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Old 01-06-2012, 03:01 AM
 
57 posts, read 14,725 times
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Default Dickinson TOO EXPENSIVE & NO HOUSING

I just got back from Dickinson on an apartment-rental search for a company that wants to hire me. Here are some observations:

1) Even the company that hired me can't find housing for me and still wants me to come out here ASAP. They offered what I thought was a generous relocation allowance until I came out here to see how far it goes. You can't find an apartment for under $2500/month so it's almost like nothing.

2) Apartments cost NY City prices here and they are real crap. Dirt soaked halls, drunks living 10 to a room, etc. You couldn't sleep in one of these places if you wanted to with all the parties. Stunk like an old bar with yellow smoke stains from cigarettes on everything you touched. Disgusting is all I have to say.

3) One guy owns just about every apartment complex in the area and he's a real dirt bag with massive negative reviews for everything he rents. You will never get your security deposit back regardless of how clean you leave the place. He'll find a reason to keep it. This info came from many locals who all told the same story. ND has little or no consumer or rental protection laws and it's buyer beware. Good luck taking this good 'ole boy to court trying to get your deposit back.

4) I had to stay in Bismarck and drive every day except one because there were not even hotel rooms available in dickinson. Even the national hotel chains were unclean with dirt soaked floors and the stench of cigarettes despite rooms being non-smoking.

5) The money is good BUT you'll be paying 75% of it out in rent and the high cost of living. Cost of living is close to NY City or Los Angeles prices. The pay is good but substantially lower than you'd make in the cities listed above and I know I'd be miserable living in one of these Hell rentals.

6) The roads are totally destroyed from the heavy trucks. Small cars will get trashed real fast. Fuel and grocery prices are way high also and will soon be inflated just like they are in Williston.

7)House prices are $200K and UP, even for a rundown old fixer-upper. Again, the wages are good but I don't know too many blue collar people who can afford these houses unless you plan on working 90 hours a week for the next 10 years or more.

8) The local college can't even find places for the students to stay! Elderly people are being booted from thier apartments when the lease runs out and are homeless! These are locals doing this to locals they've known their whole lives! Massive homeless problem.
Again, there are no laws against any of this and a ND landlord can do anything they want.

I'd still like to come out this way but not sure I can risk my lifes savings on a gamble. The company is really trying to help out with housing and may build there own apartments or trailers but they can't get construction workers in Dickinson because they have no place to stay either.

Campground RV costs are close to what you'd pay for an apartment alone in many cities. It's cheaper than renting here but still expensive and living like a gypsy is not for me (no insult intended).

If your company has housing for you, consider moving here. Otherwise, you're just be making someone else rich with your 80/hr week paychecks.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by ndrelocation; 01-06-2012 at 03:10 AM..
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:26 AM
 
Location: North Dakota
451 posts, read 452,341 times
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Good information from someone who has been there. Can't disagree with anything in your post - it's bad out there.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:07 AM
 
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I am so sorry that you can't find something decent. We need folks like you here, as we are obviously being over run by indigent irresponsible transients and the families that should be here w/ their loved ones can't even find a place to live, due to this "boom" There really needs to be some changes. Talk about a double edged sword. NDrelocation, did you check New England, or call the local churches, I believe that there are folks that would rent, that are holding out to avoid renting to folks that would trash their place like you described.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:34 AM
 
57 posts, read 14,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
I am so sorry that you can't find something decent. We need folks like you here, as we are obviously being over run by indigent irresponsible transients and the families that should be here w/ their loved ones can't even find a place to live, due to this "boom" There really needs to be some changes. Talk about a double edged sword. NDrelocation, did you check New England, or call the local churches, I believe that there are folks that would rent, that are holding out to avoid renting to folks that would trash their place like you described.
The locals who work for the company are trying to set me up but they are having extreme difficulty. I will go back out one more time and if I can't get a place to stay, I'll have to take a pass on this dream job. I really want the job but this is NOT how I want to live. By the way, I'm NOT being hired to work in the OIL inudustry, just so you know. This is a local company with local people working here and even they can't help me find a place after all my background checks, credit checks, drug tests, etc. I'm as clean as it gets and nothing is available.

I was also shocked by the homeless people I saw milling around in trash cans and drunks-drug addicts on the streets. It reminded me of the ghettos in big cities except all the buildings were newer.

There are no places to stay south of Dickinson either as I checked. You'd have to drive to South Dakota to find any rentals not full of oil patch roughneck criminals, drunks, parolees, etc. Many of these guys have done time in prison and only the reputable companies do background checks. The big firms then subcontract to the fly-by-night firms who hire anyone with a pulse, including criminals. It's a scary place in need of some serious attetnion from elected officials who seem to care less.

Last edited by ndrelocation; 01-06-2012 at 07:47 AM..
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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Please know I am not personally coming down on you...... I understand your frustration. Can you imagine how we local N.D. citizens feel about what has happened to our small towns, and their precious "normal" atmosphere.

