Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive

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Snow in the Big Sky Mountains!

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


Even though we still have had our share of dreamy September days with blue bird skies and perfect 55 – 60 degree nights, the mountains are starting to get a nice coating of ‘ceiling white’.   We are seeing snow in the Spanish Peaks to the South and of course, Lone Mountain – the main ski mountain at the Big Sky & Moonlight Basin Resorts along with the saddle in the Bridgers.


The juxtaposition of 70 degree temperatures in the Valley with snow on the mountains is what makes Bozeman, well... Bozeman. 


We thought you might also enjoy the Big Sky Resort Tram Cam in Big Sky from the top of Lone Mountain– see this link:

                  https://bigskyresort.com/the-mountain/webcams/interactive-tram-cam
 
If you are thinking about a great ski trip this winter, be sure to check out our local, but world class resorts:

Bozeman Market Report - Home Sales Are On The Rise

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Statistically, there have been more sales single family homes in Bozeman in 2016 as compared to 2015. This would include every price range up to $700,000.   Also to note, the list price to sales price ratio is higher across the board, exceeding 98% in all price ranges under $700,000.

In price ranges above $700,000, 2015 had 65 sales verses 49 sales this year.

New construction sales are also slightly stronger in 2016 than the same period last year, with 110 sales of new homes so far this year.

We continue to see new inventory hit the market and go under contract quickly.  If you are thinking about selling, now may be the time to see what your home is worth and plan for winter house projects.

Bozeman is Booming

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

It seems it wasn’t that long ago when distressed properties (bank owned and short sales) made up a significant percentage of the market and there was ‘value’ everywhere.   I put value in quotes as no one really knew how to evaluate value other than to define it as properties that were significantly off their peak value.  I had one particularly wise investor that was purchasing very simple, straightforward investments (condos and townhomes priced under $80,000.00) with the goal of a 10 – 12% return on a cash investment.   He already owned many multi-families but he saw value and also ease of resale in purchasing individual units – he has doubled his investment in most cases.

So much has changed since then.   Without sounding like a glorified cheerleader, here are some quick stats & interesting facts about Bozeman and the surrounding areas, including Big Sky, Gallatin Gateway, Manhattan, Belgrade, and Livingston.

  • Our local university, Montana State University….
    • Had yet another year of record enrollment.  This year enrollment climbed above 16,000 students.  This is the tenth time in the last eleven years that MSU has set an enrollment record.  This makes MSU Montana’s largest university. 
    • Montana State is among the top 3% of colleges and universities in the nation for research expenditures and typically exceeds $100 Million per year – are you kidding me?  This makes MSU the largest research and development entity of any kind in the state.
  • Tech companies are booming in Bozeman
    • A few years ago, in 2011, a boot strapped tech company named Right Now Technologies was purchased by Oracle for $1.5 billion
    • According to Oracle’s founder, Greg Gianforte, in a recent speech he gave, Bozeman is now home to 82 tech companies
    • We are seeing tech companies come here for a myriad of reasons – quality of life, affordable housing as compared to Silicon Valley and other hot beds of tech, a talented work force and more.
  • Montana ranked first in start-ups in the entire US for the fourth straight year
  • The Bozeman Yellowstone International airport is the busiest in the state – 2015 saw over 1,000,000 passengers – a record for the state and the first time this many passengers were accommodated ever
  • Yellowstone Park is just down the road – an absolute jewel in the US
  • The Big Sky ski area also saw record guests at 440,000 visits in 2015 – Big Sky also announced a 10-year plan to invest $150,000,000.00 in improvements to the mountain to accommodate over 650,000 annual visits projected by the year 2025.
  • Bozeman population grew at 4.5% from 2014 to 2015 – standing at 43,400 residents according to the US Census Bureau

I am only scratching the surface – more to come in future letters. There is no better time to join us in Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley!

Bozeman Market Report - Condos and Townhome Sales Through June 2016

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

This month, we will highlight condo and townhome sales through June 1 2016 and compare them to 2015 totals in the greater Bozeman area and Belgrade. Here are a few stats:

  • Condos and Townhomes sales have increased by 7.35% in 2016 (204 sold in 2015, 219 sold in 2016)
  • Dollar volume has increased by 14.73% in 2016 ($44,716,616 in 2015, $51,305,072 in 2016)
  • Condos and Townhomes have spent 26.98% longer on the market than they did in 2015 (46 Days on the Market in 2015, 63 Days on the Market in 2016.

Summary: Condo and Townhome values continue to climb steadily in the greater Bozeman, Belgrade area. As values have risen, these homes have spent more time for sale but as of yet, total sales continue to go up. Having total sales increase suggests that the buyer pool still has an appetite for well-priced multi-family properties. Bozeman and Belgrade’s multi-family market continues to grow and remain healthy.

