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New Home Construction Rising

by Tim Hart

I read an interesting article today on new construction for July. More and more people are putting their faith in the housing market. Here’s what I took out of it.

 

New home construction continued to rise in July which should continue to boost the economy in the coming months. Housing start ups climbed 16% last month to an annual rate of 1.093 million units, showing a renewed faith in the housing market. July levels hit the highest level of construction since November. Construction on new apartments has seen the greatest increase in the US. Total home construction rose 22% all the way up through July, and building permit applications.

 

http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post--us-housing-starts-up-sharply-in-july

The Bozeman City Commission will vote on Monday night on whether to approve new changes for city street and tree maintenance fees. If passed, Bozeman homeowners will either have to pay more  or less per year, depending on where they live. The City Commission proposed a 6.39% increase to the overall maintenance budget, but not everyone will see the increases reflected in their taxes. When the city initially proposed the change, they called for a 10% increase to these taxes in order to bring in the necessary revenue. However, after implementing a new system and formula for gathering these fees, the city was able to lower the proposed increase to 6.39% while still bringing in the same revenue as before. The new formula will provide a more than $315,000 increase for street maintenance while adding $9,700 dollars to the tree maintenance budget. Some Bozeman property owners will see their bills be less than before. Fifteen percent of property owners in the City of Bozeman will see their fees increase.

Gallatin County Economy Continues to Thrive

by Tim Hart

Despite the fact that Montana’s economic growth rate has slowed in recent years, Gallatin County continues to maintain high economic growth. The county’s growth was driven by wages earned in the construction, manufacturing and service industries. From 2012 to 2013, the county added 2,500 jobs. That number was more than double any other county in Montana. Unfortunately, the amount of wages brought in was proportionally low at 28 million. Experts believe the low numbers simply reflect the generally lower wages that are given to these three sectors. But, the growth in the county still dwarfed the growth in any other Montana county.

For real estate, Gallatin County continued to look strong, coming in second for the most new housing startups. Gallatin County has plenty of potential for continued growth in this sector, as this data still only reaches to 76% of the pre-recession peak.

Source: Bacaj, Jason. “Gallatin economy growing, state slowing.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 6 August 2014.

A conservation easement is a legal agreement that permanently protects land from various types of development. The easement spells out the correct and incorrect uses for that land based on its owner’s conservation values. Each one is written to be unique, and specific for each plot of land. Donors of conservation easements maintain ownership over their property and subsequent owners will also retain ownership of the area.

Some people worry that a conservation easement may put them at the mercy of the government. What if the government changes their mind? Do they even have a stake in the land now? Don’t worry. A conservation easement does not let the government control how the land is used. In fact, in regards to the government, conservation easements are quite positive. They can be written off as a charitable contribution and any landowner can deduct the value of the easement from their income taxes for a set number of years. However, due to the fact that the land can no longer be developed, a conservation easement can lower the appraisal value of a property.

Below, please find examples taken from the Montana Land Reliance website that outlines the uses for a conservation easement:

The following are general examples of the types of uses that can be allowed by a conservation easement:

  • Continued agricultural and silvicultural use
  • Construction of buildings, fences, water improvements, etc., necessary for agriculture and compatible with conservation objectives
  • Sale, devise, gifting or other method of transferring parcels, subject to terms of the easement
  • Landowner control of access
  • Additional family and employee residences compatible with conservation objectives
  • Wildlife and fisheries protection, restoration and enhancement projects
  • Any and all uses not specifically prohibited

Types of uses that are generally restricted by a conservation easement include:

  • Subdivision for residential or commercial activities
  • Construction of non-agricultural buildings
  • Nonagricultural commercial activities
  • Dumping of non-compostable or toxic waste
  • Surface mining

A conservation easement assigns three "positive rights" to MLR:

  1. The right to preserve and protect the property according to mutually agreed upon terms.
  2. The right (with proper advance notification to the landowner) to enter the property to monitor activities (usually once a year).
  3. The right to "enjoin and restore," which assures that the landowner's desires, as spelled out in the easement, are enforceable.

The terms of the easement do not in any way negate or modify state or federal law. Specifically, a conservation easement cannot prevent condemnation.

In general, a conservation easement is a great weapon for private property owners who want to conserve their land, the homes they grew up in, and the Montana views they have come to know and love. These easements, although they can initially drop the property value because the land cannot be developed, can do so much to keep the value of a property high. An emptier neighborhood, a unique landscape, or even a historical tract can do a lot to raise the value of any home.

Sources: http://www.mtlandreliance.org/easment.htm; http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/environment/article_d3484fa8-1389-11e4-adb0-001a4bcf887a.html

 

 

 

 

 

Land Trusts and How They Can Serve You

by Tim Hart

With the Montana Land Reliance opening up a new office in Bozeman, any Bozeman property owner would do well to understand what a land trust is and how it can be used. Well, a land trust is quite simple actually. A land trust is any non-profit organization that actively works to conserve land. Usually, a land trust assists private owners who want to keep their land undeveloped. They do this by attempting to conserve what the land has to offer the local area, whether it be farmland, a unique form of wildlife, or just beautiful, open space. Land trusts help private land owners navigate the confusing beauracratic world of land regulations and requirements.

