Tag Archives: property managers in Dickinson North Dakota

Growth In Florida, Texas, Arizona, And Exodus In Western North Dakota

I grew up in Florida, and lived there until I was 32.  My first memories of towns like my small hometown, Orlando, and Tampa, before I was eight years old, by the time I graduated from high school, all these towns had doubled in population.  By the time that I left Florida when I was 32, the populations of these towns had doubled again.

Florida was not a perfect place.  It was hot and often nearly 100% humidity.  The mosquitos were very bad.  Traffic became very bad.  People’s income was lower than income in northeastern states.  But people kept moving there.  It was possible for people of all education levels, skill sets, and background to find employment and housing.  The continual migration of people to Florida made the economy grow:  new schools, new hospitals, new roads, new housing developments, new shopping malls.  Development kept pushing out into the farm land and the swamps.

Everything that I just wrote above about Florida, happened in Texas and Arizona.  Life was not perfect in Texas and Arizona, it was hot, sometimes 118 degrees Fahrenheit during the day for weeks at a time.  There was a lot of dry desert.  But people kept moving to Texas and Arizona.  People of all education levels, skill sets, and background could find employment and housing.  The continual migration of people into Texas and Arizona made their economies grow: new schools, new hospitals, new businesses, new roads, new shopping malls, new housing developments.  The development just kept pushing out into the desert.

About 100,000 workers moved to North Dakota during this past oil boom. To Williston, Minot, Watford City, Killdeer, and Dickinson.  Life was not perfect in North Dakota, it got very cold, and there was not a lot of things to do.  But 80% to 90% of these workers didn’t plan on staying in North Dakota because the price of housing was just too high.  The price of housing increased by 400% within about three years of the beginning of the oil boom.  The workers could barely afford the cost of housing working at a high paying oil field job and working a lot of overtime.  How could they afford to stay in North Dakota with an oil field slow down?  They couldn’t.

You can drive around Dickinson and Watford City and look at the newly completed apartment communities.  Many of these new apartment communities are at 40% occupancy, even at recently greatly reduced rents.  Most of the oil field workers left North Dakota.

Florida, Texas, and Arizona could have killed their growth too if they would have raised housing prices 400%.  All of the retail merchants in western North Dakota: tire stores, hardware stores, lumber yards, clothing stores, grocery stores, furniture stores, appliance stores, car dealers, motorcycle dealers, and all of the service businesses: barbers, beauticians, mechanics, insurance agents, attorneys, chiropractors, printers, and all of the restaurants have the realtors, property managers, property investors, and property developers to blame for gouging the workers so bad that 80% to 90% of them left North Dakota, they couldn’t afford to stay here.

The enormous greed of the realtors, property managers, property investors, and property developers was like “Killing The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs.”  The goose laid one golden egg per day, but the owner of the goose was so greedy, he cut the goose open to try to get all the gold right away, but this killed the goose, and there were no more golden eggs.

Answering A Reader’s Questions About Buying A Home Now In Dickinson, North Dakota

Do not buy a home now in Dickinson, North Dakota unless the price is very low, and it is a property that you will be able to rent out in the future.  I will thoroughly explain why I make this statement.  But I need to caution you right away that you do not want to let your employer or your coworkers find out that you are having any hesitation in wanting to buy a home in Dickinson.  Employers want to see that their employees are committed to being here, that they are dependent on their job here, and that they don’t plan on leaving.  Your coworkers will tell on you, believe me they will.  They all know that you are renting, and that you are looking at houses to buy.  The husband needs to blame the wife, that she is just so picky, the wife says, “The yard is too dark, the yard is too small, the bathroom is too small, the closets are too small, the kitchen is outdated, the bedrooms are too small.”  That way, everybody will just think that there is no pleasing his wife, everybody might even feel sorry for the husband, and have admiration for him in persevering with such a difficult wife.  The wife can blame the husband for not being able to find the right house, and everybody will just think the wife is crazy.  However, no one can find out that the truth is you are skeptical about buying a house in Dickinson right now.

