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The Heroic Story Behind Chief Joseph Highway

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, also known as Wyoming Highway 296, is a beautiful drive through the Absaroka Mountains and Dead Indian Pass. It’s about a 46-mile drive in northern Park County, and is views worth a cruise for a weekend trip. However, this highway is more than just some scenic road, it has a great story behind its name.

Fleeing several hundred U.S. army soldiers led by General Howard during the Nez Perce War in 1877, Chief Joseph bravely led 700 men, women, and children on this road through Yellowstone Park and into the Absaroka Mountains. General Samuel D. Sturgis and 600 cavalries attempted to intercept the Nez Perce at the base of the Absaroka Mountains, where they believed the Indians would break out into the Great Plains. Fortunately for the Nez Perce, their scouts went ahead and spotted the soldiers from about six miles away.

Chief Joseph cleverly fooled the army by running their horses in a circle to kick up dust and mislead Sturgis that they were heading south, while they headed north through thick forest into the Dead Indian Gulch. The bait work brilliantly. Once Sturgis and his soldiers took the bait rode south to Shoshone, Chief Joseph and his tribe came back out of the Gulch and on to the Great Plains, unchallenged.

While they cleverly won about a 50-mile head start, Sturgis eventually caught on and quickly turned around. He joined forces with General Howard’s army, and together they followed Chief Joseph’s tracks. The U.S. army finally cornered and defeated the Nez Perce at the Battle of Bear Paw about a month later.

Related Articles:

How Did the City of “Bozeman” Get Its Name?

The Interesting History Behind Bozeman Street Names

Source:

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway

Nez Perce War

About the views:

Chief Joseph Scenic Highway

Top 5 Home Staging Tips

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

If done properly, home staging can make the home look much more appealing to buyers in photos and showings. Other than just the obvious tasks of cleaning, which is the first thing you should do, there are several essential steps in staging a home to sell.

 

 

#1 Make Obvious Purpose for The Space

An empty room makes it hard for buyers to imagine what they can use an empty space for. Put a desk in the office space, a T.V. in the family room, a chair with a reading lamp in the reading space, and twin beds in children’s bedrooms.

 

 

#2 Position “Floating” Furniture

It is a common mistake for sellers to think that a room looks larger by pushing all the furniture against the walls. In reality, space between furniture and walls actually opens the room up and makes it seem larger. Push your furniture away from the walls and position for conversation groups and easy traffic flow. 

 

 

#3 Guide Buyers’ Attention with Color Contrasts

By clever use of colors, you can control your buyer’s gaze. Red and Yellow attract attention, while blues and greens tend to be ignored. Have a beautiful kitchen? Place a bowl of yellow bananas and red apples in the middle of it. Have a boring corner of your home? Place a green potted plant there.

 

 

#4 Use Directed Lighting

To highlight the best features of your home, such as a beautiful fireplace, kitchen, or book case, install some directed lighting over them.

 

 

#5 Use “Warm” Lights

The kind of light bulb you use makes a big difference in the look and feel of your home. Soft lighting enhances the “warm” colors of you home, which influences a healthier, uplifted attitude—just what you want in a buyer. Harsh lighting will make you skin look pale, and nobody wants that. Use LED 2700-3000 K light bulbs for the best lighting.


See Related Topics:

5 Tips For A Winter Market

Top Tips For Selling Your Home

5 Important Home Maintenance Tips

Get Energy Audit To Improve Home Efficiency

 

 

The Interesting History Behind Bozeman Street Names

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Established in peak times of the Gold Rush, Bozeman, Montana has an interesting background with some extraordinary founders. Much of Bozeman’s roads were named in honor of individuals who were monumental to the town’s success.

Here are few meaningful road names in Bozeman with an interesting history.

 

Bozeman Avenue

The city founder, John Bozeman, left his family behind to travel west in his quest for gold. He failed to find gold, so he took on a different venture—trail blazing. He guided wagon trains on the Bozeman Trail to Virginia City. Mr. Bozeman was a risk-taking gambling man. He embraced the dangers of breaking treaties with local Indian tribes by traveling through their territory.

