Best Places To Buy A House In Wisconsin For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which places in Wisconsin 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 2020.

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

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 Wisconsin, 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 Badger State.

To do that we are going to look at places in Wisconsin that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the "deals". The best deal in Wisconsin at the moment? That would be West Salem according to our analysis.

Here's a look at the top ten places to buy a home in wisconsin for 2020:

  1. West Salem (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Columbus (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Richland Center (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. North Fond du Lac (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Evansville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Rothschild (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Slinger (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Berlin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Waterford (Homes For Sale)
  10. Edgerton (Homes For Sale)

What's the best place to buy a home in Wisconsin for 2020? According to our analysis, would the the ideal place to buy a home looking into the future.

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 wisconsin and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in wisconsin.

For more Wisconsin reading, check out:

The 10 Best Cities To Buy A House In Wisconsin For 2020

West Salem, WI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 5,013
Median Home Price: $180,000
Population Change: 0.1%
Home Price Change: 5.4%
More on West Salem: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Columbus, WI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,022
Median Home Price: $148,500
Population Change: 0.4%
Home Price Change: -0.1%
More on Columbus: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

H. A. Whitney, a Yankee peddler from Vermont, moved to Columbus in 1845 and constructed the first wood frame store building in the community on the land where the Whitney now stands. The building served as a combination storerooming house and post office, with Whitney as the first postmaster. In 1857, the building burned down and was replaced by the current Whitney Hotel in 1858. This cream brick, Italianate-style hotel's third floor ballroom was heated by six wood-burning stoves. The local newspaper reported on a ball there in 1863, "if you ever hear of a ball by Fuller, ask no questions, but go at once, and enjoy yourselves, and for one night forget the 'fear of the draft'".

Richland Center, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,050
Median Home Price: $100,600
Population Change: -0.1%
Home Price Change: -0.4%
More on Richland Center: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Richland Center was founded in 1851 by Ira Sherwin Hazeltine, a native of Andover, Vermont. Hazeltine was drawn to the site because of its abundant water power, fertile prairies, and its proximity to the geographical center of Richland County. Haseltine offered to donate land to the county if Richland Center was voted the county seat. In 1852 the Wisconsin Legislature formally declared Richland Center as the seat of justice for Richland County. The present Richland County courthouse was built at Richland Center in 1889.

North Fond Du Lac, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,066
Median Home Price: $103,000
Population Change: -0.1%
Home Price Change: 14.4%
More on North Fond Du Lac: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Evansville, WI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,260
Median Home Price: $172,400
Population Change: 0.7%
Home Price Change: 4.4%
More on Evansville: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Evansville was first settled in the 1830s by New Englanders who were attracted to the area by its pristine wooded landscape and the placid Allen Creek. By 1855, the city recorded its first plat and was complete with homes, shops, and churches. Evansville is named for Dr. John M. Evans, a doctor and postmaster during the city's early years.

Rothschild, WI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,281
Median Home Price: $137,500
Population Change: -0.2%
Home Price Change: -0.6%
More on Rothschild: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Slinger, WI

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 5,330
Median Home Price: $214,700
Population Change: 1.2%
Home Price Change: 2.8%
More on Slinger: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Originally named Schleisingerville after the founder, state senator Baruch Schleisinger Weil in 1857; it was renamed on May 3, 1921.

Berlin, WI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,428
Median Home Price: $104,900
Population Change: 0.1%
Home Price Change: -0.9%
More on Berlin: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

In 1845, Nathan H. Strong became the first resident of what is today Berlin. He was joined by Hugh G. Martin, Hiram Barnes, and William Dickey. Their settlement was known as Strong's Landing. In 1848 a post office was established. It was named Berlin after the capital of Prussia, now the capital of Germany. The first school house was built in 1850 and the first church in 1851. Berlin was incorporated as a city in 1857.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,437
Median Home Price: $194,900
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 0.2%
More on Waterford: Homes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 5,522
Median Home Price: $147,700
Population Change: 0.5%
Home Price Change: 4.7%
More on Edgerton: Homes For Sale | Data

Originally called Fulton Station, Edgerton was named after a 19th-century businessman, Elisha W. Edgerton, or his brother Benjamin Hyde Edgerton, a civil engineer.

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in wisconsin for 2020?

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 Wisconsin. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Wisconsin with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.

To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2014-2018 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 Wisconsin with the following caveats:

So of the 0 cities and towns in Wisconsin, only 141 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 141 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. You can download the data here.

Turns out that West Salem is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Badger State.

