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Southwest Montana: Best Skiing In America

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

One of the greatest benefits of living in Montana, specifically in Southwest Montana, is that we are gifted with some of the best skiing in America. The Gallatin County sits in the middle of two world class resorts, Big Sky Resort and Bridger Bowl. These resorts are scheduled to open soon this season, with Big Sky Resort opening on November 24th and Bridger Bowl opening on December 9th. With ski season just around the corner, lets revisit some of the top reasons why living in Southwest Montana couldn’t get any better for winter enthusiasts.

                                                                                                                       

Big Sky Resort is one of the biggest resorts in North 

America, providing 5,800 acres with 300​ named runs 

across 4 connected mountains. The size of 

this place is hard to wrap your mind around. I’ve personally skied here for several years, venturing through as many runs as I could, and I still end up finding runs I haven’t seen before. One secret about this resort, which some locals may not want you to know about, is that there are a number of hidden shacks and huts throughout the mountain. I found a few, but can never manage to remember where they were when trying to find my way back. 

 

You don’t even have to ride the terrain to appreciate these resorts. The communities built at the base of the mountains are worth visiting even if you don’t ride down their slopes. Beyond skiing, Big Sky Resort offers a plethora of activities for its visitors, including zip-line tours, snowshoe tours, snowmobile tours, dog sledding, sleigh rides, nordic skiing, a giant swing, and a high rope course. The village at the base of the mountain is also something worth experiencing as well. Big Sky Resort offers a shopping center with a number of restaurants and breweries with great tasting food and drinks. Big Sky also has set plans on really improving this village community, claiming that it will rival “the best of Europe” by 2025. If you want to find your own ski pad, click here.

 

​​Bridger Bowl is another one Montana’s cherished trophies. This ski resort is like the little brother its neighbor, Big Sky Resort, but with all the same qualities of great terrain. Being closer to Bozeman, Bridger Bowl is more popular among the locals and college students. This resort offers wide open terrain with a number of glades, chutes, and my personal favorite, gullies. With its steep chutes, snow fields, and abrupt cliffs, Bridger’s Ridge terrain offers some of the most challenging skiing in North America. 

 

Outside of the resort there is also opportunities to ski with the local community ski club, Bridger Ski Foundation. Based in Bozeman, this nonprofit organization offers an extensive network of Nordic ski trails around town. Bridger Ski Foundation is making progress in growing the club and expanding its trail system, while practicing its values in providing both an educational and charitable experience to its members. The club was just recognized in 2015 by the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association, awarding it as a Gold Certified Club. This club welcomes anyone who wants to participate and volunteer to join. The Bridger Ski Foundation is another example for why we are fortunate to be a part of such a proactive community that has been making a positive impact.

 

Our winter sports is just one of them many reasons to appreciate living in our area. If you enjoy the sight and feel of crisp white snow covered mountains, you wont regret buying a house here. So if you don’t live here already, we can surely help make that happen.  The mountains are not going anywhere, and neither will our beloved snow!

Nationwide Housing Shortage

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

As generations grow older, new waves of people are entering the housing market. After graduating college and beginning their career, people in their 20’s begin to look for their first home. These new buyers make a major influence on the nationwide demand in the housing market. To keep housing rates at a healthy level, the amount of vacant houses need to meet the number of new market entrants. Today, concern has risen over our current housing shortage.

With 318.9 million people in the U.S., and 16,585,415 vacant homes in 2015, only 5.2% of this growing population will be able to find a home to move into this year. According to the U.S Census Bureau, 1,055,000 new homes were built in 2015, which is small in comparison to the number of buyers entering the market. First time buyers are typically between the ages of 20 to 29.


With 13.8% of the country’s population in this age group, there is a larger influx of new buyers than houses available.


Considering the rising student debt and housing prices, the housing shortage just adds to the ever growing challenge for first time buyers.

With baby boomer’s now seeing their millennial grandchildren in their twenties, we are experiencing a large expansion of the number of homeowners in this country. Now these millennials are out of college, starting a career, and looking to buy a house.


Millennials have surpassed their parents’ Gen-X and their grandparents’ Baby Boomer generations as the largest American generation to date. 


This influx in housing demand continues to be a challenge for the construction industry, which is still recovering from the 2008 financial crisis.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that the birth rate is not constant. After the millennial generation, the birth rate started to decline. The population of ages 10 to 14, accounting for 6.7% of the population, is .4% less than the age bracket 15 to 19, which is 7.1% of the population. From there, the birth rate continued to decline. Ages 5 to 9 lowered to 6.6% of the population, and ages under 5 are 6.5%. This decrease entails how the housing market will react in the years to come. If the birth rate continues to decline, then we will see a reversing trend in the housing shortage. 

Along with many other factors, population is major determinant of long-term market trends. Keeping all other factors constant, a large bubble in our population will affect future housing trends. When construction fails to keep up with the growing demand for more houses, we experience a housing shortage. Then, as demand supersedes supply, prices increase. This is why it is useful to look at the U.S. Census reports to foreshadow future housing bubbles. 

At Hart Real Estate Solutions, we stay in tune with the latest market stats to anticipate changes in the real estate market. We don’t just present meaningless data either, we analyze it to find noteworthy correlations and estimate projections of what to expect in the future. Subscribe to our monthly newsletters to keep yourself up to date with the latest news and reports, which may help answer some questions you have about real estate, or just provide you with interesting information. Have any questions about your home? Contact us on our website, or give us a call for a free home consultation at (406) 599-6961.

