Brooklyn Park, despite its reputation as the quintessential sleepy suburb, is actually much more than a Minneapolis-St. Paul “bedroom community.” The city boasts its fair share of amenities and attractions including a sizable park and trail system, an indoor water park, and the celebrated Edinburgh USA golf course.
Although the city boasts a solid economy of its own, many Brooklyn Park tenants still rely on jobs in Minneapolis, St. Paul, or Bloomington to bring home the bacon. Unfortunately for commuters, the Metro Transit doesn’t currently offer rail service (only bus routes) from B.P. to Minneapolis, so you’ll likely need your own set of wheels to get into, out of, and around town. Gridlock throughout the metro area can be frustrating during evening and morning rush hour periods, so allow yourself plenty of time for your daily trek. On the bright side, many apartments are situated near highways and along outer roads, giving renters easy freeway access.
Generally speaking, Brooklyn Park is divided into two distinct areas. On the south side of town, closer to downtown Minneapolis, you’ll find large clusters of apartment buildings, and more well-established (pre-1970) apartment complexes and neighborhoods.
The northern parts of town, meanwhile, are generally home to the city’s most modern and classically suburban neighborhoods. Apartments are limited (only about 25 percent of all tenants rent rather than own) but they’re also readily available and often feature some top-notch amenities (secured entrances, covered parking, fitness centers, balconies and/or patios, private ponds, etc.) that many of their south side counterparts lack.
A few simple tidbits of advice to keep in mind while scavenging for an apartment deal you can’t refuse:
Shop around. Brooklyn Park is a renter’s market. Because three out of four residents opt to mortgage rather than lease their living quarters, rentals are always available and landlords are constantly competing with each other to entice new tenants with amazing move-in deals (i.e., no security deposit, utilities included, one month free, etc). Even in the northern suburbs, it’s quite possible to score a spacious (900-1100 square foot) multi-BR pad without having to pay a single move-in fee. Whether you’re trying to land a lease in Hawthorne Bend, Shadowbrook, one of the neighborhoods surrounding Edinburgh Golf Course, or in any other part of town, you’ll discover no shortage of renting options.
Inspect it carefully. Especially if you’re moving into one of the older complexes in south B.P., give your new place a solid inspection before officially moving in. On your move-in checklist, mark down even the most minor blemish, as you don’t want a preexisting imperfection to prevent you from getting your security deposit back (if you even had to pay one, that is). Also, when scheduling an initial meeting/walkthrough with a leasing agent, ask if you can see the actual apartment you might be renting, not just a prototype/showroom.
Read your lease. A common mistake renters make is rushing into a lease without reading the fine print. Landlords in Brooklyn Park have drastically different rules regarding pets, roommates, smoking, and even visitors and late-night guests in some cases, so be sure you agree with every last detail of your lease before attaching your name to it.
Be prepared. Even though Brooklyn Park is a renter’s market, landlords won’t blindly offer a lease to anyone who saunters into their offices asking for an application. Many properties only accept new tenants whose monthly income exceeds a specific amount (usually 2-3 times the price of rent). Others run credit and background checks on prospective leasers before offering them a lease to make sure they don’t have a history of reneging on leases, ignoring their bills, or treating their apartment like a 1970s hair band’s hotel room. You don’t need perfect credit by any means, but if you’ve got a major black mark or two on your record, you’ll likely need a credible co-signer to seal the deal.
And now it’s time to hit the streets and scour the interwebs for the apartment you’ve always dreamed of! Best of luck and happy hunting!