Reasons not to buy a house in Dickinson, North Dakota right now:

  1. There is about a 50% chance that the oil field work in western North Dakota will continue to decrease, for years.  Not only will oil field related jobs continue to decrease, all jobs in all areas of the economy will subsequently decrease.  You can research this for yourself by reading about the history of North Dakota, and by talking to old local people that are not in business or real estate.  A good website to read is “A Brief History Of North Dakota Oil Production”, which is a collection of newspaper articles from the past about the Oil Boom in the 1950s, and the Oil Boom in the 1970s.  Supplement your reading by talking to old blue collar workers in Dickinson.  They will tell you about the difficulty in getting any employment for ten years after the 1970s Oil Boom, and that all employment was very low wage.  What I am telling you is there is a 50% chance that you or your husband may lose your job in a year or two, and that so will everybody else.  You will not want to live here, because there will be very few jobs, and they will be low paying jobs.  You will not be able to sell your house, because everyone else will be trying to sell their house too, and no one will have any money.  This all happened before in Dickinson, go read about it for yourself, and go ask old local blue collar workers.
  2. This is somewhat related to Reason #1, but I need to explain this separately.  I will begin by saying that the home prices are too high in Dickinson right now.  But let’s just say that you find a home that you like for $350,000 right now, and that this price seems fair.  Reading about the history of Dickinson, and talking to old local people, you find out what happened after the Oil Boom of the 1970s.  Based on what happened in the past, this house that you bought for $350,000 right now, two years from now if the oil field work has continued to decrease, you might not be able to sell this house for $180,000 because everyone else will be trying to sell their house too, no one will want to live here, and no one will have any money.  It is not that your house is worth so little money, it is that no one wants it, everybody wants to leave.  Do you want to lose that much money?  Are you prepared to leave the state and rent your house out?  Is your house the kind of property that you could rent out?
  3. There is a 50% chance that the price of oil will climb, will remain high, and oil drilling operations will begin again in North Dakota.  You can go and read for yourself news articles from all the different oil companies where they state, “In order for our company to begin again with drilling operations, the price of oil would have to climb to over $60 per barrel and remain there for several months before we would take any action.  Then, at that time we would begin bringing personnel back in all areas of operations.  It would take nine to twelve months to get enough personnel back to resume full operation.”  What this means to me, is that as long as the price of oil is low, employment in North Dakota will not increase. There will continue to be new apartment buildings with occupancy rates of 30%.  Apartment rents will continue to decrease, consequently house rents will continue to decrease.  There is no justification for home prices to remain high, other than wishful thinking of the homeowners and real estate agents.  Where are the owners of these houses that are for sale?  Are they still making high wages in the oil field, probably not.  How long can they afford to pay $2,000 to $3,000 per month mortgages, not forever, because if they could afford to wait, they would just wait for the Oil Boom to come back and make a profit.  They are not waiting because they can’t wait, they need to sell, more and more each day as they keep having to pay their mortgages, and new apartment rents become lower and lower.  A buyer right now can afford to wait for prices to drop in Dickinson.  A buyer should look at everything that is available, know what is available, and wait.  If the price of oil climbs for several months, and remains high for several months, and oil companies begin increasing their personnel, that might be the time to consider buying a house if you plan on staying in Dickinson and the oil field may be busy for more than a couple of years.  But you will have several months of advance warning before you have to decide whether to buy or not.
  4. Since you don’t have to hurry up and buy anything right now,  Keep Looking.  I would not only be looking for my ideal house, I would be looking for something that might be a really good deal.  This good deal could be a house closer to Belfield, South Heart, Richardton, or Gladstone, that may have so much land, have such a good view, or be so low priced that you feel it is too good to pass up.

To answer your question about real estate agents, property managers, and property investors gouging people.  Prior to 2007, there were three bedroom/two bathroom older homes in Dickinson that sold for $30,000 to $40,000 and rented for about $400 to $600 per month.  Retail workers, restaurant workers, construction workers, and retirees lived in these homes.  By 2011 these rents had increased to $3,000 per month, about five to six times what they had been.  The retail worker and restaurant worker wages increased by maybe 40%.  The construction worker wages increased by maybe 50% to 60%.  The retiree income might have increased by 5%.  But the rent increased by 500%.

All over Dickinson, the price of goods and services increased.  Grocery prices might have increased 15%, car repair prices might have increased 15% to %25.  Everybody could understand 15% to 25% price increases, but not the 500% housing price increase.  Everybody who moved to Dickinson to work was angry about the cost of housing and being ripped off.  Everybody who moved to Dickinson decided right away that as soon as the Oil Boom was over, they were leaving.  No one wanted to stay or could afford to stay after they lost their oil field job.  The real estate agents, property managers, and property investors might have been able to gouge people for about five years, but the people got gouged so bad that they all left, and now nobody wants to live here.  All the other business owners have the real estate agents, property managers, and property investors to thank for ruining what could have been permanent growth of the area.  All over the United States for the next fifty years, people will be talking about how bad North Dakota was, and really most of everybody’s bad experience was being gouged on housing.

