The 5 Most Affordable Places to Live In Minnesota

Jamie Ayers

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Jamie Ayers

July 12th, 2021
Updated July 12th, 2021

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Finding the most affordable places to live in Minnesota is challenging even if you're a native. State-wide, Minnesota has a median home value of $305,500. When you add in maintenance costs and property taxes, it can be difficult for many to buy and own a home. Because of that, we scoured the data to find the most affordable cities in Minnesota, looking at median home prices, cost of living, and other factors to find your best options.

Looking for the most affordable places in Minnesota is a start, but you'll save even more money by working with a great agent. The top Minnesota real estate agents know the local market and where to find pockets of more affordable homes. They can also help negotiate a better price when you do find your dream home.

Ready to buy? Clever is a free service that connects you with the best real estate agents in Minnesota from top brokers, like Keller Williams and RE/MAX.

With a Clever agent, you'll get instant MLS alerts on affordable Minnesota homes, on-demand showings, and an expert negotiator on your side. Even better? Eligible home buyers get a check for up to 0.5% of the purchase price back after closing!

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Ready to learn more about the most affordable places in Minnesota? These are our top picks.

1. Rochester

Rochester is a city in southern Minnesota with a population of around 214,000. You might recognize this city’s name because it’s the birthplace of the renowned healthcare organization, the Mayo Clinic. Here, residents enjoy a nice median household income of $69,000, which is predicted to rise another 4.16% during 2019. The largest job industries are health care, social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing.

The median home value in Rochester is $225,100. Rochester home values have gone up 7.2% since 2018 and Zillow predicts they will rise by 4.3% during 2019. The median price of homes currently listed in Rochester is $276,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $217,400. If you prefer renting, the median rent price in Rochester is $1,350.

2. Owatonna

Owatonna is a smaller city in Minnesota with a population of 36,600. Here you can find many hiking and biking trails, and cross country skiing depending on the season. The most popular and high paying industries in Owatonna are utilities, insurance, and finance. These jobs pay as much as $76,000, but the median household annual income sits at $56,289. However, these numbers are rising 0.49% every year.

The median home value in Owatonna is $173,500. Owatonna home values have gone up 4.6% since 2018 and Zillow predicts they will rise by 1.9% throughout 2019. The median price of homes currently listed in Owatonna is $179,945 while the median price of homes that sold is $176,800.

Finding a home to buy here is easier with a local agent! With Clever, you'll find a great Minnesota realtor who can help with your home search.

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3. Hastings

Hastings is known as Minnesota's river town due to its proximity to the Mississippi River and St. Croix rivers. Most of their history is centered on the railroads and boat ports, which explains why the top job industries are manufacturing and oil extraction.

According to 97% of Hastings residents, their quality of life was good or excellent during a 2014 survey conducted by the Morris Leatherman Company. Hastings has a strong arts community as well as an endless amount of nature-related activities, probably due to the fact that it has 400 acres of open space in 33 parks and 28-miles of trails.

The median household income here is $66,403, which pairs nicely with the relatively low housing costs. The median home value in Hastings is $236,900. Hastings’ home values have gone up 3.4% since 2018 and Zillow predicts they will rise by 1.1% throughout 2019. The median price of homes currently listed in Hastings is $249,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $226,900.

4. Woodbury

Woodbury is a city near downtown but has been able to maintain its small-town feel. Despite its smaller population size of 67,000, there is plenty of room for growth. Residents who enjoy participating in sports won't be able to resist visiting the Bielenberg Sports Center that's over 90,000 square feet of ice rinks, athletic fields, and a splash pad.

Some of their highest paying industries are the management of mining companies, quarrying, agriculture, and fishing. Employees in these top Woodbury industries enjoy salaries as much as $133,000. The median home value in Woodbury is $341,000, which might seem steep for Minnesota, but the median income is $103,000. On top of the rising number of new jobs, residents can expect the median household income to rise by 1.36% throughout 2019.

The real estate market here is growing and Woodbury home values have gone up 4.7% since 2018 and Zillow predicts they will rise by 2.4% during 2019. The median price of homes currently listed in Woodbury is $389,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $349,000.

» FIND: Top Real Estate Agents in Minnesota

5. Mankato

Mankato is known for being a great place to raise kids. One of the popular attractions is Sibley Park, which is a combination of a petting zoo and barnyard themed playground. The Children's Museum of Southern Minnesota is also here. Mountain biking is also a very popular activity in Mankato, thanks to the Red Jacket Bike Trail and the Minnesota River Trail.

Mankato has a fairly small population of 41,241 and a median household income of $45,035, which is expected to rise by 5.67% during 2019. Some of their top paying industries are educational services, utilities, and public administration.

Right now, Mankato’s real estate market is in favor of the buyer, which makes it a great time to take advantage of affordable housing. The median home value in Mankato is $198,300. Mankato home values have gone up 5.4% since 2018 and Zillow predicts they will rise by 1.3% during 2019. The median price of homes currently listed in Mankato is $259,900 while the median price of homes that sold is $191,300.

How to find affordable homes in Minnesota

Whether you want to live in a bustling Minnesota metro area or a tranquil small town, there's plenty to love in Minnesota. Working with a local real estate agent is the best way to find the most affordable places to live in Minnesota.

Ready to start house hunting? Clever is a free service that can match you with the best realtors in Minnesota. And, when you buy with a Clever partner agent, you could get 0.5% of your purchase price back as a check after closing. On a $300,000 home, that's an extra $1,500 back in your pocket. That's real money!

👋 Next steps: Talk to an expert

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Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your info below. Our concierge team will be in touch shortly to help.

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