Best Places to Invest in Minnesota: Cities to Watch

Sometimes referred to as the “North Star State,” Minnesota has been charming visitors and residents alike for generations. With its strong economy, vibrant social scene within city limits, booming healthcare industry, and gorgeous turning of the seasons, there is a lot to love about this special region of the United States. But is Minnesota a good place to invest–and should investors look to buy property there when it comes to expanding their portfolio? Let’s explore the ten best places to invest in Minnesota as well as tips and tricks for navigating real estate–particularly as a new investor.

Minnesota Real Estate Investing Market Overview

The Minnesota housing market in 2023 has experienced both stability and growth, reflecting the state’s robust economy and growing population. Throughout the year, demand for housing remained high, with a competitive market for buyers and an increase in property values. Several factors contributed to the strength of the market, including low mortgage rates, a diverse job market, and a preference for suburban and rural living due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we look ahead to 2024, projections for the Minnesota housing market remain optimistic. It is expected that the market will continue to show steady growth, with property values continuing to appreciate. However, some experts anticipate a moderation in the rate of price increases, as affordability concerns may lead to a more balanced market. Mortgage rates are also projected to rise slightly, which could impact the buying power of potential homebuyers.

Population growth in Minnesota is expected to continue, driven by factors such as strong job opportunities, quality education, and a high quality of life. This population growth will likely contribute to sustained demand for housing. As a result, real estate developers and investors may continue to explore opportunities for new construction and property development to meet the rising demand for housing.

Despite the overall positive outlook, it’s important to note that the Minnesota housing market, like any other, can be influenced by a variety of factors, including economic conditions, interest rates, and unforeseen events. Prospective buyers and sellers should stay informed about the latest market trends and work closely with real estate professionals to navigate the evolving landscape and make informed decisions in 2024.

10 Best Minnesota Cities to Invest in Real Estate

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Minnesota, known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant communities, offers a range of opportunities for real estate investors. From the bustling city of Minneapolis to the tranquil suburbs and scenic towns, there are numerous cities in the state that present promising investment potential. In this article, we will explore the top 10 Minnesota cities to invest in real estate, including the most populous areas of the state (via Minnesota Demographics), providing valuable insights for investors looking to capitalize on this diverse market.


Rochester, home to the renowned Mayo Clinic, is a prime destination for real estate investment. The city’s steady job market, coupled with a growing healthcare sector, ensures a stable demand for housing. Rochester’s appeal extends beyond its medical community, with a thriving downtown scene and excellent school systems, making it an attractive choice for families. With a variety of housing options, from historic homes to modern developments, investors can find properties that suit different investment strategies. Rental properties in Rochester tend to perform well due to the consistent demand for housing.


Rogers, located in the northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities, has experienced significant growth in recent years. Its proximity to major highways and the Twin Cities metro area makes it a commuter-friendly location. The city’s mix of residential and commercial development provides opportunities for both residential and commercial real estate investors. Rogers has been recognized as one of the best places to live in Minnesota, which contributes to its growing population and demand for housing. For investors, this means a potential for strong rental income and property appreciation.

Saint Paul

Saint Paul, Minnesota’s capital city, offers a diverse real estate market. Investors can find historic properties with character in neighborhoods like Summit-University, or explore new developments in areas like Lowertown. With strong employment opportunities and cultural attractions, Saint Paul remains a robust investment choice. The city’s vibrant arts scene, professional sports teams, and numerous parks make it an attractive destination for both residents and renters. Real estate investors can tap into the rental market, offering housing options to individuals who want to experience all that Saint Paul has to offer.


Duluth, situated on Lake Superior’s shore, boasts unique investment opportunities. Its scenic beauty and outdoor recreational options make it a popular tourist destination. Consider investing in vacation rentals or properties catering to outdoor enthusiasts to tap into Duluth’s thriving tourism industry. Waterfront properties in Duluth can be particularly attractive for investors looking to capitalize on the city’s natural beauty. Additionally, the city has a strong sense of community and is known for its historic charm, making it a desirable place to live or visit.


Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis, is home to the Mall of America, one of the nation’s largest shopping centers. This draws a significant amount of tourists and shoppers, making it an ideal location for commercial real estate investments. Additionally, the city offers a range of housing options suitable for long-term rentals. Bloomington’s location near the airport and major highways also makes it appealing to business travelers and commuters. Real estate investors can explore opportunities in both the commercial and residential sectors in this dynamic city.

