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Platteville, WI

Community in Platteville, WI with vehicles on the road
Population: 11,764
Median Age: 22
Median Home Price: $187,000

Platteville, the largest city in Grant County, traces its roots back to 1827 when European Americans christened it along the banks of the Platte River. Initially, it thrived as a modest farming and fur trading community, but in more recent times, it has flourished as a bustling college town. The city’s growth has been further fueled by the increasing presence of engineering firms, drawn to the area by the esteemed engineering program offered by the local university.

The beating heart of the community, Main Street, continues to be a vibrant hub, home to a plethora of businesses and services catering to the needs of the city and its surroundings. Platteville also boasts a rich cultural scene, with two museums, a gallery, and the municipal auditorium contributing to the city’s cultural tapestry.

Noteworthy employers in the area include the esteemed University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Heartland Health Care, Southwest Health, Esterline Avista, and HyPro, underscoring the city’s appeal as a center for education, healthcare, and industry.

Homes for Sale in Platteville, WI

Home to a satellite campus of the University of Wisconsin, Platteville is a university town through and through. There’s a historic downtown area with excellent nightlife, locals who are passionate about college sports, and peaceful and highly walkable streets.

But what sets Platteville apart is its dedication to quality of life. Moving here means getting more bang for your buck due to the lower cost of living. You’ll also have access to over 200 acres of recreational spaces like parks and sports venues. This also means being close to the majestic beauty of nature.

The largest city in Grant County, Platteville has a land area of under six square miles and a population of around 12,000 residents. It’s located in the beautiful southwestern corner of Wisconsin and is about 70 miles away from Madison, the state capital.

If you’re interested in homes for sale in Platteville, WI, be sure to read this detailed community guide.

History of Platteville, WI

Platteville has successfully evolved from a little mining town to a booming university city in the space of a century. And yet, the area honors its past even as it marches steadily towards the future.

To help you understand the events that shaped this fascinating city, here’s a brief history of Platteville:

  • 1827 — John Hawkins Rountree and his business partner, J.B. Campbell, start a lead mine in the area. Then called Platte River Digs, the town grew after the addition of a smelting furnace and a store.
  • 1835 — The town is surveyed and 19 lots are added to the existing territory. The surveyor, Thomas Hugill Sr., patterned Platteville’s narrow streets to those in his hometown in Yorkshire, England.
  • 1839 — The booming mining trade leads to the establishment of the Platteville Academy.
  • 1850s — Most of the lead deposits are depleted, but the mining industry shifts to extracting zinc.
  • 1866 — Platteville Normal School, the state’s first teacher’s college, is founded.
  • 1874 — A disastrous fire razes the city’s wooden buildings. Undeterred, people rebuilt their establishments using brick, spurring a rebirth of Downtown Platteville.
  • 1870s and 1880s — Railroads connect Platteville to key cities in the Midwest, making it easier to transport zinc. This brings forth further growth.
  • 1907 — The Wisconsin Mining Trade School is established. With three major colleges, the city slowly but surely reinvents itself into a university town, allowing it to thrive even as mining operations begin winding down in the 20th century.
  • 1959 — The Mining Trade School and the Normal School merge.
  • 1971 — The merged school is officially renamed the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to reflect its greatly expanded academic offerings.

Today, Platteville is a thriving city with a bright future ahead. A steady stream of students keeps the city’s population stable and ensures a fresh crop of customers to support the locale’s many businesses. Likewise, the diverse and robust economy attracts professionals from various fields who want to enjoy upward mobility in a relatively affordable city.

Fun facts about Platteville, WI

green field in Platteville, WI with letter M shape pathway

A city with as fascinating a history as Platteville is sure to have its fair share of fun facts and colorful quirks. Below are just a few of them:

