If the Coen Brothers film, Fargo, has influenced your perception of the city, it’s time for a reset. It’s true, Fargo is North of Normal, but it’s nothing like the film’s portrayal. Yes, Fargoans can be quirky and are proud of it, but they’re also creative, innovative, and friendly.
Fargo, built on the rich north Midwest prairie, promises an affordable cost of living, a strong, diverse economy, and a healthy job market. The metro area’s three colleges influence cultural options that are impressive for a city this size. You can enjoy everything from live theater, ballet, opera, galleries, and museums to inventive cuisine, craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries.
Relocating to Fargo will be a lot easier and less stressful when you turn to Great Guys Long Distance Movers for help with figuring out the relocation process. This guide will add to your understanding of why Fargo is such a special city – and all quotes are totally free!
Living in Fargo, ND: What to Know Before Moving to Fargo
With a population of about 124,844, Fargo is a mid-sized city in eastern North Dakota that shares a border with Minnesota along the Red River. The greater Fargo-Moorhead Minnesota metro area has about 245,471 residents and within a two-mile radius, the metro area shares three major colleges: North Dakota State University, Concordia, and Minnesota State University Moorhead. The vibrant college culture adds to Fargo’s creative, hip vibe.
Pros and Cons
Check out the pros and cons involved when considering a move to Fargo.
- Natural beauty: Fargo has many parks, trails, rivers, and lakes to admire and enjoy
- Strong, diverse economy: Innovative and lively industrial sectors support the economy
- Four distinct seasons: Outdoorsy Fargoans enjoy the benefits of each season
- Great place to raise a family: Many neighborhoods have friendly residents and above-average schools
- Innovation and creativity: Fargoans are an imaginative and resourceful bunch
- Long cold winters: Fargo’s has some of the most extreme weather in the US
- College town: Some people are put off by all the constant activity
- Isolated from big cities: Minneapolis is the closest big city, three and a half hours southeast
- Higher crime rates: Overall crime rates are higher than the US average
- Limited public transportation: In general, you’ll need a car to run errands and commute
- Property Tax: The average property tax in Cass County is 1.323%. Each county assesses its own property taxes, so be sure to talk with your realtor about county property tax and any special assessments.
- Sales Tax: In Fargo, the combined state sales tax rate is 7.5%. The US average sales tax rate is 7.3%.
- State Income Tax: The top individual income tax rate in North Dakota is 2.90%. The average US rate is 4.6%.
About 47.7% of Fargo residents own their homes. As of January 2020, the Fargo median home value was $226,930, and values have been steadily growing since 2012. Home values rose 1.1% in 2019 and are forecast to go up another 2.4% in 2020. Homes that are currently listed have a median list price of $242,500. Housing prices in Fargo are very close to the US median home cost of $231,200.
If you plan to rent, you’ll be looking at a median rental price of $1,350 as of January 2020. In the metro area, the median rent is a fraction lower at $1,324. Central Fargo’s housing prices are more affordable than the western and southern areas of the city.
Cost of Living
At an index of 91.9, Fargo’s overall cost of living is slightly lower than the US average of 100. When broken down by categories, costs are rated 99.5 for grocery, 85.5 for health, 96.4 for housing, 92.3 for utilities, 77.3 for transportation, and 98.3 for miscellaneous costs such as repairs, insurances, eating out, clothing, and child care. According to the epi.org Family Budget calculator, a Fargo family of four needs to earn at least $89,192 yearly to live a moderately comfortable lifestyle in the metro area.
Weather & Natural Disasters
Fargo gets four seasons and is well known for its extreme weather conditions, especially severe winters; Fargo’s winters are some of the coldest in the contiguous US. They’re not only some of the chilliest, but the winter months seem to drag on forever. January certainly has the most bone-chilling temperatures. The average high is a freezing 18°F and the average low is a downright icy 0°F on the dot. December is Fargo’s second coldest month with an average icy cold high of 22°F and an average low of 6°F. Snow begins in October and usually stops falling early to mid-April. The average total snowfall is about 50 inches per year.