Read on for more on these places.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Purchase A House In wisconsin for 2020

There's our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Wisconsin. 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 wisconsin reading, check out:

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

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
West Salem 1 $180,000 0.1% 5.4%
Columbus 2 $148,500 0.4% -0.1%
Richland Center 3 $100,600 -0.1% -0.4%
North Fond Du Lac 4 $103,000 -0.1% 14.4%
Evansville 5 $172,400 0.7% 4.4%
Rothschild 6 $137,500 -0.2% -0.6%
Slinger 7 $214,700 1.2% 2.8%
Berlin 8 $104,900 0.1% -0.9%
Waterford 9 $194,900 0.8% 0.2%
Edgerton 10 $147,700 0.5% 4.7%
Milton 11 $141,500 0.2% 4.0%
Prairie Du Chien 12 $119,500 -0.3% 1.2%
Lake Mills 13 $187,700 0.6% 6.6%
Waupaca 14 $105,900 0.1% 1.5%
Twin Lakes 15 $184,900 0.5% 4.4%
Elm Grove 16 $362,200 0.7% 0.4%
Sturtevant 17 $154,900 -5.2% 8.9%
Lake Hallie 18 $170,400 -0.5% 0.3%
Fox Point 19 $322,000 -0.3% 1.7%
Kimberly 20 $144,400 0.4% 1.6%
New London 21 $130,200 -3.3% 2.4%
Cottage Grove 22 $277,100 1.6% 5.0%
Jackson 23 $196,700 1.1% 6.3%
Delafield 24 $375,900 1.3% 3.1%
Mount Horeb 25 $247,600 0.5% 4.9%
Altoona 26 $155,500 2.0% -0.3%
Rhinelander 27 $91,100 0.4% -1.3%
Kronenwetter 28 $173,600 1.7% 3.4%
Hales Corners 29 $220,500 -0.5% -0.3%
Ripon 30 $120,900 0.5% 1.8%
Antigo 31 $75,700 -0.2% 3.1%
Lake Geneva 32 $180,900 0.6% -3.2%
Mukwonago 33 $232,400 2.5% 2.5%
Sheboygan Falls 34 $142,300 0.4% 1.7%
Ashland 35 $109,300 -0.4% 0.6%
Jefferson 36 $151,500 -0.1% 3.5%
Monona 37 $254,900 1.0% 3.4%
Pewaukee 38 $197,900 -0.1% 3.3%
Rice Lake 39 $127,200 0.3% 6.0%
Delavan 40 $143,600 -0.5% -0.6%
Mcfarland 41 $245,500 3.1% 1.2%
Plymouth 42 $141,700 0.7% -1.3%
Hobart 43 $235,700 5.2% -1.8%
New Richmond 44 $166,200 1.5% 4.6%
Sturgeon Bay 45 $142,000 -0.1% 2.7%
Shawano 46 $99,000 -0.5% -2.2%
Merrill 47 $84,900 -0.9% 1.4%
Hartland 48 $281,900 0.5% 2.5%
Tomah 49 $122,400 0.0% 1.2%
Reedsburg 50 $133,300 0.0% 0.5%
St. Francis 51 $150,700 -0.2% 1.1%
Sparta 52 $117,700 0.4% 2.1%
Elkhorn 53 $176,700 -0.2% 4.9%
Holmen 54 $189,400 2.2% 7.7%
Deforest 55 $220,600 2.8% 1.5%
Oregon 56 $246,400 1.8% 3.2%
Portage 57 $122,400 0.4% 2.9%
Monroe 58 $128,600 -0.5% 0.4%
Marinette 59 $83,000 -0.5% -0.8%
Burlington 60 $176,500 1.0% 3.3%
Sussex 61 $277,500 0.3% 4.5%
Two Rivers 62 $93,100 -0.8% 2.3%
Little Chute 63 $145,100 2.0% 2.3%
Waupun 64 $121,000 0.2% -0.5%
Cedarburg 65 $296,200 0.0% 5.2%
Richfield 66 $294,500 0.7% 0.2%
Grafton 67 $223,500 0.4% 5.3%
Port Washington 68 $194,300 0.9% 6.3%
Brown Deer 69 $156,300 -0.3% 3.4%
Baraboo 70 $148,700 0.1% 2.7%
Platteville 71 $154,300 0.9% 2.2%
Fort Atkinson 72 $156,000 0.0% 4.3%
Suamico 73 $240,100 2.0% 5.3%
Plover 74 $175,000 1.5% 3.1%
Verona 75 $294,500 2.2% 3.3%
Glendale 76 $216,600 1.1% 2.2%
Stoughton 77 $202,000 0.2% 5.6%
Shorewood 78 $334,700 -0.2% 1.2%
Waunakee 79 $324,600 1.8% 3.7%
Hudson 80 $240,300 1.4% 3.8%
Allouez 81 $153,900 -0.1% 0.7%
Chippewa Falls 82 $123,500 0.7% 3.3%
Whitefish Bay 83 $373,200 -0.4% 2.1%
Greendale 84 $210,200 -0.3% 5.3%
Pewaukee 85 $295,900 1.3% 3.9%
Hartford 86 $179,700 1.4% 3.4%
Whitewater 87 $164,500 0.0% 0.1%
Weston 88 $151,700 0.2% 3.3%
River Falls 89 $185,100 1.4% 4.3%
Bellevue 90 $181,200 0.9% 5.3%
Kaukauna 91 $139,300 0.7% 0.7%
Menomonie 92 $143,200 0.6% 3.8%
Beaver Dam 93 $127,900 0.1% 2.9%
Oconomowoc 94 $251,200 0.8% 2.5%
Ashwaubenon 95 $158,500 0.2% 1.0%
Wisconsin Rapids 96 $89,100 -0.4% 2.6%
Menasha 97 $129,000 0.7% 2.7%
Marshfield 98 $136,700 -0.1% 1.3%
Cudahy 99 $152,000 -0.0% 3.6%
Onalaska 100 $189,000 0.5% 9.5%

How Is The Area In ?

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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