Lakeville: Best Minnesota City for Buying a House and Raising a Family
Author: The HOMEiA Team & Gloria Russell
7 Key Factors that make Lakeville one of the Best MN Cities for Buying a House and Raising a Family
With its downtown mix of old and new, overall spirit of country and city, your family will love Lakeville! We rated this city No. 3 on our list of Five Best Cities for Families in Minnesota for many factors, including the low crime rate, excellent healthcare and educational opportunities. It’s just a quick drive to the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro, jobs are plentiful, and the housing market has something for everyone.
Lifestyle: Located 20 minutes south of St. Paul, this growing community has a lot to offer. The historic downtown features lovely shops, excellent restaurants, a variety of churches, and gathering places for friends and family. For the creatives in the family, the downtown Lakeville Area Arts Center is a main attraction with galleries, classes and events, and sports enthusiasts love Lakeville Arenas for ice skating, hockey and more. Access to public transportation is also a plus.
With a median age of 38, residents are active and youthful with year-round outdoor activities at the city parks, beaches and 100 miles of hiking and biking trails. The summer Pan-O-Prog festival delights all ages with a week of family fun in the sun. Nearby attractions, including the Minnesota Zoo, Mystic Lake Casino, Canterbury Park, Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and Mall of America, are only a short drive away.
Economy: Minnesota’s income tax rate is higher than the U.S average, but most Lakeville residents also enjoy higher incomes than the national average. The cost of housing pushes the cost of living on the high side as well, yet homeowners in Dakota County express their satisfaction with the stability of property taxes compared to other cities which seem to be continually on the rise.
Employment: Jobs are plentiful in manufacturing, retail, finance, education and healthcare, and the average commute is an acceptable 24 minutes. The low unemployment rate of 2.4% underscores the many job opportunities in the area.
Lakeville is home to many thriving companies such as MOM Brands, Imperial Plastics, National Polymers and Leaf Industries. The city is pro-business which is a plus for business owners as well as the workforce—and another reason why the area continues to grow. With a reasonable commute to the Twin Cities metro, career possibilities with highly respected companies such as Target, Travelers, Securian Financial, Ecolab and 3M are also within reach.
Housing: Although $300,000 is a mid-range price for a Lakeville home, there are a variety of desirable neighborhoods with lower or higher price tags—something for everyone. You’re sure to find one that feels like home for you and your family. It’s a family town with single-family homes, townhomes and condos, but there are also senior living choices, low-income choices, and apartments with an average rent of $1,200.
Depending on where you live in Lakeville, you might also embrace a bonus experience with neighboring Apple Valley. If you choose a Lakeville home that is only a few blocks from downtown Apple Valley, you’ll have the opportunity to also benefit from their shops, schools, parks and churches. Since Apple Valley also rates well with low crime and preferred amenities, you’ll have the best of both worlds!
There are more important factors in choosing a REAL real estate professional such as: personality, experience, reputation and local expertise. Here’s how to choose the right buyer’s agent or broker for yourself.
Education: Lakeville Area School District #194 earns high grades while serving 11,000 students, and the high school graduation rate is notably high at nearly 93%. Popular with residents, the Community Ed program offers a variety of classes and activities so that learning never ceases. Colleges in the area are plentiful with the highly acclaimed University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Carleton College, Macalester College and St. Olaf College close by and offering coursework and degrees in a variety of fields.
Safety and Healthcare: Impressively, this city of 63,000 has a low crime rate, with a violent crime rating (per 1,000) of 0.70 and property crime (per 1,000) at 9.5 —both significantly lower than average. Residents value the safe feeling of the Lakeville area neighborhoods and frequently compliment the diligent services of the Fire and Police Departments.
Lakeville residents have access to nearby 5-Star-rated hospitals including the Fairview Hospitals, St. Francis Regional, Abbott Northwestern, Regions and Park Nicollet Methodist, and the celebrated Mayo Clinic-New Prague which is only 18 miles away.
Climate: Although winters can be the typical Minnesota endurance tests, it’s undeniably beautiful and offers a chance to plan a day at nearby Buck Hill for some skiing, snowboarding or tubing. Even in Minnesota weather extremes, roads are well maintained. Spring, summer and fall are beautiful with gorgeous scenery and pleasant temperatures, except for the occasional hot, humid days of summer when it’s time for a dip in the lake or an air-conditioned movie at a nearby theater.
To sum up: It’s no wonder that Lakeville was listed as one of Money Magazine’s 2018 Best Places to Live. It has low crime and low unemployment to complement its high standards in services, education, economy and quality of life for its residents. You can travel a short distance to the big city or other lively suburbs, or a short distance in another direction for countryside, farmland and a beautiful vista.
In this article, we’ll discuss those key steps to confidently buying your first home. We’ll also look at several professionals who can help guide you on the journey, so all the details are handled correctly and professionally. Let’s get started on your next adventure.