Admiring the landscape of the Gallatin Valley, he eventually settled and began his most instrumental work in 1864—building the city of Bozeman. With help of his two partners, William J. Beall and Daniel Elliott Rouse, he built the first log homes, church, and school.

Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to see his city prosper. In 1867, at age 32, he was found murdered along the Yellowstone River. While the Blackfeet Indians were originally blamed for his murder, rumors have spread that his partner, Thomas Cover, had motive to murder him as a jealous husband. Historians even suspected that a henchman was hired to kill Mr. Bozeman on behalf of Nelson Story, the richest man in Bozeman. There is still no physical evidence to prove who the true killer was.

 

Beall Street

William J. Beall helped build the first church and school in Bozeman. Mr. Beall met John Bozeman and Daniel Rouse on his way to sell potatoes to gold miners in Virginia City. Giving up on their hopes in the gold rush, the three men decided to build a town in the fertile farmland of the Gallatin Valley. He built his home just north of Main Street, marking one of the first homes in Bozeman.

 

Rouse Avenue

Daniel Elliott Rouse was a traveler and farmer who lived in and helped establish settlements all over the United States. He moved to the Gallatin Valley in 1862, where he met John Bozeman and William Beall. Mr. Rouse helped build the first cabins and hotels in 1864.

 

Alderson Street

William White Alderson contributed a lot to the success of the town. He helped build a Methodist Church, hauled in logs for the town’s first school, started a dairy herd, served as an agent with the Sioux tribe, and became one of the first members of Bozeman’s municipal council.

 

Babcock Street

Carpenter William H. Babcock made the long journey to Bozeman from San Francisco in 1864. As an architect, he oversaw the construction of the Bozeman Opera House in 1888. Mr. Babcock became a rich man in Bozeman. He built a mansion known as “the Castle” on North Church Avenue and Davis Street, which is now long gone.

 

Black Avenue

This road was named after a successful businessman in Bozeman, Leander Black. Straight from Kentucky, he partnered with Achilles Lamme from Missouri to open a general store, competing with Lester Willson’s general store on the north-side of the street. With three other partners, Mr. Black expanded his business by opening the First National Bank of Bozeman in 1872.

 

Durston Road

Durston Road was named after an iconic Montana newspaper editor, John Durston. He was a highly educated man with a degree from Yale and a doctorate in Philosophy from the Heidelberg University. In 1887, Mr. Durston moved to Anaconda, Montana. In 1889, he became editor of the Anaconda Standard. After leaving the Anaconda Standard in 1912, he established the Butte Daily Post in 1913. Although he didn’t live in Bozeman, he invested in Bozeman real estate, and presumably owned a home on what is now Durston Road.

 

Story Street

Nelson Story had better luck in the gold rush than Mr. Bozeman and the other founders, making a fortune in Virginia City. With his riches, he bought approximately 1000 head of Texas Longhorns and took a big risk in the first major cattle drive through dangerous Indian territory from Texas to Montana. Mr. Story became Bozeman’s first millionaire and built the first Story Mansion on Main Street in Bozeman, then later built a second Story Mansion on the corner of Willson and College for his son, T. Byron Story. He also owned one of Bozeman’s first banks and flour mill, and donated land to launch the Montana Agricultural College.

 

Wilson Avenue

Lester Willson served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He rose through the rankings after enlisting as a private in 1861, reaching the rank of colonel by 1865. He was known for his “gallant and meritorious services under General Sherman, resulting in the fall of Atlanta, Georgia.”

In 1867, he left New York to take on a business venture in Bozeman, opening Bozeman’s first general store on 204 E. Main Street. He lived a long, fulfilling life, dying at age 79 in 1919. The community showed their respect for Willson by honoring him with the largest funeral the town had ever seen. Central Avenue was then renamed Willson Avenue in his honor.

 

The city of Bozeman had grown and prospered, becoming a major city of Montana with a population of 8,500 by 1910.

