There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Nebraska:
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 Nebraska, 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 Cornhusker State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Nebraska that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Nebraska at the moment? That would be Schuyler according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Nebraska for 2019:
- Schuyler (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lexington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- McCook (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Grand Island (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hastings (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ralston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- York (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Omaha (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Columbus (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- North Platte (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 Nebraska reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Nebraska
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Nebraska
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Nebraska
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Nebraska 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 Nebraska. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Nebraska 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 Nebraska 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 573 cities and towns in Nebraska, 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 Schuyler is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Cornhusker State.
Read on for more on these places.
In 1866, the Union Pacific Railroad reached present-day Schuyler, at the time known as Shell Creek Station. Three years later, the Nebraska State Legislature divided large Platte County into three smaller counties, including Colfax County. In 1870, Shell Creek Station was renamed Schuyler.
Lexington began as a frontier trading post in 1860. The post was later destroyed. Fort Plum Creek was established near its ruins in 1864. Lexington was founded in 1871. It was originally called Plum Creek.
McCook was platted in 1882 when the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad was extended to that point. It was named in honor of Alexander McDowell McCook, a Brigadier General in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
In 1857, 35 German settlers left Davenport, Iowa, and headed west to Nebraska to start a new settlement on an island known by French traders as La Grande Isle, which was formed by the Wood River and the Platte River. The settlers reached their destination on July 4, 1857, and by September had built housing using local timber. Over the next nine years, the settlers had to overcome many hardships, including blizzards and conflicts with Native Americans.
Hastings was founded in 1872 at the intersection of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad and the St. Joseph and Denver City Railroad. It was named for Colonel D. T. Hastings of the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad, who was instrumental in building the railroad through Adams County. The area was previously open plain: the Donner party passed through on its way to California in 1846 and a pioneer cemetery marker in Hastings bears an inscription taken from Tamsen Donner’s journal: “The country between the Blue and the Platte is beautiful beyond compare. Never have I seen so varied a country so suitable to cultivation.” In the 1870s, railroads lured European immigrants to the new state of Nebraska with advertisements. Hastings’ first settlers were English, from Liverpool, and were quickly joined by other English, Irish, Germans, Danes, and Germans from Russia.
The area of the townsite was established in May 23, 1907 with the sale of 282.7 acres of land owned by Omaha newspaper editor George L Miller to the Ralston Investment Company. A year later the town was platted by future Omaha mayor Roy N. Towl. A petition to incorporate the property as a village was submitted to the Douglas County Board of Commissions on June 22, 1912, which was adopted by the Board two days later on June 24.
York was platted in 1869. The city took its name from York County.
Various Native American tribes had lived in the land that became Omaha, including since the 17th century, the Omaha and Ponca, Dhegian-Siouan-language people who had originated in the lower Ohio River valley and migrated west by the early 17th century; Pawnee, Otoe, Missouri, and Ioway. The word Omaha means “Dwellers on the bluff”.|In 1804 the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed by the riverbanks where the city of Omaha would be built. Between July 30 and August 3, 1804, members of the expedition, including Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, met with Oto and Missouria tribal leaders at the Council Bluff at a point about 20miles north of present-day Omaha. Immediately south of that area, Americans built several fur trading outposts in succeeding years, including Fort Lisa in 1812; Fort Atkinson in 1819; Cabann’s Trading Post, built in 1822, and Fontenelle’s Post in 1823, in what became Bellevue. There was fierce competition among fur traders until John Jacob Astor created the monopoly of the American Fur Company. The Mormons built a town called Cutler’s Park in the area in 1846. While it was temporary, the settlement provided the basis for further development in the future.
In the 18th century, the area around the confluence of the Platte and the Loup Rivers was used by a variety of Native American tribes, including Pawnee, Otoe, Ponca, and Omaha. The Pawnee are thought to have descended from the Protohistoric Lower Loup Culture; the Otoe had moved from central Iowa into the lower Platte Valley in the early 18th century; and the closely related Omaha and Ponca had moved from the vicinity of the Ohio River mouth, settling along the Missouri by the mid-18th century. In 1720, Pawnee and Otoe allied with the French massacred the Spanish force led by Pedro de Villasur just south of the present site of Columbus.
North Platte was established in 1868 when the Union Pacific Railroad was extended to that point. It was named from the North Platte River.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Nebraska for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Nebraska. 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 573 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Nebraska reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Nebraska
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