Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

If you have a Montana Driver’s License, you better also get your passport soon if you plan to fly in 2018.

Beginning January 22, 2018, The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will no longer accept state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards from states that are non-compliant of the REAL ID Act.

There are currently five states that do not meet the federal government’s minimum security standards, including:

  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Washington

According to the REAL ID Act of 2005, federal agencies, such as TSA, are prohibited to accept any driver’s license or ID cards issued from states that do not meet the Act’s minimum standards. Consequently, residents of the states listed above must use alternate forms of ID (passport, military ID, or permanent resident card) to pass through TSA security checkpoints in the coming year.

As of February 24, 2017, only 24 states comply with the federal ID standards, and 21 have been granted extensions. The remaining 5 states can also be granted extensions if they are in the process of changing their state ID standards, but the deadline to apply for the extension is set for October, 2017. No additional extensions will be granted by the federal government after October, 2017.

For a state issued ID to pass the federal government’s security standards, its state must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Verification of the ID applicant’s identity
  2. Integrated anti-counterfeit technology on the ID card
  3. A background check for each driver’s license applicant.

This seems reasonable, doesn’t it? But apparently changing state-wide ID standards can be a lengthy and costly process. Moreover, some states such as Missouri and Kentucky have found it difficult to pass legislation to comply with federal standards because of growing concerns over privacy. Knowing how much Montanans appreciate their privacy, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we find the same problem passing similar legislation here in Montana.

Travelers from these states can either get a passport, or wait to see if their state’s laws change in time to comply with the TSA rules. As more states get on-board, the TSA will update the shortening list of states that are non-compliant with federal standards.


Related Articles:

School Board Approves $125 Million Plan for 2 Great Bozeman High Schools


Bozeman Extends Vacation Rental Ban Another Six Months


Mid-Rise Buildings To Doom Bozeman's Small-Town Charm

Crepes and Waffles Coming Soon To Downtown Bozeman!

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Sometime in April, Erik Esper will be adding one more cuisine to Bozeman's wide selection of restaurants. Esper plans to bring a little piece of France to Bozeman with crepe and waffle joint downtown on Main Street. 

His restaurant, Stuffed Crepes and Waffles, will open in the space that used to be the Tonsorial Parlor Barber Shop, next to the Country Bookshelf. He plans to renovate the 400-square-foot space and spruce it up with a warm and inviting feel for customers. 

The menu will include a variety of both authentic and non-traditional crepes and waffles with sweet and savory combinations, smoothies, ice-cream, and parfaits. Parfaits are essentially the French version of ice-cream, made with custard-like puree and layers of yummy ingredients and fruit arrangements, then topped with whipping cream.

It will be a brick-and-mortar shop, meaning that it will serve both in-store and on-line sales, with an on-the-go style. Convenient for downtown strollers, the crepes will be wrapped in a sleeve and the waffles folded like sandwiches—perfect for a quick bite to eat while meandering around downtown.

It's great to have such a diversity of culture in Bozeman, and Stuffed Crepes and Waffles will be adding one more to the list. Esper is excited about opening the restaurant, saying "Hopefully it'll be a great success and serve the community well."

Related Articles:

This American Grill Might Soon Be the New Favorite Place To Go In Bozeman

Development Projects In Downtown Bozeman

Bozeman's Top 5 Restaurants

Crepe and waffle joint coming to downtown Bozeman

This American Grill Might Soon Be The New Favorite Place To Go In Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

A new American grill is set to open on Bozeman's west side this summer. Featuring 8,000 square feet of space with rooftop seating, a large bar, and even an arcade, Sidewinders will be bringing Bozeman a completely different style of restaurant. It's located off Huffine Lane on Bozeman's west side and is set to open June 1. 

The family business originates from Jackson Wyoming where the owner, Joe Rice, and his wife, daughter, and son-in-law opened six restaurants, one being the original Sidewinders that opened in 1997. Seeing the rapid growth of residential and commercial development on Bozeman's west end, Rice found a need for a place to congregate in this area. 

Sidewinders is known for its chicken pot pies, French onion soups, and stuffed pretzels. The restaurant also offers burgers and steaks. Understanding our appetite for beer in Montana, the Sidewinders at our Bozeman location will offer an astounding selection of more than 70 draft beers! This may soon be the new fun place to hang out in town.