 

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Related Article:

How Did The City of “Bozeman” Get Its Name?

 

Sources:

About The Anaconda standard. (Anaconda, Mont.) 1889-1970

Lester S. Willson

John H. Durston, B. 1858, Syracuse, NY> 1887 MT – BIO

“Nelson Story”

Street names keep Bozeman’s colorful history alive

Valuable Lessons for First-Time Homebuyers

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Buying a home can be a particularly stressful, and time-consuming process. Buyers may learn through experience some valuable lessons for buying a home. Here are 5 useful tips for first-time homebuyers to consider when entering the real estate market.

#1 Get your documents in order

To apply for a home mortgage, you will need income and tax documents. Typically, lenders will ask you for 2 recent pay stubs, 2 previous years’ W-2s, tax returns, and the past 2 months of bank statements. Having these documents in hand will save you a lot of time when buying a home.

#2 Watch the market

Stay up-to-date with the housing market on both a national and local level. Just like the stock market, timing is key in the real estate market. If inventory is decreasing, it may be best to buy a home quickly before more buyers enter the market and spark a bidding war. If there are clear signs that the market is unstable in the area, you may want to wait or look for a home in a different city.

#3 See if the HOA contract allows renting

It is common for homeowners to have the long-term goal of renting out the property when they decide to move. It can be a big disappointment to find out after you buy a home that your neighborhood does not permit rentals. Make sure to check the homeowner’s association contract before buying a home if this is your goal. Here in Bozeman, for example, the city has a temporary ban on short-term rental permits in its historic neighborhoods

#4 Read the ENTIRE contract

Buying a home will be one of the most important, and obviously expensive, purchase in your life, so don’t overlook or ignore the terms of your contract. If there is anything you don’t understand, ask your mortgage broker and your real estate agent to clearly explain the terms to you.

#5 Meet the neighbors

You might forget that you’re not just buying the house, you’re buying the neighbors too. Have you watched the movie Neighbors? Don’t end up like Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) and wait until after buying a home to find out that your next-door neighbors are a bunch of college kids who throw wild parties every night.

Related Articles:

Nationwide Housing Shortage

5 Steps Toward Buying A Home

5 Tips For A Winter Market

Winter Challenge: Plowing Bozeman Roads

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

Snow plowing crews work long hours through the winter season. When a snow storm hits, road crews hit the streets at 3 a.m. to clear the roads in a hurry before the 8 a.m. rush hour. With over 3,500 miles of roads to cover, Bozeman, Montana’s road crew has an annual challenge to keep the roads clear and safe to drive on throughout the winter season.

With so much ground to cover in a busy mountain town like Bozeman, have you ever wondered how they get it done? Small towns may be able to manage it by just mere instinct, but Bozeman’s a bit more complicated. 

There are large number of small residential streets in Bozeman that are easy to miss, so our road crew utilizes tracking technology with GPS units on each plow. The GPS transmits location data to the “command center” where plowed roads are displayed on their TV screen. 

The logistic strategy for city plows is to first focus on the high traffic roads while the snow is still falling, and then double back when necessary. After the storm passes, the crews then moves on to clear residential streets. 

While it may be frustrating for some people that their neighborhoods are not plowed immediately, they take for granted how nice it is to have this service. A lot of other mountain towns have fairly poor snow plowing services compared to Bozeman’s.

Another challenge that road crews have to deal with, particularly on residential streets, is all the parked cars, trailers, and campers in their way. It’s a big headache for crews when they have to dart in, out, and around obstacles on the street, which also leaves those cars blocked in after a heavy snow fall. Because of this hassle, the city recommends people to either avoid parking on the street after a storm, or move their cars every other day to allow the road crews to come back and clear spots that they missed on the first time around.

So the next time a big snow storm rolls through and you’re stuck behind a snowplow on the highway, be thankful that your tax-dollars are at work.

