St. Paul, MN

11 Replies

Good Afternoon,

I'm looking at buying my first duplex in one of these three areas. Thomas-Dale (frog town), Dayton's Bluff, or Payne and Phalen. Does anyone on BP own any multifamily homes in these areas, and if so are there places to steer clear from. I've done my due diligence and have driven the areas and looked up the crime reports on-line and so far there are a couple rough areas that I've found but compared to other cities in the U.S. these areas are hardly considered dangerous to me. Minnesota has also build a new public train which just opened a month ago to the public, I'm guessing this will bring value to the areas it operates, is my thought process valid? Any information would be very helpful.

Here is my market research for the area, MN unemployment 4%, vacancy rate 2%, average cap rate 10%. Crime rates for the past 30 days; Frog Town 174 (reported) or 11.6 per 1,000 people, Dayton's bluff 195(reported) or 11.8 per 1,000 people, Payne-Phalen 257 (reported) or 8.4 per 1,000. How do these numbers compare to other cities in which people invest?

Also, can anyone refer a good CPA local to St. Paul?

I have to get better at proof reading before I post. Sorry for improper grammar and punctuation. 

I've been looking at leads in St. Paul as well, and I've seen some crime maps that concern me.  In fact, if you venture into downtown St. Paul, there is a definite lack of Police presence. I just spoke with another major investor in Minneapolis yesterday, and he says it is important to know the code enforcement in St. Paul.  Also, on zillow, I looked at a Dayton's bluff duplex listed for sale, that offered rents close to 2% of purchase price.  Trouble is the school district rated at the bottom of the scale....1 out of 10 on Zillow.  If you don't think that is pertinent, go for it.  But I'm shying away from St. Paul until I know a lot more about it.

Hi @Keith Albrecht  ,

I've looked a little at Daytons Bluff myself.  There are ways of making decent money in any neighborhood and I think the Daytons Bluff Neighborhood Association is starting to do some good things up there.  I certainly don't know St. Paul like I do Minneapolis but the deals are better from a buy in standpoint and since I have as much interest in the suburbs as I have in dumpster diving, I'm working on educating myself more on St. Paul.

Personally, I'd avoid Payne but that might be more out of ignorance than any real concrete facts about the rental market. 

As for schools, most of us that live in the city...at least a lot of us, don't have kids so I could care less about school districts.  The places with good schools have zero for walkability and nightlife so you have to figure out who your customer is.

That's my two cents anyway.  Good luck and keep us posted.

I own 2 SFR rental properties in East St Paul. I agree with your statement about how even the worst parts of St. Paul and are nothing compared to other areas of the country. That being said you will find less headaches in the better areas. I found that overall the further east you can go towards Maplewood the better and also north of Maryland Ave seems to be better. But you can find nicer neighborhoods south of Maryland. Then there are the pocket areas within this area that are even nicer, the areas around Lake Phalen, Hillcrest CC, etc.

Most of the duplexes in East St Paul will be in the Dayton Bluff, and Phalen areas and primarily be older homes built before 1930.  I have found that in East St. Paul the older homes are generally in the less desirable areas.  I would look for a duplex in an area of predominantly newer (after 1930) homes.  Even if your duplex is older than this, the surrounding homes being newer will seem to elevate the neighborhood in quality of tenant, schools, etc.

St Paul does have a rental inspection program you have to deal with.  Not a real probelm, just another hassle and fee.  I think it was $175 and is good for up to 5 years.

@David Moore  Mo , Thank you for your response. The education system around that area isn't the best by any means, hopefully it will get better with time but I'm not going to try to make that gamble just yet. Honestly, the views and the proximity to the city is what I was impressed with. Do the properties you own come close to the 2% rule?

@Chris Christianson  I appreciate you taking your time to reply to my post. I agree with you, about knowing my market. There is more stability with families which is very appealing, but I wouldn't fell as bad about having to evict select singles and couples without children. How many properties do you own in Minneapolis? What areas do you think are the best to invest in?

@Bret Lorenson   Thank you for your response, I really do appreciate it. Your insight into the age of the house has brought some perspective and added a new piece of vital criteria to my list. I've noticed in a couple of the houses I looked at there were foundational problems, that coupled with the age of the building is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Also the geographical location was helpful as well. Do you own any properties in Frog Town? Or have you looked at any?

Once again that you all for you time. I just started school again so my time has went from plenty to scarce. One good thing is that now I have several teachers, who are all experienced in different parts of the business world, who are helping me with the vision of my business plan and a couple are also going to help with in the acquisition of funding.

Kindest regards,

-Keith Albrecht

Hey @Keith Albrecht  

I just bought my first rental property in St Paul.  It's a 3 bed 2 bath 1600sq/ft home on Grand Ave near the bottom of Summit Hill.  Got it for what I think was a steal.  Hows your search soming along?

@Keith Albrecht

How did your search go? I'm starting my search for a MFR in the Cities, but I'm not too familiar with the residential parts of St Paul. Any advice based on your research and experience?

Hello @Keith Albrecht and @Eric Bate I just bought my first duplex in Minneapolis using a special type of financing perfect for your first duplex ! (Conventional, no mortgage insurance, and less down payment than FHA !!!). Plus there are grants/loans to help buyers with the down payment in Mpls and St Paul right now! Private message me or call for specifics !

Hello All!

My family and I recently moved to Woodbury and are beginnino our search for purchasing rentals here.  We are ver6 interested in St. Paul and Minneapolis.   Any insight you would like to offer as an update to this forum would be very appreciated.

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We have 5 duplexes listed in Frogtown currently. They are at the 1% rule but could be a little cheaper. It used to be pretty rough, but it is turning around.

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