By spring, rain replaces the snow, and each of the remaining months gets at least some rainfall. June gets the most rain with almost four inches. Flowers pop open and the countryside turns green for beautiful springs. The total yearly rainfall is 23 inches. July and August are the two warmest months. July highs average 83° F, and it cools to about 60°. August highs average 81°F and drop down to average lows of 57°. Humidity can make the temperatures feel higher than they are.
Harsh winter blizzards, tornadoes, severe summer thunderstorms with hail and high winds, earthquakes, and floods are the most common natural disaster threats in Fargo. Stay prepared by reviewing all the important recommendations on the Fargo Emergency Management website.
Economy & Job Market
The unemployment rate in Fargo is 2.3%. In 2019 the city saw a job market decrease of -1.0%; however, the future looks much brighter. In the next ten years, forecasted job market growth is 38.7%, almost 5% higher than the US growth rate of 33.5%.
The major Fargo industrial sectors that fuel the economy are education, medical, agricultural equipment manufacturing, agriculture, retail, and services. The main employers include Case IH tractor manufacture, American Crystal Sugar, Bobcat Co, Border States Electric Supply, John Deere Electronic Solutions, RDO Equipment Co, and Titan Machinery.
When looking for employment in Fargo, check out online forums, including the Chamber of Fargo and Better Team. Review online job boards, where employers update job posts daily. For executive and higher-level professional positions, consider hiring an executive recruiter. If you’re considering starting a business, Prairie Capital Summit supports startups.
Traffic and Transportation
Public modes of transportation are rather sparse. MATBUS, the Fargo-Moorhead metro, is the sole company that services all of Fargo, running bus routes from Monday mornings to Saturday evenings. Amtrak runs the Empire Builder passenger train west to Seattle and east to Chicago.
In Fargo, east-west roads are referred to as avenues, whereas roads that traverse north to south are known as streets. A major transportation hub for the region, Fargo, sits at the center of north-south I-29, AKA State Route 81 and east-west I-94. You can travel on I-29 north to Winnipeg, Canada or south to Sioux Falls, Iowa. I-94 can take you southeast to Minneapolis or west to Montana. City roads are busiest during morning and evening commute times, but traffic is fairly light between rush hours and on the weekends, though road closures, festivals, and events can cause periodic congestion.
The Fargo bike score is 50, the walk score ranks 44, and the transit score is 25. It’s easiest to get around town by way of a vehicle, especially during icy cold winter months, though biking is popular spring, summer, and fall. The handy Bikeways Map shows major routes.
What to Do
In Fargo, there’s a definite emphasis on year-round outdoor activities – even yoga in the snow – but you can also find inspiring indoor activities that include museum exhibits, theater, performing arts, and spectator sports. Fargo truly does offer something to do for everyone – and usually in an innovative, fun style.
Whether it’s cycling down a designated bike trail or dipping your toes in a pond you hiked to, Fargo has plenty of great recreation. From golf, fishing, paddle boarding, mountain biking, cross country skiing, ice skating, to playing with your pup at an in-town dog park, you’ll always find some outdoor activity to enjoy. Several of the city’s six golf courses serve as cross country ski centers, providing four seasons recreation. Fargo boasts at least thirteen parks, many of which sit along the scenic Red River. Some include dog parks, recreation centers, and even hockey ponds, and an extensive path network connects many of the parks.
Fargo is big on the arts. The Plains Art Museum, Rourke Art Gallery and Museum, The Children’s Museum, Roger Maris Museum, Fargo Air Museum, galleries, performing arts including opera, ballet, and symphony are waiting for you to explore. Ethnic cuisine and standard comfort food can be found all over town. The Fargo Winter Blues Festival, Frostival, Fiber Arts Festival, Fargo Art & Crafts Festival, and Christkindlmarkt are some of the major festivals, but check for more!
