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At Home in Bozeman Real Estate Blog

Tim Hart


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Yellowstone Visitors Up in Peak Months

by Tim Hart

The number of tourists who visited Yellowstone in the first 8 months of 2014 hit 2.7 million, according to figures released by the National Park Service. However, over the park’s three peak months, June through August, the number of visits increased by 6.5% compared to 2013. In 2013, after 8 months, the park had only had 2.3 million visitors.

Park officials are unsure what has caused the increase in visitors. Now, park officials may up the 3 million visitors goal, to become more of a baseline.

In general, the park’s rise in popularity may reflect the state’s continued visibility nationally. Bozeman is almost a microchasm of trends that have taken place in the state. Bozeman continues to see its schools grow as out of state neighbors move in to enjoy the attractions and serenity of our state. Construction numbers and increased real estate transactions also suggest that Montana has become an attractive destination for out of state movers, more than it has ever been before.


New Subdivision Coming for Bozeman Real Estate Market

by Tim Hart

Construction workers are updating and extending both Ferguson Avenue and Cattail Street to make room for a new subdivision, the Four Points. Crews started work on both roads on Wednesday. Once finished, Ferguson will be the only road between 19th Avenue and Love Lane that will directly connect Baxter and Huffine Lane. The west side of Bozeman has become very popular due to the decent prices of homes in that area, coupled with its solid infrastructure and transportation. The Four points subdivision will be adding several muli-family units. The already existing Sundance apartments will be adding 195 new residences. Bozemanites should see improved access and better traffic distribution with the improvement to the two roads. In terms of real estate, Bozemanites should expect to see a lot of new homes and apartments, with many looking for new occupants.


Real Estate Lending Increasing

by Tim Hart

The financing sector has seen an increase in lending for construction and commercial real estate loans. According to the FDIC, US banks have been taking advantage of lower loss rates in these sectors, bringing their loan totals to levels not seen since 2007. Loss rates for construction and land development is now down to 0.24%. In 2009, the rate of loss was at 3.58%. Whereas banks had shied away from loans associated with the recession, now it seems banks are more willing to take the plunge.

In general, banks are easing loan terms while also giving out more loans daily. Banks have found they are under increased competition; therefore, many of these banks are willing to take on more risk and lend more. The Mortgage Bankers Association revealed that loans for commercial and multi family purchases increased by 19% compared to quarterly numbers in 2013.

If you are a potential buyer and you were not given a loan in the past, now may actually be a good opportunity to check again and see if a bank is more willing to negotiate a loan this time around.




High End Property Sales Up in Montana

by Tim Hart

Premium property sales in Montana are continuing to increase, according to a new NBC news report. Any property listed above $425,000 in the state has seen increased buying activity. Realtors have sold more, higher priced listings than since the recession. Homeowners and buyers are warming back up to the idea of making major transactions. Although the market has not recovered significantly compared to lower priced homes, the last month has seen high-end properties fly of the shelves. In the Missoula Valley, 12 high priced homes sold in the last month, continuing a steady improvement of high sale homes since 2011

Americans Paying too Much for their Mortgages?

by Tim Hart

American home owners are missing out on lower mortgage payments according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Survey. Mel Watt, head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has gone on tour throughout the country, in order to spread awareness on the benefits and risks of refinancing their home. Mortgage rates hit their lowest level in years, at 4.1%, supporting the fact that now may be the time to refinance.

Home owners have had a chance during the recession to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), but now many Americans assume that HARP no longer applies to them. However, Mel Watt disagrees. Any homeowner who owes more money than their house is worth will struggle to find any lender who is willing to refinance. The HARP program makes this possibility much more likely. Mel Watt believes that almost 800,000 Americans are missing their opportunity to save serious money on their mortgage. In some cases, specific borrowers have used HARP to save $200 a month.

Please make sure to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of refinancing a home. Also make sure to re-check your credit to see if it has improved since you took out the loan as you may receive better rates.


