There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Kansas:
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 Kansas, 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 Sunflower State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Kansas that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Kansas at the moment? That would be Tonganoxie according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Kansas for 2019:
- Tonganoxie (Homes For Sale)
- Eudora (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Great Bend (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Spring Hill (Homes For Sale)
- Ulysses (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bel Aire (Homes For Sale)
- Dodge City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Liberal (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Augusta (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Parsons (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 Kansas reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Kansas
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Kansas
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Kansas
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Kansas 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 Kansas. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Kansas 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 Kansas 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 664 cities and towns in Kansas, only 61 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 61 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 Tonganoxie is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Sunflower State.
Read on for more on these places.
The history of Eudora predates American settlement. The Eudora area was home to various Indian tribes for thousands of years. The most notable tribe was the Kansa. The Kansa lived along the rivers of this region in villages until they were forcibly removed in the 1820s by the American government to make room for the Shawnee. The Oregon Trail and Santa Fe Trail passed through the region, just a few miles south of modern Eudora.
Prior to American settlement of the area, the site of Great Bend was located in the northern reaches of Kiowa territory. Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it lay within the area organized by the U.S. as Kansas Territory in 1854. Kansas became a state in 1861, and the state government delineated the surrounding area as Barton County in 1867.
In 1856, James B. Hovey named the community after a town near Mobile, Alabama. -Being somewhat enthusiastic in my estimation of its future, it having all advantages of timber and water, and on a line that must be traveled between Olathe and Paola, I concluded to myself, as there was no one else to conclude with, that this was a good place for a town.- – J.B. Hovey, 1857 The town was incorporated in 1857, and Hovey then served as the town-s first postmaster. Also that year, Hovey built the first building in town, the Spring Hill Hotel. The two-story structure, also known as the -Old Traveler-s Rest- was located on the highest elevation in town.
In 1831, south of the future site of Ulysses, Kansas, then a part of Northern Mexico Territory, mountain man and explorer, Jedediah Smith, was killed by Commanche warriors, on May 27, 1831. The first Ulysses, town, founded in June 1885, was located approximately two miles east of present-day Ulysses. Approximately six weeks later Ulysses’ first newspaper, The Grant County Register, began publication.
Bel Aire was founded in January 1955 when a group of local residents petitioned the county government to create it as an improvement district for water.
Fort Mann was the first settlement of nonindigenous people in the area that became Dodge City, built by civilians in 1847 to provide protection for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Mann collapsed in 1848 after an Indian attack. In 1850, the U.S. Army arrived to provide protection in the region and constructed Fort Atkinson on the old Fort Mann site. The army abandoned Fort Atkinson in 1853. Military forces on the Santa Fe Trail were re-established farther north and east at Fort Larned in 1859, but the area remained vacant around what would become Dodge City until the end of the Civil War. In April 1865, the Indian Wars in the West began heating up, and the army constructed Fort Dodge to assist Fort Larned in providing protection on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Dodge remained in operation until 1882.
Early settler S. S. Rogers built the first house in what would become Liberal in 1872. Rogers became famous in the region for giving water to weary travelers. Reportedly, Liberal gained its name from the common response to his acts of kindness, “That’s very liberal of you.” In 1885 Rogers built a general store, and with it came an official U.S. Post Office. Rogers named the post office ‘Liberal’. After the railroad was built close by, a plan for the town site was created in 1888. A year later the population was around 800.
The confluence of the Whitewater River and the Walnut River was originally inhabited by Osage people, who found the land ideal for hunting and fishing.
Parsons was named after Levi Parsons, president of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. The town was founded in 1870 and incorporated the following year. It soon became a major hub for several railroads including the Missouri Kansas & Texas Railroad, Parsons & Pacific Railroad, Kansas City & Pacific Railroad, and the Memphis, Kansas & Colorado Railroad. During World War II it was home to the Kansas Ordnance Plant, which later operated for some years as the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant. In Spring of 2005, the munitions plant was placed on the BRAC list for closure. The community has rallied behind the current plant operator, Day and Zimmerman, to keep the company on the grounds after closure and to keep those jobs and more in the Parsons area. Parsons is also home to the Parsons State Hospital & Training Center, which has been in operation since 1903 when it was opened as the Kansas State Hospital for Epileptics.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Kansas for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Kansas. 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 664 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Kansas reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Kansas