These Are The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In Missouri For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in Missouri have seen home prices rising and people flocking over the past year.

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Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers.

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There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Missouri:

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 Missouri, 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 Show Me State.

To do that we are going to look at places in Missouri that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.

The best deal in Missouri at the moment? That would be Rolla according to our analysis.

Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Missouri:

  1. Rolla (Photos | Homes)
  2. Nixa (Homes)
  3. Maryville (Photos | Homes)
  4. Cape Girardeau (Photos | Homes)
  5. Ozark (Homes)
  6. Pacific (Photos | Homes)
  7. Kansas City (Photos | Homes)
  8. Gladstone (Homes)
  9. Maplewood (Photos | Homes)
  10. Carl Junction (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 Missouri and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Missouri.

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How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Missouri?

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 Missouri. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Missouri 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 Missouri with the following caveats:

So of the 1,019 cities and towns in Missouri, only 20 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 20 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 Rolla is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Show Me State.

Read on for more on these places.

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1. Rolla

Rolla, MO

Population: 19,904
Median Home Price: $129,300
Population Change: -0.0%
Home Price Change: 8.9%
More on Rolla: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The first European-American settlers in Phelps County arrived in the early 19th century, working as farmers and iron workers along the local rivers, such as the Meramec, the Gasconade, and the Little Piney. In 1844, John Webber built the first house in what became the City of Rolla. Nine years later, railroad contractor Edmund Ward Bishop, considered to be the founder of Rolla, settled in the area. The state officially established Rolla as a town in 1858.

2. Nixa


Population: 20,520
Median Home Price: $135,400
Population Change: 1.7%
Home Price Change: 4.5%
More on Nixa: Real Estate | Data

The area was first settled by farmers who located their farms along the wooded streams near present-day Nixa. The area became a crossroads, as it was a half-day ride with a team of horses from Springfield. Teamsters found it a convenient stopover site when hauling freight between Springfield and Arkansas. The village became known as Faughts. An early resident, Nicholas A. Inman, was a blacksmith from Tennessee, who set up a shop in 1852. When a post office was opened, a town meeting was held to decide on a name for the new community. Because of his years of service to the community, the town was suggested to be named for him. Another suggestion was ‘nix’ because the community was ‘nothing but a crossroads’. The name Nix was finally decided upon, and Inman’s middle initial ‘a’ was added to get the unique name of Nixa. The village incorporated on June 10, 1902.

3. Maryville

Maryville, MO

Population: 11,957
Median Home Price: $137,800
Population Change: -0.3%
Home Price Change: 6.2%
More on Maryville: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Maryville was platted on September 1, 1845.

4. Cape Girardeau

Cape Girardeau, MO

Source: Public domain

Population: 39,200
Median Home Price: $134,500
Population Change: 0.6%
Home Price Change: 2.8%
More on Cape Girardeau: PhotosReal Estate | Data

The city is named after Jean Baptiste de Girardot, who established a temporary trading post in the area around 1733. He was a French soldier stationed at Kaskaskia between 1704?1720 in the French colony of La Louisiane. The ‘Cape’ in the city name referred to a rock promontory overlooking the Mississippi River; it was later destroyed by railroad construction. As early as 1765, a bend in the Mississippi River, about 60 miles (97 km) south of the French village of Ste. Genevieve, had been referred to as Cape Girardot or Girardeau.

5. Ozark


Population: 18,867
Median Home Price: $139,200
Population Change: 1.4%
Home Price Change: 5.7%
More on Ozark: Real Estate | Data

Ozark was named from the Ozarks, in which it is situated. The Ozark Courthouse Square Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

6. Pacific

Pacific, MO

Population: 6,246
Median Home Price: $136,200
Population Change: -0.9%
Home Price Change: 3.3%
More on Pacific: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Pacific was platted in 1852 when the railroad was extended to that point. It was so named because here the new railroad started for the Pacific Ocean. A post office called Pacific has been in operation since 1854.

7. Kansas City

Kansas City, MO

Population: 471,767
Median Home Price: $135,900
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 1.9%
More on Kansas City: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Kansas City, Missouri was officially incorporated as a town on June 1, 1850, and as a city on March 28, 1853. The territory straddling the border between Missouri and Kansas at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers was considered a good place to build settlements.|The Antioch Christian Church, Dr. James Compton House, and Woodneath are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

8. Gladstone

Gladstone, MO

Population: 26,562
Median Home Price: $132,500
Population Change: 1.0%
Home Price Change: 0.7%
More on Gladstone: Real Estate | Data

The Atkins-Johnson Farmhouse Property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

9. Maplewood

Maplewood, MO

Population: 7,948
Median Home Price: $154,800
Population Change: -0.2%
Home Price Change: 5.7%
More on Maplewood: PhotosReal Estate | Data

Maplewood was established around the turn of the 20th century. Maplewood was one of the early suburbs of St. Louis. Located just outside the city limits, Maplewood was located at the end of one of St. Louis’s streetcar lines and was also located near major railroads.

10. Carl Junction


Population: 7,634
Median Home Price: $130,400
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 0.2%
More on Carl Junction: Real Estate | Data

Carl Junction was laid out near a railroad junction by Charles Carl, who gave the town his last name. A post office called Carl Junction has been in operation since 1878.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Missouri

There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Missouri. 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 0 places in the state.

So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Missouri

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Rolla 1 $129,300 -0.0% 8.9%
Nixa 2 $135,400 1.7% 4.5%
Maryville 3 $137,800 -0.3% 6.2%
Cape Girardeau 4 $134,500 0.6% 2.8%
Ozark 5 $139,200 1.4% 5.7%
Pacific 6 $136,200 -0.9% 3.3%
Kansas City 7 $135,900 0.8% 1.9%
Gladstone 8 $132,500 1.0% 0.7%
Maplewood 9 $154,800 -0.2% 5.7%
Carl Junction 10 $130,400 0.8% 0.2%
Arnold 11 $147,400 0.3% 3.4%
Troy 12 $136,900 1.8% 0.7%
Battlefield 13 $144,800 1.3% 1.5%
Union 14 $139,600 1.6% 1.0%
Blue Springs 15 $146,800 0.5% 1.3%
Washington 16 $156,200 0.1% 2.0%
Jefferson City 17 $139,300 -0.1% 0.4%
Maryland Heights 18 $153,300 -0.2% 1.0%
Greenwood 19 $143,300 1.4% 0.1%
Kearney 20 $158,100 2.4% 0.8%

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