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 Zimmerman according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Minnesota for 2019:
- Zimmerman (Homes For Sale)
- Blaine (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Kasson (Homes For Sale)
- Cambridge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Big Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Worthington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mounds View (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- White Bear Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Thief River Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fergus Falls (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.
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.
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Minnesota
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Minnesota 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 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 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 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 146 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 146 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 Zimmerman is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the North Star State.
Read on for more on these places.
The Village of Lake Fremont was incorporated in 1910. In 1967, the town was renamed the City of Zimmerman. Lake Fremont was named for the western explorer, John C. Frmont, and the name Zimmerman derives from Moses Zimmerman, a local farmer who was influential in promoting the idea of the Great Northern Railway coming through the area.
According to Warren Upham, superintendent of the Minnesota Historical Society from 1896-1934, the city of Kasson was incorporated on February 24, 1870, and again on April 22, 1916, separating from the township on March 21, 1917. The town was named after Jabez Hyde Kasson, owner of the original townsite. Kasson was born on January 17, 1820 and moved to Minnesota in 1856. He settled on a farm in the township, and laid out the village along with others. The plat was recorded on October 13, 1865. It had a station of the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company, and its post office opened in 1866.
The city of Cambridge was established in the late 19th century along the railroad from Minneapolis to Duluth. It was named by, and originally settled by, immigrants from New England. These were “Yankee” settlers, that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England during the colonial era. The same population founded and named the town of Princeton nearby. Later on the surrounding area would be heavily populated with Swedish, German, Irish and Norwegian immigrants.
Big Lake was originally called Humboldt until 1867.
The first European likely to have visited the Nobles County area of southwestern Minnesota was French explorer Joseph Nicollet. Nicollet mapped the area between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in the 1830s. He called the region -Sisseton Country- in honor of the Sisseton band of Dakota Indians then living there. It was a rolling sea of wide open prairie grass that extended as far as the eye could see. One small lake in Sisseton Country was given the name -Lake Okabena- on Nicollet-s map, -Okabena- being a Dakota word meaning -nesting place of the herons.-
The city of Mounds View was located in the former Mounds View Township, which was organized in 1858. In 1958, 100 years after Minnesota’s ascension to statehood, the village of Mounds View was incorporated. Post-World War II growth was partially fueled by the proximity of the Twin Cities Arsenal. Calvin Academy relocated to the area in 1999.
The railroad was the largest man-made happening in White Bear Lake. On September 10, 1868, the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad officially opened the extension to White Bear Lake. This was a gala occasion. Ten platform cars of 300 men and four passenger cars for 200 ladies made the trip from St. Paul.
Thief River Falls takes its name from a geographic feature, the falls of the Red Lake River at its confluence with the Thief River. The name of the river is a loose translation of the Ojibwe phrase Gimood-akiwi ziibi, literally, the “Stolen-land river” or “Thieving-land river”, which originated when a band of Dakota Indians occupied a secret encampment along the river, hence “stealing” the land, before being discovered and routed by the neighboring Ojibwe. In the Treaty of Old Crossing of 1863, the Moose Dung’s Indian Reservation was established on the west bank of the Thief River, at its confluence with Red Lake River. This Indian Reservation was dissolved in 1904 and their population incorporated as part of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa.
The falls from which the city gets part of its name were discovered by Joe Whitford in 1856 and was promptly named in honor of his employer, James Fergus. It is not known whether James Fergus ever visited the city, but Joe Whitford did not live to see the city develop, as he was killed during the 1862 Dakota war in western Minnesota. In 1867, George B. Wright was at the land office at St. Cloud and found Whitford’s lapsed claim, purchased the land, and built what is now the Central Dam in downtown Fergus Falls around 1871. After Wright died in 1882, his son Vernon would move from Boston to Minnesota and take over his father’s interests in the town. Vern Wright would also be one of the two people who established the Otter Tail Power Company in 1907. The city was incorporated in the late 1870s and is situated along the dividing line between the former great deciduous forest of the Northwest Territories to the East, and the great plains to the West, in a region of gentle hills, where the recent geological history is dominated by the recession of the glaciers from the last great Ice Age, with numerous lakes and small rivers about.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Minnesota for 2019
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.
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