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Anna G. Larson, Published August 31 2013

The Fall Parade of Homes: Tour ‘wow’ homes in Fargo, West Fargo and Mapleton

If you go

What: Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead’s Fall Parade of Homes.

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 7-8 and 14-15.

Where: Entries include homes in Fargo, West Fargo and Mapleton. Magazines with home addresses and other details will be available at all Hornbacher’s locations starting Tuesday. The magazine is also available online at www.hbafm.com.

Info: Admission is free.

FARGO - Loren Crist is a bit of a mind reader.

With every home he designs or builds, the Crist Construction owner tries to think of what the future homeowner would want. His philosophy worked for Patty and Ron Grimson.

Until the Grimsons, of Minot, stepped inside the rambler Crist built at 6051 Osgood Parkway S. here, they’d planned to downsize and purchase a condo.

The couple decided to move to Fargo to be closer to family, and once Patty saw the dark Elmwood floors, open floor plan and high-end amenities of the house, she knew she was home.

Patty and Ron quickly tossed out the idea of a condo and instead embraced the 1,651-square-foot home in Osgood. From the first look, Patty could easily imagine their family gathering for holidays and other occasions.

“They thought of everything,” she says. “There was a lot of thought put into the home.”

The coffered ceiling in the living room area, the gas fireplace on the main level, a sizable heated garage and walk-in closets in all four bedrooms are some of the details that lured Patty and Ron to purchase the house. The open floor plan was especially attractive to the couple.

Currently, the Grimsons have a rambler in Minot with a more traditional layout that’s not conducive to entertaining, Patty says.

“When you have that openness, it’s so much easier to entertain. It’s just a lovely home,” she says of her Fargo house. “I’m pretty sure we will be using all of it.”

Diane Nordhougen, a Realtor with Park Co., says that open floor plans are universally appealing.

“Homes with that floor plan are very livable and accommodating,” she says. “It’s what everyone’s wanting.”

The Grimsons also wanted ample natural light in whatever new home they chose. Patty was attracted to the Osgood rambler partly because of the large windows in the main living area.

Light pours in through the windows that stretch almost the height of the walls. Mixed woodwork on the ledges lends a modern feel, Patty says.

“The detail is really great; it’s what sold me,” she says.

Amenities like the drop zone in the garage entry, granite counter tops and the gas range in the kitchen and stone tiled showers are desirable in homes with a price point similar to the Grimsons’ rambler, Nordhougen says. It was listed at $439,900.

Nordhougen, who’s sold multiple houses in Osgood, says the price tag varies for new constructions in the area based on the size, builder and style. She also has noticed that each local builder has its own trademarks, and it’s usually easy to tell who built specific homes in the area.

“Crist likes coffered ceilings and back patio overhangs and the front entry pillars,” she says. “A lot of people are doing that now as well, but that’s how I can normally tell if it’s one of his houses.”

The coffered ceilings that’ve become a Crist Construction trademark require extra time and craftsmanship. The sunken panels are put up board by board, but they’re worth every ounce of energy, Crist says.

In the Grimsons’ new abode, the coffered ceiling in the living room area adds architectural interest and depth to the otherwise simple space.

“They’re one of many details that make the total package,” Crist says.

It’s not just Patty and Ron who noticed the attention to detail in the green-sided rambler. When Nordhougen hosted open houses, people would regularly walk in and say, “wow.”

“It’s a ‘wow’ house. There are so many fine features that draw your eyes forward,” she says. “You can see the quality. You can tell it’s not just a quickly thrown up house.”

Once the Grimsons sell their home of 30 years in Minot, they’ll make their way to Fargo to move into the abode they didn’t know they needed.

“I’m very excited; it will serve us well,” Patty says.

Besides seeing their family more often and having a beautiful space to entertain, the couple is looking forward to a local fall tradition: Bison football games.

The public can take a look inside the “wow house” at this year’s Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead’s Fall Parade of Homes. It’s one of 43 new homes that are featured.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Anna G. Larson at (701) 241-5525.