Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive

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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,

10 Best Trails Around Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


Nestled in the middle of Montana’s great mountain ranges, Bozeman offers adventure seekers almost limitless trails to explore. Here’s 10 of our favorite trails around Bozeman, Montana.

Sourdough

Located within close proximity to town, Sourdough Trail, also known as Bozeman Creek Trial, is popular among Bozemanites. Following the Bozeman Creek, it has an easy grade, and the distance you hike, bike, or cross-country-ski on this 10 mile trail is up to you. The trail ends at Mystic Lake, with interconnected logging trails and roads to continue your adventure.

Lava Lake Trail

Following the Cascade Creek under a thick evergreen forest canopy and through open green meadows, this trail will take you past waterfalls and a lake settled in the middle of granite walls, with clear views of the Spanish Peaks in the distance.

Drinking Horse Trail

This is a short, yet steep, 2.2 mile looped trail gives you a great vantage point for views over Bozeman, Bridger Canyon, and the Gallatin Valley. This is a relatively easy trail to take the family. 

Palisade Falls

This paved, one mile trail is easy for taking the kids on a stroll through beautiful scenery with towering rock walls and a tall waterfalls at the finish line. 

“M” Trail

Taking you up to the signature “M” embedded on the mountain North of Bozeman, this trail is popular among the locals. There are two ways to the top—one with a short steep climb and the other with an easier, moderate climb. This trail offers gorgeous views over Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley.

Baldy Peak Summit

Going above the "M" trail, this hike takes you through forested areas to an exposed ridge with panoramic views high above the surrounding areas. With 4,000 feet of elevation gain over 7 miles, this is a difficult trail for the ambitious hikers.

Sypes Canyon

This trail takes you 6.2 miles up 1,656 feet on the North side of Bozeman. It follows a river through the canyon and opens up to another beautiful view of Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley.

Hyalite Creek Trail

In route to Hyalite Lake, this 5.5 mile moderate grade trail takes you past beautiful waterfalls, high mountain walls, fast flowing creeks, meadows, and wildflowers before rewarding you with the crystal clear lake at the finish line.

Pine Creek Lake Trail

Meandering 5.5 miles through forest trees up 3,400 vertical feet to Pine Creek Lake, this trail in the Absaroka mountain range offers stunning views of the valley below, colorful trees, a series of waterfalls and streams, and a beautiful clear lake at the top.

Storm Castle Peak

This beautiful hike is located south of Bozeman in the Gallatin Range. This trail is a great one for a calf workout, taking you 2.5 miles up to 7,170 feet elevation. Surrounded by interesting geology with swirling patterns of dark and light rock along cliffs, the spectacular views are worth the punishment.

 

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Hart Real Estate Solutions—Your Trusted Guides

Bozeman's Best Restaurants

by Hart Real Estate Solutions
 

One of many benefits of living in Bozeman, Montana is our wide selection of great restaurants. It may seem hard to imagine for a little town of roughly 43,405 people, but there are about 123 restaurants in Bozeman, 44 of which are downtown. It sure is a great feeling to be able to eat at a different restaurant for each date-night without even having to leave town. With so many places to choose from, lets highlight some of the best restaurants for you start with.

Wasabi

Wasabi-sushi-bar is certainly the first restaurant you should try if you’re new to town. At this Hibachi grill, chefs put on a talent show as they cook your food in front of you. Who knows where these chefs come from, but they are the most talented group of individuals I have ever seen. What they can do with a knives, spatulas, and fire is amazing. My personal favorite thing about Wasabi is how its chefs will occasionally squirt a fountain of saki into your mouth while your waiting for your food, really keeping the party going.

14 North

This gastropub combines the best of both worlds of fine-dining and bars. A bar sits in the core of the restaurant, with formal dining space around it, and an overflow and meeting space upstairs. 14 North takes great pride in its menu, spending anywhere from hours to days to prepare and season its steaks, lamb shanks, and filet’s sauce. As Zeglan says, “It takes time to build the flavors we’re trying to create.” With delicious food and a festive atmosphere, you wouldn’t regret having dinner at 14 North.

The Roost

This fried chicken joint really makes you feel at home if you’re from the south. It offers prime buttermilk chicken and biscuits made from scratch, and fired okra and mac and cheese “like mom used to make.” If you’re health conscious, you should feel comfortable knowing that The Roost only uses whole foods. Mike Buck, the co-owner, says he takes pride in the family aspect of his business, the freshness of his ingredients, and the story behind it. The Roost uses natural hormone-free chicken raised on a family farm, and it goes as far as paying extra shipping costs for stone ground grits from a water-powered mill in Tennessee.

Open Range

This is a restaurant for impressing your date. Open Range is a formal, fine dining restaurant with great food and service. While Open Range is known for steak, its duck is also fantastic, and certainly recommended. Along with our personal experience, reviewers really loved how the duck was “perfectly cooked and full of flavor.” Open Range also offers a great selection of wine, beer, and cocktails.  

Red Chair

This is our personal favorite, but not just because it’s across the street from our office, although that is a plus. Red Chair is a neighborhood café & bar located on the quiet, west side of Bozeman. It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week. No matter what meal of the day you’re looking for, Red Chair has a menu for it. Its bar also makes killer mimosas and bloody marys to go with your weekend breakfast. What’s special about this place is its view of the Bridgers from the second floor. With windows wrapped around the dining area and a balcony to eat on outside, you can see across across Bozeman’s rooftops with unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains while you’re eating.

November 2016 Market Report

by Hart Real Estate Solutions
 

The 2016 residential market in Bozeman and Belgrade has been highly active from October to November, compared to last year. Between these two cities, 317 single family homes closed, up from 284 in 2015. The median sales price, has also increased from $295,000 to $323,000. The total sales volume of $123,751,980 for this time period increased from last year’s total of $112,737,420. The seller’s market continues, with low inventory and high buyer demand. 

Here are the statistics for October and November, 2016 and 2015:

Residential Sales-Units:

October to November 2015: 284

October to November 2016: 317

Residential Sales--Median Sales Price

October to November 2015: $295,000

October to November 2016: $323,000    

Residential Sales- Total Sales Volume

October to November 2015: $112,737,420

October to November 2016: $123,751,980

Business Success In Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

It is exciting to see so many successful businesses in our community. For the third consecutive year in a row, The Partners Group has been named among the top 75 Best Places to Work in Insurance nationwide. This company has a number of offices across the Northwest, including one here in Bozeman, Montana.  It is great to see so many admired companies laying foundations in Bozeman.

Along with the Partners Group,  RightNow Technologies (bought by Oracle), Elixiter, Wisetail, Zoot Enterpises, Simms, and a number of other large companies are growing in the area.  Our economy is strong. These local businesses are contributing to Montana’s superior economic performance.


With such growth of jobs and businesses in our city, Gallatin County’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.3% in August 2016, the lowest unemployment rate in Montana. 


In 2015, Montana lead the nation in entrepreneurship, with its number of business openings accounting for 7.4% of the total existing business.

There is some mighty potential for our small town. Apparently, Montana isn’t just about being a fun and beautiful place to live in, it’s a great place to start a career as well. With the real estate market booming, it’s a great time to buy a house here in Southwest Montana if you’ve been considering it. See our listings, or contact us today and together we’ll find that perfect home you’ve been looking for.

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