Related Articles:

MSU Students Design "Small Shelters" For The Homeless

Development Projects In Downtown Bozeman

Bozeman's Top 5 Restaurants

New American grill set for Bozeman's west end

School Board Approves $125 Million Plan for 2 Great Bozeman High Schools

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman is another step closer from making its dream for a second high school a reality. The School Board just reached a unanimous decision on Tuesday to approve $125 million to build a second high school, and make major improvements to the existing one. Now we anxiously wait until the May 2 election for the voters' final decision to make it happen.

The current high school, the largest in Montana, is reaching capacity with 2,118 students. By 2020, the number of students is expected to reach 2,400. School officials are anxious to have the second high school open by then. 

The new high school would be built on the intersection of Cottonwood Road and West Oak Street. Improvements would also be made to Bozeman High to make it more functional and energy efficient. Both high schools will be designed to hold about 1,500 students, with an equal number of classes, electives, sports teams and clubs at each school.

The committee decided that each high school should have an auditorium with 750 seats, and a drama room. The current football stadium would be shared by both schools, but upgraded with $2.5 million for artificial turf, track lanes, and bleachers on a building that would eventually house two team locker rooms, bathrooms, and a concession stand. 

The new high school would have a main gym large enough for an impressive 2,500 seats, with two smaller auxiliary gyms. There was a proposal made for an even larger 3,500-seat gym where state tournaments could be held, but the committee decided to down-size to save money. If enough funding is granted, they may end up pursuing the larger gym, as well as an artificial turf practice field at the new high school. 

Bozeman High School would demolish the old classroom wings B, C, D, E, and the old library to replace them with a new two-story classroom building. An auditorium and a new 10,000-square-foot student commons area on the west entrance would also be built. With enough funding, another parking lot may also be made for Bozeman High. 

The original estimated cost for everything including the larger gym, practice field, and parking lot totaled to $144 million. The School Board wished to limit costs, so adjustments were made to the proposal to bring the cost down to $125 million. A meeting will be held by School Board trustees on February 16th, at 6 p.m., at Willson School to decide how much funding will be proposed on the election ballot.

There are two more chances for trustees and residents to state their opinion about the plan, and how much funding should be proposed. The School Board is holding a special meeting this Friday (2/10) at noon, and a public meeting next Monday (2/13) at 5:45 p.m.

Related Articles:

This American Grill Might Soon Be The New Favorite Place To Go In Bozeman

Development Projects In Downtown Bozeman

MSU Student Design "Small Shelters" For The Homeless


Panel OKs $125 million plan for 2 Bozeman high schools

Bozeman Extends Vacation Rental Ban Another Six Months

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman City Commissioners just voted Monday to extend Bozeman's temporary ban of vacation rentals within city limits another six months, allowing Airbnb-style operations in some districts until permanent regulations are in place.

The temporary ban of short-term rentals was set six months ago so the city could gather more information and public input to find a fair solution to the concerns some residents had about how short-term rentals would impact their neighborhoods. 

Some residents in the downtown neighborhoods are worried that short-term rentals would increase traffic, late-night noise, and degrade the character and charm of their historic neighborhoods. The city also found unaccounted for listings on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway that uncovered some rented homes in Bozeman that have been avoiding the required business and conditional use permits, which were frozen by the interim ordinance.   

The city made efforts to gain feedback from the public and study the effects of similar policies in other cities, but they were delayed while focusing on hiring a new planner director. Since encouraging input from residents through public forums and an online survey, the city received about 330 pages of comments to read through.

In Monday's public meeting, some commenters questioned whether the city would be violating the state's landlord-tenant act with these regulations. Others urged the city to make a decision before the summer tourist season arrives.

Four of the five Bozeman City Commissioners voted for the six-month extension of the interim ordinance. The one differing commissioner, I-Ho Pomeroy, proposed a shorter, three-month extension in pushing to get permanent regulations in place sooner. However, the remaining four members disagreed, arguing that the team and staff working on the issue need better information to make the best decision for the community.     

Read More About This Subject:

Bozeman Bans Vacation Rentals

Related Articles:

School Board Approves $125 Million Plan for 2 Great Bozeman High Schools

MSU Students Design "Small Shelters" For The Homeless

Mid-Rise Buildings To "Doom" Bozeman's Small-Town Charm?


