Would I buy a house in Dickinson, North Dakota at this time? My answer is that I personally would only buy a house in Dickinson at this time, if it were less than $80,000. There are several reasons for this, and I will explain these reasons.
First reason, though the housing prices in Dickinson, North Dakota have come down some since the oil boom ended in 2015, most houses are still priced too high. I believe that in the next several years, house prices in Dickinson will drop by about 20%. It would not be a very good idea to buy an expensive, over-priced home in Dickinson at this time, because house prices are going to continue to decrease.
Second reason, this happened before in Dickinson during the second oil boom that occurred from approximately 1978 to 1983, that housing prices shot up, then fell once the oil boom ended. However, the assessed property values determined by the tax assessor remained at their peak values for years following the end of the second oil boom, in order for the City and the County to cover the amount of money they had spent on infrastructure improvements during the oil boom.
In other words, if you buy an expensive, over-priced home in Dickinson at this time, you can expect your assessed property value for property taxes to remain at its peak value for years and years to come. Who wants to pay high property taxes?
Third reason, it is possible that there could continue to be job losses in Dickinson, decreasing wage rates, and people moving away. More home vacancies, fewer jobs, and lower paying jobs, mean housing prices will continue to fall. Also, who will be able to buy a house, and how much money will they be able to afford? You would have a much better chance of being able to sell your house at the low price range, or rent out your house at the low price range, which is why you do not want to buy an expensive house in Dickinson.
The other thing that I need to say about buying an $80,000 house in Dickinson, is that the immediate area of the house would have to meet certain conditions. In Dickinson on the north side of Villard Street and the south side of Villard Street, and on the south side of the railroad tracks, there are old residential blue collar neighborhoods, where some of the older smaller wood frame houses are in the $80,000 price range.
On some city blocks in Dickinson, though the houses are older and smaller, the residents all take pride in their homes and their yards. If you were to purchase an old small inexpensive home on this city block, you might not have to worry too much about noise, theft, and illegal drug activity.
However, on some city blocks in Dickinson, the battle has already been lost. A few neglected houses have become rental houses, or subdivided rental units. You would likely have a constant turnover of low income neighbors. People who do not have good sense, or know or care about right and wrong. Loud ghetto music at all hours, yelling, fighting, illegal drug activity, traffic at all hours, and theft and vandalism to your home and your property.
Another way to say it, you would be looking in a nice neighborhood, for the absolutely least expensive house, maybe the house that doesn’t even look like it belongs with the other houses.
Because I expect readers to disagree with me, that there are no $80,000 houses for sale in Dickinson, North Dakota, here is a listing for a 2br/2ba house for $65,000: