The 5 Best Places in the US to Build Your New Dream Home


Created on Thursday, February 26, 2015
Updated on Monday, February 26, 2018
by Land Century

Building any new home is a sizable investment. Building your dream home is even more of an investment that will take more into account than the cost of land, materials, and labor. If you are building a house for you (and your family) that you don’t intend to move out of, there are going to be extra considerations when deciding where you should plant your taproot. Here, we will be looking at five of the best places in the US to build your new dream home. The list is in no particular order, as some factors like local schools will not be as much of a factor for those who will not be having children in their new home. The main factors in deciding what areas to include on the list are: the quality of local educational opportunities, the cost of living, and the ease of finding affordable vacant acreage.

Lexington, KY

Located in Fayette County, Kentucky, Lexington has a very good mix of characteristics that will make an attractive option for placing your dream home. The Lexington metro area has a population of around 300,000. With good quality schooling and the University of Kentucky near at hand, people who are planning to make a home for a future family will make a sound decision to build in the Lexington area. The overall cost of living is the standout feature that brings Lexington to this list. Lexington has slightly higher costs than the Kentucky state average, but the average cost of living in the Lexington area falls more than 7% below national averages. With land costs low in the area, finding affordable vacant acreage is not going to be a challenge.

Madison, WI

Madison is within Dane County, Wisconsin. Madison has a lot to offer prospective residents. The schools in the Madison are counted among the best public schools in the country. After compulsory education in very high-rated public schools, children can grow into the University of Wisconsin. The cost of living in Madison is excellent. The consumer price index of living near Madison is well below the national average, giving the purchasing power of a dollar nearly 30% more when buying goods and services related to general cost of living. The price of land may be a bit higher than some places on this list, but the extra cost of land will be made up for by the lower costs on almost everything else.

Boulder, CO

The city of Boulder is located in Boulder County, CO. Boulder sits 5,400 feet above sea-level among the famous flatiron foothills of the Rocky Mountains. According to, Boulder schools rate 8 out of 10, making it a fine place to educate children in the k-12 years. When it becomes time for college, Boulder is also the home of the University of Colorado. Finding affordable vacant acreage will be the most challenging aspect of building in Boulder. The cost of living in the area is greatly increased by the cost of housing, which is also derived from the cost of land. The city has been under very forward-thinking leadership for a while, and is doing its best to maintain resiliency and foster growth of positive factors. The increased cost of living does meet compensation, though. Instead of just being a good place, Boulder has set itself on becoming a great place that can even be thought of as a destination for visitors. The cost of land in the immediate area may be high, but the initial investment will pay off for the entire time that you live in this idyllic setting.

Palo Alto, CA

Palo Alto is a dark horse in this list. The high cost of acreage for sale and the generally high cost of living might make some shy away from building their dream home near Palo Alto. The high cost of living (more than double the national average) is offset by excellent amenities, low crime and unemployment rates, and a high quality of life. If you are willing to make a larger investment in purchasing land, and can afford a higher cost of living, then this Silicon Valley destination may be a good match for you. The residents of Palo Alto are generally quite civically and politically active, which would make Palo Alto a good choice for anyone who would want to have an active role in the community where they plan to place their dream home.

Missoula, MT

If open spaces are something that you want to be the backdrop of your dream home, then Missoula may be a place to consider. Montana is an ideal place to experience the open lands of the northern central US. Missoula offers a place to access the amenities of a major city, while remaining connected to the sparseness that people tend to seek when moving to rural Montana. The cost of living in the area is roughly on level with the national average, and finding affordable vacant acreage gets easier with distance from cities. Public education in the Missoula area is not the best on the list, only rating about 7 out of 10, but there are the options of private schooling, and the University of Montana is nearby. As a matter of fact, the involvement of the University has even begun to draw big names for concerts. Missoula is the place for you that will best balance the perks of rural life, while retaining access to urban amenities.
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