Real Estate Information Archive


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HOA’s in Big Sky Upgrading to Bear-Resistant Trash Cans

by Tim Hart

Three homeowner associations in Big Sky, the Big Sky Owner’s Association, Spanish Peaks Homeowners’ Association and Town Center Homeowners’ Association, will be making the switch to bear resistant trash cans to help improve the number of bears accidentally straying into Big Sky. Trash tends to be the number one attractor of bears, so Republic Services have tried to fix the issue by releasing their new Kodiac Bear Resistant Trash Cans. (Don’t worry! The trash can is just named Kodiac. It is not specific only to Kodiac bears!) Republic services will go through Big Sky and replace the standard blue bins with the new, black, bear resistant bins (again don't worry! They are the color black and can defend off other species of bears as well). The associations who have made the change will see a $6.40 price increase per month for the new cans.

In general, if a bear discovers a food source to be had, it will take advantage. However, if a bear becomes too reliant on city food sources, it can become too bold. Last year, 12 bears were removed from the greater Big Sky area. Nine were black bears that were relocated by the city, two were roadkill and one was poached.

Republic Services hope their new trash cans will help keep bears away from the city, off roads and out of harm’s way. Residents can also feel safer and more comfortable knowing bears will be less likely to make an unexpected house call. Many residents can probably rest easier knowing their trash can will now also be out of harm’s way and that they won’t wake in the morning to find a mess outside their home.

The bear story in Big Sky sheds a lot of light on HOAs and the type of residential concerns they address. Anyone looking to purchase real estate in the Bozeman or Big Sky area should make sure that their HOA’s values and goals match their own values and goals. HOAs can enact positive changes very quickly throughout a neighborhood, as seen in how these three HOAs addressed the growing bear issue However, residents should make sure they know the general perspective of their HOA so such decisions do not take them by surprise.



Big Sky business owners and community members are hoping to establish a TEDD in Big Sky to foster increased, infrastructural development. A TEDD, a targeted economic development district, is a district that is eligible to receive additional county taxes for improvement of its infrastructure. A TEDD defines where new developments must occur, based on the money it receives from the TIF system.

With a TIF, tax increment financing, the city would not see an increase in its taxes, despite increasing its development projects. Big Sky would be able to take part in this program by taking the incremental improvement in base property values and new construction from the expected taxable values and use that leftover money to fund developments within the TEDD.

According to the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce, the TEDD is designed to fund projects that would normally never be started. Essentially, if the project were to fail without additional funding, then and only then, can the project really be considered eligible within the TEDD.

A TEDD and TIF in Big Sky would certainly help foster economic growth in the area. For a small tourism based town, their focus on improving their own infrastructure, shows their desire to continue growing the town of Big Sky. As the economy improves, it will become more attractive to businesses and investors (whether real estate or other), helping to get the ball moving, and growing Big Sky past just a vacation real estate destination.




Big Sky Tourism is growing and growing quickly according to new numbers assembled by Visit Big Sky, a destination-marketing group in the area. The group compiled numbers based on the city’s total lodging tax collections because they indicate accurately the number of people staying overnight in the town. In general, the lodging tax reflects the ups and downs of the tourism industry pretty accurately.

According to these numbers, the growth rate in Big Sky is nearly 3 times as high as the rate of Montana overall after the first half of 2014. Over the last three years, lodging tax collection totals have increased by double digits. In 2013, tax collections hit 4 times the total of the state and 10 times the National Average. The Big Sky Visitor Center also noted it has seen its international traffic increase, up nearly 20 percent. The visitor center claims that international visitors are expected to spend about seven times more per day than a domestic visitor.

As tourism increases in the area, its hard to see there not being growth in other sectors as well. Big Sky has always been an ideal vacation home rental destination for property owners looking to supplement their income. Now, as tourism continues to increase, a larger market only suggests larger pie slices for all involved.


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.

