Max is a real bargain

North Dakota State Roundup

Published April 1, 1995  | April 1995 issue

You can get a lot for $1 in Max. In fact, that's exactly what you get: a lot on which to build a house, to permanently locate a large mobile home or relocate an existing house. The only catch is the housing unit must be in place within one year of the lot purchase.

Max, 28 miles south of Minot, is looking for people who would rather commute than pay $90,000 or so for a house in Minot, and who would relish the slower pace of a rural community.

Selling 13 city-owned lots is one way for the 300 residents of Max to keep their community viable, says Ken Herslip, with Century 21 Action Realtors in Minot, who has worked with the community. Ed Schmidt, Max city auditor, says that although some people may be reluctant to invest in a town of only 300, Max has much to recommend: good schools, a new community center and all the necessary services. And it's about 15 miles from Lake Sakakawea, a popular recreation area.

Plans originally called for the lot purchaser to build a spec ranch-style house with three bedrooms, two baths and double-car attached garage. But Herslip and Schmidt say that people are reluctant to buy a home just from blueprints. Schmidt adds that the cost of the spec house, $66,900, was too high for most potential buyers.

Max High School principal, Steve Hannegrefs, agrees. "While that may be an affordable house in the Twin Cities, it's a very expensive house in Max, North Dakota," he says. Hannegrefs, who wants more students for the high school, works on a committee that is exploring building rental housing through the Farmers Home Administration.

The location shouldn't be what's keeping people from settling in Max, Schmidt says. "We've got 25 to 30 people who already commute to Minot." And Max is even making it easy for lot buyers: Water and other utility hook-ups are established and the streets were paved last summer.

Kathy Cobb