Friday, September 05, 2008

Best Places in the Midwest to Buy an Old House

This Old House magazine ran an article about the best neighborhood to buy an old home in each of the 50 United States. For North Dakota they picked the Cathedral District here in Bismarck. I have to agree that the homes in this neighborhood are great, especially the ones that have been given a lot of TLC and fixed up like new again. I recommend walking through this neighborhood at a slow, leisurely pace and enjoying the sights and atmosphere. Here is the Bismarck section of the article:

Cathedral District, Bismarck, North Dakota

The Neighborhood
The Cathedral Area Historic District is named for the Art Deco Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, whose chimes serenade the neighborhood. Comprising some 20 blocks near downtown Bismarck, it has bragging rights to about 150 homes on the National Register. According to resident Erik Sakariassen, "the Leave It To Beaver theme runs through your head" when you walk the Cathedral District’s streets, and newcomers have singled it out as a family place, thanks in part to a solid public school system with a 97 percent graduation rate. Jobs in the energy sector are a draw, with both a working oil reserve and an electrical plant nearby.

The Houses
Homes date from 1900 to 1945 and their "Eclectic Era" architectural styles include Shingle, Prairie, Tudor Revival, Craftsman, Cape Cod, and American Foursquare.

The Prices
A two-bedroom bungalow in need of upgrades can be grabbed for $125,000, while a large two-story Craftsman-style house may sell for as much as $300,000. Grant money is occasionally available from North Dakota’s State Historic Preservation Office to assist preservation and restoration projects.

Why Buy Now?

Entry-level homes for less than $150,000 to start, plus plenty of opportunities to trade up in the years to come.

Find the best neighborhood to buy an old home in your state here.