Brooklyn Park

Brooklyn Park, one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing cities, is a real estate hotbed. The city’s strategic location near major employers and its diverse population make it a promising area for rental investments. Investors can explore single-family homes, multi-unit properties, or new developments to diversify their portfolios. Brooklyn Park’s commitment to community development and infrastructure improvements enhances its appeal to both residents and real estate investors. The city’s growth potential and strong housing demand make it an attractive destination for investment.


Plymouth, another thriving suburb of the Twin Cities, is known for its high-quality schools and family-friendly neighborhoods. With a strong job market and a variety of housing options, including townhomes, apartments, and single-family homes, investors can find opportunities to cater to different tenant demographics. Plymouth’s proximity to major employers in the western Twin Cities metro area makes it an ideal location for those seeking suburban living with convenient access to work. Real estate investors can target families looking for quality housing and excellent schools in this well-established community.


Woodbury, often recognized for its excellent schools and parks, is a popular choice for families. Real estate investors can target the demand for single-family homes in this community-oriented city. Woodbury’s growing population and proximity to major employers are factors that support long-term property appreciation. The city’s commitment to preserving green spaces and recreational amenities contributes to its appeal. Investors looking for stable, family-focused rental markets should consider Woodbury as a prime location for investment properties.


Lakeville, located in the southern Twin Cities metropolitan area, offers a mix of suburban and rural living. Investors can explore opportunities in single-family homes and townhouses to cater to the city’s diverse housing needs. Lakeville’s strong schools and recreational facilities make it an attractive destination for renters. The city’s scenic lakes and natural beauty also make it an appealing place to live. For investors seeking a balance between suburban and rural real estate investments, Lakeville provides a unique opportunity.


Minneapolis, the largest city in Minnesota, provides a dynamic real estate market with various investment options. From trendy urban apartments to historic homes in established neighborhoods, the city offers diverse opportunities. Minneapolis also has a thriving cultural scene, attracting renters seeking a vibrant urban lifestyle. The city’s job market is robust, with numerous Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the area. Real estate investors can tap into both the rental and commercial markets in Minneapolis, catering to a wide range of tenants and businesses.

Factors to Consider When It Comes Time to Invest

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Minnesota’s real estate market has garnered attention from investors seeking profitable opportunities. Whether you’re interested in traditional buy-and-hold properties, short-term rentals, or alternative strategies like mortgage note investing, this article will guide you through the essential factors to consider when investing in Minnesota real estate.

Airbnb Occupancy Rate

The Airbnb market in Minnesota presents an attractive investment opportunity. However, before diving in, it’s crucial to assess the Airbnb occupancy rate in your target area. Areas with high tourist traffic, such as Duluth, Minneapolis, and the North Shore, tend to have better occupancy rates. Researching historical data and local tourism trends can help you gauge the potential profitability of an Airbnb investment.

Factors to consider for Airbnb investing in Minnesota:

  • Location: Choose a property located in an area with high demand, such as near attractions, business districts, or event venues.
  • Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local short-term rental regulations and compliance requirements.
  • Property Management: Decide whether you’ll manage the property yourself or hire a property management company to handle bookings and guest interactions.
  • Marketing: Develop a marketing strategy to attract guests, including professional photos, competitive pricing, and a compelling listing description.

Buy and Hold

Buy-and-hold real estate investing remains a popular choice in Minnesota. The state’s steady job market, growing population, and desirable quality of life make it conducive to long-term rental properties. Consider these factors when pursuing a buy-and-hold strategy:

  • Location: Choose neighborhoods with strong rental demand, proximity to schools, employment centers, and public transportation.
  • Property Type: Decide whether you want to invest in single-family homes, multi-unit properties, or apartments based on your budget and investment goals.
  • Property Management: Determine if you’ll manage the property yourself or enlist the services of a professional property management company.
  • Financing: Secure favorable financing terms to maximize your return on investment (ROI).
  • Cash Flow Analysis: Conduct a thorough cash flow analysis to ensure your rental income covers expenses and generates positive cash flow.

Short Term Rentals

Minnesota’s short-term rental market has experienced significant growth, attracting travelers, tourists, and business visitors. When considering short-term rentals, pay attention to the following factors:

  • Market Research: Analyze the local demand for short-term rentals, looking at occupancy rates, seasonal variations, and competition.
  • Property Selection: Choose properties that align with the preferences of short-term renters, such as furnished apartments, vacation homes, or centrally located condos.
  • Pricing Strategy: Set competitive rental rates while factoring in cleaning fees and other associated costs.
  • Legal Compliance: Ensure you comply with local regulations regarding short-term rentals, including permits, taxes, and safety standards.
  • Guest Experience: Focus on providing an exceptional guest experience to earn positive reviews and repeat bookings.