Bozeman Montana Commissioners Approve City Budget

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


Commissioners have been debating the city’s budget, discussing where spending needs to increase and by how much. Bozeman Montana is one of the fastest growing towns in the nation, so commissioners did not consider lowering the budget, but rather trimming back on possible spending increases.

Commissioners had debated several budgets, with City Manager’s Chris Kukulski’s budget dominating the conversation. Kukulski called for major investments in infrastructure, while also addressing issues created by Bozeman’s population and economic growth. If adopted in total, this budget would have increased a typical Bozeman resident’s city fees by 5.5 percent.

In Kukulski’s budget, the average Bozeman resident would see their taxes increase by $114 per year. Infrastructure spending would take $72 of the yearly tax increase per resident. The fees would fund deferred maintenance as well as street creation and maintenance in new Bozeman neighborhoods.

An alternative budget reduced the increase to $80 per year, representing a 3.9% total increase. However, this plan required cuts in both planning studies and affordable housing efforts, both topics that have been high on the Bozeman’s list of priorities.

The city ultimately decided to approve a budget closer to Kukulski’s budget, but with additional cuts, representing a middle area between the two proposed budgets. They city approved the new budget with a 3-2 vote. Bozeman Commissioners passed on several new hires and a few planning initiatives to cut an additional half million from the budget. They did add some spending in a few places, including the Bozeman Public Library’s new mobile library, the bookmobile.

The approved budget will add $92 a year to a Bozeman resident’s lifestyle. Total yearly costs per resident have increased to $1,148 per year. The 4.5% increase fell between Kukulski’s budget (5.5 percent increase) and the alternative budget (3.9 percent increase). Homeowners can expect to see a $1.32 increase in their property taxes.

Sources: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-budget-passes-on-a-split-vote-as-commissioners-spar/article_fe577606-0987-5ec5-9127-3c4303a0dd65.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-city-commission-debating-budget-tax-increases-monday-night/article_b337d1b8-0451-53ce-b795-c93180feddb5.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/blogs/city/getting-a-handle-on-bozeman-s-budget/article_8ebe8f60-6dde-56e8-929d-8756366b8241.html

Bozeman High School Students Earn 1.7 Million in College Scholarships

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

After tracking scholarship winnings for the first time in Bozeman High School’s history, the College and Career center announced that BHS students received more than 1.7 million dollars in scholarships for college. These scholarships were application based awards, requiring hard work and consistent support from both the students and the center.

Bozeman High School’s education is considered the best in the state. But perhaps its the programs and community that encompass more than just class taking that make the high school unique. The College and Career Center is one of the auxiliary programs that seem to direct BHS students in a positive direction.

The scholarship totals only represented high schoolers who had reported their scholarship to the center, so more money may have been awarded. This year, the College and Career center worked in depth with around 60 of the 415 students (going to the center is voluntary and must be student led). A majority of the 1.7 million in scholarships came from these students. One student went in almost every day and ultimately walked away with $27,000 in scholarships.

The center is open every day at Bozeman High School from 8 am to 4 pm. Having an additional support/educational program like this in the school will get more students into college and at a better rate.

Bozeman High School continues to work hard on surrounding the school with great programs to help students excel and to keep students from falling behind. Last year, Bozeman won an award to improve its mental health programs while also taking part in a competitive study for teaching mathematics in schools.

Bozeman’s enrollment continues to increase because of its consistent excellence. It’s hard for a home buyer to NOT move to Bozeman when they start a family. The City of Bozeman just announced plans to move forward with a second high school to better address growth, allowing for the city to grow while keeping a great education system moving forward.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/bozeman-high-seniors-earn-million-in-college-scholarships/article_a0a3da58-7edd-5dc3-879a-978a2e9fee18.html

Bozeman Approves Cottage Housing to Improve Home Affordability

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The City of Bozeman has passed a proposal to create smaller, cottage style homes to add lower priced inventory to Bozeman’s real estate market. Bozeman has been addressing home affordability in town for some time, including passing an inclusive zoning ordinance, while continuing to approve additional developments.

The general proposal encourages homes between 1,000 and 1,200 square feet, built surrounding the edges of a property, with an interior, shared common space between them. The design would aim towards using the land more efficiently, fitting many more units per acre with a clustered living style. The design creates a pseudo courtyard feel, with buildings surrounding a natural space.

Growing homes have, at the very least, contributed to growing home prices in Bozeman.  Since 1950, the average square feet for a Bozeman home has doubled, while the average household size has actually shrunk. As buyers have searched for bigger homes year over year, builders have obliged, requiring lower end buyers to buy more home or return to the rental market. Allowing builders more opportunities to create smaller homes will help renters and condo owners get more opportunities to own a detached home. 

