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January 26, 2014

Housing shortage?

ED leader, real estate brokers: Too few houses for good new jobs

Peter and Rachel Rogers just wanted a three-bedroom house in Logansport for their growing family.

But it wasn’t that easy.

Peter Rogers, a native of Logansport, was offered a post at Grissom Air Reserve Base in 2011 and decided it was time to settle down near his parents and church after several years traveling with the military.

“We started thinking that we could just look at what was out here for sale, pick something and close quickly,” Peter Rogers said. Instead, they’d be shown a house newly listed for sale and decide to make an offer, only to find out the seller had accepted another offer already.

Finding a move-in-ready, three-bedroom home listed for between $90,000 and $110,000 was proving difficult.

“There was just absolutely nothing out there for what we were looking for,” Peter Rogers said. “The few homes that were on the market, they were, to put it lightly, needing some TLC.”

And the Rogers aren’t the only ones who have noticed.

Economic development leaders and real estate brokers around Cass County are saying the local market has seen fewer houses listed at this time than normal, and very few houses suitable for a key demographic: Mid-level employees who want to move their families close to their work.

That’s key, explained economic development spokesman John Hipskind, because it’s one of the first things businesses look at when they’re thinking of opening a facility or office in Logansport.

“They often want to know basic things — workforce, education levels, amenities for the community and housing,” Hipskind said. In conversations he’s had as director of the City of Logansport Economic Development Organization, he said he’s heard several business representatives become concerned over the lack of housing for those filling their middle and upper management positions.

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