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Bozeman Airport Reflects Town's Growth

by Tim Hart

Bozeman’s Airport, much like the town itself, has seen fast growth over the past few years. After continuing its population growth and seeing high tourism numbers, its no wonder Bozeman has seen increased activity at its airport.

Last year, commercial passenger traffic increased 15 percent. Each month in 2015 has seen higher numbers than the previous month. Both of these facts contribute to the narrative that Bozeman is growing quickly and has become one of the most sought after locations in Montana.

Bozeman has been attracting airline travelers for vacation and for permanent stay, or perhaps a little of both.

Bozeman has had some of the highest wages in Montana along with a reasonable cost of living, while staying safe. Coupled with its livability and amazing access to public lands, it’s a very attractive place for people looking to call Bozeman home. Both Bozeman Public Schools and Montana State University have seen rising enrollments, reflecting the desire of many to call Bozeman home.

Tourism in Bozeman has also seen large growth. Yellowstone National Park and nearby State Parks saw increased numbers in 2014 while Bozeman was honored as one the top ski destinations in the world.

After the airport reached 1 million passengers last year, it announced it would need to expand again to deal with increased numbers. Now, it continues to see even higher numbers. Bozeman’s access to an international airport has been partly attributed to its recent economic success. Both help eachother, attracting great people and allowing Bozeman to sell itself. Once the airport expands, local residents can expect more tourists and more people looking to stay for an extended time.

 

Source: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2015/05/11/bozeman-airport-passenger-numbers-continue-grow/27113961/

http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/Bozeman-airport-passenger-numbers-continue-growth/32928280

 

 

Greater Bozeman Area Market Update - July 2015

by Tim Hart

This month, we will compare condo and townhome sales through June 30th 2015 and compare them to similar sales from 2014 in the greater Bozeman area. Here are a few stats for all Bozeman area condo and townhome residences:

  • Unit Sales increased by 6.76%  (221 sold through June 2015, 207 sold in through June 2014)
  • Dollar volume increased by 14.27% ($51,301,043 through June 2015, $44,892,026 sold through June 2014)
  • Condos and Townhomes have been staying on the market 17.26% shorter in 2015 (50.1 days on market in 2015, 60.55 days on market in 2014)

Summary – Through the end of June, the housing market continues its growth. Homes are moving quicker, in higher numbers and at higher prices than in 2014. The overall Gallatin County market is still very healthy and growing.

Tim's Know Your Homes 101 - Second Empire Architecture

by Tim Hart

Second Empire Architecture can be traced back to the reign of Napoleon III in France. Napoleon III, apparently unhappy with the look of Paris, replaced the medieval structures remaining in the city with this new architectural style. Public buildings are ornate and stately and exude a sense of power and wealth.

For residential versions, the goals are similar as most Second Empire homes are very large and were built for the rich in the United States. The style peaked in popularity in the US between 1855 and 1885 and was most popular in the Northeast and Midwest.

With several tiers, second Empire homes oftentimes look like a wedding cake. They are usually built in a simple box form and are usually very symmetrical minus the tower (also a common feature). The entrance to the home is usually elevated above grade level by several steps. On the exterior, anything that leads to a more monumental or ornate look are more than welcome on a Second Empire Home.

If you would like to take another lesson, please feel free to take another class below!

Victorian

Craftsman/Bungalow

Colonial

Tudor

Ranch

French Eclectic

Spanish Mission Revival

Cape Cod

Tri-Level

 

Source: http://www.wentworthstudio.com/historic-styles/second-empire/

 

 

Energy Investments Protect Earth, Not Wallets

by Tim Hart

According to a new study done by the University of Chicago, energy efficiency upgrades still keep the planet green, but probably won’t put too much green back into your pocket.

The University set up a controlled trial of 30,000 households in Michigan, telling ¼ of them to make residential energy efficiency upgrades (with assistance) and compared their energy savings to those who did not upgrade. Households were provided $5,000 in weatherization upgrades (furnace replacement, attic and wall insulation, and weather stripping). Unfortunately, the cost of putting these upgrades into place was nearly double the difference in their energy costs. Although energy consumption fell by a noticeable 10 to 20%, the upgrades only translated into $2,400 in savings over the life of the upgrades—less than half of the costs to input them.