Bozeman commission extends interim vacation rental limits

Montana's Economy Leads The Nation

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

How's Montana Real Estate Market? 

As we recover from the housing crisis, it's evident that Montana performed exceptionally well through the recession as compared to the rest of the country. National home prices finally broke-even with the pre-recession peak, but Montana already reached that milestone back in 2014. Montana's real estate prices are now about 10% above where they were before the housing bust.


Housing Price Growth.png

Before the recession, Montana's real estate prices were just under par with national averages. But when the housing bust hit, Montana had better resilience to price deflation than rest of the country. The housing bust wasn't nearly as harsh in Montana as other states. Since 2008, housing prices in Montana have stayed well above national averages.

Bozeman, in particular, had the most pronounced price growth of the state. Median sales price of single-family homes in Bozeman are now exceeding $350,000, higher than Montana's most populous cities.

How's Montana's Job Market?

The number of jobs in Montana are also growing at a considerable rate, with our manufacturing industry outperforming the national rate since 2010. From 2010 to 2012, Montana's manufacturing employment grew at an annual rate of 4% to 5%, while the nation's rate climbed by only 2% to 3%. 

Manufacturing Employment .pngEntrepreneurship in Montana

Much of the job growth can be attributed to a number of new establishments, rather than the growth of existing ones. Several of the largest contributors to Montana's rapid job growth through 2010 to 2015 were from fabricated metal products, beverage, and computer/electronic manufacturing. 

# of Establishments in Manufacturing Industry.png
Another achievement worth noting for Montana is the $4.6 billion Air Force contract won by S&K Technologies Inc., an enterprise headquartered on the Flathead Reservation in northwest Montana. While the enterprise has multiple offices in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, S&K returned more than $25 million in dividends to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). As shareholders of the company, the success of S&K makes a significant impact on more than 7,000 members of the Tribes.

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana projected in a 2016 report that the high-tech and manufacturing companies would grow seven-times faster than Montana's overall economy. These sectors are expected to pay average annual salaries of $57,000—more than double the median wage in Montana.

Montana's Economic Outlook

Overall, Montana's economic outlook is looking robust. Housing prices are climbing, high-tech companies are growing, and more high-paying jobs are becoming available. Montana's real estate market and the high-tech sector will be two things to keep track of in 2017.

See More:

Gallatin County Leads Montana's Economy


Bozeman Airport Expands For Explosive Traffic Growth


Mid-Rise Buildings To Doom Bozeman's Small-Town Charm?


Gallatin County Leads Montana's Economy

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Gallatin County had remarkable performance in Montana's economy, leading the state in wage growth last year. While it experienced a slight drop in wage growth from 2015 to 2016, the county seems to be in much better shape than the rest of the state. 

Gallatin County's total wage income increased by a staggering $73 million in the first half of 2016 from the preceding year. Yellowstone County, the state's largest, lead the state for the first half of 2015, before Gallatin County took its place in the second half. By 2016, Yellowstone County suffered an abrupt slowdown, while Gallatin County lead the state by nearly $40 million ahead of the runner-up, Flathead County. 

Montana Economic Report

In 2016, almost every county in Montana had slower growth. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research credited this fact to the substantial increases in Medicaid not carried over to 2016, causing health care wages to drop across the entire state. However, there were unique cases for each region. 

Yellowstone County's severe economic slowdown in 2016 was mainly caused by the continued oil slump that devastated Billings' oil producers and energy services. This caused a ripple effect that lowered construction wages and weakened its real estate market. 

Butte (Silver Bow County) was another region that experienced a major loss. Although the county's visitor spending increased, a drop in copper prices profoundly impacted mining wages, which declined 28%.     

While most of Montana suffered an economic downturn, Gallatin County's performance remains the strongest in the state.

Gallatin County's wage growth in 2016 nearly doubled Montana's next best county.


Much of Gallatin County's slight drop in wage growth from 2015 to 2016 was due to rising housing prices, and strain on its transportation infrastructure. Gallatin County's median home price broke the $300,000 threshold in 2016, higher than the rest of Montana's most populated counties. However, construction, high-tech companies, and tourism continue to drive our county's prosperous growth.  

