House buying in a rural community

Home buying is an exciting experience, but finding the perfect home within your budget can be tricky.

This week we are taking a look at Nebraska's real estate market, seeing what you can buy for the state's average listing price of $155,000.

Local realtors say house size and age can vary greatly depending on location whether looking in Nebraska cities or towns.

The brokers we spoke with say the smaller the town, the bigger the home you will get for that $155,000 price tag.

"A lot of people grew up in a small town and like to get back to the small town living," said The Real Estate Group of Hastings broker, Tom Harman.

If you enjoy a slower pace of life and knowing your neighbors by name, you may consider purchasing a home in a rural community.

"Smaller towns, you typically can find more house for your dollar," said Harman.

For instance, in the town of Holdrege, NAS Reality's Barb Malm says you can expect to find a three to four bedroom home with two baths and a two car garage.

"This is a great little family home," said Malm. "Three bedroom, two bath it has a full basement, and it has a detached garage, two car, with extra space for a workshop. We've got it priced reasonable at $129,900."

Of course, buying a home isn't just about the house, its location is equally important.

"We're a very positive and progressive community," Malm said. "We have a great medical facility, doctors, shopping, little niche shops downtown, we have a great recreation parks, the YMCA is utilized a lot by people in Holdrege."

The town of Minden has a population of about 3,000. It is about 20 miles from Kearney, but realtors say it has its own character.

"Small town living, good school system, banks grocery stores, other businesses good place to raise your family," said Rhynalds Auction & Realty realtor, Rusty Rhynalds.

However, looking for a home in a smaller town could mean less listings.

"We do not have as many options as some of the larger communities, of course," said Rhynalds. "I think right now there's about 10 homes on the market in Minden."

Experts say with a little patience, you could find a decent sized home, priced around $155,000.

"Realistically you could purchase a three to four bedroom home, two bath, one to two car garage," Rhynalds said. "A nice family home with a full basement. Main level square footage between 1,000, 1,200 maybe 1,400 square feet in a nice area of town."

If you'd like an even smaller town a little further from the city, you could find a similar sized, or even bigger, home for about half the price.

"We do business in other communities south of here, in addition to Minden, and the homes get cheaper the farther south you go," Rhynalds said. "For instance, we just listed a house in Hildreth. Its three bedrooms, two baths, a full basement 1,100 square feet, two car garage, with a shop in back for $65,000. So, there's potential there if you're willing to drive just a little bit farther south of Kearney."

Whether you choose to buy a home in a town of a few thousand or a few hundred, a budget of $155,000 will most likely buy you a good sized family home complete with a garage and basement.

In Thursday's final segment, we'll be bringing you some of the do's and don't's of starting the home buying process.

To follow this series and all of Jessica Stevenson's coverage, you can find her on facebook and twitter.

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