Of course, from an environmental standpoint, such upgrades are still a big win. But its portrayal as a “double-win” as the University of Chicago calls it, is unfounded.

From a real estate perspective, particularly real estate sales, having a green home can still do a lot to attract a buyer to your home over someone else’s non-efficient home. But the direct ‘bottom-line’ approach shows that the investment is not giving as much return as advertised.

 

Source: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/06/23/energy-efficiency-upgrades-cost-double-projected-benefits

 

Bozeman High School Ranked Best in Montana

by Tim Hart

Bozeman High School was rated the best high school in Montana according to US News and World Report Magazine. In their 2015 ranking of the best American High Schools, Bozeman came out on top for the state and performed well nationwide.

US News and World Report Magazine ranked the high schools based on student performance on state tests, minority student and low-income student performance, as well as how well the school prepares its students for college.

Bozeman performed admirably at the national level, earning a silver distinction for high schools. The magazine looked at 29,000 high schools across the United States and gave 500 gold medals, 2,207 silver medals and 3,990 bronze medals. Even if Bozeman were at the bottom rung of the silver medal winners, it would still rank in the top 8.7% of high schools surveyed. Red Lodge High, Hellgate High, Frenchtown High, Hamilton High and Park High were also given silver distinctions.

At Bozeman High, 43% of the 1,890 students passed their AP tests. At the start of last year, BHS was honored for having the highest AP test scores in the state. On state tests, 68% of students were proficient in math and 92% were proficient in reading. Bozeman currently has 10% minority students and 20% low-income students.

Bozeman High has worked hard at continuing to improve on an already excellent school. This past year, Bozeman established a program with Montana State and George Mason to study current models for teaching mathematics and looking at how they can be improved to increase performance. In addition, the high school was awarded a grant to implement and improve programs to help students deal with mental stress and health issues.

Its no wonder people continue to be attracted to Bozeman Public Schools. Even as enrollment has increased, the high school has done a great job in keeping its quality and performance up to its already high standards.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/u-s-news-ranks-bozeman-high-no-in-montana/article_fdba70bb-2cb1-525d-a242-74cac0599559.html

 

Plans are moving forward with the new College of Engineering Building at Montana State University. The Norm Asbjornson Innovation Center, named after the alumni who donated the $50 million required to fund the project, will be starting construction in Summer 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by Fall of 2018. The building is designed to be the new center of campus, with the sub directly across from it and the new parking garage close by.

The new building will help keep pace with MSU’s reputation as an excellent engineering school. The building will also help keep enough room for the rising enrollment in both the Engineering College and school overall.

The building will be 80 to 100,000 square feet, will have 10 – 15 classrooms, 12 to 16 Engineering labs in addition to faculty offices. Current plans are leaning towards creating a 3 story building w/ the $12 million dollar parking garage behind it. The building is designed to hold a 300 person presentation hall, which will be used for school and community events.

As MSU continues to have high enrollment and continues to attract great students, it seems only logical the school will continue to try to expand its reputation and its campus. MSU provides many real estate related opportunities and having a high prestige will make those opportunities more plentiful and more rewarding.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/msu-ready-to-design-new-engineering-college-building/article_d86f5962-0801-5e91-81f5-2fc1f50a1f89.html

New Bozeman School Addresses Learning Disablilities

by Tim Hart

A new school will be coming to the greater Bozeman area, hoping to fill a niche in Bozeman by teaching young children with learning disabilities. Cottonwood Day School, as it will be called when it opens in September 2015, will help young children address their issues with speech, dyslexia, dysgraphia (for writing) and dyscalculia (for math). The school will be open for children in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade.

The school will use multi-sensory education techniques to provide many different types of learning styles to its students. Ideally, it will provide avenues for visual learners, auditory learners and hands on learners to learn in they best way they know. Cottonwood Day School wants to be another option in the Bozeman education world, giving parents alternatives for their struggling student. The school hopes it can provide early intervention and give struggling students a leg up and a chance to get back into public school and be successful.

The school is located on Cottonwood Road, just south of Anderson School. Tuition will cost $9,200 a year.

