Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


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Resources for Distressed Sales Offered by U.S. Treasury

by Tim Hart

As it is well known, the housing market is uniquely bound to the U.S. Treasury. This is never more apparent than a policy found within the Treasury Department’s Office of Home Ownership. Laurie Maggiano is the architect of a plethora of the government-backed Making Home Affordable program, uniform guidelines for loan modifications, Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives short sales, and foreclosure prevention.

“Her work at Treasury has not only helped servicers and investors adopt HAFA short sales, but also led to new guidelines that include making deficiency releases and relocation money standard when it comes to these transactions. Maggiano and her team were also responsible for programs that have helped so many people across the country avoid foreclosure.”

The changes Maggiano will affect the tools provided to agents and consumers if they get bogged down in the midst of their short-sale process by:

  • adjusting short-sale timeline
  • change occupancy restrictions in addition to
  • an increase in payments to second mortgages and relation assistance to sellers.

Related Content: 

Beating the Odds on Short Sales

Expect Gradual Changes at Fannie & Freddie

FHA: Unsung Hero of the Recovery

Lenders: What’s Holding Back Loans

Bozeman Neighborhoods: Valley West—A Series

by Tim Hart

We are a community, joined together by schools, jobs, our love of the outdoors and the sharing of the services and amenities our great town has to offer.  However, we are separated in groups as we choose to live in subdivisions and neighborhoods.  I frequently find myself in a similar conversation with people new to the area.  From these conversations, I have found that the average buyer has several parameters they look at in choosing location.  Generally, the factors are price, convenience, and individual amenities of a particular home and neighborhood.   So, I thought it would be helpful to peer into some of our wonderful neighborhoods. 

I chose to evaluate Valley West first because we recently moved and call this neighborhood home.  We were drawn to the neighborhood early in its development because of the park, lake and architectural interest and diversity.  Since moving here, I realize just how convenient it is.   My third grader walks or rides his bike to school.  My teenagers drive to the high school in 6 minutes (so I am told).  Four groceries, a fish market, banks, gas stations and the mall are all within a short bike ride or up to a four minute drive.  I am also 4 minutes from my office, which comes in handy when I’m late for dinner.

Valley West offers traditional and contemporary architecture, condos and single family residences with or without attached dwelling units.  Small lots encourage neighbors to congregate in the park to get to know one another, play with their kids and walk their dogs.  Kids meet at the park to play tag and tube on the creek.  Common walk areas were designed to “flow” through the neighborhood, providing a safe and natural connection to the community.  Groups frequent the pavilion in the summer and gather for ice skating at the pond in the winter.

The neighborhood’s residents’ life stages are diverse, ranging from the college student renting an ADU to retired individuals investing their lives in the community.  Therefore, several property choices are available.  Currently on the market are 5 condos ranging in price from $143,000-$239,000 and an average price per square foot of $132.00.  There are 7 single family homes on the market, including 4 existing homes and 3 new constructions.  The prices range from $234,900 - $499,500, with an average price per square foot of $150.00.

In the last 6 months, 7 single family homes have sold, ranging in price from $184,000-$485,000.  The average sold price per square foot was $142.00.  Ten condos have sold, ranging in price from $144,750-$261,250.  Of the sold condos, the average price per square foot was $111.00. 

This is a series that will continue with blogs and newsletters.  The next article in the series will feature Harvest Creek.    If you would like to share your perspectives, I would love to include them in future articles.   If you would like to hear about a particular neighborhood, email me and I will be happy to include it.

The Desire to Buy Real Estate

by Tim Hart

The American Dream has at its core the idea of home ownership.  The dream, according to CNBC-All-American Economic Survey, is being acknowledged more and more. 79% of Americans believe home ownership is the essential piece of the American dream. 69% of Americans think owning is more advantageous to renting. Home ownership is regaining the confidence it had in re-recession times.


“The housing numbers are all heading in the right direction,” reports Diana Olick for CNBC. “Home prices up, foreclosures down and, perhaps the most important, consumer confidence in housing is swelling.” 


The one demographic that still seems to be the unknown element within the market is that of the first-time home buyers. There is a surge in first-timers looking for their first home, but they are highly dependent on their low down payment financing, and that may cause a plateau of actual home purchases. What are your predictions?


Parents as Kids’ Mortgage Lender

More Reasons to Buy v. Rent

People Are Becoming More and More Confident in Housing Market

Home Ownership and the American Dream

Montana Ranch Sales: Land Value in Montana

by Tim Hart

Companies from Bozeman to Billings have seen an uptick in investing in working ranches. Cattle prices are good and the prospect of the global world developing a stronger middle class only speaks of the demand for cattle to increase in the future. Grey Fay, a Bozeman-based real estate businessman, “sees the interest in ranch purchases as a play by American billionaires to add a tangible, low-return investment to their portfolios with the idea that land values have bottomed out and could appreciate considerably in the future.” (

Seeing the investment: 

In 1972, a ranch could sell for $36/acre. In 2011, that same land sold for $500/acre. Even accounting for the inflation of the dollar through history, the land has doubled in value. Amenities on ranches extend beyond the utilitarian use of the land. Wildlife habitat, fishing, scenic views, and other nontangibles are spiking in value on top of the solid financial endeavor of running a ranch. Few investments are as secure as property and few property investments are as secure as one with the multiplicity of profitable uses as a ranch.

How does this inform Montanan values?

Places to hunt, fish, spend quality and semi-isolated time with family and friends are all strong central values of Montanans at large. With the city centers of Montana growing rapidly, the return to where Montana started speaks of how deep these important land and family ethics run. Time on a ranch is hard work and togetherness.


Trusting this strong market entirely is a bit naïve so those monitoring the market ought to remain skeptical. Fay sees ranch prices as bottomed out, but not yet appreciably rising making this moment in time as a good time to buy. Tomorrow, who knows… All that can be said is that there are “excellent opportunities everywhere right now.” (


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4