You’ll find a lot of camaraderie during sports seasons, and the fact that North Dakota State University is in the heart of the town makes the enthusiasm that much more contagious. The town comes out for the championship North Dakota State Bison football team. Red Hawks of the Independent Baseball Organization, plus the Fargo Post #2 of the North Dakota American Legion baseball league, The Fargo Force hockey team, and women’s roller derby the Fargo Moorhead Derby Girls. The Fargodome hosts NDSU football games plus shows and concerts.
Schools and Universities
Three school districts serve Fargo: Fargo Public Schools, Kindred Public School District, and West Fargo Public Schools. According to greatschools.org, Fargo is first in public education across the entire state of North Dakota. On a score of one to ten, the three top elementary schools are Longfellow Elementary School, 9/10; Bennett Elementary School, 8/10; and Clara Barton Elementary school, 8/10. The top three middle schools are Discovery Middle School, 9/10; Ben Franklin Middle School, 8/10; and Carl Ben Eielson Middle School, 6/10. The highest-rated highs schools are North High School, 9/10; Fargo Davies High School, 9/10; and South High School, 6/10.
Within several miles of one another, three colleges are in the Fargo Moorhead metro area: North Dakota State University, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and Concordia College. NDSU and MSUM are four-year public schools. Concordia is a private four-year college.
Institutions with Fargo satellite campuses include the University of Mary, offering one of the country’s most affordable private educations; Rasmussen College-Fargo, a two-year private school; North Dakota State College of Science-Fargo, a two-year residential school; and the University of Jamestown. Tri-College University offers students at MSUM, NDSU, Concordia, M State, and NDSCS to take classes at any of these campuses once enrolled at one of the schools.
Both property crime and violent crime rates are higher in Fargo than the US average. The US average property crime rate is 35.4. In Fargo, the rate is 43, or about 19% greater than the US average. The average violent crime rate in the US is 22.7. By comparison, the violent crime rate in Fargo is 26.5, 15.4% greater than the US average. When you get close to deciding on a neighborhood, take a look at the specifics of Fargo’s crime rates at Crime Map.
With Fargo’s renowned extreme weather, you’ll want to set up your new utility accounts well before your move.
- Gas service: To set up your natural gas service with the one and only provider in Fargo, visit the Xcel Energy website and create an account online.
- Electric service: The best electrical service provider in Fargo is Cass County Electric Cooperative. Make sure to apply for electric services ahead of time so that your electric circuitry is working before you arrive at your new home.
- Water service: The City of Fargo handles all of your water-based needs. To set up your water service account, fill out the online application.
- Trash pick-up/recycling service: No matter which neighborhood you reside in, the City of Fargo has a five-day weekly garbage collection schedule. The local government will combine your garbage and recycling collection fees with your water bill every month, so you don’t have to worry about setting up a separate account.
- Internet/cable service: Cable service providers include DirecTV, CenturyLink, Cable One, Viasat, 702 Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Consolidated Communications, Midnight Solutions Technologies, and Lynch Interactive Corporation. Search their service options for the internet deal that suits you best.
Best Neighborhoods in Fargo, ND
Each of Fargo’s many neighborhoods has specific amenities and reasons why it’s a worthwhile area to consider. The following best neighborhoods allow you to compare location, housing prices, lifestyle, home types, employment, and more.
Bound on the north by 32 Avenue S, on the east by 25 Street S, the south by 40 Avenue S, and 38th Street S on the west, Stonebridge is an urban neighborhood south of downtown. You can be in downtown via I-29 in about ten to fifteen minutes.
According to niche.com, Stonebridge is the #1 neighborhood in Fargo and #2 ‘Best Neighborhood to Raise a Family in Fargo.’ With a calm, quiet, laidback vibe, Stonebridge is a rather educated community with over half the residents having a bachelor’s, masters, or higher degrees. The majority of residents own their homes and home types include apartments, townhomes, and single-family residences.
There isn’t much diversity in Stonebridge, and residents lean toward the conservative side of politics. However, everyone tends to be friendly and neighborly, making for a wonderful environment whether you’re raising a family or starting your career as a young professional.
