There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Indiana:
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 Indiana, 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 Hoosier State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Indiana that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.
The best deal in Indiana at the moment? That would be Shelbyville according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Indiana:
- Shelbyville (Photos | Homes)
- Huntingburg (Photos | Homes)
- Seymour (Photos | Homes)
- New Haven (Photos | Homes)
- Columbia City (Photos | Homes)
- Greensburg (Photos | Homes)
- New Whiteland (Homes)
- Fort Wayne (Photos | Homes)
- Rensselaer (Photos | Homes)
- Lafayette (Photos | Homes)
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.
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Indiana?
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 Indiana. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Indiana with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2012-2016 and compared it to the previous vintage (2011-2015). 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 Indiana 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 680 cities and towns in Indiana, only 13 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 13 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 Shelbyville is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Hoosier State.
Read on for more on these places.
In 1818, the land that would become Shelbyville was ceded to the United States by the Miami tribe in the Treaty of St. Mary’s. Also in 1818, the backwoodsman Jacob Whetzel and a party cut a trail through this ‘New Purchase’ from the Whitewater River at Laurel due west to the White River at Waverly. This trail became known as Whetzel’s Trace and was the first east-west road into the New Purchase of central Indiana. Whetzel’s Trace was cut just 4 miles north of site of Shelbyville and proved important in the settlement of Shelby County.
Huntingburg was platted in 1837 by Colonel Jacob Geiger who purchased 1,920 acres (7.8 km2) of land and became one of the city’s first permanent settlers. It was likely so named because the site had been a popular hunting ground. Huntingburg was incorporated as a town in 1866.
Seymour was laid out and platted in 1852.
4. New Haven
New Haven was platted in 1839 by Henry Burgess and was incorporated as a town under Indiana law in 1865. It became incorporated as a city in 1963. Several homes built by the Burgess family remain in New Haven. A Burgess home on Summit Street is the oldest brick structure in Jefferson Township. Henry Burgess’ son-in-law, E.W. Green built a large frame Greek Revival house on the hill above what is now Central Lutheran School. Another Burgess structure remains at the corner of Summit and Eben Streets.
The Whitley County Courthouse was designed (1888?1891) by Brentwood S. Tolan, of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The Thomas R. Marshall House was added to the register in 1983 and the Columbia City Historic District was added in 1987.
Greensburg was laid out in 1822. The founder’s wife being a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania caused the name to be selected.
New Whiteland had its start when U.S. Route 31 in Indiana was rerouted through the area. It was incorporated as a town in 1954.
8. Fort Wayne
This area at the confluence of rivers was long occupied by successive cultures of indigenous peoples. The Miami tribe established its settlement of Kekionga at the confluence of the Maumee, St. Joseph, and St. Marys rivers. It was the capital of the Miami nation and related Algonquian tribes.[a]|In 1696, Comte de Frontenac appointed Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes as commander of the outpost. The French built Fort Miami in 1697 as part of a group of forts and trading posts built between Quebec and St. Louis. In 1721, a few years after Bissot’s death, Fort Miami was replaced by Fort St. Philippe des Miamis. The first census in 1744 recorded a population of approximately 40 Frenchmen and 1,000 Miami.
This settlement, first platted on June 12, 1839, was originally named Newton and was established at the rapids of the Iroquois River. By 1844, it had been renamed to Rensselaer after James Van Rensselaer, a merchant from Utica, New York, who came to the area after his business failed in the Panic of 1837. He took over the land from Joseph D. Yeoman, who had established a farm some years earlier and had begun to plan the village.
When European explorers arrived at the area around what is now Tippecanoe County, it was inhabited by a tribe of Miami Indians known as the Ouiatenon or Weas. In 1717, the French government established Fort Ouiatenon across the Wabash River and three miles (5 km) south of present-day Lafayette. The fort became the center of trade for fur trappers, merchants and Indians. An annual reenactment and festival known as Feast of the Hunters’ Moon takes place there each autumn.|The town of Lafayette was platted in May 1825 by William Digby, a trader. It was designated as the county seat of the newly formed Tippecanoe County the following year. Like many frontier towns, Lafayette was named for General Lafayette, a French officer who significantly aided George Washington’s Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. Lafayette toured the United States in 1824 and 1825.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Indiana
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Indiana. 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 680 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Indiana reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Indiana