Reasons Why I Dislike Property Investors, Property Managers, and Real Estate Agents

In many of my blog posts I have expressed anger towards property investors, property managers, and real estate agents in Dickinson.  I want to explain this.

People need to have food, clothing, and shelter.  These are necessities that people must have.  I believe very strongly that it is wrong for individuals to try to buy up necessities intended for other people, so that they can then overcharge for these necessities.  In other words, I think that it is absolutely wrong for anyone to come up with any type of scheme to buy up, control, inflate the price, and over charge for basic necessities that would normally be inexpensive if it weren’t for greedy people trying to manipulate supply, availability, and prices.

Just because a person can conceive to do something, and then go do it, does not mean that it is right.

During the 1700s and 1800s, people went over to Africa and caught blacks, sold them as slaves, and then forced them to work for free.  In the United States we already argued, fought, and had a Civil War over this.  Now, 99% of people believe that you can’t catch other people and own them.  But, if there wasn’t a law against it, people would still be trying to catch and own slaves in the United States, because some people are so greedy, they disregard right and wrong, moral and immoral, just and unjust, like the Property Investors, Property Managers, and Real Estate Agents here in Dickinson.

In the 1800s and early 1900s, children as young as 8,9,10 years old, worked in factories, twelve hours a day, seven days a week, in dangerous and unsafe conditions.  To many business owners, there was nothing wrong with this, that is why they did it in the first place.  Even to this day, business owners like to say, “Supply and demand, free markets, let the market place decide, capitalism.”  Letting business people do what they want, resulted in slavery, child labor in factories, 12 hour work days every day of the week, unsafe and dangerous work conditions.  If it weren’t for the Emancipation Proclamation, Child Labor Laws, Federal Wage Laws, and OHSA, all of the things that I just mentioned would be still going on today.

The scheme has also occurred to greedy business people, that they could buy up necessities, so that these necessities would not be available to other people, and then they could overcharge for them.  What would happen if wealthy business people bought all of the food, all of it?  What if the wealthy business people then decided that you should pay $2.50 for a can of beans, carrots, or peas?  This may happen one day, because there is no law against it.  But just because someone can do it, does that make it right?

In the beginning of the United States, single family homes were built for single families to live in.  Probably early on, some single family homes were occupied by renters.  Renters are easily subject to being taken advantage of.  In some areas of the United States, single family homes were occupied by share-croppers, which was even more perilous than being a renter.  Being at the mercy of someone else for your housing, existed from the beginning of the United States.  However, after World War II, people were nearly free from other people controlling their housing, and we could have stayed on that course, had it not been for greedy people getting involved.

After World War II, due to advances in manufacturing, technology, engineering, agriculture, and energy transmission, the standard of living in the United States was the highest it had ever been.  A husband could work outside the home for eight hours a day, forty hours per week, and he could afford to purchase a home for his family to live in, buy furniture, buy an automobile, and pay for all of his family’s necessities.  The same kind of business minds that brought us slavery and 10 year old children working in factories, went to work on how to take advantage of people.

Business people began to think, why not buy single family homes as an investment?  Everybody needs a place to live, why not buy single family homes, and charge more for rent than the mortgage payment?  As long as you can rent out a single family home for more than the mortgage, property tax, and insurance, it pays for itself, and in fifteen or twenty years, it will be completely paid for.  If this is the  case, why not buy ten single family homes, rent them out, and in twenty years, you will have ten homes that are completely paid off?  One reason not to do it, would be that you are driving up the single family home prices, and preventing ten families from owning their own home.

There is a saying, banks loan money to people who can prove that they do not need a loan.  There are people that have high incomes, that are able to pay for all of their necessities and still have a great deal of money left over each month.  They can prove to the bank that their own home is paid for, they have a large amount of money in savings, and that they have several thousand dollars of extra money each month after their necessities are paid for.  The bank is happy to give them a mortgage on several single family homes, they can easily afford the monthly payments, plus, they are just going to rent them out anyway, for more than the monthly mortgage.

