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Our One-Year Home Hunting Adventure Part One: Minneapolis and St. Louis

Dream Home Hunting

My husband and I are indecisive about where we want to live and what we want in a home we’re committed enough to buy. It’s one of our reasons for living in 12 cities in 12 months. I think that at the end of our year of adventuring (July 1, 2022) that we’ll be ready to call someplace home.

Where? That’s the big question. 

One thing we think we know is that we would like to live in a condo, townhouse, or apartment in the heart of a larger city. From wherever we choose to anchor ourselves, we want to be able to walk to a coffee shop, a grocery store, and a restaurant or two. It’ll reduce our carbon footprint and help us stay active. We plan on living in at least one smaller city during our journey to see if we like it. 

What do we want in our future home?

Here are our non-negotiable (we think) musts:

  • Have at least 1500 square feet of living space.
  • Have at least two bedrooms and two bathrooms. A third bedroom would be nice. It’d be good for us each to have our own office. Each office would also serve as a guest room. 
  • Air conditioning. 
  • Washer-Dryer. We do not want to have to go to a laundromat. 
  • At least one parking stall that’s available nearby.

These are our strong preferences:

  • Big windows on multiple sides. We love views and natural light. 
  • Great closet space.
  • Within a newer building. While we love the aesthetics and charm of older ones, my asthma flares up more in them.
  • Quiet. We were often woken by the roar of engines and the whine of sirens in our Washington Avenue apartment in Minneapolis. Similar sounds would disrupt our peace throughout the day. In our current apartment in St. Louis, we don’t hear much of anything from the street. We sleep well and we like it.  
  • A workout area within the building. 

Our absolute MUST-NOT have:

  • A wood burning fireplace. Even if we never light it, the residue left behind by those who lit it before trigger my asthma. 

I did a Zillow search the other day for properties currently for sale that might match our most basic criteria:

  • 1500 square feet
  • 2+ bedrooms
  • 2+ bathrooms
  • Townhouse, Condo, or Apartment. We don’t think we want the maintenance of a house again. 

Important to Note:

  • Budget is not a consideration at this point. We’re staying focused on what we think we really want in a place. There’s no sense in constraining ourselves. So much can happen in a year, right? In other words, we tend to be dreamers and have no desire to spoil our fun at the moment. 
  • I am limiting our search to the neighborhoods we’ve lived in. 
  • We might spend two-years or more instead of one, traveling around trying to decide where to settle down. 

The results:

Minneapolis Downtown East

The lowest priced property that meets our criteria in the area is $559,000. The most expensive is $2,695,000.


Minneapolis Property 215 10th Ave S UNIT 227 Kitchen

215 10th Ave S UNIT 227 $559,000

Beyond the basics, we dig the floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious kitchen of this place. It has two bedrooms, two baths, and 1,746 square feet of livable space. It was built in 2006. 

1240 S 2nd St UNIT 921 $1,125,000

This place isn’t shabby at all with its floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious kitchen, ample closet space, and 3 bedrooms. It was built in 2019 and has 2,066 square feet of livable space. 


St. Louis Central West End

The lowest priced property that meets our criteria in the area is $187,500. The most expensive is $1,400,000. 

470 Lake Ave UNIT 4N $209,000

Built in bookcases, a decent amount of windows, and a charming kitchen are all major pluses for this location. I also love that it has 3 bedrooms. It was built in 1908 and did at one time have a fireplace, so that could impact my asthma. It has 1,530 square feet, so it just barely meets our criteria there. 

4323 Westminster Pl #1E, Saint Louis, MO 63108

4323 Westminster Pl #1E $725,000

A brand new build that is a replica of the building that once stood in its location. A gas fireplace. There are only four condos in the building, which could be quite nice. Upscale finishes.  The soaking tub! Oh my! 2,131 square feet. That’s 65 more square feet than the pricier Minneapolis home for $400,000 less. 

Assuming each city and area were safe and welcoming, would you choose the city that gives you the most bang for your buck real estate wise? Or would other factors be more important? 

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