There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Minnesota:
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 Minnesota, 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 North Star State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Minnesota that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.
The best deal in Minnesota at the moment? That would be St. Peter according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Minnesota:
- St. Peter (Photos | Homes)
- Moorhead (Photos | Homes)
- East Grand Forks (Photos | Homes)
- Buffalo (Photos | Homes)
- Byron (Homes)
- North Branch (Homes)
- Baxter (Homes)
- Monticello (Photos | Homes)
- St. Francis (Photos | Homes)
- Hastings (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.
If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in Minnesota and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Minnesota.
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Minnesota?
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 Minnesota. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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 904 cities and towns in Minnesota, only 32 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 32 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 St. Peter is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the North Star State.
Read on for more on these places.
1. St. Peter
St. Peter was founded in 1853 by Captain William Bigelow Dodd, who claimed 150 acres (0.61 km2) north of what is now Broadway Avenue. He named the new settlement Rock Bend because of the rock formation at the bend of the Minnesota River. The town site was platted and surveyed in 1854 by Daniel L. Turpin. In 1855, a group of St. Paul businessmen interested in promoting the town formed the Saint Peter Company, and the town was renamed St. Peter. The president of the company was Willis A. Gorman, Territorial Governor of Minnesota. Many of the streets in St. Peter were named after streets in New York City: Park Row, Chatham, Broadway, Nassau, and Union, for example. Captain Dodd was originally from Bloomfield, New Jersey. His second wife, Harriett Newell Jones, a native of Cabot, Vermont, was living in New York at the time of their marriage at the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City, that helped fund the church in St. Peter which shares the same name.
A post office called East Grand Forks has been in operation since 1883. The city was named for its location east of Grand Forks, North Dakota. East Grand Forks was incorporated in 1887.
Buffalo was platted in 1856, and named after nearby Buffalo Lake. A post office has been in operation at Buffalo since 1856.
Byron was platted in 1864. The city was named after Port Byron, New York by a settler from that place. A post office called Byron has been in operation since 1868. Byron was incorporated in 1873.
6. North Branch
North Branch became a township in 1861, and incorporated in 1881. In 1901, however, North Branch split into a village covering the more densely populated downtown area and a township covering the rest of the former village. The township later incorporated as the village of Branch in 1961. The two cities talked about a potential merger for years, beginning in the late 1970s. The first public referendum on the issue was held in 1984, and it failed. A second referendum was held on September 13, 1994 and passed. The two cities officially merged on November 14, 1994.
Baxter owes its existence partly to the 1920s operation of a (since closed) large tie-treating plant, owned by Northern Pacific Railroad. Farming was also an important early industry.
Monticello was platted in 1854. A post office has been in operation at Monticello since 1855. Monticello was incorporated in 1856.
9. St. Francis
St. Francis was named after Francis of Assisi.
The area around Hastings was first settled by a military detachment sent from Fort Snelling to guard a blocked shipment of supplies in the winter of 1820. A Lieutenant William G. Oliver camped in an area that would come to be known as Oliver’s Grove, and in 1833 a trading post was opened there. After the Treaty of Mendota of 1851 opened the area for white settlement, Oliver’s Grove was surveyed and incorporated as a city in 1857, a year before Minnesota’s admission to the union. That same year Hastings was named the county seat of Dakota County. The name ‘Hastings’ was drawn out of a hat from suggestions placed in it by several of the original founders.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Minnesota
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Minnesota. 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 904 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- 10 Safest Places In Minnesota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Minnesota
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Minnesota
|East Grand Forks||3|
|West St. Paul||11|
|North St. Paul||14|
|White Bear Lake||29|