Best Places To Buy A House In North Dakota For 2020

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 2020.

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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 Watford City according to our analysis.

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

  1. Watford City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Valley City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Devils Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Wahpeton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Jamestown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Mandan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Dickinson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Williston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. West Fargo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Minot (Photos | Homes For Sale)

What's the best place to buy a home in North Dakota 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 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:

The 10 Best Cities To Buy A House In North Dakota For 2020

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,197
Median Home Price: $201,700
Population Change: 13.9%
Home Price Change: 0.2%
More on Watford City: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Valley City, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,487
Median Home Price: $110,000
Population Change: -0.9%
Home Price Change: 4.0%
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.

Devils Lake, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,317
Median Home Price: $115,600
Population Change: 0.1%
Home Price Change: 19.7%
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.

Wahpeton, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,792
Median Home Price: $122,800
Population Change: -0.4%
Home Price Change: 9.3%
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.

Jamestown, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,368
Median Home Price: $136,700
Population Change: 0.0%
Home Price Change: 8.5%
More on Jamestown: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

In 1871, a Northern Pacific Railroad work crew set up camp where the railroad would cross the James River, adding another section to the new northern transcontinental line. In 1872, the U.S. Army established Fort Seward, a small post garrisoned by three companies of the Twentieth Infantry Regiment, on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the James River and Pipestem Creek. The fort guarded the crossing of the James by the Northern Pacific Railroad. The fort only lasted five years, being decommissioned in 1877 - but the railroad remained, establishing a repair yard that was among the city's main industries until the 1960s.

Mandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,943
Median Home Price: $207,100
Population Change: 2.2%
Home Price Change: 6.6%
More on Mandan: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Dickinson, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,707
Median Home Price: $235,300
Population Change: 1.8%
Home Price Change: 3.3%
More on Dickinson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Dickinson was founded in 1881. Dickinson was named for its founder, W. S. Dickinson, a native of Malone, New York.

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,102
Median Home Price: $249,400
Population Change: 4.1%
Home Price Change: 5.1%
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.

West Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,419
Median Home Price: $228,100
Population Change: 4.0%
Home Price Change: 4.9%
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.

Minot, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,304
Median Home Price: $204,000
Population Change: 0.3%
Home Price Change: -1.3%
More on Minot: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Minot came into existence in 1886, when James J. Hill's Great Northern Railway ended its push through the state for the winter, after having difficulty constructing a trestle across Gassman Coulee. It was the end of the railway's line, so whenever a train came into the town and the stop was announced, the conductor would call out "Minot, this is Minot, North Dakota, prepare to meet your doom". A tent town sprang up overnight, as if by "magic", thus the city came to be known as the Magic City, and in the next five months, the population increased to over 5,000 residents, further adding to the nickname's validity.

How do you determine the best places to buy a home in north dakota 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 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 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 North Dakota with the following caveats:

So of the 0 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. You can download the data here.

Turns out that Watford City is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Peace Garden State.

Read on for more on these places.

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

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 0 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
Watford City 1 $201,700 13.9% 0.2%
Valley City 2 $110,000 -0.9% 4.0%
Devils Lake 3 $115,600 0.1% 19.7%
Wahpeton 4 $122,800 -0.4% 9.3%
Jamestown 5 $136,700 0.0% 8.5%
Mandan 6 $207,100 2.2% 6.6%
Dickinson 7 $235,300 1.8% 3.3%
Williston 8 $249,400 4.1% 5.1%
West Fargo 9 $228,100 4.0% 4.9%
Minot 10 $204,000 0.3% -1.3%
Grand Forks 11 $197,900 0.6% 6.1%
Bismarck 12 $234,500 1.7% 5.1%
Fargo 13 $199,700 1.8% 5.0%

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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