Mortgage Note Investing

Mortgage note investing is an alternative real estate investment strategy that can provide a steady stream of passive income. Instead of purchasing physical properties, you invest in mortgage notes, which are essentially loans secured by real estate. Key considerations for mortgage note investing in Minnesota include:

  • Due Diligence: Conduct thorough due diligence on the mortgage note, including the property’s condition, market value, and the borrower’s creditworthiness.
  • Risk Assessment: Understand the potential risks associated with the mortgage note, such as delinquency or default.
  • Loan Servicing: Decide whether you’ll service the loan yourself or use a loan servicing company to handle collections and payments.
  • Legal Expertise: Consult with legal professionals well-versed in mortgage note investing to navigate complex legal aspects.
  • Diversification: Diversify your investment portfolio by holding a variety of mortgage notes across different markets and property types.

Alternatives to Traditional Real Estate Investing

Real estate has long been considered a stable and profitable investment. However, one of the primary barriers to entry for many potential investors is the substantial down payment required to purchase properties. Fortunately, there are creative and alternative ways to invest in real estate when you don’t have a lot of capital for a down payment. In this article, we will explore three viable options for aspiring real estate investors: raw land investing, microloans, and share-by-share investing.

Raw Land

Raw land investing, also known as land banking, is an intriguing strategy for those with limited down payment capital. Unlike traditional real estate investments, raw land can often be acquired at a fraction of the cost of developed properties. Here’s how it works:

Why Invest in Raw Land:

  • Lower Initial Costs: Raw land typically requires a smaller upfront investment compared to buying a developed property.
  • Minimal Ongoing Expenses: There are no structures to maintain or tenants to manage, reducing ongoing costs.
  • Potential for Future Development: As the surrounding area develops, the value of raw land can appreciate significantly.

Tips for Raw Land Investing:

  • Location Research: Look for areas with growth potential or strategic value, such as proximity to expanding cities or highways.
  • Due Diligence: Conduct a thorough land inspection to ensure there are no environmental or zoning issues that could limit its use.
  • Long-Term Vision: Understand that raw land investments often take time to appreciate, so patience is essential.


Microloans are small, short-term loans provided by individuals or organizations to finance real estate investments. These loans are an excellent option for those who lack substantial down payment capital and want to invest in real estate. Here’s how microloans work:

Why Consider Microloans:

  • Access to Capital: Microloans provide access to the necessary funds to invest in real estate with a minimal down payment.
  • Flexible Terms: Borrowers can negotiate terms, interest rates, and repayment schedules with lenders.
  • Potential for Collaboration: Microloans often involve private lenders who may be interested in co-investing or partnering on real estate ventures.

Tips for Microloans:

  • Build a Strong Network: Establish relationships with potential microloan lenders, including individuals, crowdfunding platforms, or local lending organizations.
  • Clear Agreements: Ensure all loan terms are documented clearly, including interest rates, repayment schedules, and collateral, if applicable.
  • Risk Mitigation: Assess the risks associated with microloans and have a backup plan in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Share-By-Share Investing

Share-by-share investing is a relatively new concept that allows individuals to invest in fractional ownership of real estate properties. Instead of buying an entire property, investors purchase shares in a property through online platforms or real estate investment trusts (REITs). Here’s how share-by-share investing works:

Why Explore Share-By-Share Investing:

  • Lower Entry Costs: Investors can get started with a small capital outlay by purchasing fractional shares in real estate properties.
  • Diversification: Spread your investments across various properties or locations to reduce risk.
  • Passive Income: Earn rental income and benefit from potential property appreciation without the responsibilities of property management.

Tips for Share-By-Share Investing:

  • Research Platforms: Choose reputable online platforms or REITs that align with your investment goals and risk tolerance.
  • Portfolio Management: Keep track of your investments and adjust your portfolio as needed to maintain a diversified balance.
  • Understand Fees: Be aware of any fees associated with share-by-share investing, including management fees and transaction costs.

Get Started With Your Investment Journey Today! Minimal Capital Required

Investing in real estate without a substantial down payment is entirely feasible with creative strategies like raw land investing, microloans, and share-by-share investing. Each of these options offers unique advantages and can cater to different investment objectives and risk tolerances.

It’s crucial to conduct thorough research, assess your financial situation, and consult with financial advisors or real estate professionals when exploring these alternatives. Real estate investing, like any investment, carries inherent risks, and a well-informed approach is key to success.

With the right strategy and due diligence, even individuals with limited down payment capital can build a diversified real estate portfolio, generate passive income, and potentially benefit from long-term appreciation in the real estate market. Remember that patience, careful planning, and a commitment to continuous learning are essential when embarking on your real estate investment journey.

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