Stonebridge Park #1 and Stonebridge Park #2, even though unimaginatively named, provide recreational fun.
- Population: 5,767
- Median Home Value: $223,135
- Median Rental Price: $594
- Median Household Income: $81,150
- Top Employers: Laney’s Plumber, DQ Restaurant, Microsoft Corporation, Barnes & Noble Booksellers
- Schools: Centennial Elementary School, Kennedy Elementary School, Discovery Middle School, Fargo Davies High School
Something to Try: Grab your shopping bags and head over to Red River Farmers’ Market.
Directly south of Stonebridge, Rose Creek is about ten to fifteen minutes southeast of downtown and borders 40th Ave S on the north, Red River on the east, 52nd Ave S on the south, and 25th St S on the west. Niche.com rates Rose Creek as the #1 ‘Best Neighborhood to Buy a House in Fargo’ and #1 ‘Best Neighborhood to Raise a Family in Fargo.’
Small and compact, Rose Creek is a close-knit community centered on the Rose Creek Golf Course. Homes sit along graceful winding streets, and many have views overlooking the golf course. Residences are generally two-story, three- and four-bedroom houses and townhomes.
Over ten ponds, Rosewood Park, Rose Creek Golf Course, Lions Conservancy Park with its boat launch, and Sunset Memorial Gardens provide recreation and a lot of open greenspaces. Rose Creek is a walkable neighborhood but you’ll have to drive to run errands and grocery shop.
- Population: 2,195
- Median Home Value: $288,500
- Median Rental Price: $1,035
- Median Household Income: $122,250
- Top Employers: Fargo Golf, Rose Creek Golf Course
- Schools: Centennial Elementary School, Bennett Elementary School, Discovery Middle School, North High School
Something to Try: Take a stroll along the Milwaukee Trail and spend time at the mini-parks in Rose Creek.
The Longfellow neighborhood, located northeast of North Dakota State University and about twenty minutes north of downtown, is defined by the Red River on the north and east, S Woodcrest Dr. N on the south, and Elm St N on the west.
Longfellow is a residential neighborhood where 91% of the residents own their homes. Considerably well established, Longfellow is where Fargoans settle down and stay put. Homes vary from older builds on wooded lots to newly constructed four and five-bedroom residences on open lots.
Located at the northern section of Longfellow, Edgewood Golf Course is a beautiful tree-lined public course. During the winter, the course serves as a cross country ski trail. Additional green spaces include Holm Park and North Oaks Park.
- Population: 4,021
- Median Home Value: $258,038
- Median Rental Price: $893
- Median Household Income: $110,557
- Top Employers: Longfellow Elementary, Longfellow Real Estate, Fargo Parks and Recreation
- Schools in the Area: Longfellow Elementary School, Ben Franklin Middle School, North High School
Something to Try: Attend a community hosted event at the Longfellow Park Rink.
About ten minutes south of downtown, Southpointe is bordered by 35th Ave S on the north, S University Dr on the east, 40th Ave S on the south, and 25th St S on the west.
In Southpointe, 60% of residents own their homes. The neighborhood was strategically planned, with apartments, homes, and townhomes built along a series of cul-de-sacs. About 30% of the residents are families with children.
With the planned community vibe, several churches, small businesses, and four parks, Southpointe has a suburban feel. At Discovery Park, a leg of the Milwaukee Trail connects to the main trail, a thoughtful way to tie together other parks in the city. You’ll need to drive to run errands or enjoy a meal out.
- Population: 6,292
- Median Home Value: $251,169
- Median Rental Price: $834
- Median Household Income: $80,390
- Top Employers: Sanford Southpointe Clinic, Aldevron
- Schools: Centennial Elementary School, Discovery Middle School, Fargo Davies High School
Something to Try: For some indoor fun, pretend to fly at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park
About five to ten minutes directly north of downtown and directly east of the North Dakota State University campus, Washington is bordered by 19th Ave N on the north, Red River on the east, 14th Ave N on the south, and N University Dr on the west.