I remember your first post, you described the ghetto like place that you reside in, and how unsafe you felt there. I know that Williston, and obviously from what you describe Dickinson are experiencing horrible situations, I know that the city officials and local folks are trying to address things, as time, money and feasible possibilities avail themselves.
....Excuse me while I vent, NOT AT YOU, but in general here for a moment....I personally get really tired of how everyone that comes here blames the locals. The reality is, this has been a devastating situation for the locals, most of whom are also paying these horrible prices, waiting on you at the grocery store, cafe, pumping your gas, etc. w/out the benefit of the "new income" I am not chastising you, just somewhat reacting to yet another person that seeks our assistance, than slams the same folks that offer their helpful opinions and suggestions. I don't blame you, I wouldn't want to live somewhere like you described EVER!
Were I you, or anyone else....I would do as I and others have suggested in earlier posts, stop looking for conventional rent listings. You described exactly what decent folks want to avoid happening to their rental properties.
I personally own and rent a little house in Williston, I fortunately have had the same gentleman in my home for 4 yrs, prior to that I had his employee. I have rented my property out since 04', and never have I advertised. I keep my rent reasonable, Have only raised it by 250.00 in 8 yrs. I plan to retire and live there, so I try my best to keep folks that take care of things living there.
It would be awesome to earn an extra couple thousand a mth, but to me my house is worth more to me for my retirement than now. And I absolutely refuse to be a gouger. My only guilt comes from the fact that I sort of wish there was a local family in my home, rather than someone making a fortune. But, I am a person of my word, so for as long as He needs it we have a deal.
Anyway, I digress. I would encourage you, from what you describe as the horrific situation there in NY, to be creative in your search. Also, look at the big picture, the situation is going to be resolved in N.D. within the next yr or two. The evidence is that there are buildings going up all across the western half of N.D. You could invest in a fixer upper, and hold onto to your "dream job", wait this out, fortunate to have a job, and be there when things turn around. Believe me, N.D. is full of folks w/ good common farmer sense, we may be thrown in the short term, but we know how to get things done, we just don't make promises, and talk, we are walk the walk type folks. I can just imagine there are things in the works, and issues being addressed as we speak. Should you decide you are still looking for your dream job, I'm sure there will be someone that is here ready and willing to take it. All the best, Jan

Last edited by JanND; 01-06-2012 at 08:08 AM.. Reason: spacing
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:34 AM
 
57 posts, read 14,725 times
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Thanks JanND. Maybe I came across too harsh as that was not my intention. Just very frustrated as I really want this job. I'm not giving up just yet and I'm determined to make it work but time is a factor. Both with the company and my own personal finances.

The people at the company are trying to help me out as best they can but they need someone NOW and I can't risk becoming homeless 1500 miles away when some landlord decides he's booting me out to rent to someone else who will pay more. More than one local told me that the largest renter-property owner in Dickinson does this on a regular basis. He owns everything including the politicians and there are no laws to prevent being kicked out in the middle of the winter once your month to month lease expires. This info came from multiple Dickinson ND residents, not me. Nobody had anything good to say about this guy and I was told NOT to rent anything from him by every single person I asked.

I'll give it a month and see what comes up and will keep you posted. I'm heading back one more time in a week or so if I can find a hotel room to stay in. Eleven hotels called and not one single room was available in Dickinson. I had to stay in Bismarck and drive 200 miles round trip a day to check the area out. The costs are adding up big time. I pity the poor souls who pack up and come out here naked. You'd have to be nuts to do this.
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Old 01-06-2012, 09:47 AM
 
7,953 posts, read 6,055,856 times
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No worries. You need to assess how badly you want this job, that is the bottom line. It sounds like the employer and the employees are supportive and caring, which for me would be a plus. Since you are facing some of the same issues that local N.D. folks are, because your job isn't oil related it is a difficult situation. One thing I would suggest in addition to the other suggestions, contact the churches if you have a faith, because they may know of some congregation members that may have a spare basement apartment, etc. I think given the issues for your family there, in NY, that facing the conditions here might be worth it for the long term gain. And, N.D. landlord tenant laws do exist, check them. If you sign a lease, no one legally can change your rent during that lease. I would not ask who this "man" is, but I will venture a guess that his first name is Warren.....I lived in Dickinson for 10 years. I would talk to the HR folks, there must be other employees, or management that have knowledge of folks w/ spare bedrooms, basement apartments etc for the short term. Anyone you contact you should emphasize that it is not an "oil related job" mention the employer, if it is a good local company you may be surprised how much it may help. Also, if the costs of rentals are that bad, it might be worth investing in a house, in the best shape, lowest cost you can find. This housing situation really may be for the short term, your job may be for the long term. Yours to decide if it is worth the initial struggle.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:07 PM
 
45 posts, read 72,577 times
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I've been here in Dickinson for a month. Came up here from Florida. I find the food prices are close to the same. Gas prices are close to Florida, but you have to go the the stations not right directly on the highway--huge difference in price (Gas Buddy app for your phone helps a bit). Diesel prices are high, though.

I thought the roads were fine, but I grew up in Pennsylvania, so any roads are better than there. Also Florida roads are always under construction, so Dickinson seemed better to me.

I don't know about apartment rentals, but I am staying at a campground for under $600/ month which includes elect, internet, bathrooms, showers, and pay washers and dryers.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:26 PM
 
2,361 posts, read 1,552,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ndrelocation View Post
I just got back from Dickinson on an apartment-rental search for a company that wants to hire me. Here are some observations:


7)House prices are $200K and UP, even for a rundown old fixer-upper. Again, the wages are good but I don't know too many blue collar people who can afford these houses unless you plan on working 90 hours a week for the next 10 years or more.
I can't disagree with most of these, but I do wonder about where you are looking at houses for sale. I saw several nice houses under $200k on realtor.com. Granted, these prices are still almost double what they were three years ago, but they're still not nearly as bad a places like the NE or California. I would be worried about buying though, as if the oil stops the housing prices will drop like a rock.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:29 AM
 
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I believe housing crisis will be even worse come spring with expected influx of people. Good guess that many are waiting for winter to be over before making the move.

Jasper Hobbs
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