Housing market booms in Rome Township

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

ROME TOWNSHIP - Sally Mayo has spent her whole life in this area and the last eight years she has watched Rome's Applewood subdivision grow around her.

The Mayos have recently sold their beautiful house, and they are moving in 12 days. Even though the Mayo family may be leaving their house, they have no plans of leaving Rome. They are just going to build another one.

"I like the people, the neighbors are so nice," she said. "They look out for one another."

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"We're looking at lots right now," she said. "My husband wants to downsize,"

Mayo explained that their 14-year-old twins will be on their way to college soon, and she and her husband Bob want to downsize from their current home.

During the last eight years, Mayo said they have made many friends in their neighborhood and seen many people move in and out.

"It's a great area to live and raise children," she said.

She said the area has grown tremendously and that their house was the "last on the right" for several years, now there are five more.

"They just build and build," she said, adding that another draw to the area is the school system.

Garland Arnoldt, owner of Arnoldt's Construction, has built houses all across the Rome area since the early 1990s. He agreed with Mayo that many people choose this area.

"I guess the schools have a lot of appeal," he said.

For Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the

Lawrence Economic Development Corporation - the county's economic development arm - residential development goes hand in hand with economic development.

"I think the key to the whole thing is available space. Rome Township is fortunate to have all that former agricultural land," Dingus said. "I think the residential growth is a fundamental part of economic development. If we create all these jobs as we hope, we have to have houses they can buy."

Dingus has watched the eastern boom over the past 10 to 15 years, adding that it has now spread to South Point and other parts of the county as well.

Arnoldt agreed that location and space is everything. He said that prices have gone up in the area since the 1990s, but people have continued to build and buy. He said that housing costs in the area have gone up approximately 15 to 20 percent in recent years.

Due to this "boom" in building, the available lots are nearly gone, and Arnoldt said that really drives up the price of what is available.

"Property is scarce so the prices of the lots are going up," he said.

No matter the cost or the reason, many people are relocating and helping to build Rome, though it will not happen in a day.