ceilings, etc. that you may not see online. If an in-person tour isn’t possible, ask for a video tour of the unit, as well as public and shared spaces.
7. Make a list of questions
Think about what you want from your living experience and what problems might arise. Some questions you might want to pose:
- How does management handle noise complaints, safety concerns, issues between tenants, etc.?
- Who do I contact if I have a maintenance concern?
- What are the policies for use of shared spaces like a pool, fitness center, outdoor patio, party room, etc.?
- Does the apartment coordinate any building events?
8. Take a walk around the neighborhood
There are many different neighborhoods in Minneapolis, so you’ll want to make sure the area you choose feels like a place you could see yourself living. It’s not a bad idea to take a walk around the neighborhood during the day and at night. During the day, you can observe the flow of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, explore nearby parks and recreational areas, and check out local amenities such as shops and restaurants. At night, you can assess the level of noise, the lighting in the area, and the overall feeling of safety.
9. Read the lease carefully
Make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions of your agreement, including the rent amount, security deposit, and any fees for pets, parking, HOA, late rent, etc.
You should also consider how long you want to stay in the apartment and make sure this aligns with the lease term. Some landlords allow flexible lease times, especially after you’ve been there for a year, while others may require a year-long commitment every time you renew your lease.
10. Consider using a rental agent or apartment search service
These professionals can help you find listings that match your criteria and assist with the application process. They’ll also be familiar with different areas of the city and can answer questions about safety, neighborhood vibes, and more. Websites like Redfin and Rent.com also offer detailed listings of available apartments, with photos, prices, and other important information.
Finding the perfect fit
Check these boxes, and your Minneapolis apartment search should be a breeze, and you can confidently find an apartment you’ll want to call home for years to come.
Learn more about Minneapolis:
Fun Things to Do in Minneapolis: 14 Can’t-Miss Activities for New Residents
10 Reasons You Should Move to Minneapolis (And Why You’ll Love It)
Must-Read Tips for Making it Through a Minneapolis Winter as a Local