Bozeman Public Schools See Rising Enrollment

by Tim Hart

Bozeman public schools will have around 6,350 students for the 2014-15 school year. That number increased about 160 students compared to the year previous. Bozeman public school superintendant Rob Watson believes the schools will be more than capable of handling the increasing numbers for this year.

However, they also project the middle schools will likely be full in three years time. Trustees have discussed the possibility of expanding the Sacajawea Middle school in order to alleviate the issue. They hope to add more classrooms as well as a new gym area for students.

Enrollment for kindergarten through 5th grade hit 2,960 students, fifty more than last year.

The two middle schools expect to  have around 1,400 students, or 80 more than last year.

Finally, Bozeman High School expects to see about 1,990 students walk through their door, about 30 more than 2013.

The public schools continued rise in popularity no doubt rests on their excellent reputation, coupled with the continued attraction Bozeman has had for in and out of state movers.


No Space for Rent in Bozeman

by Tim Hart

The results of a 2014 Bozeman rental housing survey were presented to the city on Wednesday. The findings? That the vacancy rate in Bozeman is non-existent and the only way someone may be able to stay the night in town, may be a hotel. The survey collected data from 2,554 total rental units within city limits. Half of the properties were market rate properties and the rest were either subsidized housing or non-residence hall student housing i.e. campus owned homes. Not a single home reported a vacancy when surveyed. The summary also found that of the two subsidized properties that recorded waiting lists, 155 applicants were still left in line. From those numbers, the survey safely concluded that the number of applicants far surpassed the number of vacant rentals in Bozeman.

Currently, the average price of an efficiency unit, like a studio, rents for $549 a month. One bedroom homes rent for $597; two bedroom homes rent for $817; and three bedroom homes rent fro $1,035 a month.

The summary did guard its readers about the small sample size of the data because most of the data was drawn from a very slim segment of the market. The survey was commissioned as part of Bozeman’s affordable housing plan that was adopted in 2012.


Dowtown Bozeman May Add Bike Signs to Mendenhall

by Tim Hart

City commissioners heard a plan to put bike lane markings on Mendenhall to increase biker awareness and safety. The markings, called sharrows, would include shared lane markings, arrows and a bike logo. Sharrows are designed to make motorists aware that the road needs to be shared. Ideally, sharrows would should help keep bikers more safe while giving them more of a right to a busy downtown road. There was not enough room for a bike lane on Mendenhall, less the city removed the car parking currently available. Sharrows can provide a decent, cheaper alternative while still keeping motorists aware of potential bikers. Since Mendenhall is still undergoing completion, now is a good time to add the sharrows to the road and other roads may see sharrows added in their future as well.




Some Housing Market Info.

by Tim Hart

I read an article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle today by Jason Bacaj about the current housing market in Bozeman.

Here is what I found to be very interesting:

Houses on the high and low ends of the market are moving extremely quickly, while mid-priced homes have stayed on the market longer.

Any current listing at or below $350,000 will be expected to be sold within three and a half months.

Out of state migrants, investors and young professionals are driving the current market in Bozeman.

According to Erlenbush, high end homes are selling by more than 50 percent compared to 2013.

Definitely an interesting read and I’m interested to see if the market follows the trends they are predicting.


Market Update: Gallatin County Single Family Residences

by Tim Hart

This month, we will highlight single family homes in the Gallatin County from the first two quarters of 2013 compared to the first two quarters of 2014.

Here are a few stats for all of Gallatin County for single family residences:

  • Units increased in the first two quarters by 8.5% (554 sold in 2013, 606 sold in 2014)
  • Dollar volume increased in the first two quarters by 18.8% from $198,018,500+ in 2013 to $243,809,300+ in 2014
  • Average sale price also increased from $364,732 to $400,861.50
  • For 2014 through 7/31/2014
    • Sold volume already at $304,905,187 and 771 units

Summary – based on increases across the board in the first two quarters from 2013 to 2014, the 2014 market continues to shine, looking to surpass 2013 annual totals easily.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 239

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