Source:

Plowing out: How crews clear Bozeman roads after winter storms

Development Projects In Downtown Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

With Bozeman continually growing, it looks slightly different with each passing year. To keep you up-to-date with what’s changing in our town, here are some big projects underway right now in downtown Bozeman.

5 West Project 

With much of its structure now built, the construction of the 5 West building is making progress in downtown Bozeman. Its developer, Andy Holloran, expects the building to be ready for occupancy in 2017.  

This 5-story building is designed with commercial space on the first floor, office spaces on the second, and condos for the next three stories. 

 

Change of Plans for the Black-Olive Project

The Black-Olive project is planned to replace the old two-story building located on the south-east corner of Black and Olive Avenue with a 5-story apartment building. 

Andy Holloran made adjustments to its exterior materials, adding brick facade, corrugated metal, and some wood siding. He says these new materials  emulates the style of his Block M townhouses on the north side of town.

Holloran says “It’s a material palette that is recognizable and, I think, comfortable for people.”

This revision also adds a two-bedroom apartment to the building, as well as adjustments to its parking arrangements with a reduction of parking spaces in its parking garage from 38 to 36, while adding the car-sharing spots from 3 to 4.  

Holloran and proponents of his project believe that this new look fits better with character of the neighborhood.

With the development of his 5 West and Black-Olive buildings, Holloran hopes to transform downtown Bozeman with these modern, mid-rise buildings. 

 

Lark Expansion  

A 29-room, 4-story expansion of the Lark Hotel is underway. Much of the construction will be done offsite. “Truck-sized sections” will be assembled in Trier, Germany, then staged in Four Corners before brought to the site. 

The Lark Hotel partner, Brain Caldwell, calls it “adult Legos.” This expansion is projected to be completed by spring of 2018.

 

Downtown’s Murals Refresh 

The walls of Downtown Bozeman are colored with murals painted by the local school kids of 2012 and 2013. Ellie Staley, member of the Downtown Business Association, says the murals “are starting to show their age.” 

Art teacher of Chief Joseph Middle School, Emma Laatch, plans to organize high school art club students to design the new murals, and have younger students paint it. Laatch hopes this project will be done by the next school year.

 

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Hart Real Estate Solutions—Your Trusted Guides

 

Sources:

Construction begins on 5 West Project

Holloran submits revised design for 5-story Black-Olive project

Lark expansion set to break ground Monday

Plans afoot to refresh murals along downtown Bozeman blast sites

How Did The City of "Bozeman" Get Its Name?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

The town of Bozeman was named after the man who made the Bozeman Trail, John Bozeman. Mr. Bozeman took part in the gold rush and traveled west from the mines in Colorado to mines in Deer Lodge, Montana, leaving his wife and children behind. Having failed in his quest for gold, he decided to take on a different venture—trail blazing. 

With help from his friend, John Jacobs, he created the Bozeman Trail in 1863 as a shortcut for gold miners traveling west from the Oregon Trail in Wyoming to Virginia City, Montana, a historic gold mining town.

Admiring the beauty of the Gallatin Valley at “the gate of the mountains,” John Bozeman settled in what came to be the town of Bozeman in 1864. Being near the trail, the town was able to flourish and grow as more travelers, gold miners, and businessmen eventually settled here.  

Only several years after he established the town in his name, John Bozeman was found murdered by the Yellowstone River in April 1867. While the partner he was traveling with, Thomas Cover, claims they were attacked by the Blackfeet Indians, historians suspect that Cover himself may be the murder culprit as a jealous husband—Mr. Bozeman was known to be a bit of a “ladies’ man.” 

Interestingly, a new suspect was found later after a rumor was spread by Stan Stephans, a retired farmer and rancher from the Crow reservation, that a henchman was hired to kill Mr. Bozeman. Stan shared a story passed down in his family that Tom Kent, a former cattle wrangler for the richest man in Bozeman, Nelson Story, once told the Stephans family that he killed John Bozeman on behalf of Mr. Story. However, there is still no physical evidence to prove who the true killer was.

