The Lower Middle Class Neighborhoods In Dickinson Are Nicer Than The Upper Middle Class Neighborhoods In Idaho

In my previous blog post, I described and explained that the lower middle class neighborhoods in Dickinson, North Dakota are very attractive and well maintained, more so than the upper middle class neighborhoods in Dickinson.

I have lived in Dickinson, North Dakota for approximately five years now.  Prior to this, I lived in the Snake River Valley of southeastern Idaho, Rexburg, Rigby, Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Pocatello for five years.  This area of Idaho is predominantly Mormon.

If you know anything about Mormons, you know that they try to be neat, clean, and tidy in everything they do.  So it should seem not possible that the lower middle class neighborhoods in Dickinson, North Dakota would be nicer than the middle class and upper middle class neighborhoods in Idaho.  But this is the case, and I want to explain why.  I want to describe this so that people in Dickinson and everywhere else in the United States can understand what was going on economically.

  1. During the North Dakota oil boom that began in 2007, the housing prices in Dickinson doubled and tripled in just a few years.  The Dickinson homeowners suddenly had a great deal of equity in their homes, which could be borrowed against for home repair, renovation, improvement, and additions.  In contrast, the home values in Idaho went down.
  2. During the North Dakota oil boom that began in 2007, many or most of the blue collar workers in Dickinson had their pay double, mostly because of regularly working many overtime hours.  This extra money was used by Dickinson homeowners to pay for repairs, renovations, improvements, and additions.  In contrast, during this same time in Idaho the economy was in a recession, with many people losing their jobs, and there being a scarcity of jobs.
  3. In North Dakota during the oil boom, especially in Dickinson, there were many families living in town who began receiving money dispersements from oil wells on family owned property outside of town.  It was very, very common in Dickinson, that a grandparent would receive oil revenue checks every month, and be able to give every adult child, and every grandchild several thousand dollars, or more, each year during the oil boom.  Many families in Dickinson put this extra money into home repairs, renovations, improvements, and additions.  In contrast, in Idaho during this time many people had their homes foreclosed on for lack of having a job and a means to make their mortgage payments.
  4. In North Dakota during the oil boom, homeowners in Dickinson finished off their homes with additions, sun rooms, decks, fences, new garages, and new driveways.  In Idaho during this time, many new homes that were being completed never had decks, driveways, sprinkler systems, or landscaping put in because people did not have the money to pay for these things.

Right now in Dickinson in the lower middle class neighborhoods, it would not be an exaggeration to say that there is a new $50,000 truck in every driveway, because in some driveways there are two of them, and some are $60,000.  In Idaho, most doctors, dentists, and lawyers do not own trucks or vehicles as expensive as the new four-door, four wheel drive, lifted, 3/4 ton-1 ton trucks that are prevalent in the lower middle class neighborhoods in Dickinson.

Don’t try to come to Dickinson now!  The oil boom is over.  There is a scarcity of jobs in Dickinson now, with a strong hiring preference for people who are from Dickinson.  You missed it.  But if you would have been here, the least expensive old one bedroom apartments rented for $1,500 per month, if you could even find one available.  The homes in the lower middle class neighborhoods got up to $250,000 to $400,000, so you would not have been living in one of these homes.

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