Where can you buy a rehabbed 1919 Arts and Crafts home with an updated kitchen, new energy-efficient windows and charming wood built-ins for $125,000?
In north Minneapolis.
But because of the area's embattled image, many Twin Cities house hunters may not know that it has affordable housing as well as plenty of parks, new restaurants and other amenities. A group of residents is working to change that. They've started a grass-roots neighborhood campaign called Get to NOMI (the acronym stands for North Minneapolis) to attract prospective buyers by promoting the area's positive attributes.
"Unfortunately, many people have this perception that north Minneapolis is crime-ridden and full of unsafe areas," said Joel Breeggemann, co-founder of Get to NOMI and a home owner in the Webber-Camden neighborhood. "We want to show people that these neighborhoods are just as desirable as others in Minneapolis and St. Paul."
They've organized a Valentine's Day tour of 20 houses currently on the market in several north Minneapolis neighborhoods. The homes are a mix of foreclosures and owner-occupied residences that range in price from $99,000 to $249,000.
Before the tour, interested buyers can talk to residents at a "Meet and Greet" in the 42nd Avenue Station coffee shop. Real estate agents also will be on hand to answer questions.
Organizers say they timed the event so buyers can take advantage of the extension of the home buyer tax credit of up to $8,000, which expires at the end of April. They also point out that many of the homes are bargain-priced because of the high number of foreclosed and distressed homes in the city.
"It's a perfect opportunity to scoop up deals that are still available," Breeggemann said.