There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in North Carolina:
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 North Carolina, 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 Tar Heel State.
To do that we are going to look at places in North Carolina that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in North Carolina at the moment? That would be Wendell according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in North Carolina for 2019:
- Wendell (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Belmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sawmills (Homes For Sale)
- Woodfin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hillsborough (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ayden (Homes For Sale)
- Pineville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fletcher (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Kannapolis (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mooresville (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 North Carolina and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in North Carolina.
For more North Carolina reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In North Carolina
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In North Carolina
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In North Carolina
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in North Carolina 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 North Carolina. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in North Carolina 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 North Carolina 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 736 cities and towns in North Carolina, only 132 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 132 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 Wendell is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Tar Heel State.
Read on for more on these places.
Incorporated in 1903, Wendell was settled in the 1850s, when farmers in Granville County were victims of a blight that came to be known as the Granville County Wilt. Their tobacco crops failed, and they chose to move to a new location with more fertile land for their crops.
Settlement in the Belmont area began around the colonial-era Fort at the Point, built in the 1750s by Dutch settler James Kuykendall and others near the junction of the South Fork and the Catawba River. The fort was built because of ongoing hostilities with the Cherokee, but it was apparently never attacked.
The town’s history is closely tied to manufacturing. Much of the remaining early housing stock is characteristic of early 20th century mill villages. Many neighborhoods within the community bear names tied to the industry, such as “Martel Village” and “Company Bottom”. The decline of American industry in the 1970s and ’80s brought a decline to the economy of Woodfin as well. The loss of many manufacturing jobs led to a decline in population and property values. Starting in the 1990s, however, the town has experienced new residential growth, due primarily to the influx of new residents to western North Carolina. Woodfin’s economy today is a mix of large- and small-scale manufacturing, combined with a variety of residential and commercial districts. It is the 115th largest municipality in the state.
Local Native American groups had lived in the Hillsborough area for thousands of years by the time Spanish explorers entered the region. Siouan-language groups such as the Occaneechi and the Eno were living in the Hillsborough area at the time of European contact, though they would eventualy be displaced. The explorer John Lawson recorded visiting “Occaneechi Town” when he travelled through North Carolina in 1701.
In 1891, William Henry Harris asked the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad to build a railroad depot on a portion of his farm in order to create a village. A 40-acre parcel of land was divided into residential lots surrounding the depot in “Harristown”, with Harris owning every other lot. Within the next several years, lots were sold and homes built. Businesses began to open up to support the new residents, and on February 3, 1891, the town was incorporated as “Ayden.” Within a few years, the Carolina Christian College and the Free Will Baptist Seminary were established. By 1919, Ayden had full-time electricity supplied by the Ayden municipal light plant. In 1922, the Mutual Building and Loan Association of Ayden was organized to help families obtain mortgages to build homes in Ayden.
Pineville was changed forever when the initial segment of Interstate 485 opened to traffic. Although the one-mile stretch connecting interchanges at NC Highway 51 and South Boulevard was designed to divert through traffic around Charlotte via a freeway loop, I-485 incidentally passed directly through Pineville.
A post office called Fletcher has been in operation since 1886. The town took its name from the Fletcher family of pioneer settlers.
Early meaning and usage of the city’s name was a direct reference to Cannon Mills Corporation, or James William Cannon himself. Early published name variations include “Cannon-opolis” and “Cannapolis”. A widely accepted origin of the word “Kannapolis” comes from the combination of the Greek words kanna and polis, which some believed meant “City of Looms”. Dr. Gary Freeze, Catawba College history and politics department chairman, said a Concord newspaper used the name “Cannon City” in 1906. After mill workers or newspapers called the town “Cannapolis”, J.W. Cannon asked Cabarrus County commissioners to give the town the name, but starting with a “K”. Kannapolis historian Norris Dearmon said the K might have been to distinguish the town from his Concord mill village. Since, Freeze said, “Jim Cannon didn’t study Greek,” Cannon did not name the town “city of looms”.In 1906 J.W. Cannon purchased the land that later became Kannapolis, and acquired a total of 1,008 acres in Cabarrus and Rowan Counties. Approximately 808 of those acres of farmland, purchased along the historic wagon road between Salisbury and Charlotte, became the location of the new textile mill, Cannon Manufacturing. Cannon Manufacturing began production in 1908. In 1914 Cannon Manufacturing became known as the world-s largest producer of sheets and towels. Shortly after, Mr. Cannon opened plants in Rowan County, Concord and in South Carolina totaling 20,000 workers. Mill founder J.W. Cannon-s youngest son, Charles A. Cannon, consolidated all the separate mills into the giant Cannon Mills Company in 1928.
The area that would develop into the town of Mooresville was originally settled by English, German, and Scot-Irish families who moved into the area from nearby Rowan County, as well as Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Many were seeking new lands on which to establish farms. Many of the early families such as the Wilsons, Davidsons, Cowans, Sherrills, Torrances, and others came to the area as early as the mid-1700s. They formed small communities that eventually grew into the community known as Deep Well, which took its name from a large natural well that was found in the area. Many of these families established large farms, primarily of cotton, which grew into small plantations by the 1850s. Major Rufus Reid was considered by far the most successful planter in the area, enslaving 81 human beings on over 2,000 acres of land. His plantation was known as Mount Mourne Plantation, and was named after the Mourne mountains of Co Down Northern Ireland. Several other historic plantation homes set in the area as well, such as the elegant Johnson-Neel House, the Cornelius House, Forest Dell Plantation, and the colonial era Belmont Plantation.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In North Carolina for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in North Carolina. 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 736 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
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