Building Boom in the Badlands

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It’s hard to believe, but one of the strongest housing markets today is on the edge of the Badlands, just south of the Canadian border. Northwestern North Dakota is home to one of the largest shale formations in North America, and the oil it contains is fueling a construction boom like no one has ever seen. All this home building activity has home buyers looking for security when it comes to selecting a builder, which is why the North Dakota Association of Builders is partnering with Bonded Builders to offer warranties.

“North Dakota is booming more ways than one,” says Doreen Riedman, Executive Officer of the North Dakota Association of Builders and a lifelong North Dakota resident. “Housing is struggling to keep pace with the oil boom and we’re already on target to see a record year for construction.”

Named for the farmer who owned the land where the shale was discovered, the Bakken Formation runs from western North Dakota into Montana and up into Canada. The Bakken Formation contains more than 20 billion barrels of oil — enough to serve the United States for more than three years. What’s more, the oil is inexpensive to get: about $30 to $35 a barrel thanks to new technology, which means the boom is likely to last.

Abundant oil at a cheap price is fueling a boom in jobs and construction in the oil field, and a boom in construction of everything from homes and hospitals to schools and churches.

Oil pic

“In the Williston area (which in the heart of the oil field), the traffic is crazy. The roads need to be upgraded, they need more restaurants, they need more day care, they need more schools, they need more everything.” Doreen says. “We’ve got school systems that are doubling is size within a year. They’re bringing in portables and doing everything they can, but it’s hard to keep up with it.”

Unemployment is less than two percent in North Dakota, and people are living in barracks, RVs and sometimes tents. A mild winter helped extend the construction season, but even camp grounds are booked to capacity.

All indications are the boom should last for decades. It will take 20 or 30 years to fully develop the oil reserves in the region, which means workers will be looking for permanent homes as quickly as possible.

With homes being built and sold quickly, homebuyers are often concerned with quality, which is why the NDBA asked Bonded Builders to design a third-party warranty its members could pass on to homebuyers, giving them peace of mind and the assurance that their home has been built to the high standards required by Bonded Builders.

“North Dakota is an implied warranty state,” says Doreen. “That means it’s the builder who is liable for any problems. We’re very excited to offer our members the Bonded Builders program. It’s an opportunity for builders to set themselves apart in the market. It let’s them focus on building and gives the buyer peace of mind.”

“We are pleased to enter into the first Preferred Association Licensing agreement with the North Dakota Association of Builders,” says Ken Ward, BBWG National Sales Manager. “Any NDBA builder in good standing can provide a Bonded Builders Warranty to their homeowners. This agreement, approved by NDBA’s Board of Directors, is a testimony to their commitment to provide the finest quality new homes to citizens of North Dakota.”

To learn more about the oil boom in North Dakota, visit CNNMoney.

To learn more about the North Dakota Association of Builders, visit their website.

To learn more about the Bonded Builders Warranty Group, click here.

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