Bozeman’s Best Unoccupied Properties

by Tim Hart


302 N. 7th: The old Frontier Pies: N. 7th is predicted to be a hot spot for businesses in the near future. NSURB (N. 7th Renewal Board) is pushing to improve the area to maximize its desirability. Bozeman City Commission is backing NSURB’s initiatives. The old Frontier Pies building needs some tender love and care, but it is in a potentially booming location.


621 W. Mendenhall: The old Movie Gallery: Space space space. This old building provides ample room for a business to come in and spread out. Located right off of Main, this is a space with square footage and optimal location.


131 W. Main: The old 18 Miles to the Border: Offering a unique layout, this space is ideal for the funky and hip downtown feel. The outdoor patio and restraint interior makes it all ready to welcome a crowd.


901 W. Main: The old Safeway: A mass retail location that has been stripped to the bone as Safeway built its brand new building just down the street. The corporate offices must have felt the location was primed for business!


25 E. Mendenhall: The old Bozeman Kenyon Noble: Great size building with a lot, the old Kenyon Noble building is in a top priority location (downtown again) and rumor has it that a hotel may be replacing what is there presently.


1104 E. Main: The old 369 Pet Medical: East main has seen a recent spike in business appeal. Access to I-90 and close to residential and professional environments, the old 360 Pet Medical building offers unique architecture and a cozy inside space.


1332 E. Main: The old KO’s Club: Currently for lease, the roomy space has a bar and dance floor that is ideal for opening an upscale and classy business potential.



NEW LISTING: Big Sky Montana, Dream Home Location

by Tim Hart


What a fantastic Meadow location. Easy access to everything, upgraded lighting, open floor plan, very well loved and maintained. Bedrooms are well sized, stackable washer and dryer convey in a split bath with dual sinks. This is a must see, and the association dues are some of the lowest in Big Sky at $285 per quarter plus $175 semi annually and no Big Sky dues. Click the picture to find out more!

Gallatin County is one of the fastest growing economic areas in the northern Rocky Mountains with a vibrant economy, an educated work force, a major research university, a thriving technology and manufacturing sector, plentiful cultural and outdoor recreational amenities, and is a short drive away from Yellowstone National Park. Check out these reasons to pack up and move to Big Sky

  1. Gallatin County was named as the best place in the Rockies for “healthy living and small business creation” in the recent The State of the Rockies Report Card.
  2. There are over 90 high-tech companies in Gallatin County–which is often referred to as the high-tech capital of the Northern Rockies.
  3. Big Sky’s Ophir school currently offers K-8. Morningstar Learning Center Preschool offers early education and the new Lone Peak High School services 9th-12th grades.
  4. Big Sky boasts the Biggest Skiing in America® and is consistently ranked in the top 10 best resorts in North America and the London Sunday Times ranked Big Sky in the top 10 resorts in the world.

Vacation Home Sales on the Rebound

by Tim Hart

Some of the hardest-hit cities in the housing downturn were from vacation home areas, but now these areas are seeing a surge in sales.

Condo sales in Hawaii and Florida are inching upward, Housing Predictor reports. For example, in the first two months of 2011, existing condo sales in Oahu, Hawaii, increased nearly 21 percent and the median prices on these units jumped 7 percent higher than more than a year ago.

“We’re definitely seeing continual strengthening of the market as more buyers are taking advantage of low prices and low rates to buy second homes and vacation homes,” says Jeff Proster, president of Brookfield Homes in Hawaii.

Meanwhile, closed transactions of existing condos in Miami jumped 58 percent higher in February compared to a year ago.

“We are even seeing instances in certain neighborhoods with multiple offers above asking price,” says Jack Levine, the Miami REALTORS® chairman.

Florida has seen improvement in its sales across the state with sales jumping 29 percent on condos and 13 percent for single family homes. However, seven out of 10 sales in the state were either foreclosures or short sales. Half of all sales also were from cash buyers.

Source: “Vacation Home Sales Surge Higher,” Housing Predictor (March 23, 2011)

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7