A booming population makes real estate more desirable
Metro High School, St. Louis, Mo.
Dan Berlemann can give insight as to why Columbia appears to be such a desirable destination.
He first moved to Columbia to attend MU in 1995 but left four years later to join the Coast Guard. After traveling around the country, he found his way back to Columbia in 2006.
“I think that it’s kind of an eternally youthful city,” Berlemann, a firefighter, said. .
To Berlemann, Columbia has everything St. Louis and Kansas City have to offer without having the big city atmosphere.
He isn’t the only one who feels that way.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, within the last two years Columbia ’s population grew 19 percent. One benefit of moving to Columbia is the real estate market.
The majority of houses in Columbia (4,414 homes) cost between $50,000 and $99,000, while the national average cost of a house in the U.S. is $263,400, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and clrsearch.com, a real estate website.
In Columbia, the average mortgage rate is $998 a month, while the average monthly rent is $525.
Betty Tice, a Realtor at House of Brokers Realty, said low fees associated with buying a house can make a difference. “Interest prices are the lowest I’ve ever seen,” she said.
Tice, who’s also the president-elect of Columbia’s Board of Realtors, has 31 years of experience in Columbia’s real estate business. She said the average interest rates were around 19 percent when she first moved to Columbia in 1979. She added that rates are as low as 4 percent nowadays.
“Talking within the last six months, overall prices are coming down, because sellers are desperate,” said Aaron Rose, a RE/MAX Boone Realtor.
With more people choosing to become members of Columbia’s community day after day, there must be something special that draws people to the college city. In Rose’s opinion, there’s something for every age group.
According to clrsearch.com, the under-25 group makes up roughly 40 percent of Columbia ’s population. The main reason that age group comes here is for the education that MU, Columbia College and Stephens College have to offer.
“They keep the rental property buzzing,” Rose said.
The under-40 to age 25 group makes up 24 percent of Columbia’s population, according to clrsearch.com. Rose said that group tends to come here because corporations such as IBM are taking notice of the growing population and moving here.
He feels that people over 40, who make up about 36 percent of Columbia’s population, tend to come here for the hospitals and often to be near cancer specialists.
Rose added that other people he often encounters are moving from places such as Texas and the East Coast to enjoy a quieter life in central Missouri.
Berlemann has seen the community’s growth firsthand.
“When I first started living here, some of the neighborhoods didn’t exist.” he said.
Berlemann spends his days at the firehouse, working 240 hours a month over 10 days. In his free time, he likes to go long-boarding and attend sports events in Columbia. Before he left in 1999, he was a season ticket holder to all of the Tigers’ football games. Since he returned in 2006, he’s back to holding that season pass.
“I lived all over the country, and I missed it here,” Berlemann said.
Tice, who notes that people move here from places such as Iowa and Minnesota to escape severe winters, agrees.
“I can’t imagine living anywhere I like more,” Tice said.