The housing market of Grand Forks is among topics discussed at length in meetings I’ve attended recently — sometimes off the record. Specifically, baby boomers seem to be fascinated by the fact that the new generation of homebuyers are not looking so much at price (although, of course, this factors in), but are focused more on interior design, modern amenities and layout. It’s a changed market.
As a next-generation (and new) homeowner, I’d have to agree.
It’s a seller’s market and not many homes are affordable to the crew of new buyers looking to move out of their cramped apartments and be free to paint walls without asking permission and plant gardens of veggies or flowers in their backyards. The ones that are affordable are almost always in need of interior gutting and remodeling — at the very least — and sometimes major repairs. Trust me; I know.
I got lucky. In the sea of wood paneling, floral wallpaper and carpeted dining rooms, I found the perfect home, remodeled by the previous owners with beautiful and durable laminate flooring, updated paint colors and modern kitchen backsplash. It’s a rare find, indeed.
The market is changing, and as Grand Forks sees new luxury apartments come up that offer rents around the same price as a mortgage for an unfashionable home, who wants to make that comfort and style sacrifice?
My mind is already churning out questions for on-the-record interviews about this challenge to the real estate industry and cities looking to attract more young people and their families.
There’s probably math involved, so I’ll let someone else venture their hypotheses on the solutions.