Bismarck, N.D.

This two-bedroom, two-bath split level is located in nearby Lincoln, N.D. “It’s modern with neutral colors,” says Lore Schneider, Realtor with Century 21 Morrison Realty. Built in 2003, it features a living room with an oversized picture window, vaulted ceiling, recessed lighting and wall sconces. The kitchen, outfitted with white European cabinets, has “a lot of light, a lot of open floor space and a lot of countertops,” says Schneider. It also has a smooth-top range and a built-in microwave. The adjacent dining room opens to the deck. There are two bonus rooms on the lower level as well, she says. It also has a two-car garage and raised flower beds.

Price: $156,000
Area median price: $157,200 (up 7.5 percent)
2 bedrooms/2 baths
2,076 square feet
0.22 acre lot
Two bonus rooms
Two-car garage
Listed by: Century 21 Morrison Realty

Price trend:
In Bismarck, there are only eight homes on the market in the $150,000 to $157,000 price range, says Schneider.

For the money, buyers can get a single-family home that’s typically 30 to 50 years old with three to four bedrooms, a two-car garage, bonus rooms and a basement, she says.

In the Lincoln area, homes may be a bit newer or — in some sections — new or recent construction. “We find that a lot of people with that (amount) to spend will go out to Lincoln because they can find newer homes with more modern features for that price,” Schneider says.

The greater Bismarck and surrounding areas are also known for having “a lot of open land,” she says. Go a few miles outside of Bismarck or its nearby towns, and you’re “out in the country,” she says. And the price of that land makes a difference in the price of the home that’s built on it, Schneider says.

The median price range was $157,200 in the fall of 2009, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s up from $146,300 during the same period in 2008.

In the median price range, there are “a lot of first-time buyers” and many move-up buyers making room for first-time buyers, she says. Another factor that’s making a difference: the tax credit.

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