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Bozeman's Best Restaurants

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

One of many benefits of living in Bozeman, Montana is our wide selection of great restaurants. It may seem hard to imagine for a little town of roughly 43,405 people, but there are about 123 restaurants in Bozeman, 44 of which are downtown. It sure is a great feeling to be able to eat at a different restaurant for each date-night without even having to leave town. With so many places to choose from, lets hyalite some of the best restaurants for you start with.

Wasabi

Wasabi-sushi-bar is certainly the first restaurant you should try if you’re new to town. At this Hibachi grill, chefs put on a talent show as they cook your food in front of you. Who knows where these chefs come from, but they are the most talented group of individuals I have ever seen. What they can do with a knives, spatulas, and fire is amazing. My personal favorite thing about Wasabi is how its chefs will occasionally squirt a fountain of saki into your mouth while your waiting for your food, really keeping the party going.

14 North

This gastropub combines the best of both worlds of fine-dining and bars. A bar sits in the core of the restaurant, with formal dining space around it, and an overflow and meeting space upstairs. 14 North takes great pride in its menu, spending anywhere from hours to days to prepare and season its steaks, lamb shanks, and filet’s sauce. As Zeglan says, “It takes time to build the flavors we’re trying to create.” With delicious food and a festive atmosphere, you wouldn’t regret having dinner at 14 North.

The Roost

This fried chicken joint really makes you feel at home if you’re from the south. It offers prime buttermilk chicken and biscuits made from scratch, and fired okra and mac and cheese “like mom used to make.” If you’re health conscious, you should feel comfortable knowing that The Roost only uses whole foods. Mike Buck, the co-owner, says he takes pride in the family aspect of his business, the freshness of his ingredients, and the story behind it. The Roost uses natural hormone-free chicken raised on a family farm, and it goes as far as paying extra shipping costs for stone ground grits from a water-powered mill in Tennessee.

Open Range

This is a restaurant for impressing your date. Open Range is a formal, fine dining restaurant with great food and service. While Open Range is known for steak, its duck is also fantastic, and certainly recommended. Along with our personal experience, reviewers really loved how the duck was “perfectly cooked and full of flavor.” Open Range also offers a great selection of wine, beer, and cocktails.  

Red Chair

This is our personal favorite, but not just because it’s across the street from our office, although that is a plus. Red Chair is a neighborhood café & bar located on the quiet, west side of Bozeman. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. No matter what meal of the day you’re looking for, Red Chair has a menu for it. Its bar also makes killer mimosas and bloody marys to go with your weekend breakfast. What’s special about this place is its view of the Bridgers from the second floor. With windows wrapped around the dining area and a balcony to eat on outside, you can see across across Bozeman’s rooftops with unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains while you’re eating.

November 2016 Market Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The 2016 residential market in Bozeman and Belgrade has been highly active from October to November, compared to last year. Between these two cities, 317 single family homes closed, up from 284 in 2015. The median sales price, has also increased from $295,000 to $323,000. The total sales volume of $123,751,980 for this time period increased from last year’s total of $112,737,420. The seller’s market continues, with low inventory and high buyer demand. 

Here are the statistics for October and November, 2016 and 2015:

Residential Sales-Units:

October to November 2015: 284

October to November 2016: 317

Residential Sales--Median Sales Price

October to November 2015: $295,000

October to November 2016: $323,000    

Residential Sales- Total Sales Volume

October to November 2015: $112,737,420

October to November 2016: $123,751,980

Business Success In Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

It is exciting to see so many successful businesses in our community. For the third consecutive year in a row, The Partners Group has been named among the top 75 Best Places to Work in Insurance nationwide. This company has a number of offices across the Northwest, including one here in Bozeman, Montana.  It is great to see so many admired companies laying foundations in Bozeman.

Along with the Partners Group,  RightNow Technologies (bought by Oracle), Elixiter, Wisetail, Zoot Enterpises, Simms, and a number of other large companies are growing in the area.  Our economy is strong. These local businesses are contributing to Montana’s superior economic performance.


With such growth of jobs and businesses in our city, Gallatin County’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.3% in August 2016, the lowest unemployment rate in Montana. 


In 2015, Montana lead the nation in entrepreneurship, with its number of business openings accounting for 7.4% of the total existing business.