As home construction has gone up, as the Bozeman economy has grown by 5% in the last year, and as Gallatin County has taken the lead in the state for economic growth, conserving the beautiful and agriculturally significant parts of Bozeman becomes more and more important.

A land trust can be used by private property owners to protect themselves, and their land, from irresponsible development. The Montana Land Reliance, for example, is a statewide organization that has conserved 275,000 acres in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. It has also conserved 35,000 acres just in the Gallatin Valley alone. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust, another local land trust, has helped conserve 67 square miles in the valley, again, by teaming with private land owners. Both land trusts hope the growth in Bozeman will not force local, long time farmers to move away from the area.

How are land trusts able to save this land? Land trusts use a legal agreement called a conservation easement. What is a conservation easement? Well lets find out in the following article!

 

Please read the next article on Conservation Easements as they are the method that Land Trusts use to help conserve your land. Find it here http://www.athomeinbozeman.com/blog/What-is-a-conservation-easement-and-how-do-Land-Trusts-use-them-to-conserve-private-property Plus, they are tax deductable! If you would like any more information on either of these Land Trusts, feel free to visit their websites at:

www.mtlandreliance.org

www.gvlt.org

New Pedestrian Trail Added in Northeast Bozeman

by Tim Hart

The city of Bozeman, in conjunction with Gallatin County, began construction on a new trail from North Rouse to Seventh Avenue. The city expects the project to cost $264,596 dollars and should be finished in the next few weeks. Ideally, the trail will greatly increase the safety of bikers and pedestrians in Northern Bozeman. As most trails run north to south, the east-west running trail should markedly improve transportation ease in the city. In addition to the trail on Rouse, the city has recently added trails along Norris Rd. as well as from Cougar Dr. and Cottonwood Rd. south of town. Reliable, safe trails can be a lifesaver for young families while keeping bikers off of busy main roads. Bozemanites can now look forward to relaxing evening walks or morning runs with more comfort and confidence.

Schattauer, Erin. "New Oak Street Trail Creates County-City Connection." Bozeman Daily Chronicle (2014): n. pag. Web. 11 Jul. 2014.

Three new hotels are sprouting up in downtown Bozeman.  The first hotel, named the ‘Etha’ will be an eight story, 102 room hotel above the historic National Guard Armory at 24 W. Mendenhall.  It will be viewed as much a community gathering place as a hotel with a 10,000 square foot ballroom to attract bigger groups than the hotel itself can fit.  One key to the success of the Etha will be professional management by LaTour Hotels and Resorts, a San Diego based company that specializes in operating ‘boutique’ hotels.  Most of the boutique hotels operated by LaTour are in major markets such as Salt Lake City, Seattle and Washington, DC.  Bozeman, being a small town, is unique among small markets for this concept.  But as CEO Thomas LaTour quoted  ‘Bozeman does not act or react like other small markets. There's something unique going on there. Just look at the airport. The airport activity given the size of that town is really out of whack.  When those doors swing open, it's for Bozeman.’ he said

The Etha is expected to open in the early fall, 2015.  Next month will focus on the ‘other’ big downtown hotel project.

Both Big Sky and Bridger Bowl Resorts both set records for skiers.  Bridger Bowl saw 217,000 skiers this season overturning the previous mark by 3%.  Big Sky saw more than 450,000 skier visits overturning the previous mark by over 100,000 skiers!   Snow fell early and often with snowpack levels well above 100% levels in all areas in Big Sky and the Gallatin Valley.

    Montana State University has been listed as one of the best colleges for veterans. Out of the 234 universities on the list Bozeman's MSU made it. The rankings were published in the magazine U.S. News & World Report to help veterans receive a college education. 

    According to Brenda York, director of MSU Disability, Re-entry and Veteran Services, “Montana State University has been diligently working for years to provide support to our student-veterans and help them succeed. We’re very proud of this important work, and we are pleased that our efforts have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report.” 

    To qualify for the rankings, universities and colleges had to be certified for the 9/11 GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program and Service members Opportunity Colleges Consortium. The rankings have information on universities that have federal benefits, such as, tuition and housing assistance to veterans and active service members. All of the schools that were ranked had good scores in graduation rates, faculty resources, reputation, and categories of academic excellence.

-Broker Broker Tim Hart

New Hotel in Place of Kenyon Noble Building in Downtown Bozeman

by Tim Hart

    The empty Kenyon Noble building is to be torn down and have a hotel put into its place. The building has been empty since 2006 when the business relocated to Oak Street. 25 East Mendenhall Street in Bozeman, Montana is the address of what is soon to become the new hotel. A proposal was filed for an upscale 104 room hotel that is nationally branded, however, the brand has not been released at this point in time. Kenyon Noble originally moved locations to make it possible for a performing arts center to be built but these plans were canceled shortly after. The vacant lot has finally found a viable real estate plan, the hotel is now in the proposal stage. Our home in Bozeman is growing rapidly.

-Broker Tim Hart 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 128

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