Source:

John M. Bozeman” by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica

Historians find new suspect in John Bozeman murder mystery” by Gail Schontzler

Bozeman Bans Vacation Rentals

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

There has been some controversy among Bozeman’s downtown residents this year over the matter of allowing vacation rentals in Bozeman’s historic neighborhoods. Residents are concerned with losing our “community character,” noise disturbances, and increased traffic from the number of vacation rentals being established in their neighborhood.

On August 8th, city commissioners voted to temporarily ban new permits for short-term rentals in most neighborhoods south of downtown. The city is now working on long-term regulations, taking considerations from public listening sessions, scheduled on the evenings of this coming January, and an online survey.

A number of public meetings have been set up for early 2017 to allow the citizens a voice.

According to Eric Dietrich, a Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer, a number of listings for short-term rentals on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway have already been avoiding regulations and operating without permits in Bozeman. This is a problem that commissioners will have to address in their upcoming long-term regulations. 

This ban of short-term rental permits was originally set to last six months, expiring February 8th, with intentions to observe its effects and allow time to develop other solutions. However, Chuck Winn, the Assistant City Manager, requests to extend the period to study “best practices” from other cities’ experiences, and consider the public’s input. 

Sources:

Bozeman gearing up outreach efforts on possible vacation rental regulation—by Eric Dietrich

http://www.bozeman.net/STR

5 Steps Toward Buying A Home

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

Buying a home can be a particularly stressful, painstaking process, especially for first-time home buyers. To prepare you for the real estate market, follow these 5 steps toward buying a home.

#1 Save Years In Advance

Down payment requirements depend on the loan program, ranging anywhere from 3% to 20% of the home value. Zero down payment loans are also available from the USDA or VA for those who qualify. Most buyers should expect to put a large sum of money down to buy a home, so it’s important to plan on saving years in advance. 

In addition to the down payment, is the closing costs. While it depends on the state, closing costs can add several thousand dollars on the cost of the sale. Some sellers may agree to cover the closing costs for the buy, so be sure to consult with a real estate agent to try to work that into the contract.

It’s also important to save for additional cash reserves after buying a home. Not only is it a requirement by some lenders, but is also financially safer to not put all your eggs in one basket.

#2 Estimate What You Can Afford

The next step is to determine how much you can afford putting into a home. The size of your approved loan will be determined by your income, the down payment you saved for, assets, and debts, liabilities, and other obligations.

The general rule of thumb for homebuyers is to stay within a price range that is no more than “three to five times than your annual household income”, or “payments under 36% of household income.” 

#3 Keep An Eye On Your Credit

To get a good loan with good rates, you need good credit. As the determining factor in the mortgage loans and interest rates you qualify for, it’s essential to keep a close watch on your credit score. It’s possible for errors in the calculation of your credit score, so be sure to check for mistakes and dispute it if one exists.

#4 Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

There are a couple of advantages of getting pre-approved before your home search. A pre-approval will allow to know exactly how much you can afford, as wells as put you a step ahead other buyers toward making an offer on that perfect home you come across. 

Before getting pre-approved, you will need to be pre-qualified. This is a simple process of providing your mortgage lender with your income, asset, and credit information. The mortgage lender will then determine how much you’ll be approved for.

Getting pre-approved goes a step further, requiring documentation of your W-2s, bank statements, pay stubs, and possibly your federal tax returns.

Once pre-approved, you’ll be ready for a mortgage loan. Having this pre-approval signals to sellers that any offer you make is serious. It’s a competitive market with today’s low inventory and high buyer demand for housing, so having this advantage over other buyers is important.

#5 Hire A Real Estate Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is single most important step to take before making an offer on a home, especially if none of the above steps were taken. A home, for most people, is the most expensive investment you will make in your lifetime. A good real estate agent will make all the difference in the successful sale of a home, whether buying or selling. 

There is a long list of codes and regulations associated with real estate, which changes every year, and can be complex to fully understand and abide by. Real estate agents are required, by law, to stay up-to-date with these codes and assure that nothing is violated. 