A young husband and wife, with no savings, and not very good employment, is not able to make a down payment on a home or be approved for a mortgage.  This same husband and wife, as they become older, if they have had a period of unemployment or medical problems, they may still be unable to make a down payment on a home or be approved for a mortgage.  This same husband and wife in old age, have spent all of their earnings raising children and helping other family members, they may still be unable to make a down payment on a home or be approved for a mortgage.

I read a real estate investment book that was published in the 1980s.  In this book, there were charts of single family home prices in cities like Orlando, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Omaha in the late 1970s.  The charts showed that in these cities, the average single family home price was approximately twice the average annual salary of an individual in that city.  The charts also showed that the monthly rents on the average single family home were slightly higher than the monthly mortgage amounts. So if you were a real estate investor, it made sense to buy as many single family homes in those cities as you could find.  This real estate investment book also pointed out, that as time passed, you would have more and more equity in your single family rental homes, and could use this equity to borrow against in order buy more single family homes.  Also, as time went by, prices on everything go up, if your mortgage payment on your single family rental home stays the same, and you increase your rent every year, your “positive cash flow” on each home increases every year.

When I was reading this real estate investment book that was published in the 1980s, it was 2005.  At that time, the average single family home price in places like Orlando and Phoenix was now three to four times the average annual salary of an individual in that city.  Why did the price of single family homes go from twice the annual salary of an individual to three to four times the annual salary of an individual?  I will tell you why, because all of the real estate agents and property investors that were fucking around in the single family home market trying to get rich, that made the price of single family homes double.

An ordinary single family home, is just a place for a working husband and wife to have kids and raise a family, in an ordinary neighborhood, where other working people are doing the same thing.  There shouldn’t be any reason for local attorneys, doctors, and dentists, to be trying to get their hands on as many ordinary single family homes as they can.  There shouldn’t be people in New York City and Los Angeles trying to buy as many single family homes as they can in Omaha, but that is what is happening.  The real estate agents take it upon themselves, to bump the listing prices on $100,000 homes in Omaha, up to $115,000, because the real estate investors in New York City and Los Angeles will still buy them, they don’t know, they don’t care that much either.  The working husband and wife who finally saved up enough to afford the down payment on a $100,000 home, ask,”What the fuck just happened?”, when the price goes up to $115,000 the next week.

Real estate agents like to help inflate the price of housing, because their commissions are based on the price of housing sold.  Real estate agents also like to help inflate the price of housing, so that they can tell potential buyers that they had better buy now, prices are climbing, if you buy now, your house will be worth 10% more in two years.  The prices of single family homes went up and up because there were so many real estate investors trying to buy multiple single family homes.  The real estate investors did not really care that the single family home prices were quickly rising, they thought that this was good, they would have equity in their homes more quickly, they went ahead and paid the high prices.  Ordinary working people that were desperate to own a home, went ahead and entered into huge mortgages that they could barely afford to pay, ridiculously high mortgages based on their modest incomes.

The housing crash came.  Many ordinary working people could not afford their ridiculously high mortgages on their single family home.  Due to slumping employment, many ordinary working people could not afford high rent.  Real estate investors that owned multiple single family homes, had some tenants move out, some tenants get behind on rent, some tenants negotiate lower rents.  Real estate investors came to be unable to afford the mortgage payments on multiple rental houses when tenants moved out or failed to pay rent.

Real estate investors never should have been involved in single family homes that were intended for ordinary working people to live in and raise families.  Real estate agents were willing accomplices in making single family homes unaffordable to ordinary working people.

If rich business people could do it, they would buy up all the food, all of it, and not let you have it unless you paid two or three times what it cost them.  They don’t care how much suffering they cause.

The real estate investors, property managers, and real estate agents in Dickinson did not care how much hardship they caused people in Dickinson during this past oil boom.  Rents on homes and apartments were increased to four or five times what they had been before the oil boom.  Wealthy people, people who owned property, real estate agents, property investors, property managers, they all lobbied and made sure that no man-camp or trailer park was built in Stark County, in order to ensure that there continued to be a shortage of housing, and no inexpensive housing alternatives.  I knew many people who slept in their vehicles, in the cold, in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015 because they could not afford to rent an apartment in Dickinson.  This is also why there is not a homeless shelter in Dickinson, the people with money in Dickinson didn’t want people to have any place to stay if they couldn’t afford to pay the extremely high rents.