  • What’s in a name? Platteville is so named because it’s located along the Platte River, a tributary of the Mississippi River. Europeans were the first to settle here. They named the river “Platte,” which means flat or shallow in French. While the Platte River straddles both Wisconsin and Iowa, a big section of its 47-mile course is located in Wisconsin. Aside from providing irrigation to crops, the river is also a popular destination for kayaking due to its mild current and stunning limestone bluffs. Bonus fact: The area was supposed to be called Lebanon, but since another town had already claimed that name, Platteville was chosen instead.
  • More than a mining magnate. For his role in kick-starting Platteville’s mining industry, John Hawkins Rountree is considered the city’s founding father. In 1829, however, he also became the village’s first-ever postmaster. He was also instrumental in the founding of Platteville’s Methodist Episcopal Church and oversaw the construction of the city’s first sawmill and hotel.
  • Galena. You can’t mine pure lead; instead, you have to extract it from an ore called galena. This is the natural form of lead sulfide and is the world’s primary ore for lead. It is formed in medium-to-low-temperature hydrothermal veins and coalesces into cube-like crystals. While originally silver in color, it tarnishes to a dull gray during the extraction process, which is why it is sometimes called grey gold. What uses does lead have? Quite a lot, actually — in fact, you won’t spend a day without using it (directly or indirectly). Everything from your car batteries to your water pipes contains this metal, after all.
  • From mining to higher learning. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is one of the most important fixtures in the city. Since one of its predecessor schools was the Wisconsin Mining Trade School, the university has a long history of engineering excellence and produces graduates with top-caliber skills. Like any university town, it’s big on sports and residents cheer their hearts out for the local team: the Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers. To make sure that more students can have access to UW-Platteville’s affordable and high-quality education, three campuses were built throughout the city.
  • The biggest “M” in the world. It’s not your imagination — that really is a giant letter “M” you see on the horizon. What’s the story behind this unique attraction? It all started in 1936 when two college students decided to stamp Platte Mound with a 241-foot-high limestone rendition of the letter. As you may have guessed, the “M” stands for “mining” because of the city’s roots and because the students attended Platteville Mining School.
  • Rooted in history. While Platteville may be a forward-looking city, it never loses sight of its past. That’s why the area has many historical structures that date back to the 1800s, including two homes owned by the city’s founder: the J.H. Rountree Mansion and the Mitchell-Rountree House. There’s also the Beebe House, which was owned by Union Army captain and former Platteville mayor William Beebe; and the house of Jonathan H. Evans, who was a key figure in the establishment of the University of Wisconsin system.

Homes for sale in Platteville, WI

a big house in greenfield

It’s no secret that the country’s real estate market is on a tear and that trend rings true for Wisconsin, as well. In the last year alone, property values have soared by 10% and homes are selling in record time.

Despite this, housing in The Badger State remains remarkably affordable. Indeed, information from shows that the median listing price in Platteville is around $260,000 — significantly less than the national median price of $380,000. If you’ve always wanted a bigger house without paying a hefty price tag, this city is the perfect choice.

Most homes for sale in Platteville, WI are:

  • Single-family homes.

    The quintessential family abode, this property type is ideal for folks who want a slice of suburban comfort. Single-family homes here often have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a floor space of around 1,500 square feet. Large front yards and backyards are a common feature, as are well-equipped kitchens and spacious master bedrooms. There’s a variety of architectural styles to choose from, including ranch-style, craftsman, colonial, and contemporary designs. These homes are often located near good schools, making them ideal for buyers with school-age kids.

  • Acreages.

    Platteville’s rolling hills and wide-open spaces make it the ideal place for acreages. Such properties for sale in Platteville, WI measure anywhere from 0.5 to 5 acres and are often the sites of rustic log cabins or ranch-style homes. Acreages also offer the utmost in exclusivity, as they are found in secluded locations accessible only through private roads. This property type gives you all the space you need to pursue the lifestyle you want, all the while bringing you closer to nature.

Of course, residential properties aren’t all that Potterton Rule can help you find. We also assist investors in locating the perfect commercial real estate. Our portfolio includes restaurants, inns/hotels, retail stores, offices, and apartments. Centrally located, these assets attract ample foot traffic — the lifeblood of any successful business.

There’s a wealth of property options awaiting you in Platteville, so be sure to work only with the most trusted brokerage. Our team’s deep expertise in the local market guarantees success in your real estate goals while staying close to your needs and budget requirements.

Life in Platteville, WI

Student center in Platteville

Moving houses may be a major life change, but it won’t take much to convince you that relocating to Platteville is the right choice. With a wealth of interesting attractions, great schools, a preponderance of public parks, and a lower cost of living, who wouldn’t want to call this city home?

If you’re thinking about buying homes for sale in Platteville, WI, here’s what you can expect:

  • Weather.

    Living in Platteville means enjoying the splendor of all four seasons. From watching baseball games in the spring, to exploring trails in the summer and fall, to renting a vacation cabin in the winter, there’s no shortage of memorable activities to experience throughout the year. Summer temperatures peak at a warm but comfortable 82℉ in July, while winter temperatures reach a low of 9℉ in January. The area gets around 37 inches of rain and 40 inches of snow a year. The months between June and August provide the most pleasant weather and is peak tourist season.

  • Cost of living.