There is some mighty potential for our small town. Apparently, Montana isn’t just about being a fun and beautiful place to live in, it’s a great place to start a career as well. With the real estate market booming, it’s a great time to buy a house here in Southwest Montana if you’ve been considering it. See our listings, or contact us today and together we’ll find that perfect home you’ve been looking for.

Southwest Montana: Best Skiing In America

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

One of the greatest benefits of living in Montana, specifically in Southwest Montana, is that we are gifted with some of the best skiing in America. The Gallatin County sits in the middle of two world class resorts, Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl. These resorts are scheduled to open soon this season, with Big Sky Resort opening on November 24th and Bridger Bowl opening on December 9th. With ski season just around the corner, lets revisit some of the top reasons why living in Southwest Montana couldn’t get any better for winter enthusiasts.

                                                                                                                       

Big Sky Resort is one of the biggest resorts in North 

America, providing 5,800 acres with 300​ named runs 

across 4 connected mountains. The size of 

this place is hard to wrap your mind around. I’ve personally skied here for several years, venturing through as many runs as I could, and I still end up finding runs I haven’t seen before. One secret about this resort, which some locals may not want you to know about, is that there are a number of hidden shacks and huts throughout the mountain. I found a few, but can never manage to remember where they were when trying to find my way back. 

 

You don’t even have to ride the terrain to appreciate these resorts. The communities built at the base of the mountains are worth visiting even if you don’t ride down their slopes. Beyond skiing, Big Sky Resort offers a plethora of activities for its visitors, including zip-line tours, snowshoe tours, snowmobile tours, dog sledding, sleigh rides, nordic skiing, a giant swing, and a high rope course. The village at the base of the mountain is also something worth experiencing as well. Big Sky Resort offers a shopping center with a number of restaurants and breweries with great tasting food and drinks. Big Sky also has set plans on really improving this village community, claiming that it will rival “the best of Europe” by 2025. If you want to find your own ski pad, click here.

 

​​Bridger Bowl is another one Montana’s cherished trophies. This ski resort is like the little brother its neighbor, Big Sky Resort, but with all the same qualities of great terrain. Being closer to Bozeman, Bridger Bowl is more popular among the locals and college students. This resort offers wide open terrain with a number of glades, chutes, and my personal favorite, gullies. With its steep chutes, snow fields, and abrupt cliffs, Bridger’s Ridge terrain offers some of the most challenging skiing in North America. 

 

Outside of the resort there is also opportunities to ski with the local community ski club, Bridger Ski Foundation. Based in Bozeman, this nonprofit organization offers an extensive network of Nordic ski trails around town. Bridger Ski Foundation is making progress in growing the club and expanding its trail system, while practicing its values in providing both an educational and charitable experience to its members. The club was just recognized in 2015 by the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association, awarding it as a Gold Certified Club. This club welcomes anyone who wants to participate and volunteer to join. The Bridger Ski Foundation is another example for why we are fortunate to be a part of such a proactive community that has been making a positive impact.

 

Our winter sports is just one of them many reasons to appreciate living in our area. If you enjoy the sight and feel of crisp white snow covered mountains, you wont regret buying a house here. So if you don’t live here already, we can surely help make that happen.  The mountains are not going anywhere, and neither will our beloved snow!

Nationwide Housing Shortage

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

As generations grow older, new waves of people are entering the housing market. After graduating college and beginning their career, people in their 20’s begin to look for their first home. These new buyers make a major influence on the nationwide demand in the housing market. To keep housing rates at a healthy level, the amount of vacant houses need to meet the number of new market entrants. Today, concern has risen over our current housing shortage.

With 318.9 million people in the U.S., and 16,585,415 vacant homes in 2015, only 5.2% of this growing population will be able to find a home to move into this year. According to the U.S Census Bureau, 1,055,000 new homes were built in 2015, which is small in comparison to the number of buyers entering the market. First time buyers are typically between the ages of 20 to 29.


With 13.8% of the country’s population in this age group, there is a larger influx of new buyers than houses available.


Considering the rising student debt and housing prices, the housing shortage just adds to the ever growing challenge for first time buyers.

With baby boomer’s now seeing their millennial grandchildren in their twenties, we are experiencing a large expansion of the number of homeowners in this country. Now these millennials are out of college, starting a career, and looking to buy a house.


