5 Affordable Places 30 Min or Less to Rochester!

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Real Estate

We've all heard the dreaded word affordability.  It's limiting and frustrating, especially if you're looking for a place to live with home prices still rising.  What to do?  A lot of times the commute is about the minutes, not the miles.  Surprisingly, there are some great options outside of the Rochester area no further than the average commute in a larger metro area. Here's a few possibilities you might want to consider...

Spring Valley

Population: 2,447
Drive Time To Rochester: 30 minutes
Median Home Price: $182,850

Spring Valley is in Fillmore County with both scenic prairie land & bluffs nearby.  There are state parks just a few minutes away with great biking, hiking, hunting, & fishing options. There’s a local grocery store, downtown shops, city parks, & a bit of history-- Laura & Almonzo Wilder lived here in 1890 & there’s a museum of their time here in the church they helped build.

Spring Valley Community Info


Population: 2,997
Drive Time To Rochester: 20 minutes
Median Home Price: $240,000

Chatfield is in both Olmsted & Fillmore Counties, and is known to many as “The Chosen Valley” or “Bandtown, USA”.  The north branch of the Root River & Mill Creet meet here.  There’s great trout fishing, terrific trails, newer schools & building options in new developments.  Western Days is a big highlight in August with a parade & many events.  The Chatfield Center for the Arts offers some terrific performers & opportunities also!

Chatfield Community Info

St Charles

Population: 3,825
Drive Time To Rochester: 20 minutes
Median Home Price: $234,950

In the footsteps of Whitewater State Park, St Charles sits just off I-90 & Hwy 14.  There’s golfing, hiking, & a state of the art aquatics facility.  Their downtown has several antique and specialty shops.  The gladiolus flower made the city world famous thanks to former resident Carl Fischer.  The Winona County fair also makes it’s home here, with people from all over coming each July.

St Charles Community Info

Dodge Center

Population: 2,844
Drive Time To Rochester: 15 minutes
Median Home Price: $216,000

Dodge Center sits just West of Rochester & offers an easy 4 lane commute on Highway 14.  The largest employer is McNeilus, a manufacturer of ready-mixed concrete mixer trucks, garbage trucks & other apparatus.  There’s a country club for golfing, aquatic center, & newer school excellent sports facilities.  The cost of living in Dodge Center is 11.1% lower than the US average.

Dodge Center Community Info

Grand Meadow

Population: 1,125
Drive Time To Rochester: 30 minutes
Median Home Price: $180,000

The most affordable community within 30 minutes of Rochester. Located in Mower County, Grand Meadow sits on Hwy 16 just a few miles off of I-90.  It’s a quiet country town with the largest monolithic dome in Minnesota, housing the K-12 school.  The SuperLarks are well known for their 9 man football dominance in the state.  There’s a new housing development right behind the school, parks, senior living, grocery store, the largest John Deere implement in the state, and Deer Creek Speedway is only a few miles away!

Grand Meadow Community Info