Education opportunities and alternatives continue to be at extremely high quality in Bozeman, Montana. Enrollments have increased in public schools, while private schools have been expanding in size and increasing in number. Bozeman has become a center for high level public and private education in the state, perhaps why so many people continue to be attracted to and move to Bozeman.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/new-bozeman-private-school-to-focus-on-learning-disabilities/article_ffcd8ec2-ba9e-5ddb-b6b0-2d54f693d82b.html

Bozeman City Commissioners rejected the proposal by Bozeman area builders to lighten parkland requirements to make homes more affordable. They city remained open to the idea of lowering lot size requirements to increase inventory and lower prices of homes in Bozeman.

Bozeman builders were asked by City Commissioners to come up with several proposals in mid March to lower the prices of homes in the area. Despite high permit requests, new construction has not alleviated rising home values. Builders pushed for less mandated parkland in new subdivisions—a request, they believed would help lower prices while keeping their jobs affordable and feasible. City code currently specifies that 0.3 acres be set aside as parkland for each dwelling unit in new subdivisions. Builders believe that not being able to use this land has been a major cost driver for home values because there are less total homes available in Bozeman. Their proposal was denied outright by the city.

They came with another alternative as well, one that is still being considered by commissioners—lowering lot size requirements. Current minimum lot size is set 5,000 sq. ft. but builders want this lowered to 2,000 sq. ft. Again, this would be to raise home inventory, and having more homes would lower existing prices based on competition.

Other proposals included subsidizing impact fees and improving down payment assistance programs, but both would need public funds and much more deliberation to be considered.

The city was open to lowering their lot sizes, but they did not decide on what size they would be comfortable with moving forward. The city has also looked into adding more “pocket neighborhoods,” based on how their experiment in the Lakes at Valley West is received. When the decision comes from commissioners on how they will tackle affordability, it will be a major decision that affects home building, home prices, and the overall Bozeman real estate market for years to come.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/bozeman-area-builders-push-lower-parkland-requirements-for-affordable-housing/article_8f2bed8e-1336-5886-90d5-da47ca9f5357.html

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/commission-nixes-cutting-parkland-backs-other-housing-affordability-ideas-in/article_674d68ae-5009-5843-80d9-907a800ca279.html

 

 

As many local Bozeman residents have surely figured out, a new apartment complex will be coming to the MSU area, south of the football stadium, to help ease the rental vacancy issues in Bozeman. Bozeman has been attracting more and more new residents of late as it has become one of the nation's most liveable towns. Both the local public schools and MSU have seen increased enrollments--also putting strain on the rental market. The apartments will add nearly 500 renters, but whether that will make any major changes to the overall market are yet to be seen.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 3,200 additional renters have been added to the Bozeman market since 2010, assuming half of the new non-student residents are renting and not buying. If this is the case, and with 888 new apartments and 371 multi-family units built since 2010, the Bozeman Chronicle believes that Bozeman is still short on rental inventory.

Bozeman has been working with consultants, builders and Montana State University to help ease the high costs of renting in the area. Nationally, renters have been struggling with affordability issues as well as vacancy issues and Bozeman has seen similar concerns. The surrounding areas of Bozeman have provided residents with some respite, offering better rental prices.

Bozeman has been adding more inventory through new apartments and in some cases new subdivisions to help keep prices manageable. The apartment complex is another effort to help create a more positive rental market in the future.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/new-construction-may-help-ease-rental-market-pain/article_97dc4d16-7866-577b-927d-42451dea827a.html

Bozeman Awarded 1 Million for Solar Research

by Tim Hart

In late April, Bozeman planners and commissioners were exploring the possibility of providing solar alternatives to its residents. Early last week, Northwestern Energy awarded the city $1,000,000 to explore the benefits, the utility and likelihood for creating some form of solar program in Bozeman.

The city will team up with the Montana State University to go over potential options for a new solar program. One idea has been to allow customers to tap into a community-based solar system. For ‘opting in” to the solar program, customers will receive a credit on their utility bill without having to pay for expensive solar panels.

Other states, companies and individuals have also used other models and Bozeman will need to figure out which one works best for its unique situation.

Bozeman has tried to stay on the forefronts of technology. They recently approved a fiber-optic project to give Bozeman the highest quality internet available. Looking at solar alternatives will help keep Bozeman beautiful and sustainable.

 

Source: http://www.abcfoxmontana.com/story/29234099/city-of-bozeman-receives-1-million-award-to-research-solar-energy

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 397

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