Millennials have surpassed their parents’ Gen-X and their grandparents’ Baby Boomer generations as the largest American generation to date. 


This influx in housing demand continues to be a challenge for the construction industry, which is still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that the birth rate is not constant. After the millennial generation, the birth rate started to decline. The population of ages 10 to 14, accounting for 6.7% of the population, is .4% less than the age bracket 15 to 19, which is 7.1% of the population. From there, the birth rate continued to decline. Ages 5 to 9 lowered to 6.6% of the population, and ages under 5 are 6.5%. This decrease entails how the housing market will react in the years to come. If the birth rate continues to decline, then we will see a reversing trend in the housing shortage. 

Along with many other factors, population is major determinant of long-term market trends. Keeping all other factors constant, a large bubble in our population will affect future housing trends. When construction fails to keep up with the growing demand for more houses, we experience a housing shortage. Then, as demand supersedes supply, prices increase. This is why it is useful to look at the U.S. Census reports to foreshadow future housing bubbles. 

At Hart Real Estate Solutions, we stay in tune with the latest market stats to anticipate changes in the real estate market. We don’t just present meaningless data either, we analyze it to find noteworthy correlations and estimate projections of what to expect in the future. Subscribe to our monthly newsletters to keep yourself up to date with the latest news and reports, which may help answer some questions you have about real estate, or just provide you with interesting information. Have any questions about your home? Contact us on our website, or give us a call for a free home consultation at (406) 599-6961.

 

Hunting Season In Montana

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


As you know, Montana is the prime state for world class hunting, offering a wide selection of big game. Elk, deer, antelope, bison, black bear, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, wild turkey—you name it, Montana has got some of the biggest and the wildest. Today, rifle hunting season for large game is well under way in Montana. With most big game seasons ending at the end of this month, and antelope season already ended, rifle season  is almost over. Make sure to get your hunting in before the season ends!

To make sure you don’t miss your chance this year, here’s a list of the rifle season dates for Montana.


Elk Season

October 22 - November 27

Deer Season

October 22 - November 27

Antelope Season (over)

October 8 - November 13

Bison Season

November 15 - February 15

Black Bear Season

September 15 - November 28

Mountain Lion Season

October 22 - November 27

Bighorn Sheep Season

September 15 - November 27

Mountain Goat Season

September 15 - November 27

Moose Season

September 15 - November 27

Wild Turkey Season

Fall:        September 1 - January 1

Spring:        April 9 - May 15

 

What’s special about Montana is that it has implemented a Block Management program that encourages private property owners, who tend to have the best vantage points, to give permission for public hunting on their land. This program provides nearly 7.8 million acres for fall hunts. There are many benefits of owning land in Montana, but one to consider if you love hunting, is hunting on your own land! Especially if you grow alfalfa. Montana alfalfa farmers would tell you all about how much big game love to wander through their fields. 

If you’re interested in the unique experiences of hunting in Montana, contact us to learn how we can help you live your dream of living where you hunt.  Bozeman and the surrounding communities are all amazing places to live and play.  Get out here and see what Montana is really about!

 

 

 

 

Ask us about our last hunting trip. Nathan (bottom right) shot his first mule deer last weekend!

 

Some Big Names You Probably Didn’t Know Live In Montana

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Apparently, Montana is the desired place to be among the rich and famous. There are quite a few American icons living among us. So who are these people, and where are they?

 

Michael Keaton lives somewhere in the Big Timber area near Livingston, but his exact location is unknown. Helena’s Independent Record article from October 1986, reported that he owns a 565-acre ranch south of Big Timber. You might find him fishing with Tom Brokaw and relaxing on the great rivers of Montana. 

 

Tom Brokaw, is a former broadcaster for an Omaha radio station, KMTV, and better known as the NBC’s anchor from 1982 to 2004. He now works as a Special Correspondent for NBC News, as well as making documentaries for other media outlets. Mr. Brokaw found his interest in Montana when he came to shoot a documentary and speak for The Montana Bar Association in the 1980s. The only fee he charged for speaking was to be dropped off “at a trailhead and picked up five days later.” After being brought back a second time a few years later for more work, he didn’t want to leave, leading to his purchase of West Boulder Ranch near Livingston. He was so committed to stay that he made the journey to and from New York for weeks at a time, which turned into months as the years rolled on.

