7 Key Factors that make New Prague one of the Best MN Cities for Buying a House and Raising a Family
Author: The HOMEiA Team & Gloria Russell
This city has all the advantages of small-town living with proximity to big city amenities. New Prague earned the No. 2 place on our list of the Five Best Cities for Families in Minnesota with good reason. The city is peaceful and safe with a lovely downtown, beautiful lake and opportunity for outdoor activities. It offers low unemployment, great schools and reasonably priced housing—and all at only a short distance from the Twin Cities and MSP International Airport.
1. Lifestyle: For those of you who enjoy country living and still want the advantages of the city, New Prague is for you. This little piece of heaven, with its natural beauty and neatly planted cornfields, is quietly adored by 7,800 residents, more or less. You’ll find an inviting main street with charming shops and restaurants, beautiful Cedar Lake, and lots of open space with the peaceful calm of the prairie.
With a median age of nearly 34, the population is youthful. Families love the abundance of parks for swimming, picnicking, camping, golfing, cross-country skiing, hiking and biking. Love to golf or want to learn the sport? The gorgeous 18-hole municipal golf course is a gathering place, open to the public and members, for leagues, individual golfing and events.
2. Economy: The cost of living in New Prague is slightly higher than the U.S. average, mainly due to the higher cost of housing, transportation and income taxes. Since groceries and utilities are well below national averages, savings can be made in those areas. For those who need help getting around or prefer not to drive, reasonably priced transportation is available seven days a week.
The city prides itself on being a “bridge between rural and metropolitan areas” with only a 45-minute drive north to the Twin Cities metro or the international airport. It’s easy to reach the big city when you’re in the mood for a concert, ballgame or night out of town.
3. Education: There are five schools in the New Prague Area School District—all highly rated and succeeding at their goal of learning excellence. School test scores for the 4,170 students are considerably higher than national averages, and the impressive 93% high school graduation rate receives kudos for its top statewide status.
As part of the Scott County Library system, the New Prague Memorial Library serves families with traditional library services and meeting rooms. With the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro close by, there are many fine colleges and universities to choose from without going too far from home.
4. Employment: Unemployment is lower than average at 2.5%. Residents often work in the metro with an average commute time of 30 minutes, which is somewhat higher than the national average, and some residents avoid the daily commute by working remotely with only occasional trips to the office. Major employers are represented in manufacturing, healthcare, education and retail, and many employees hold jobs in administration, professional services, sales, education and hospitality.
5. Housing: Most residents are homeowners seeking single-family homes and finding a median home price of around $210,000. The area is mainly occupied by families with children. Apartment rentals are also available at a reasonably moderate cost of around $820 per month.
Rather than the crowded cityscape, many prefer the country air, privacy and space. Neighbors are friendly and helpful, yet respectful of the need for privacy. You can have pets, a hobby farm or a full-fledged ranch. What’s your pleasure, partner? You can find it in New Prague.
6. Safety and Healthcare: This small town has a low crime rate, with a violent crime rating (per 1,000) of 0.39 and property crime (per 1,000) at 20.37—both significantly lower than average. Generally, people are respectful and protective of each other and their property.
For excellent routine and specialized healthcare, you’ll find the Mayo Clinic Health System in New Prague. It doesn’t get better than the Mayo! And, good news for your four-legged pet(s). New Prague Animal Care provides wellness care, treatments, surgeries and boarding for your cherished pets.
7. Climate: As is typical in Minnesota, temperatures can dip to zero degrees (Fahrenheit) in the winter and hit the humid 80s in the summer. New Prague residents enjoy the parks, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and in the winter, there’s fun on the ice at the ice skating and hockey rinks at Sliding Hill Skate Park. With an average of 46 inches of snow, there’s plenty of shoveling, and residents know how to drive on snow and ice!
To sum up: For the best of both worlds, people are drawn to New Prague for the simplicity, peaceful countryside, safety, old-fashioned neighborliness and small-town shops. If you’re not fond of the rat race or hubbub of the city, this town will give you a heartwarming welcome, downhome friends and a place to put your feet up. You’ll love seeing how people help each other—and, you can always make a trip into the metro for a change of pace.