Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14

Hart Real Estate Solutions Know Your Homes 101 - A Frame

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

An A-Frame home is known for its steeply angled roofs that almost always begin at the foundation of the home. The home looks a bit like the letter A, giving it its name. A frame ceilings are often open all the way to the top rafters.

A-Frames can be attributed to ancient cultures, with many islanders creating roofed huts that had similar designs. The A-frames simplicity would naturally lead many different cultures to discover the architectural style as it did not require too big a step from a lean-to.

However, the A-frame peaked in popularity in the early 50’s, based on its cheap cost to construct and the fact that many Americans had started to purchase second homes or vacation homes. A-frames were sold as kits in department stores like Macy’s and Sears, improving their popularity even more. The A-frame home has become a staple of many vacation rentals and can provide both a beach-like feel, as well as a mountain resort feel.

Take another lesson here:






French Eclectic

Spanish Mission Revival

Cape Cod


Second Empire


Prairie School


Bozeman Has Fastest Growing Economy in Montana

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

According to some recent analysis, Bozeman has the fastest growing economy in Montana. Bozeman has seen increases in wages, its construction and manufacturing industries, available jobs and student population in recent years.

Wages have increased in Bozeman by 5 percent, compared to Montana’s 2 percent.

Construction has been on the rise and building is once again booming in the area. Before the recession, Bozeman issued around 500 permits per year on average. That figure dropped to approximately 200 in 2008, but this year 467 permits were issued. Construction also added 367 jobs between 2013 and 2014. It would be expected that those figures increased in 2015 as well.

Manufacturing also saw job growth, coming in second to the construction sector and adding 199 jobs in 2014.

Bozeman’s technology industry, of course, has had the biggest effect on Bozeman’s landscape and future outlook. Since the sale of RightNow Technologies in 2011 to Oracle, the economy has seen a significant lift. Oracle just recently announced that it will be expanding once again and will be adding even more jobs to the Bozeman area. That article has been included in this newsletter and can also be read here.

Other major companies have also looked to expand in their local locations. Simm’s, a fishing products dealer, announced this year that they will expand their production facility in the area, adding 160 additional employees.

Gallatin County is also the number 1 county in economic investment in the state of Montana. Montana State University continues to provide opportunities to its students for start up companies and other similar ventures. MSU has set records for enrollment, partly based on the fact that so many students on the tech side of the University have had so much recent success.

Bozeman continues its positive momentum. Its economy continues to grow, the housing sector appears to have recovered, and many different industries in the area have thrived in recent years.




Oracle Building New Operations Center - Google, Facebook Next?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Oracle Corporation has agreed to a 10-year lease on a new 20,000 square foot building that is currently under construction. Likely, the expansion will also provide additional jobs to Bozeman’s booming technology industry. In total, Oracle will now have 120,000 square feet of offices in Bozeman.

Oracle plans on using the new building as a global operation center which would control Oracle’s network of other data centers. The building will also be used as a “showcase building” for local visitors and high level executives.

Oracle continues to expand its presence in Bozeman, offering additional jobs and an economic boost to the local community. Bozeman continues to invest in itself while local and national businesses continue to invest in Bozeman. In 2015, Bozeman had the fastest growing economy in the state of Montana.

In early December, news also came via the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that both Google and Facebook have also met with local officials to determine whether they might be interested in opening data centers in Bozeman as well. Having major corporations expand or build new data centers in Bozeman will only attract an even higher tech presence to the area.




New Fenced Dog Park Near Bozeman Pond Open

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

If anyone had still questions whether Bozeman is a dog friendly town, that topic can be put to rest as Bozeman has added yet another dog park to its repertoire. The new 2 acre dog park opened next to the Bozeman Pond and will eventually be incorporated into Bozeman’s plans to expand the Bozeman Pond Park. Many homes in the nearby area have small to no backyards. This park will make it more convenient for dog owners to take their pets on a walk and get them some exercise.

