Today we’re checking out Forest Lake, Minnesota!
The furthest north video we’ve done, Forest Lake is a quaint suburb northeast of St. Paul, it has an adorable small town feel while still being relatively close to the Twin Cities. Housing prices in the area are in line with the Twin Cities median and it has solid schools. If lake town vibes are up your alley, it’s a solid option to look at!
Let’s get it!
Forest Lake Vibes
About 30 minutes from downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, and just short of 40 minutes to MSP airport, Forest Lake as mentioned, is the furthest virtual tour we’ve done. As its name states, Forest Lake and the surrounding lakes offer residents all the lake activities you need year-round - fishing, boating, and swimming in the summer, and ice fishing in the winter. Another popular winter activity here is snowmobiling - so much so they even have snowmobile police - it doesn’t get much more Minnesotan than that!
With a population of about 22,000 residents, Forest Lake has grown about 20% in the past 10 years. As far as schools are concerned, they’re not top 10, but they are solid. Forest Lake is served primarily by the Forest Lake School District and most schools come in around a B for a rating*.
Home Price Statistics Around 78% of the residents in Forest Lake own, while 22% rent. The median home price here in Forest Lake is about $330k, just slightly below the Twin Cities median of about $350k. Basically the home prices range pretty dramatically. For single family homes, you can find them as low as $250k and as high as $1.5 million. A realistic barrier of entry is going to be about $300k.
Pros + Cons
The beautiful outdoor spaces - whether we’re talking the lake or park spaces, they’re great
“Up North” feel only 30 minutes from either downtown with easy access via I-35
For the uninitiated, it just means northern Minnesota where people have cabins
Diverse housing stock - very affordable homes and homes that go for $1 million plus
All your suburban staples
Schools are solid, but not excellent
The lake while absolutely beautiful, it can make it a pain getting to the amenities on the west side of the lake if you live on the east side of the lake
Some of the areas that aren’t cared for as well - “echoes of a rural past” as I like to say
To Sum Up Forest Lake in Three Points
Beautiful outdoor spaces and that “Up North” feel
Convenient to both downtowns despite the distance
All the suburban amenities you need
For Fans Of
Basically, if you like this neighborhood, you might want to check out these other neighborhoods 👇
White Bear Lake
Nearby geographically, somewhat similar vibes, cute little downtown, etc
Anoka and Elk River
Cute little downtown, relatively affordable, and “Up North” feel
Stillwater and Wayzata
Similar vibes, cute downtowns, but much better schools and higher home prices
As We Depart
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*according to niche.com