Today we're checking out Lake Elmo! Located 15-20 minutes east of Saint Paul, this Twin Cities suburb is a hidden gem. With easy access to St. Paul, Stillwater, and Woodbury - Lake Elmo offers both the feel of a rural small town and a growing community with a lot of new development. Rated one of the best cities to live in the Twin CIties metro, this suburb has great schools, fantastic outdoor spaces, and one of the last remaining Drive-In movie theaters in the Twin Cities (Vali-Hi Drive-In).
Lake Elmo - you don't know what you're missing yet!
Lake Elmo - Past and Present
Getting its name from nearby Lake Elmo, the city began with one farm in 1852 on the southwest corner of the intersection of what is now Manning Avenue and 30th Street, just southeast of downtown Lake Elmo and across the highway from Lake Elmo Airport. The barn was originally built in 1875 and restored in 1998 as a house. The 1852 farmhouse was intentionally burned down in March 2007.
Although Lake Elmo is growing with plenty of new developments offering new build single family homes and townhomes, much of Lake Elmo is still farmland within city limits, giving the city a rural feel. For example, you may be in one of the new developments, drive 5 minutes, and it's farmland. Drive another 5 minutes, and you're in an old fashioned small town with a Main Street vibe. With a population of about 9,000 residents and 24 square miles of total area.
Interesting fact - following the loss of a lawsuit against the Metropolitan Council, a regional planning authority in the Twin Cities metro, the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2005 ordered a city plan for Lake Elmo that would have it triple its population by 2030.
Home Price Statistics
Lake Elmo is kind of known for being somewhat expensive to get into. The current median list price is almost exactly $500k, which is considerably higher than the median list in the Twin Cities at around $330k.
A big reason for this is all of the new developments. It’s also because of the beautiful historic homes in the downtown area which go for a premium. To get into Lake Elmo in a single family home, realistically you’re looking at about $350k on the low end.
Pros + Cons
Conveniently located to St. Paul, Stillwater, and Woodbury
Proximity to St. Paul and Woodbury = Jobs
Stillwater = Proximity to some of the best schools in the Twin Cities
So close to St. Paul, but feels in some parts like your 30-40 minutes outside of the city
A lot of new developments along with a cute, quaint old downtown with historic homes, and rural farmland
Peaceful, quiet, and loaded with natural beauty
It's kind of known to be spendy to get into Lake Elmo. The median single family home list price for Lake Elmo is currently around $500k - well above the Twin Cities Median SFH List Price which is about $330k. A big reason for this is all of the new developments and the historic homes in the downtown area that are beautiful.
A lot of the new build are somewhat removed from the conveniences (although there is a Target LOL)
A bit sparse and undeveloped.
Echoes of an old rural Lake Elmo - maybe a little less pride of home ownership. Messy or cluttered yards.
A lot of farms out here means you may get the occasional waft or smell of manure
Bonus Con - The Baytown Township Groundwater Plume Contamination Superfund Site
The main contaminant of concern that has been released to groundwater at the site is "1,1,2=trichloroethene (or TCE). The TCE plume is about 5 miles long and covers about 7 square miles.
As We Depart
Everyday, I help people who are moving or relocating to the Twin Cities, find the home of their dreams in one of the best metropolitan areas in the country! If you're looking for a full-service Real Estate company that specializes in these cross-country moves, or just across the city, look no further. Welcome to the Twin Cities - Make Yourself at Home!
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