Bloomington is a city dotted with parks, playgrounds, an indoor water park, amusement park, underground aquarium, ski resort, wildlife refuge, and, of course, hundreds of shopping destinations and restaurants.
The Metro Transit light rail trains conveniently connect Bloomington to Minneapolis and St. Paul (for only about two bucks a ride), so if you’re working in one of those two cities, we recommend taking advantage of public transit. Still, it’s tough to rely entirely on public transportation in Bloomington; the city is so spread out and characterized by strip malls, suburban landscapes, and long stretches of road between bus stops and housing units, that it’s imperative to have your own set of wheels for the bulk of your travel needs.
Pick your ‘hood. Apartment complexes in Bloomington will often times offer similar floor plans, amenities, and rates, but the “looks and feels” of the city’s neighborhoods may differ. True, you won’t find many drastic differences between East and West Bloomington (it’s not like one will remind you of Berkeley, California and the other, Lubbock, Texas), but we still recommend you visit a neighborhood in advance to gauge its vibes and meet some of its peeps before scouring the streets for a viable apartment.
East Bloomington boasts a wide range of apartments, townhouses, and freestanding houses for rent. In West Bloomington, you’re more likely to come across lofts, apartments, and condos.
Many apartments offer amenities like pools, gyms, clubhouses, tennis courts, private ponds, and multiple on-site laundry facilities. Some studios are available as well.
Landlords in Bloomington typically require that tenants fork over a security deposit (usually equal to the first month’s rent) before they turn over the keys. Also, you should know that many Bloomington apartment managers demand one-time cleaning/move-in fees and also charge prospective tenants fees to run preliminary background/credit checks on them.
Bloomington apartments (which account for one in three residences) are readily available, so feel free to search the city at your convenience for the best available deal. Move-in specials do pop up, but apartment rates don’t generally fluctuate much throughout the year. In other words, the leasing rate you come across at an apartment complex in January will likely be the same a month, six months, and even a year from now, so don’t hold your breath waiting for the price to drop.
We’ve just received word that – gasp! – Minnesota is frequently ungodly cold! For renters, this means two things: First, plan to buck up an extra $70-$120 a month for heating costs during the fall, winter, and sometimes even early spring months, when temperatures routinely bottom out below freezing level (especially between October and March). Also, make sure that your appliances and utilities (especially your furnace) function properly before you move in. Leasers sometimes make the unfortunate mistake of signing an apartment deal in June or July, when the temperature is a perfect 75 degrees, only to realize on a frigid October night that their furnace exudes less heat than a light bulb.
And now it’s time for our favorite part: picking apart Bloomington for the best apartment deal on the market! Stick with us and happy hunting.