Best Places To Buy A House In Idaho For 2020

Using science and data, we can tell you which places in Idaho 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 Idaho:

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 Idaho, 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 Gem State.

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

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

  1. Fruitland (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Preston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Weiser (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Rupert (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Emmett (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Middleton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Payette (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Rathdrum (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Sandpoint (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Hailey (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What's the best place to buy a home in Idaho 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 idaho and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in idaho.

For more Idaho reading, check out:

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

Fruitland, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,192
Median Home Price: $140,400
Population Change: 2.6%
Home Price Change: 2.9%
More on Fruitland: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Preston, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,311
Median Home Price: $150,400
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 2.7%
More on Preston: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The Bear River Massacre occurred in 1863 at a point a few miles northwest of Preston. The Bear River Massacre Site is a National Historic Landmark.

Weiser, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,326
Median Home Price: $113,200
Population Change: 0.0%
Home Price Change: 6.9%
More on Weiser: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The city was named after the nearby Weiser River, but exactly who that was named for is not precisely known. In one version it is for Peter M. Weiser, a soldier and member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-1806. Another has it for Jacob Weiser, a trapper-turned-miner who struck it rich in Baboon Gulch in the Florence Basin of Idaho in 1861. William Logan and his wife settled in the vicinity of Weiser in 1863 building a roadhouse in anticipation of the opening of Olds Ferry west of them on the Snake River across from Farewell Bend. In 1863, Reuben Olds acquired a franchise from the Territorial Legislature and began operating Olds Ferry. Olds ferry business did well as it diverted much of the traffic from the old Snake River crossing point at Old Fort Boise. Increasing settlement on the Weiser River valley increased Weiser's population. A post office was established in 1866 as Weiser Ranch. In 1871, it was renamed Weiser.

Rupert, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,782
Median Home Price: $97,400
Population Change: 0.8%
Home Price Change: 3.9%
More on Rupert: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

In 2006, Rupert celebrated its 100th birthday.

Emmett, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,670
Median Home Price: $118,600
Population Change: 1.2%
Home Price Change: 9.4%
More on Emmett: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Rising some 5,906 feet above sea level, Squaw Butte, named by Native Americans who used this area as their winter resort, stands at the north end of the valley. The Payette River was named after Francois Payette, a fur trader from Quebec who was put in charge of old Fort Boise in 1818 and traveled through the area. Permanent settlement began in the early 1860s, after gold discoveries in the Boise Basin brought people over the established stage and pack train routes. Two of these trails joined at the Payette River north of the present river bridge in Emmett.

Middleton, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,115
Median Home Price: $163,900
Population Change: 5.9%
Home Price Change: 11.6%
More on Middleton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Middleton was named for its location between the old fort Boise and Keeney's Ferry; it being the midpoint between the two. It served as a rest stop for those heading for Keeney's Ferry. It had a stage station in the early days of the Oregon Trail, a post office in 1866 and a water powered grist mill in 1871. The Ward Massacre occurred near the site in 1854.

Payette, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,394
Median Home Price: $108,300
Population Change: 0.4%
Home Price Change: 11.3%
More on Payette: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The settlement was originally named "Boomerang," a construction camp for the Oregon Short Line from 1882-84 at the mouth of the Payette River. Logs were floated down the river to the sawmills at the camp to produce railroad ties. After completion of the railroad, the settlement moved upstream to its present site and incorporated in 1891 as "Payette," to honor Franois Payette, a French-Canadian fur trapper and one of the first white men to explore the area. He arrived in present-day Idaho from Astoria and was later the head of the Fort Boise trading post for the British Hudson's Bay Company from 1835-44. A large merry man, Payette was highly regarded for his helpful assistance to the many travelers who came through the fort. After his retirement in 1844, he returned to Montreal, but the rest of his life is a mystery.

Rathdrum, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,904
Median Home Price: $172,300
Population Change: 4.1%
Home Price Change: 0.0%
More on Rathdrum: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

In the 1800s the town was initially called Westwood in honor of one of the founders of the town, a Pony Express rider and rancher, Charles Wesley Wood, also known as "Wes." But in 1881 the postmaster in the town was informed by the federal government that the town would need to change its name since it was already taken by another town in the territory. A local businessman, Michael M. Cowley, recommended the name "Rathdrum" from County Wicklow in Ireland, his place of birth.

Sandpoint, ID

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,144
Median Home Price: $220,700
Population Change: 2.9%
Home Price Change: 12.4%
More on Sandpoint: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

The Salish Tribes, specifically the Kalispel and the Kootenai built encampments on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille every summer, fished, made baskets of cedar, and collected huckleberries before returning to either Montana or Washington in the fall. The encampments ended before 1930.

Hailey, ID

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,259
Median Home Price: $348,200
Population Change: 2.0%
Home Price Change: 12.7%
More on Hailey: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

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

So of the 0 cities and towns in Idaho, only 33 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.

We then ranked each place from 1 to 33 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 Fruitland is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Gem State.

Read on for more on these places.

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

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

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

City Rank Median Home Price Population Change Home Price Increase
Fruitland 1 $140,400 2.6% 2.9%
Preston 2 $150,400 0.8% 2.7%
Weiser 3 $113,200 0.0% 6.9%
Rupert 4 $97,400 0.8% 3.9%
Emmett 5 $118,600 1.2% 9.4%
Middleton 6 $163,900 5.9% 11.6%
Payette 7 $108,300 0.4% 11.3%
Rathdrum 8 $172,300 4.1% 0.0%
Sandpoint 9 $220,700 2.9% 12.4%
Hailey 10 $348,200 2.0% 12.7%
Star 11 $258,100 8.5% 12.3%
Burley 12 $118,300 0.4% 13.6%
Jerome 13 $116,900 1.7% 0.8%
Garden City 14 $213,200 0.9% 7.4%
Blackfoot 15 $124,100 0.0% 1.1%
Mountain Home 16 $135,400 0.9% -2.4%
Hayden 17 $241,100 2.0% 10.0%
Chubbuck 18 $160,700 1.8% 2.7%
Ammon 19 $189,900 2.7% 7.1%
Kuna 20 $175,300 4.9% 7.4%
Eagle 21 $383,700 5.8% 8.3%
Moscow 22 $224,400 1.4% 3.6%
Rexburg 23 $199,800 2.1% 8.5%
Post Falls 24 $193,000 3.4% 10.8%
Lewiston 25 $178,500 0.4% 4.9%
Twin Falls 26 $154,000 1.9% 3.6%
Coeur D'alene 27 $211,200 2.0% 14.3%
Caldwell 28 $136,200 3.0% 12.2%
Pocatello 29 $142,200 0.9% 3.0%
Idaho Falls 30 $153,600 1.2% 5.3%
Nampa 31 $149,700 2.3% 11.8%
Meridian 32 $242,000 5.5% 9.4%
Boise City 33 $230,800 1.6% 11.6%

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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