From golfing and fishing to walking and hiking, Washington offers residents lots of outdoor options. El Zagal Par 3 golf course sits in the southeast corner of Washington, and you’ll find Percy Godwin Park located in the northeast section.
Washington also has NDSU facilities including dorms, student apartments, The HA Thompson & Sons Arena, and John E Carlson Coliseum. Churches, independently owned businesses, and a few casual cafes round out the mixed residential-commercial-student vibe of the neighborhood.
Locals enjoy meeting over a steaming cup at Caribou Coffee. The pizza chain Papa Murphy’s is a popular take n’ bake option for studying students.
- Population: 5,384
- Median Home Value: $152,328
- Median Rental Price: $788
- Median Household Income: $58,925
- Top Employers: El Zagel Public Golf Course, VA Medical Center, NDSU
- Schools: Washington Elementary School, Ben Franklin Middle School, North High School
Something to Try: Soak up the sunshine while swimming at the local outdoor pool.
About ten minutes south of downtown, Lincoln is bordered by I-94 on the north, Red River on the east, 32nd Ave S on the south, and SR 81 on the east.
S University Dr has shops, coffee houses, businesses, fast food chains, and gas stations running the length of Lincoln’s west border. However, once you enter the neighborhood, you’ll notice the expanse of open space s. The Riverside Cemetery fills the northeast corner, and the eastern section is mostly undeveloped land along the Red River.
The long-established Fargo Country Club is the centerpiece of Lincoln. Founded in 1898, the club offers fine and casual dining, tennis, swimming, and several golf membership categories. The lush landscaping around the course adds to the beautiful open vibe.
In Lincoln, homeownership is 82%. Although many retirees live in Lincoln, high-quality schools attract families. Homes are more varied in style than in the planned tract neighborhoods. You’ll find three-bedroom, one-story ranches and five-bedroom, two-story farm styles.
- Population: 1,668
- Median Home Value: $218,900
- Median Rental Price: $692
- Median Household Income: $98,542
- Top Employers: Lunde Lincoln Auto Center, Peruzzi Auto Group, City of West Fargo
- Schools: Lincoln Elementary School, Clara Barton Hawthorne Elementary School, Carl Ben Eielson Middle School, South High School
Something to Try: Consider membership at the Fargo Country Club
Bordered by 40th Ave S on the north, 25th St S on the east, 52nd Ave on the south, and I-29 on the west, Centennial is about a 20-minute drive south of downtown. Here, 51% of residents own their homes. The planned community features one- and two-story, three- and four-bedroom homes and townhomes.
Fox Run Park, Meadow Creek Park, Harrison Park, Oak Creek Park, and Timberline Park provide greenspace and recreation in the otherwise dense neighborhood. Centennial is mainly residential so you won’t find many amenities within the neighborhood. However, in just a two-minute drive you can find a grocery store, liquor store, financial advisor, insurance agent, coffee place, nail spa, and hair salon
- Population: 37,979
- Median Home Value: $281,384
- Median Rental Price: $929
- Median Household Income: $83,307
- Top Employers: Centennial Elementary, North Dakota State University, Fargo Park District
- Schools: Centennial Elementary School, Discovery Middle School, Fargo Davies High School
Something to Try: Bike through the many different parks and conservancies in the neighborhood.
Pointe West is a large neighborhood bordered by 32nd Ave S on the north, Frontgate Rd on the east, 39th Ave S on the south, and 45th St S on the west. Downtown is about a 15-minute drive north via I-29.
Homeownership is about 33%, and the neighborhood has a mixed-use feel with businesses, shops, apartment complexes, and light industry. This community has more single, young working adults than it does families. Developed in early 2000, homes range from townhomes, multi-family complexes, modest one-story two-bedroom houses to five-bedroom two-story residences. Many homes are on larger lots, not separated by fences.
There are numerous parks in Pointe West, including Edgewood Village Park, Pointe West Park, and Vista Village Park. Outdoor activities involve bike rides throughout the neighborhood and casual strolls from one park to the next.
