Investigating Minot and North Dakota before my recent move, I exchanged numerous emails with Cindy Redyke Harvey, ABR, ePro, SRES, a broker associate for Prudential Preferred Properties, Inc. Cindy is also the Vice President and Secretary of the Minot Board of Realtors (MBOR).
Originally from Florida, Cindy has lived in New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, and California. She has been in Minot for over five years. Cindy has been married to her husband, an Air Force officer, for ten years. They have three boys, 17, 8, and 4. Cindy met her husband in Florida while he was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City. In 2007, Cindy earned her license to be a real estate salesperson, and then subsequently became a broker associate in February of this year.
Buying or selling real estate is a challenging task, especially a first-time buyer. Cindy suggests that a first-time home-buyer use a buyer’s agent. Cindy says, “It is a good idea to interview several agents to find the one they feel is a good fit. A good buyer’s agent will sit down with the new buyer and explain the entire home buying process as well as discuss the buyer’s wants and needs.” Another good idea is to have a local lender that you can meet with face-to-face. Additionally, local lenders will know and will have worked with your real estate professional, the title companies, and insurance agents. They will also be familiar with local laws and practices.
There is something for everyone in Minot whether you have a taste for the historic or a taste for brand-spanking new. I was fortunate to find a cozy apartment in the historic Eastwood Park district with homes built around 1910-1920’s. There is newer construction on the outskirts and along the shopping district on South Broadway. The competition for rentals is fierce as the construction of adequate rentals has not yet caught up with the influx of oil industry workers and military personnel.
Minot, ND, boasts a very low unemployment rate which is about a third of the national average. Minot’s unemployment is at an agreeable 3.5% while the national average is at about 10%. “The oil boom and the addition of a squadron to the military base has had a major impact on our housing,” Cindy says. While the increase in jobs and military presence has driven up home prices somewhat, they are still considerably more reasonable that the national average. A median home price for the U.S. was over $270,000 while Minot enjoys a much lower average of $175,000.
Cindy cautions new buyers to be aware of the big ticket items in a house like the roof, furnace, water heater, and to also note any possible water damage in the basement. Home inspections are critical in purchasing a home both new or old construction. Don’t buy a house without a home inspection. Your real estate professional can help in this step.
Parents! Serious consideration must be given to Minot’s winter climate and the fact that children will go out at recess even if it’s below freezing, so be prepared to send a heavy coat, hat, gloves, boots, and insulated snow pants with your child. Understandably, this can be a bit of a change in mindset when coming from more agreeable climes like those in Florida or Arizona or even the high desert of New Mexico.
Cindy says that condominiums and townhouses seem to be popular in Minot for retiring farmers or other large property owners who wish to be free from shoveling snow and cutting grass. However, many condos and townhouses are difficult to finance as they are not VA or FHA approved.
How I wish I had met someone like Cindy when I was in the process of buying my condo in Albuquerque, NM. I was not told about the dysfunctional HOA and moved into a hornet’s nest of problems including unpaid contractors, an absentee board president, and poor property management practices. Experience is the best teacher, an unfortunate experience for me. The subject of condos provides a chance to plug my article, Look Before You Leap Into an HOA. Find it on my blog.
Conveniently, every place in Minot is within a 15-minute drive. If you will be using Route 83 (Broadway) you may want to consider a few extra minutes. Route 83 is a main thoroughfare and has been busy every time I’ve driven it whether morning, middle of the day, or evening. Route 83 also provides every type of service you need along its few miles through Minot.
Even if you are purchasing a home that you want to live in for the rest of your life, you never know what curve balls will be thrown at you. Always consider “location, location, location” and what the resale value of your home would be should you need to sell later on.
Cindy has numerous special designations, including SRES – Senior’s Real Estate Specialist, ABR – Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and ePro – a technology-based certification. She has also completed the qualifications for a CRS which is a highly-coveted certification and includes extensive training on real estate transactions.
Additionally, Cindy has more feathers in her cap as the vice president elect for the Minot Board of Realtors. This is a voluntary and leadership position on the local level and the Minot BOR is in place “To promote and support a high ethical standard, education, and community involvement.” Cindy travels to Bismarck for the State meetings once a month and she just returned from the National Convention in New Orleans.
In Cindy’s own words, “I am very passionate about real estate.” Shouldn’t you have someone passionate about real estate when buying your next home?
For more information about buying and selling real estate, real estate terms, or professional designations, please see –