 

Dennis Quaid was a famous movie star who came about in the 1980s, starring in a variety of drama and comedy movies. Some movies he plays in that you might recall are The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, The Parent Trap, and a number of other box office hits. In the late-80s, Mr. Quaid bought a ranch near Livingston that was jointly owned by the actor Warren Oats and director Sam Peckinpah. His home was unique in that it had hardwood floors recovered from the Great Fire of Chicago of 1871. Sadly, he sold this beautiful $14 million estate in 2011.

 

Huey Lewis, a popular lead singer of Huey Lewis and the News from the 1980s, found his way to Montana in 1987. He bought a 500-acre ranch outside of Stevensville, where he lives comfortably today. Mr. Lewis has been known to contribute to the community in a variety of ways, one being his funding of the Missoula Jazz band. You’d also find him, as well as with many others on this list, fly-fishing along Big Sky’s rivers and streams.

 

You know David Letterman as a famous talk show host, but what you probably didn’t know that he is another fellow Montana lover. He owns a huge 2700-acre ranch located 35 miles outside of Choteau, Montana, neighboring Glacier National Park. He also owns a ranch in Ruby Valley, which is closer to the southwest corner of the state. Although he spends most of his time in Salem, New York, he shows interest in settling down in his Montana home as a permanent residence when he retires. 

 

Another well-known name among Montana residences, but is sadly no longer with us, was Chet Huntley, the founder of what is now the largest ski resort in the nation, Big Sky Resort. Born on December 10, 1911, Chet Huntley passed several decades ago. He will be remembered as he contributed to a large part of the lives of many winter enthusiasts who come to enjoy the many slopes of Big Sky Resort. Chet Huntley attended the local college at Montana State University, from which he transferred to University of Washington and graduated in 1934 with a degree in both speech and drama. He then began his career at a Seattle radio station, moved around as he climbed the ladder, and then found his way to NBC news in 1955. With his love for skiing, he returned to Montana in summer of 1970. He then began work on the project skiers and snowboarders came to appreciate him for, the opening of Big Sky Resort. Sadly, Mr. Huntley wasn’t able to stick around to see the magnificent work he built. He passed away at 62 in March 1974, three days before the grand opening.

 

A list of other names can be found in the private community of the prestigious Yellowstone Club, tucked away in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana. This club was reported to have about 250 members, each of which are required to pay a minimum of $250,000 to join, in addition to the price of their $5 million to $25 million mountainside home. Notable members include a number of American celebrities & icons such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Warren Miller, Phil Mickelson, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Dan Quayle, Greg LeMond, Jack Kemp, Tom Brady, Jeff Bridges, and of course, Bill Gates. 

 

Apparently, Montana is the place to be. Justin Timberlake and his wife chose to move to a quiet place in Big Sky where they can raise their child away from the busy, big city life. There are a number of other unaccounted celebrities that live in and appreciate the beauty of Montana. When such icons as these all move to the same area, you know it must be a great location!

 

Is Your Stone Siding Causing Water Damage?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

You’ve probably seen a lot of houses with stone siding, or even own one yourself, and admired how natural it looks and that it must be durable. It has been a trend in the market to favor this stone siding wrapped around house exteriors—it gives homeowners a sense of stability of their home. Unfortunately, this stone siding may not be as stable as it looks, in fact, it may not even be stone.

Faux stone is a fabrication material that commonly substitutes for actual stone. This material is light weight, can be manufactured in a variety of colors, and most importantly, it’s less expensive. Both builders and homeowners have favored faux stone in recent years, contributing to its double-digit sales growth. However, home inspectors have noticed a problem—widespread water damage from poor installation.

Trace Inspections out of Nashville, Tennessee have claimed that nearly 9 out of the 10 homes they’ve inspected with this fabricated stone siding had been installed incorrectly, resulting in a number of problems. Years after installation, homeowners have reported water seepage behind the siding, leading to mold and rotting walls.

It seems as if faux stone is repeating the same issues that came with the synthetic stucco (exterior insulation finish systems or EIFS) from the 1990s. Synthetic stucco is similar to faux stone in that it was cheap, easy to install, and was a favored alternative to the traditional material. Like the fabricated stone, synthetic stucco also had water damage issues. Seepage through small openings around windows and doors caused irreversible damage requiring expensive repairs. Affected homeowners sued the manufacturers, who in turn offered large settlements.