Bozeman Airport Expands for Explosive Traffic Growth

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

As you may have notice, the Bozeman area has been growing exponentially with each passing year, and the local airport is certainly feeling it. Our Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport just broke its own traffic records for the seventh year in a row. While the U.S Census Bureau estimated there was only 100,000 residents living in Gallatin County in 2015, the airport handled a staggering 1.1 million passengers the following year. That’s 10 times more passengers moving through the airport than there is people living in our area! 

To accommodate for the growing traffic, the airport is working on adding another runway and considering to add some new gates. American Airlines also just announced that starting this spring, they will be making non-stop daily, seasonal flights to and from Bozeman and Dallas-Fort Worth. The airline will have a summer service running from June 2 to October, and a winter service running from December 15 to April.

With Bozeman being a college town, and Big Sky and The Yellowstone National Park being major tourist attractions, it’s no surprise that the airport’s been so busy. College students fly home during the holidays, Yellowstone National Park has tourists flying in from all over the world in summer, and our world-class ski resorts attract skiers in the winter. These local attractions keep the airport busy all year long.

Good business for the airport is also good business for our community. With an expanding airport, it will draw in more potential customers for our local businesses, add jobs and revenue to our community, and possibly lower flight costs from Bozeman to global destinations.

Related Articles:

Development Projects In Downtown Bozeman

Business Success In Bozeman

Job Growth In Gallatin County

Read more about this topic:

Bozeman airport again breaks record for passenger numbers

American Airlines enters Montana market, offers seasonal service to Bozeman

Mid-Rise Buildings to Doom Bozeman's Small-Town Charm?

by Hart Real Estate Solutions


There has been rising controversy in downtown Bozeman over development plans for mid-rise buildings in the heart of the city. City commissioners will soon make the decision whether to approve developer Andy Holloran’s proposal for his Black-Olive project, which will transform the south-east corner of Black and Olive Avenue into a three-story building with 56 apartments. 

Black-Olive Project(3-story building on black-olive avenue as of December 28, 2016 that the new apartment building is planned to replace.)

With the Element Hotel now built, the 5-West building already standing, and the Clark Hotel’s expansion underway, downtown residents are concerned that the Black Olive proposal is the breaking point that ushers “the final doom of Bozeman’s small-town charm.” Most members of the “Save Bozeman” effort are not entirely against development, but what they want is “balanced growth that benefits everybody, and not just developers.”


5 West Downtown Development

(5 West Project on Mendenhall Street under construction as of December 28, 2016.)

Several concerned residents have responded with the “Save Bozeman” effort. They made a Facebook page to coordinate their efforts and inform other residents about issues facing the community, and you might have noticed their yellow yard signs popping up around downtown neighborhoods. Stewart Mitchell, one of several coordinators behind the “Save Bozeman” effort, says their goal is to draw more members of the community into the city’s planning process.

What About The Housing Shortage?

To counter the opposition, there are some benefits of denser developments that may make the case for the Black Olive project. People want our Bozeman lifestyle, which can be credited for much of the county’s explosive growth in recent years. Unfortunately, with rising demand, comes rising prices. Housing inventory is being stripped away, and prices are climbing at such a rate that it may finally slow our city’s growth.

Having these apartment buildings spring up downtown may help to address our current housing shortage issue. More apartments will loosen up the market for renters, and keep prices within a reasonable reach. Even luxury, higher-end apartments may improve housing affordability. When luxury options are limited, wealthier renters may have to settle for mid-market options, and outbid lower-income residents who can’t compete. By meeting the demand for high-end housing, affordable housing would be left alone and made available for families who truly need them.

Another proposition to be made is that denser development may help preserve Montana’s countryside. Even if we build a financial wall around Bozeman, development would likely spread to outlying areas, encroaching further into the untouched territory that we value about Montana. “Building” up may be the alternative to “building out” with residential neighborhoods, like we’re seeing in the development of Bozeman’s west side.

State Your Opinion

There are many arguments to made on either side of this issue. Mid-rise developments will transform the city’s core, and may alter the course of the city going forward. The community deserves a fair debate over this matter. For those that are concerned and want to be more involved with the community, be sure to attend the city’s Community Forums held at the City Hall to state your opinions.

Related Article:

Development Projects In Downtown Bozeman


Saving Bozeman: There’s a generational divide on development in the heart of the city

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9