 

Hunting Season In Montana

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


As you know, Montana is the prime state for world class hunting, offering a wide selection of big game. Elk, deer, antelope, bison, black bear, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, moose, wild turkey—you name it, Montana has got some of the biggest and the wildest. Today, rifle hunting season for large game is well under way in Montana. With most big game seasons ending at the end of this month, and antelope season already ended, rifle season  is almost over. Make sure to get your hunting in before the season ends!

To make sure you don’t miss your chance this year, here’s a list of the rifle season dates for Montana.


Elk Season

October 22 - November 27

Deer Season

October 22 - November 27

Antelope Season (over)

October 8 - November 13

Bison Season

November 15 - February 15

Black Bear Season

September 15 - November 28

Mountain Lion Season

October 22 - November 27

Bighorn Sheep Season

September 15 - November 27

Mountain Goat Season

September 15 - November 27

Moose Season

September 15 - November 27

Wild Turkey Season

Fall:        September 1 - January 1

Spring:        April 9 - May 15

 

What’s special about Montana is that it has implemented a Block Management program that encourages private property owners, who tend to have the best vantage points, to give permission for public hunting on their land. This program provides nearly 7.8 million acres for fall hunts. There are many benefits of owning land in Montana, but one to consider if you love hunting, is hunting on your own land! Especially if you grow alfalfa. Montana alfalfa farmers would tell you all about how much big game love to wander through their fields. 

If you’re interested in the unique experiences of hunting in Montana, contact us to learn how we can help you live your dream of living where you hunt.  Bozeman and the surrounding communities are all amazing places to live and play.  Get out here and see what Montana is really about!

 

 

 

 

Ask us about our last hunting trip. Nathan (bottom right) shot his first mule deer last weekend!

 

Some Big Names You Probably Didn’t Know Live In Montana

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Apparently, Montana is the desired place to be among the rich and famous. There are quite a few American icons living among us. So who are these people, and where are they?

 

Michael Keaton lives somewhere in the Big Timber area near Livingston, but his exact location is unknown. Helena’s Independent Record article from October 1986, reported that he owns a 565-acre ranch south of Big Timber. You might find him fishing with Tom Brokaw and relaxing on the great rivers of Montana. 

 

Tom Brokaw, is a former broadcaster for an Omaha radio station, KMTV, and better known as the NBC’s anchor from 1982 to 2004. He now works as a Special Correspondent for NBC News, as well as making documentaries for other media outlets. Mr. Brokaw found his interest in Montana when he came to shoot a documentary and speak for The Montana Bar Association in the 1980s. The only fee he charged for speaking was to be dropped off “at a trailhead and picked up five days later.” After being brought back a second time a few years later for more work, he didn’t want to leave, leading to his purchase of West Boulder Ranch near Livingston. He was so committed to stay that he made the journey to and from New York for weeks at a time, which turned into months as the years rolled on.

 

Dennis Quaid was a famous movie star who came about in the 1980s, starring in a variety of drama and comedy movies. Some movies he plays in that you might recall are The Rookie, The Day After Tomorrow, The Parent Trap, and a number of other box office hits. In the late-80s, Mr. Quaid bought a ranch near Livingston that was jointly owned by the actor Warren Oats and director Sam Peckinpah. His home was unique in that it had hardwood floors recovered from the Great Fire of Chicago of 1871. Sadly, he sold this beautiful $14 million estate in 2011.

 

Huey Lewis, a popular lead singer of Huey Lewis and the News from the 1980s, found his way to Montana in 1987. He bought a 500-acre ranch outside of Stevensville, where he lives comfortably today. Mr. Lewis has been known to contribute to the community in a variety of ways, one being his funding of the Missoula Jazz band. You’d also find him, as well as with many others on this list, fly-fishing along Big Sky’s rivers and streams.

 

You know David Letterman as a famous talk show host, but what you probably didn’t know that he is another fellow Montana lover. He owns a huge 2700-acre ranch located 35 miles outside of Choteau, Montana, neighboring Glacier National Park. He also owns a ranch in Ruby Valley, which is closer to the southwest corner of the state. Although he spends most of his time in Salem, New York, he shows interest in settling down in his Montana home as a permanent residence when he retires. 

 

Another well-known name among Montana residences, but is sadly no longer with us, was Chet Huntley, the founder of what is now the largest ski resort in the nation, Big Sky Resort. Born on December 10, 1911, Chet Huntley passed several decades ago. He will be remembered as he contributed to a large part of the lives of many winter enthusiasts who come to enjoy the many slopes of Big Sky Resort. Chet Huntley attended the local college at Montana State University, from which he transferred to University of Washington and graduated in 1934 with a degree in both speech and drama. He then began his career at a Seattle radio station, moved around as he climbed the ladder, and then found his way to NBC news in 1955. With his love for skiing, he returned to Montana in summer of 1970. He then began work on the project skiers and snowboarders came to appreciate him for, the opening of Big Sky Resort. Sadly, Mr. Huntley wasn’t able to stick around to see the magnificent work he built. He passed away at 62 in March 1974, three days before the grand opening.

 

A list of other names can be found in the private community of the prestigious Yellowstone Club, tucked away in the mountains of Big Sky, Montana. This club was reported to have about 250 members, each of which are required to pay a minimum of $250,000 to join, in addition to the price of their $5 million to $25 million mountainside home. Notable members include a number of American celebrities & icons such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Warren Miller, Phil Mickelson, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, Dan Quayle, Greg LeMond, Jack Kemp, Tom Brady, Jeff Bridges, and of course, Bill Gates. 

 

Apparently, Montana is the place to be. Justin Timberlake and his wife chose to move to a quiet place in Big Sky where they can raise their child away from the busy, big city life. There are a number of other unaccounted celebrities that live in and appreciate the beauty of Montana. When such icons as these all move to the same area, you know it must be a great location!

 

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