Bozeman has added multiple dog parks, including a 20+ acre off leash park and other smaller parks similar to this new project. Snowfill Dog Park also expanded its trail system this year.

The new park is open but will still be adding a shaded pavilion and a small dog/puppy area. The new park came from land purchased by the City of Bozeman from the Gallatin Valley Land Trust (read more about land trusts here. The city used money from the 2012 trails, open spaces and parks bond. The Bozeman Pond Park recently received additional funding for its expansion as well.  




Home Equity Continues to Expand Across US

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

More United States borrowers got into the black in 2015 and reported having equity in some form on their home. Now, many of these buyers also have more equity in general, as home prices have improved and the housing market has recovered.

Household holdings in real estate totaled 21.825 trillion dollars in the 3rd quarter of 2015. In 2014, real estate holdings totaled 20.461 trillion. From 2014 to 2015, holdings increased by 1.365 trillion dollars.

Home mortgage debt hit 9.46 trillion dollars in the 3rd quarter. Compared to 2014, that figure rose by 0.078 trillion dollars.

The difference in holdings growth (1.365 trillion) over the mortgage debt difference (0.078 trillion) shows that households across the US have seen a rise in their home equity.

In September 2015, 91% of US homes had equity. That number should grow as home values have risen across the United States. In 2014, 89% of borrowers had equity in their home. In March of 2015, 97% of Montana borrowers had equity in their home.

Although mortgage debt did expand in 2015, that fact is not necessarily negative. Oftentimes, mortgage debt expands, not because people are falling farther into debt, but because more home buyers are taking out mortgages. A majority of US home buyers need to take out mortgages to buy a home, so expanding mortgage debt often implies a healthier, growing housing market.

Delinquent mortgages have fallen in the past couple years, supporting the idea that more buyers are entering the market. As more homeowners see their equity grow, more potential buyers will see their financial success and want to also have a part in it.






US Housing Market’s Third Quarter Best in Nearly a Decade

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Existing home sales rose by 3.4% in the 3rd quarter of 2015 and has been one of the best quarters for the housing market in nearly a decade. The quarter has lead to a new annual rate of 5.48 million sales in 2015. Existing home sales increased by 8.4% compared to 2014.

In the United States overall, the single family median home price hit $229,000, up 5.5% from the third quarter of 2014. While home prices and sales continue to climb, their growth rates have slowed to a much healthier pace, providing a bit more depth and consistency to the US housing market.

Median prices rose in 87% of US markets and only 24 of these areas reported prices lower than in 2014.

In the West, existing home sales increased by 3.9% and are 9.7% higher than a year ago.

Issues still remain with lack of home inventory, which have pushed prices up and eliminated some first time home buyers from feasibly buying a home. But generally, more buyers are now able to buy a home than before.




Bozeman High School Earns Highest ACT Scores in State

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

For the second year in a row, Bozeman High School has the best ACT scores in the state. Current Bozeman seniors averaged a 22.8 composite score when they took the test last year as high school juniors.

Montana averaged a score of 20.4 and the US average sat at 21. In 2014, Bozeman averaged a total score of 22.5, so test scores continue to improve.

Bozeman High surpassed the averages of all other State AA school districts including Helena, (21.5), Missoula (21.2), Great Falls (20.5), Kalispell (20.3), Billings (20.2) and Butte (20.2).

In general, only students who expect to go to college would take the ACT test. However, after receiving a 6-year grant, Bozeman High has issued the test to all its students. This year, 47% of all Bozeman juniors hit ACT benchmarks. Considering Montana averaged 24% and the US averaged 28 percent, the record reflected well on the high school and its quality of education.

Below are the scores by subject:

English – 75% hit benchmarks, 57% average in Montana, 64% in US

Reading – 60% hit benchmarks, 44% average in Montana, 46% in US

Math – 59% hit benchmarks, 41% average in Montana, 38% in US

Science – 52% hit benchmarks, 36% in Montana, 38% in US

When Bozeman students continue to perform well, it will continue to attract new families to the Bozeman area who hope to offer their children the best education available.





