North Dakota or Minnesota: How to determine which state is best for home buyers
METRO—If you haven't already, one day you'll make the biggest investment of your life, buying a home.
In our region, you have two choices, Minnesota or North Dakota?
Everyone wants a place to call home.
In the valley, the river is the dividing line.
The side of water you pick, determines just how much money you'll keep in your pocket.
Tax advisors said the real debate between Minnesota and North Dakota comes down to income taxes.
"It's harder to understand because it's not included in the listing online. But it's definitely a factor," said Devon Liljenquist, Tax Pros CPA Advisors.
For the average couple making $100,000 combined, your income tax will come to $4,956 in Minnesota, compared to North Dakota, where it would be just $1,020.
"You really have to look at it. Don't just print out the rates, say here, the rates are higher. You should really do some detailed cost benefit analysis," said Liljenquist.
You'll pay more in Minnesota during tax season, but you'll save nearly $30,000 upfront when buying your house.
Here's the average cost of a home on both sides of the river: In Fargo, $243,000 dollars and in Moorhead, $216,000.
Experts say it's pretty much is a wash on either side.
That is, until you start making "the big bucks."
"The higher your income, the more you have to lose by picking the wrong state," said Liljenquist.
If you make over $160,000, Tax advisors say you'll be better off in North Dakota, as tax brackets start at a lower yearly income compared to Minnesota.
The real estate market mostly reflects that benefit.
Jon Bennet with Berkshire Hathaway sells 75 percent of his business in North Dakota.
"I've been told in the past that they absolutely don't want to live in Moorhead, and they end up finding a house in Moorhead that they love. So if you find a house that you love, people are willing to jump the river," said Jon Bennet, Berkshire Hathaway premier Properties.
Long story short, if you're an average earner, you'll be fine on either side of the dividing line.
"I do see people jumping back and forth across the river," said Bennet.
For those higher earners, you might need to consider a little more, to find your place to call home.
If you're a business owner, for instance, you'll get different tax deductions in both states.
Talk to your tax advisor or real estate agent for more information.