The new proposal would also allow for infill development from Bozeman property owners and developers as well. City officials believe cottage housing will improve density, while avoiding large apartments and other urban designs. Previous ordinances had funneled developers into building condos. Condo owners own their own units, but not the exteriors or the land beneath them. The cottage homes would make detached homes more affordable while also giving home buyers the opportunity for land ownership.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-pondering-cottage-housing-ordinance-to-provide-affordable-homes/article_d987b65f-87af-5e23-a661-708e91461a8c.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-commission-delays-discussion-on-vacation-rentals-food-trucks/article_08f615da-3309-55fb-a406-4579ab709237.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-city-commission-approves-cottage-housing-ordinance/article_52afe981-a29c-5540-a84c-39d60b57c4cf.html

 

The US Navy has turned to Montana State University and Bozeman’s S2 corporation to help design new technology for diagnosing and detecting potential threats across the world.

The Navy has given MSU’s Spectrum Lab and S2 Corporation a $4.5 million contract to develop new sensors to improve the Navy’s intelligence and awareness. The university and corporation were chosen based on their marked improvement over current technology. According to the CEO of S2 corporation, current sensors see only about 1 percent of a possible spectrum whereas technology they have developed in Bozeman sees more than 100 times that.

The Navy has given S2 and Montana State a 3-year contract, which will provide additional stability for Bozeman’s burgeoning high tech industry. Bozeman, Montana's e-city according to Google, has seen a major expansion by Oracle and NASA funded tech programs in 2016 alone. This news, continues to add to Bozeman's recent stockpile of tech news.

These groups have the opportunity to invent new technology in Bozeman that will be deployed into real world practice. This contract will only improve Bozeman’s reputation as a center for technology in Montana. The contract will also provide additional capital for MSU and S2 to hire additional high income employees.

Bozeman continues to attract more specialized, high salary jobs. Bozeman’s economy continues its forward momentum as more high tech professionals continue to make their home in Bozeman.

 

 

Source: http://www.kbzk.com/story/31588503/msu-bozeman-corporation-land-45m-contract 

Bozeman Montana Will Have Second High School

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Make some room Bozeman High School—it looks like you will have some company soon in Bozeman, Montana. The phrase now feels much more real, thanks to a 6-1 vote by the Bozeman School Board to build an entirely new, 9 -12 high school in Bozeman Montana. Bozeman has been one of the fastest growing small towns in Western United States.

Bozeman High School currently has 2,000 students but has been expanding year over year. By 2020, the date a new high school should be opened, that enrollment will reach 2,400, hence the split.

The Bozeman School Board, as well as its high school expansion advisory committee, worked hard in the past six months to determine the best method of expanding its educational services to a growing city.

The Bozeman School District had grappled with several ideas, including a Freshman only school, expanding the current high school, or even changing which age children would attend what school. However, after much deliberation, the board went ahead with the most expensive, but also most forward thinking proposal (in terms of potential future costs): an entirely new high school, a distinct entity from Bozeman High School with its own teachers, athletics, mascot etc.

The high school will be built on Bozeman’s west side of town, on Oak and Flander’s Mill Road. It will be just North of Meadowlark Elementary school.

The recommendations for the new Bozeman high school were researched and made by the 31-member advisory committee which consisted of parents, teachers and community members. The committee had to tackle concerns that expansion might bring. The variety and number of classes offered may be thinned due to the costs of new faculty, administration and operating costs.

Bozeman High School’s reputation has been nothing short of stellar of late. Its students always perform extremely high on standardized tests, they take a wide variety of AP classes, the school has received education based grants, and the overall happiness of Bozeman high schoolers is very high in comparison to other places in Montana and in the US. Many are concerned a second school could potentially dilute the excellence and momentum Bozeman High School has built.

Despite concerns of the price and drawbacks of a second high school, the advisory committee reported that letters for and against a new high school were nearly 2-1, giving them the confidence that they have made the best decision for the community. Voters will still need to pass the bond that funds the school. That very important vote will take place in May, 2017.

 

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/milestone-vote-supports-bozeman-s-second-high-school/article_a436820e-7804-58d6-bb04-8619b632e863.html

This month, we will compare single family home sales in the Gallatin Valley through April 2016 to last year’s home sales and help reveal trends in the market. Here are a few stats:

  • 2016 sales are currently projected to drop by 21.62% (1,485 in 2015, 388 through April, projected to 1,164 sales in 2016)
  • Dollar volume is projected to drop by 24.05% ($663,572,593 in 2015, $167,993,026 through April, projected to 503,979,078 in 2016)
  • Currently, homes are moving slightly faster than last year, staying on the market 2.06% shorter than 2015 (97 days on the market in 2015, 95 days on the market in 2016)

Summary: The 2016 housing market has moved slower than in 2015, at least through the first 4 months. Home buyers and sellers alike should keep in mind that the most active time periods, those over the summer and fall, tend to see the highest activity. So although simple projections suggest the market might be slowing, a fast summer could easily reverse this trend. The market remains very healthy—growth continues—and small home inventory has kept the market fast paced. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 534

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