Whenever I venture out into the hinterlands for a client, I like to get some video and some information on that community for my clients but also so I can pass it along to YOU. Today I’ll show you around Buffalo, MN. It’s a small city in the western exurbs of Minneapolis and a great option if you like a small town feel, lake culture and yet still want to be within about a 35 mile drive of the cities.
I ended up out in Buffalo for the reason I think a lot of people may end up out in Buffalo! My clients were interested in getting a lot of house and the prices are more affordable out there, they were also excited about the prospect of being able to avoid “bidding wars” on pre-existing homes by buying new construction. Most new construction in the Twin Cities is going to be on the outer edges of the cities where buildable land is still available.
When I went out there I met the agent representing the builder and was chatting with him about what is drawing people to Buffalo and his impression was that a lot of people discover it when they become priced out of homes in northwest suburbs like Maple Grove for the size and style of home that they are looking for. I pulled the median prices for Buffalo and the MEDIAN price is $329k for a single family home. For comparison’s sake the median price in Maple Grove is $375K and for the twin cities REGION which I believe includes 14 counties it is $340K.
Digging a little deeper I found that right now there are only 39 homes for sale in Buffalo, fully 30% of those are under construction or completed new builds. Prices range from the very lowest end for a townhouse at $250K up to a 120 acre horse farm with a circa 1900 farm house priced at $1.5 million. If you’re interested in a big house with lake frontage there were a couple of these homes hovering around the million dollar plus mark as well, but MOST homes are much more reasonably priced.
Where the in the heck is Buffalo? Well, head about 35 miles north and west of Minneapolis on rt 55 and you’ll drive right past. If you need to be at the airport for any reason you should plan for about a 50 minute drive to get to MSP airport on the south side of Minneapolis.
Things that I found charming about Buffalo were the shops in the historic business district right on beautiful and large Buffalo Lake. The city still has their post office, library (1 of 30 in the Great River Library District), and other city services right there in the center of town. The one that really caught my eye because I have a thing for books and coffee was the charming and aptly named Buffalo Books and Coffee. I would be a regular if I lived out there! Unfortunately I think Covid may have killed the movie theater, but there are quite a few restaurants either of the chain variety or local favorites within the city limits – not all downtown.
If you have children they will attend the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose schools, when I looked at Niche.com to check out the district it looked like they are rated a solid B or B+.
The good people of Buffalo have quite a few options for grocery shopping they can choose from Cub which is a large regional chain, they also have a Walmart Supercenter, a Target, and one of the smaller local grocery stores called Coburns Market.
I like to see if cities allow fencing and chickens because I always get asked. Fences, la la la … the usual. Get a permit, 4′ facing the street and 6′ in back. When I looked up chickens I was pretty shocked because the answer was short and sweet but the combination of animals was a little odd – Buffalo stipulates that you may not have a mountain lion or chickens and they phrase it as “no wild animals”. I think this may need some clarification and may be contingent on how large your lot size is at least as far as the chickens go – I can’t imagine the city having an issue with chickens on a 120 acre horse farm.
Another somewhat unusual feature of Buffalo is that they have a small municipal airport. So if your hobby is flying – this would be a really nice convenience for you.
About the airport: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Municipal_Airport_(Minnesota)
Buffalo likes to party and they have a lot of events every year including things like an Arts and Crafts show, a rodeo, the week long Buffalo Days with marching bands, a carnival and a beer garden, you can jump in the lake if you compete in the annual Buffalo Triathlon (or anytime you want to I suppose) there are free concerts in the park all summer, and in the winter they have a Kites on Ice celebration. There were a lot of other events listed as well, for a small city they seem to have a lot going on.
The Buffalo Chamber of Commerce has a nice calendar of events!
Other things to do out this way are to go apple picking at one of the orchards or stop at Buffalo Rock WInery or the Hayes Public House and Brewery for some sips.
I can’t leave out the parks! Buffalo has 4 larger regional parks as well as 24 community parks. They have a golf course, a dog park, and a skate park. The parks offer bicycle and boat rentals so you can enjoy the paths or the water and they have trails for fat tire bikes or snow shoeing for winter activites.
Check out my YouTube Channel to see more community profiles on my Neighborhoods and Suburbs or Exurbs and Small Towns playlists!