BoomXYZ: Housing market ripe for development

By Josh Ellerbrock -

LIMA — As a decade of economic expansion spurs an increase in job growth and investment in the region, the housing markets in Allen and its surrounding counties are warm and getting warmer. Demand is high, yet inventory is low. And there’s plenty of room for growth.

A panel of four housing experts explored the real estate markets in the latest episode of BoomXYZ, a podcast of The Lima News. The housing markets tend to get a boost coming out of the winter months, and the four panelists focused on the potential of the next building season as markets are favorable for new builds.

“We’ve been in a shortage of housing in general for probably going on four years now,” Jeff Dulmage, real estate agent with Hartsock Realty, said. “There’s way more buyers than there are houses to purchase, and probably most of the price points (are) up to about $275,000 in the area.”

But while demand is high, inventory has yet to catch up. Large-scale developments have been few and far between, and many property owners are holding onto what could be prime real estate.

“It’s tough for buyers because they are there waiting on the sidelines,” real estate agent Susan Fantz said. “And interest rates are great. You just can’t beat it right now. But yet, people are holding tight. They aren’t, you know, putting their homes on the market.”

Both Brian Baker, president of Burden Construction, and Austin Sutton, a residential consultant with Thermal Gard Window & Door, both spoke about the savings that could be found through renovating homes in the market.

The two homeowners had both recently purchased older homes according to their budgets in nice neighborhoods for the fraction of the price that someone from a larger city might expect.

“Pretty much what my wife and I were thinking about doing, and mostly leaning towards, was trying to get something that would be more of a fixer upper and that we would want to put money into so that we can get more equity out of it,” Sutton said.

Baker, who also advises new hires at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center on the housing market, said such price savings are often foreign to those outside the city.

“They can’t believe that I live across the street from a school, around the corner from a church and parks, and all that, and office and they couldn’t believe it,” Baker said. “The value — especially for the people outside the market — they see it, but if you’re from here, you might not see it.”

The entire conversation, which ranges over a wide swath of information on the local housing market, can be found online at, or it can be found on any one of your favorite podcast streaming services under “BoomXYZ.”

By Josh Ellerbrock

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.

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