- Population: 2,692
- Median Home Value: $281,500
- Median Rental Price: $972
- Median Household Income: $80,030
- Top Employers: Allstate Peterbilt Group, Southeast Unloading, Industrial Rubber Supply USA Inc.
- Schools: Fargo Davies High School, Discovery Middle School, Kennedy Elementary School
Something to Try: Stop by the Fargo Air Museum
Quality Moving Services from Fargo Movers
The number one goal of Great Guys Long Distance Movers is to make sure you have the best relocation experience possible. We do this by providing you with free quotes from licensed and insured moving companies who are the best in the business. We thoroughly vet each one, so you know you’re working with top-quality professionals.
If you’re getting ready to move from another state to Fargo, your state-to-state move will be a complete success when you hire interstate moving pros. From figuring out loading details to planning the most efficient route from your current location to Fargo, you can put your trust in the licensed, insured state-to-state movers we recommend.
Intrastate & Local Moves
Maybe you’re moving from another part of North Dakota to Fargo. You’ll have less mileage to cover, but no matter the distance, moving is always a difficult task. Minimize your stress with a quality North Dakota intrastate moving company. Great Guys Long Distance Movers vets licensed, in-state moving companies, so when you ask for a free moving quote from a local mover, you’ll be working with the best.
Small Load Moves
If you’re moving a studio, dorm, or a one-bedroom apartment, a small load mover can have you moved and settled in far faster than if you try to do it yourself. Maybe you’re concerned about cost. It’s surprising how cheap a high-quality small loading move can be. Get a free quote and find out!
When you need to move furniture, you can trust expert furniture shipment companies to do the job right. They’re skilled at padding and protecting each piece. They disassemble pieces when necessary and reassemble them correctly. We’ll connect you with the best furniture shippers in the business.
Certain items can seem very daunting to pack and transport, no matter how far you’ll be traveling. Your piano may be one of those items. A professional piano moving company has experience in every phase of moving a valuable but delicate piano. Hire an expert piano transporter to assist you.
Art & Antiques
A higher level of experience and knowledge is required when relocating art and antiques. If you’re planning to move your gallery or home collection, we’ll provide free quotes from the top-rated art and antiques moving specialists who’ll move your fine art or antiques with white-glove care.
No matter how eager you are to move everything at once, sometimes you just can’t, and you need temporary storage. Instead of going through the hassles of finding a storage unit that’s clean and safe, use storage-in-transit. The storage company simplifies the situation by picking up your belongings, then securely places them in a dedicated warehouse. You can choose climate-control and other options to customize your storage.
Interested in shipping your car to Fargo? Great Guys Long Distance Movers is the best resource for professional car transporters. We connect you with top-rated car shipping transporters who safely transport your vehicle from anywhere in the country.
Some people find joy in organizing their belongings and packing everything in preparation for their big move. If you’re not one of those people, get a free quote from a moving and packing company that has expert teams to pack up everything for you! In your quote request, you can specify how much you want them to pack and whether you require an unpacking service.
Relocating to Fargo doesn’t have to be a taxing, emotional, and chaotic ordeal. We’ll provide you with the best residential movers near you. They’ll manage the major phases of your household move so that you can relax, knowing that these experts will handle your items with the utmost care.
When moving your business, you want a professional commercial moving company that you can thoroughly trust. From corporate-level offices to locally-owned retailers and small workspaces, we’ll connect you with the best commercial moving experts who will make sure your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.
Same Day/Emergency/Short Notice
Are you in dire need of a short notice move to Fargo? Before you start worrying and panicking, get a quote immediately. We’ll match you with a local emergency moving company that’s ready and willing to help you pull off a last-minute move.
The actual transportation process is a major part of moving, but you can’t move without packing up everything you own! Cardboard boxes might be the first packing necessity that comes to mind, but what about clean paper, tape, and bubble wrap? A moving company near you can deliver all the moving supplies you need.
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Instead of handling your move on your own, reach out to Great Guys Long Distance Movers today, and we’ll connect you with the best moving professionals. Get your free quotes today!