The American Society of Home Inspectors are addressing this issue by encouraging homeowners to be aware of the problems costs associated with the improper installation of exterior siding, pressuring them to closely inspect the siding for signs of seepage.

What signs of damage should you look for? You may see trim boards start to warp and separate, or a slight discoloration of hardwood floors. Another obvious indicator is if the siding was installed without sealants or backer rods around large windows, which would lead to water running down the inside of the walls and lead to mold and rot. Another simple check is to tap the stone to feel any give. Anything that feels loose while tapping is an easy indicator of water damage that dissolved the glue from behind the siding. Another thing to look for is under windows or door frames, where the stone veneer should come up to with only a half-inch gap, which should be filled with a foam rod and a flexible sealant. Water may settle in these areas and cause rotting and mold growth. Check to see if these areas are properly caulked and sealed.

Unfortunately, problems often exist behind the stonework and are out of sight until it is too late. For this case, specialized equipment may be necessary. Moisture meters and infrared cameras can be used to detect problems beyond the reach of the naked eye.

To minimize the likelihood of water damage, preventative action is encouraged to limit the amount of moisture around the siding. Keeping foliage away from exterior siding is a simple, yet necessary, first step. Plants warrant unnecessary moisture, attracting insects and animals that may find their way through the walls. Keeping gutters clean is another step that is often undermined by homeowners. If gutters are clogged, causing water to back up, there is potential of water damage to exterior siding. It is recommended to check and clean gutters at least twice a year.

With proper installation and preventative measures, however, these problems wouldn’t exist. Faux stone is a worthy alternative to real stone with its affordable, lightweight design, as long as it is installed properly. Inspectors advise homeowners to pay close attention to the quality of their builders’ work to make sure the siding is installed as it should, and prevent any future damage with costly repairs. These factors should be kept in mind when buying a home with this fabricated stone veneer. It would be best to hire a home inspector with specialized training for the peace of mind of not having any costly surprises in the future.

Affordable Condos Coming To Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

As housing prices are on the rise, affordable housing in Bozeman is running scarce. Lower class families and individuals are being pushed further out of city limits as these housing options become limited. Countering this issue, the Talbach House project is providing Bozeman with a three-story condo building in a great location of a quickly developing area of the city.

The most appealing aspect of these condos is that their affordable price would not be sacrificing quality. Bitnar Architects have designed these condos with a high-end interior and European-inspired elements, such as large windows. One bedroom units will hold 625-square-feet, starting at $172,000.

Other condos of the same size are priced between $285,000 and $800,000, and the median price of single-family homes in Bozeman last year was $337,000. In this comparison, this Talbach House project is looking like a great deal for affordable housing.

The goal of this building project, stated by the developer of Cadius Partners, is to satisfy the needs of affordable housing for the “growing population of younger people” who are not yet committed to settle down and get married, before moving in to a single-family home.

Being the neighbor of the new Oracle campus, another opportunity is evident to house its growing staff. These condos would be a convenient option for the company’s employees. There are few chances in one’s career to have a walking commute.

September 2016 Real Estate Market Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Gallatin County real estate market is still growing strong. According to the Gallatin Association of REALTORS®, both average sales volume and total sale price has shown significant growth through September 2015 to September this year.

The increase in average real estate price from $358,997 last year to $460,957 this year, estimates an astounding 36% housing appreciation. Average sales volume has also seen substantial growth by 30% in this area.

These numbers demonstrate positive implications that the Gallatin area is steadily climbing in the real estate market. As the GAR President stated, “our local market is in strong shape.”

The statistics comparison between September 2016 and 2015 are as follows:

Residential Sales-Units:

  • September 2015: 226
  • September 2016: 217

Residential Sales- Average Sales Price

  • September 2015: $339,194
  • September 2016: $460,957

Residential Sales- Total Sales Volume

  • September 2015: $76,657,952
  • September 2016: $100,027,807 

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Hart Real Estate Solutions
Real Estate in Bozeman Montana
626 S Ferguson Ave. #2
Bozeman MT 59718
406.585.0000
406.570.5730