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What can $300,000 buy you?

It's only a few minutes long, and it's on one of those cable television channels that most people get only because it comes in a big package with more sought-after channels.

Thompson home
The segment featuring Kelly Thompson's Grand Forks home and two others airs at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Herald photo by Eric Hylden

It's only a few minutes long, and it's on one of those cable television channels that most people get only because it comes in a big package with more sought-after channels.

But Kelly Thompson's Grand Forks house -- and Grand Forks -- sure look good on Home and Garden Television's program examining what $300,000 will buy in various locations around the country.

Here's a bulletin: $300,000 buys a lot more in Grand Forks than it does in San Francisco.

HGTV is a cable-television network that broadcasts a variety of shows on home and garden improvement, maintenance, renovation and remodeling. The segment featuring Thompson's house and two others airs at 12:30 p.m. today.

It originally aired in late summer, he said, but he missed it.


"I hadn't heard anything from them since they were here filming (in May)," he said. "I figured maybe the segment had been cut. But all of a sudden on a Sunday, I started getting calls from people who had seen it."

Thompson's Almonte Avenue home was featured in the Herald in February 2006, shortly after it was built.

The house was designed with traditional exterior features to fit with the neighborhood, but it was a sleek and uncluttered look he wanted inside, he said, "a clean palette." And that's what Thompson, a Realtor and downtown businessman, said he got from architect Scott Meland and designer Jason Restemayer of Abode Design in Grand Forks.

The entryway opens into three rooms -- kitchen, living room and dining room -- without separating walls.

His fantasy from the beginning, Thompson said in the HGTV piece, was to be able to open the doors and windows and clean the house with a leaf blower.

"I haven't tested that yet," he said this week. "But I wanted to keep the house as simple as possible, with lots of windows, air and light. No fuss."

Walls are white, hardwood floors are bare, ceilings are 9 feet high and no curtains block the natural light. As the 2006 Herald story reported, "He has no rugs to shake, no knickknacks to dust and no window coverings to wash."

The roughly 10-minute segment includes nice pictures of downtown Grand Forks, UND and the banks of the Red River, although the riverbank was shot in early May before much greening had occurred. It's not Venice or Paris or San Francisco, but still ... the images say this is a nice place.


"They taped for two days," Thompson said. "It was all professionally done."

Thompson and his former wife share custody of three children -- Navy, 16, Fiona, 14, and Beck, 11 -- and they have cameo appearances in the segment, including Navy rockin' with a garage band.

Reach Haga at (701) 780-1102; (800) 477-6572, ext. 102; or send e-mail to chaga@gfherald.com .

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