    The home prices in Platteville are solid indicators that living here is surprisingly affordable. In fact, data from shows that the city’s cost of living is about 9% lower than the national average. Housing, groceries, transportation, and goods and services are all below the nationwide benchmark, meaning you can stretch your dollar further if you move here. Wisconsin’s 5.5% combined sales tax is among the lowest in the country, saving you even more money at the cash register.

  • Job market and local economy.

    Both upstarts and career professionals have excellent job prospects in this city. The education sector is by far the city’s biggest employer, thanks to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Platteville Schools (K-12). STEM careers are well represented, too, as there are many opportunities for healthcare and software engineering professionals. The lower cost of doing business and the establishment of Platteville Industrial Park have attracted many industrial firms to the city, leading to an abundance of manufacturing jobs. Across the board, the median hourly wage in Platteville is $15 — more than double the federal minimum hourly wage.

  • Education.

    You can’t talk about schools in Platteville without mentioning University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Established in 1959 after the merger of two constituent schools, the university has long been a beacon of excellence in science, agriculture, and engineering. Moreover, it has one of the lowest tuition fees in the University of Wisconsin system, so students can get top-notch education without breaking the bank. Basic education, on the other hand, is provided by the Platteville School District, which serves 1,500 students across its early learning, elementary, middle, and high schools. The school district equips students with the skills they need to achieve their full intellectual, social, emotional, and physical potential.

  • Parks.

    When you live in Platteville, you’re only ever a few blocks away from a relaxing park. After all, the city maintains no less than 15 parks — a remarkable number for a locale of just 12,000 residents. These green spaces cater to different needs and lifestyles, too. Want to enjoy a relaxing Sunday picnic with the family? City Park is the ideal venue. Need to get in some exercise before the workday starts? Hit the paved bike and running trails of Knoll Wood Park. Want to shoot some hoops or score a home run with your buddies? Harrison Park and Legion Park are great options.

  • Nightlife.

    Any university town worth its salt boasts an amazing nightlife scene and Platteville does not disappoint. College students and locals alike have their pick of bars where they can enjoy a great drink, watch sports matches, and mingle with the crowd. Nick’s is a dive bar that serves some of the finest craft beer in the city and regularly hosts live music performances. The Ticket Sports Bar, meanwhile, serves gourmet burgers that are best paired with the self-proclaimed coldest beers in town. If you prefer a more intimate venue, however, climb up the backstairs of Barbershop Rock on Market Street to discover Speakeasy Fifty50, a prohibition-style secret bar that serves unique cocktails.

  • Attractions.

    “Great things come in small packages” is an apt description for Platteville, a tiny city that’s packed full of fascinating sights. Take time to visit the historic downtown district and check out its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and bars. Head to the Mining and Rollo Jamison Museums to learn all about the city’s mining history and to ride a 1930s-era train. Visit Digman Farms and experience what it’s like to be a farmer for a day. Reconnect with nature in popular hiking trails like Knoll Wood and Mound View Park. Whether you’re looking for fun outdoor activities or unique destinations, they’re all here in Platteville.

  • Leisure and recreation.

    Platteville’s selection of recreational activities does not disappoint. Avid golfers will appreciate Platteville Golf, a public 18-hole golf course that’s as challenging as it is scenic. Those with an artistic eye should visit Rountree Gallery, which has an impressive collection of visual arts crafted by regional artists. Fans of road trips, meanwhile, should not miss the Great River Road, a scenic byway along the Mississippi River that’s chock-full of beautiful vistas and unforgettable experiences. Looking to catch some fish? Grant County boasts no less than 13 public fishing areas where you can catch bass, walleye, sturgeon, and carp, among others.

For all these reasons, hails Platteville as the #1 Best Place to Live in Grant County. It also gives the city a glowing A rating, offering high praise for its housing, public schools, nightlife, and family-friendly environment. No matter what your definition of the good life may be, Platteville will surely tick all your boxes.

Make your move today!

Ready to start looking at homes for sale in Platteville, WI? Let Potterton Rule — named Best of the Best Realtors in Iowa County in 2020 — be your guide to the city’s property market. A leader in local real estate since 1939, we’ve amassed a wealth of insight and expertise that no other brokerage can match.

And with designations like Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Graduate – REALTOR® Institute (GRI), and Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®), we have the skills needed to make each transaction a trouble-free and enjoyable experience.

If you’d like to know more about sought-after areas including Dodgeville, Mineral Point, Mount Horeb, and Platteville, feel free to contact us by calling 608.935.2396 or by sending an email to info(at)pottertonrule(dotted)com.

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