Federal Reserve Raises Short Term Interest Rate

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

By unanimous vote, the Federal Reserve agreed to raise the federal fund rate (aka short-term interest rate) showing their confidence in an improving United States Economy. The Fed will raise their rates from near zero to 0.25 to 0.5 percent, a decision that had been expected to come at several different points in 2015. The Fed will shift between 0.25 and 0.5 based on market conditions. They are also willing to adjust their strategy based on how the economy performs in response to the move.

The Fed has kept rates at near zero since 2008. During the recession, the Fed did all they could to entice borrowers back into the fold. Now that the labor market and housing market have started performing well, the Fed has decided that now is the time to get rates up again. So far, the market has performed well in response to the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising by 224.18 points.

The Fed pointed to strong dollar values and a rebounding labor market as the major factors that convinced them to raise rates. As the dollar value has risen, emerging market companies that borrowed heavily during low rate periods will now have to pay more to payoff the debt.

But how will the rates affect the housing market?

With a rise in interest rates, each subsequent lender will need to raise their rates as well to keep their business profitable. It is fully expected that mortgage rates will increase over 2016. Mortgage rates have been at historically low levels during the recession. Buyer confidence has improved over 2015, allowing the Fed to raise rates without losing all their borrowers.

Although mortgage rates will in all likelihood increase, according to the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun,  the small uptick should not have a major affect on borrowers. However, other experts believe this is the first of several upticks, in which case mortgage rates may rise at several points over 2016.

Currently the 30 year fixed rate mortgage sits at 3.93 percent. In the short term, the housing market might actually have a small surge, as fence sitting buyers take the plunge with rising mortgage rates on the horizon.






Storage Units Outperform Other Commercial Real Estate Sectors

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Property investors might be surprised to learn that storage units have performed extremely well since the recession, offering their owners a great return on investment. Rents are high and most storage companies are reporting low vacancies. With the recession keeping new storage facility construction down, competition is also low, opening the door for investors across the United States.

While most other real estate commercial sectors have fallen flat in 2015, some storage companies have reported seven percent increases in rental income. Many investment firms have moved to constructing new storage spaces themselves to get their piece of the pie.

Publicly traded storage companies have also performed very well on the stock market. Extra Space Storage reported a 33% increase in their stock over 2015. They also reported that 94.5% of all their spaces in the United States were occupied, up from 92.1 percent.

Storage units may provide great rental income to investors while also helping buffer them from market volatility. Storage units generally stay in demand, based on deaths, moves, divorces etc.—all reasons that tend to not follow housing market trends. Storage unit values have held true since the recession and have since recovered better than other commercial sectors.





Bozeman Parks Exceeding 2012 Funding

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

In order to address Bozeman’s fast paced growth, the city has been hard at work to continue adding and enhancing the recreational parks in the area. Most of the funding has come from a 15 million dollar bond that passed in 2012. Unfortunately, as more visitors have taken up permanent residency in Bozeman, it appears that funding will fall short for the 6 major projects on Bozeman’s agenda.

The projects include the Bozeman Sports Athletic Complex, the Front Street Connector Trail, the Pass to the M, the Bozeman Pond Park expansion, the Bozeman creek work at Bogert park and the Story Mill Community Park Project.

Most of these projects are in the early design stages, but in order to have useful facilities for a growing populace, the city has already started work towards gaining additional funding through bonds, grants and donations.

A majority of Bozeman’s real estate activity since the recession has taken place from 2012 and on. Bozeman may ask for another bond to help address the growth and properly fund these projects, based on a more accurate city population.

The Story Mill Park project received 5 million dollars in bonds, but will probably end up costing closer to $10 million while the Sports Complex received 7 million in funding, but will probably tally closer to $20 million. Story Mill Park did recently receive a $75,000 dollar grant from local banks in the area recently.

Bozeman residents have been very good about passing new bonds, something they have been recognized for by community ranking organizations. However, if future bonds do not pass, the city will work on creating partnerships with outside organizations to help fund the projects.





Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14