These Are The 10 Best Places To Buy A House In North Dakota For 2019

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

Editor’s note: This is not investment advice and we are not financial advisers. Article updated for 2019.

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

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 Dakota, 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 Peace Garden State.

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

The best deal in North Dakota at the moment? That would be Mandan according to our analysis.

Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in North Dakota for 2019:

  1. Mandan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. West Fargo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Valley City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Watford City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Wahpeton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Fargo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Grand Forks (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Bismarck (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Devils Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Williston (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 Dakota and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in North Dakota.

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in North Dakota 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 Dakota. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in North Dakota 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 Dakota with the following caveats:

So of the 392 cities and towns in North Dakota, only 13 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 13 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 Mandan is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Peace Garden State.

Read on for more on these places.

Mandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,472
Median Home Price: $194,300
Population Change: 4.2%
Home Price Change: 10.8%
More on Mandan: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

West Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,089
Median Home Price: $217,400
Population Change: 4.9%
Home Price Change: 14.2%
More on West Fargo: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The West Fargo School District was formed on 9 October 1876. In January 1887, Nina Hall was hired to teach for two months. She was paid $40. “This first school was large enough to handle the pupils of the district until 1910 when it became necessary to build the Fairview School in the western part of the district. The two schools continued to operate until 1923.” In 1922, North School was built, which included two classrooms and a gymnasium. The following year, Jennie Worman Colby became the first principal. In 1939, a new school building was built for grades 7-12. Today the building, The Clayton A. Lodoen Community Center, houses the West Fargo Community High, Clayton A. Lodoen Kindergarten Center, and West Fargo Public Library.

Valley City, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,547
Median Home Price: $105,800
Population Change: -1.0%
Home Price Change: 17.8%
More on Valley City: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Valley City was originally called Worthington, and under the latter name was laid out in 1874 when the railroad was extended to that point. The present name is for the city’s location in the valley of the Sheyenne River. A post office was established under the name Worthington in 1874, and has continued to operate under the name Valley City since 1878. A Carnegie Library opened in 1903, through the efforts of the “Tuesday Club,” a local women’s organization.

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,441
Median Home Price: $201,200
Population Change: 18.4%
Home Price Change: 6.6%
More on Watford City: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wahpeton, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,822
Median Home Price: $112,300
Population Change: -0.3%
Home Price Change: 8.6%
More on Wahpeton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The first European explorer in the area was Jonathan Carver in 1767. He explored and mapped the Northwest at the request of Major Robert Rogers, commander of Fort Michilimackinac. This British fort at Mackinaw City, Michigan, protected the passage between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron of the Great Lakes. In 1763 the British had extended their reach in Canada after defeating the French in the Seven Years’ War.

Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 118,099
Median Home Price: $190,200
Population Change: 1.9%
Home Price Change: 6.7%
More on Fargo: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Historically part of Sioux territory, the area that is present-day Fargo was an early stopping point for steamboats traversing the Red River during the 1870s and 1880s. The city was originally named “Centralia,” but was later renamed “Fargo” after Northern Pacific Railway director and Wells Fargo Express Company founder William Fargo. The area started to flourish after the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad and the city became known as the “Gateway to the West.”|During the 1880s, Fargo became the “divorce capital” of the Midwest because of lenient divorce laws.

Grand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 56,236
Median Home Price: $186,500
Population Change: 0.7%
Home Price Change: 8.0%
More on Grand Forks: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Prior to settlement by Europeans, the area where the city developed, at the forks of the Red River and Red Lake River, for thousands of years had been an important meeting and trading point for Native Americans. Early French explorers, fur trappers, and traders called the area Les Grandes Fourches, meaning “The Grand Forks”. By the 1740s, French fur trappers relied on Les Grandes Fourches as an important trading post. This was French colonial territory.

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 70,536
Median Home Price: $223,200
Population Change: 2.3%
Home Price Change: 8.6%
More on Bismarck: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

For thousands of years, present-day central North Dakota was inhabited by indigenous peoples, who created successive cultures. The historic Mandan Native American tribe occupied the area long before Europeans arrived. They spoke the Hidatsa language. The Hidatsa name of Bismarck is mirahacii arumaaguash ; the Arikara name is ituhtawe.|In 1872 European Americans founded a settlement at what was then called Missouri Crossing, so named because the Lewis and Clark Expedition crossed the river there on their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase in 1804-1806. It had been an area of Mandan settlement. Later the new town was called Edwinton, after Edwin Ferry Johnson, engineer-in-chief for the Northern Pacific Railway. Its construction of railroads in the territory attracted workers and settlers.

Devils Lake, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,313
Median Home Price: $96,600
Population Change: 0.2%
Home Price Change: 4.1%
More on Devils Lake: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The present site of Devils Lake was historically territory of the Dakota people. However, Sisseton, Wahpeton, and Cut-Head bands of Dakotas were relocated to the Spirit Lake Reservation as a result of the 1867 treaty with the United States that established a reservation for Dakotas who had not been forcibly relocated to Crow Creek Reservation in what is now called South Dakota. The name “Devils Lake” is a calque of the Dakota phrase mni wak-, which is also reflected in the names of the Spirit Lake Tribe and the nearby town of Minnewaukan.

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,072
Median Home Price: $237,200
Population Change: 4.9%
Home Price Change: 6.0%
More on Williston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Founded in 1887, Williston was named for Daniel Willis James, a merchant and capitalist, by his friend, railroad magnate James J. Hill.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In North Dakota for 2019

There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in North Dakota. 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 392 places in the state.

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

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In North Dakota

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Mandan 1 $194,300 4.2% 10.8%
West Fargo 2 $217,400 4.9% 14.2%
Valley City 3 $105,800 -1.0% 17.8%
Watford City 4 $201,200 18.4% 6.6%
Wahpeton 5 $112,300 -0.3% 8.6%
Fargo 6 $190,200 1.9% 6.7%
Grand Forks 7 $186,500 0.7% 8.0%
Bismarck 8 $223,200 2.3% 8.6%
Devils Lake 9 $96,600 0.2% 4.1%
Williston 10 $237,200 4.9% 6.0%
Jamestown 11 $126,000 -0.5% 4.9%
Minot 12 $206,600 1.8% 2.3%
Dickinson 13 $227,800 1.5% 1.3%

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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