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Old 10-24-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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Hi I need help we are moving from Tx to Fargo,ND. My husband got a new job there and we have 2 boys 8 and 10 yr. Im looking for a good elementary and middle school. Also what area should we look into, we are going to fly in on friday to look around for houses. We also have a dog and I have seen some homes online but they dont have a fence around them. Is there a reason why? And another dumb question why do some of the houses have a basement? Sorry just want to know. thank you for your time.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Fargo, ND
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Where will your husband be working and how much of a commute do you wish to have? Do you like older or newer neighborhoods?
I would say that all three school districts (Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo) are quite good by national standards. Right now, Fargo has smaller class sizes than the other two districts (West Fargo due to immense growth, Moorhead due to restrictions from the State of Minnesota budget). There are individual elementaries that are perceived as not being as good--but that largely falls along socio-economic lines (more kids needing assistance with English as a foreign language, more poverty).
I live in Fargo, so that is the school system I know best. If you like older neighborhoods, Clara Barton-Hawthorne is a great school. For newer neighborhoods, Kennedy elementary is quite crowded, so the district is making some stop-gap moves and having kids in temporary locations for the next two years until they can get something built. If you're interested in the north side of Fargo (popular area for people working at North Dakota State University or at Sanford Hospital) Longfellow Elementary is a great school.
Why do houses have a basement in Fargo? This is a big difference in construction between the northern tier of states and the South. In winter, the ground freezes for several feet--it's what called the frost line. All the moisture in the soil freezes down to about 4 ft below the surface. When it thaws, the moisture expands and can cause the ground to shift slightly--called frost heaves. If you build only on slab, you can pretty well count on that slab having major cracks within ten years. A full basement means your house's foundation goes below the frost line, and thus doesn't have the issue with frost heaves.
It's not at all a dumb question--the additional concrete (and higher wage costs here) mean that houses in general are more expensive per square foot than they are in the South.
Fencing is purely a personal preference, but I'm sure that a realtor can customize the search to houses with fenced yards.
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Old 10-24-2013, 01:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soniaev View Post
I have seen some homes online but they dont have a fence around them. Is there a reason why?
I can answer this even though I'm from Ohio and New Mexico.

Some neighborhoods just don't have walls or fences.

In Ohio, where I lived till I was in my 20s, almost none of the yards had them. They might have had a hedge on part of one edge of a yard, but in general, you could go from one yard to another with the only indication you were in a different yard was how the grass was cut.

Only when I visited my grandparents in Arizona, did I ever see walls between yards.

People kept their dogs in their own yards with a chain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by soniaev View Post
... why do some of the houses have a basement? Sorry just want to know. thank you for your time.
Where I grew up all the houses had basements.

The answer to your question is that when the house was built, the person having it built wanted a basement or didn't want one.

In the Phoenix suburbs, they are rare, but a nice way to reduce your a/c bills. Older neighborhoods tend to have more houses with basements. It's the same in Albuquerque. I can't speak for Fargo, but I imagine it's the same. It's cheaper to build a house without all that excavation.

In flood-prone areas, a basement would be problematic. There are lots of flood-prone areas in Fargo. Most of Fargo is NOT flood-prone. In that case, one would WANT a basement for the same reason as one would want one in Phoenix - it is requires less energy to keep it comfortable.

Addendum: I saw the coolest "man-cave" ever in a new development in Albuquerque. All the houses had a basement below the garage. The entrance was from the garage. It was a concrete "cave" under the parking area where you could make as much noise as you wanted with TV or games or tools. It was detached from the house, so you could keep it as messy as you wanted without embarassing your wife.

They say that the kitchen or master bath "sells" the house because the woman makes the decision.

- heh -
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