There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Idaho:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Idaho, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Gem State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Idaho that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Idaho at the moment? That would be Kuna according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Idaho for 2019:
- Kuna (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Caldwell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Nampa (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Middleton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rathdrum (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Star (Homes For Sale)
- Meridian (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Weiser (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Jerome (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Eagle (Photos | Homes For Sale)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
For more Idaho reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Idaho
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Idaho
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Idaho
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Idaho for 2019?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Idaho. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Idaho with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for Idaho with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 224 cities and towns in Idaho, only 33 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 33 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Kuna is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Gem State.
Read on for more on these places.
Kuna originated as a railroad stop with coach transport to Boise. It is popularly believed, as cited by the Kuna Chamber of Commerce, that the translation of the name “Kuna” means “the end of the trail”, but Charles S. Walgamott cites the origin of the name as a Shoshone Indian word meaning “green leaf, good to smoke.”
The present day location of the City of Caldwell is along a natural passageway to the Inland and Pacific Northwest. Indian tribes from the west coast, north Idaho and as far away as Colorado would come to the banks of the Boise River for annual trading fairs, or rendezvous. European, Brazilian, Armenian, and some Australian explorers and traders soon followed the paths left by Indians and hopeful emigrants later forged the Oregon Trail and followed the now hardened paths to seek a better life in the Oregon Territory. Pioneers of the Trail traveled along the Boise River to Canyon Hill and forded the river close to the “Silver Bridge” on Plymouth Street.
Nampa began its life in the early 1880s when the Oregon Short Line Railroad built a line from Granger, Wyoming, to Huntington, Oregon, which passed through Nampa. More railroad lines sprang up running through Nampa, making it a very important railroad town. Alexander and Hannah Duffes established one of the town’s first homesteads, eventually forming the Nampa Land and Improvement Company with the help of their friend and co-founder, James McGee. In spite of the name, many of the first settlers referred to the town as “New Jerusalem” because of the strong religious focus of its citizens. After only a year the town had grown from 15 homes to 50. As new amenities were added to the town, Nampa continued its growth and was incorporated in 1890.|Unlike most towns in that historic era with streets running true north and south, Nampa’s historic roads run perpendicular to the railroad tracks that travel northwest to southeast through the town. Thus, the northside is really the northeast side of the tracks, and the southside is really the southwest side of the railroad tracks. Founder Alexander Duffes laid out Nampa’s streets this way to prevent an accident like one that occurred earlier in a town he had platted near Toronto, Canada. In that town, a woman and her two children were killed by a train when they started across the railroad tracks in a buggy and the wheel got stuck. As the Oregon Short Line railroad originally bypassed Boise, Nampa has the fanciest of many railroad depots built in the area.
Middleton was named for its location between the old fort Boise and Keeney’s Ferry; it being the midpoint between the two. It served as a rest stop for those heading for Keeney’s Ferry. It had a stage station in the early days of the Oregon Trail, a post office in 1866 and a water powered grist mill in 1871. The Ward Massacre occurred near the site in 1854.
In the 1800s the town was initially called Westwood in honor of one of the founders of the town, a Pony Express rider and rancher, Charles Wesley Wood, also known as “Wes.” But in 1881 the postmaster in the town was informed by the federal government that the town would need to change its name since it was already taken by another town in the territory. A local businessman, Michael M. Cowley, recommended the name “Rathdrum” from County Wicklow in Ireland, his place of birth.
The town was established in 1891 on the Onweiler farm north of the present site and was called Hunter. Two years later an I.O.O.F. lodge was organized and called itself Meridian because it was located on the Boise Meridian and the town was renamed. The Settlers’ Irrigation Ditch, 1892, changed the arid region into a productive farming community which was incorporated in 1902.|Meridian was incorporated in 1903. The information in the following sections is found on the displays in the Meridian City Hall Plaza.
The city was named after the nearby Weiser River, but exactly who that was named for is not precisely known. In one version it is for Peter M. Weiser, a soldier and member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806. Another has it for Jacob Weiser, a trapper-turned-miner who struck it rich in Baboon Gulch in the Florence Basin of Idaho in 1861. William Logan and his wife settled in the vicinity of Weiser in 1863 building a roadhouse in anticipation of the opening of Olds Ferry west of them on the Snake River across from Farewell Bend. In 1863, Reuben Olds acquired a franchise from the Territorial Legislature and began operating Olds Ferry. Olds ferry business did well as it diverted much of the traffic from the old Snake River crossing point at Old Fort Boise. Increasing settlement on the Weiser River valley increased Weiser’s population. A post office was established in 1866 as Weiser Ranch. In 1871, it was renamed Weiser.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Idaho for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Idaho. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 224 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Idaho reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Idaho