I'm not qualified to give you a great answer, as I've not lived in the area, but I'd get a hold of a qualified Realtor in the area and pick his/hers brain about it over a cup of coffee before I'd go any further. This could be done by phone, if you're not in the area, but either way, it'd be time well spent. If you need a referral to a good Realtor, I'd be happy to help.
I hope that helps in your search!
Thanks, Todd Norsted
In a town the size of Winona you might consider thinking in terms of what type of home you like or dislike. Locations often relate to home styles. By the time you settle on a price range and choose the homes that look good you'll probably find there are not that many choices.
Once you you find some homes that look good on-line go to the area and look around. See if you feel comfortable.
Looking for homes in a smaller town is different than the metro area. There are not as many choices, not the huge variety to choose from.
We live in Red Wing. We found that even with fewer choices there are quality of life issues that have made living in a small town a great thing.
You might find our web site a little easier to use for this type of search than some of the big twin cities Real Estate Brokers. I can't help you look for homes,but a link to the web site is below.
Ellefson Builders, Inc.