Why some West Fargo homes are so expensive

Published: Aug. 14, 2018 at 10:07 PM CDT
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"There's a really charming, older, small town in West Fargo – surrounded by big, beautiful homes," says Bernie Erickson, a Senior Sales Associate with Park Company Realtors.

But for some people, that small town feel could come with big city prices.

"The average price for a home in West Fargo is $359,000," says Lori Oak, an independent Agent Realtor with eXp Realty. "Between $300,000 and $400,000 homes in West Fargo, there's about 17 listings right now."

Local realtors and realty sites like Zillow and list the median price for a home in West Fargo around $250,000.

“While the average list price of homes in West Fargo is just under $359,000, the average sold price of homes in West Fargo is currently $262,757. We attribute the higher than average list price as there are currently 5 homes listed in West Fargo for over $1 million dollars. There are currently 256 homes for sale in West Fargo with 187 of them being less than $400,000,” says Shawn Ostlie, the President of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of Realtors.

Regardless, experts say higher home prices could be the result of newer homes going up to accommodate the city's growth.

"West Fargo, up until about 20 years ago, was a pretty small town that just had exponential growth really, really quickly," Erickson says.

"There's more new construction that is selling in West Fargo versus the amount of existing homes that are selling in Fargo," says Vicky Matson, president-elect of the Fargo-Moorhead Association of Realtors. "21.3% of what's listed currently is new construction for our area."

Experts say these homes are on the market for about 83 days, which means there is a market for them - but those price points can be tough for lower income families or first time home buyers.

"There are those that are in low income jobs, they're not going to be able to afford those that are in that range," Matson says.

"It's a little harder for the first time buyers getting their feet wet," Oak adds.

But realtors say price tags like these shouldn't stop you from looking for a new home.

"I always say – get into the house you can afford now, build some equity, and a few years down the road you can upgrade it and get into the house you really want," says Oak.

And for the first time in a long time, the market is helping families out.

"If you have a home under $200,000 – it's a good time to sell that home because you're going to get good money for your home. And it's a good time to buy if you're in that $300,000 range because the homes tend to sit a little bit longer, therefore you're going to get a little bit better price," Oak says.

Another plus for potential home buyers - interest rates. Experts say while they've crept up over the last few years, they're still at about 4.5%.

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