Being experts in the industry, real estate agents can also catch certain faulty features of a home that you may overlook. 

Hiring a real estate agent is worth the investment because real estate agents have the knowledge and experience in the local market to effectively negotiate a better sales price, while assuring the contract is without flaws or loopholes.

 

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Hart Real Estate Solutions—Your Trusted Guides

 

Source: 

First Time Home Buyer : The Late-2016 Guide to Buying a Home by Dan Green

5 Important Home Maintenance Tips

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

 

To keep your home in its top shape, it requires regular maintenance to be done every year. To reduce energy costs and prevent future costly repair bills, here are 5 important, yet often overlooked, areas to perform regular maintenance procedures.

#1 Plumbing

Clogged plumbing is extremely difficult, costly, and especially dirty to fix. To keep yourself from going through this headache, consider the following precautions.

Avoid pouring your cooking grease down the drain as it is the common culprit for clogs. If you do accidentally spill grease or oil down the drain, immediately run hot water with some dish soup to break up the grease and move it through the pipes to prevent any build up and potential clogs. 

Place a hair strainer over the shower and bathtub drain. Hair accumulates in the drain and will eventually build up to the point of clogging. It is certainly a dirty job to remove hair buildup from drains, so using a hair strainer will save you from this dirty chore down the road.

(Important Tip)

Don’t use Drano. While it may do a good job of unclogging your drain, the strong acids Drano contains will damage your plumbing, causing leaks in the long run.

#2 Water Heaters

Over time, water heaters collect a build up of sediment that is suspended in the water, which eventually settles to the bottom and causes damage to the floor of the water heater. Once a year, follow these steps to prevent this build-up.

First, turn off the water supply and power to the water heater. If you have an electric water heater, simply flip the circuit break to the “off” position. If you have a gas water heater, turn the thermostat to the “pilot” position.

After the water and power is turned off, connect a water hose to the bottom of the tank (typical garden hoses are a direct fit to the water heater drain), and run the hose either out of the house or somewhere or dump the water. Then, go around the house and turn on all the faucets and open the water heater’s drain valve.

Once the water heater is empty, turn the water supply back on with the drain still open to remove any residual sediment. Finally, close the water heater drain valve and all the faucets, then let the tank refill before turning the power back on.

#3 Air conditioning

While air conditioning is commonly overlooked in home maintenance, it can be costly to repair or replace. Here are some ways to make sure it’s still running properly, and keep it that way.

Inspect the condensation hose on a regular basis to check if water is able to flow through the line. 

If there is standing water under the air conditioner, mold and algae can grow and cause spores to be blown into the home and cause some serious health hazards. To prevent this, make sure to create a drainage path for the water to flow away from the air conditioner.

Next, check for and remove debris from the air conditioner screen. Build up of debris will prevent air from flowing freely and draw more energy than necessary, as well as wear down internal parts.

#4 Air Filters

Changing air filters should be a common monthly procedure, and if you haven’t considered it yet, change your air filter immediately. 30 days is the general maximum number of days to leave an air filter in place, 2 weeks is maximum in high-usage months.

Contrary to what you might believe, cheap fiberglass air filters are actually better to use than the more expensive HEPA filters. Other than being cheaper, fiberglass filters allow more airflow, which lowers energy costs.

#5 Refrigerators

Regular maintenance on refrigerators will maximize energy efficiency and prevent premature wear of its internal parts. 

The first thing that you want to check is the door seals, which is a relatively easy fix if it’s worn. Simply pull on the refrigerator door and see how easily it opens. If it takes a good tug to open it, the seals are fine. If it opens without resistance, it’s time to replace it. You can find new refrigerator seals at any nearby home repair store.

Next, if your refrigerator has coils on the back, regularly vacuum the coils to keep it clean and free of dust particles. Cleaner coils are more energy efficient, while dirty coils may cause your refrigerator to stop working altogether. 

 

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Hart Real Estate Solutions—Your Trusted Guides

 Source:

"13 Simple DIY Home Maintenance Tips & Ideas,

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