Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10

Maddening Pace: New Home Sales Flying off the Market

by Tim Hart

New-home sales got a big lift last month, selling at the fastest pace in two years, the Commerce Department reported Monday.

Single-family home sales rose 7.6% putting them at the highest level since April of 2010. In addition, prices are on the rise too. The median price is now $234,500!

“May’s sales report is a welcome sign that the market has returned to a more solid growth path following lackluster reports in March and April, and is in keeping with our expectations for continued, steady improvement through the end of this year,” says David Crowe, National Association of Home Builders’ chief economist.

The market still has a long way to go in order to fully recover, but every little step is a good and hopeful sign.

Source: “New-home Sales Surge to Fastest Pace in Two Years,” (June 25, 2012) and National Association of Home Builders

Read More

New-Home Sales Inch Up, Optimism Builds


Future Predictions of the Real Estate Market

by Tim Hart

Predictions on Where the Real Estate Market is Going…

A majority of more than 100 economists and real estate experts say that home prices will likely bottom by 2013, according to the Zillow June 2012 Price Expectations Survey. The real estate experts surveyed predict that home prices will fall 0.4 percent this year before inching up by 1.3 percent next year. 

To support their claim, this trend has already begun to happen. The first quarter this year has brought with it a 2% drop in home prices and the expectation is that they will begin their rebound in the next quarter. In fact, appreciation predictions support that the value will increase by 3.5% between 2012 and 2014!

“It’s good to start to see some convergence of expectations among economists, as it lends further support to the claim that a bottom is real,” says Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist. “However, the fact that more than half of respondents believe that the home ownership rate will fall lower should be a sobering reminder that significant challenges remain ahead for the housing market, from negative equity to millions of foreclosed home owners who now have impaired credit, making a return to home ownership harder than it would be otherwise.” 

Source: Zillow Inc.

Read More

Housing Recovery: The Pieces Are There, But the Certainty Isn’t



Good Karma: Sharing Some Of My Positive News

by Tim Hart

"As a Financial Advisor I have many opportunities to help clients with just about all aspects of their financial well being. That means needing to secure the services of attorneys, accountants and even real estate agents such as Tim. Because my clients rely on me to make sure that the people we use are truly professionals and good at what they do I personally hold them to some pretty lofty standards. I have found that Tim solidly meets those standards. I have seen Tim go way beyond the call of duty in his help and service to not only me but more importantly my clients. I have full confidence in Tim and I believe any one that uses him to either buy or sell a home would come to the same conclusion once they got to know him not only as an agent but as an individual." ~Jim 

"Just to give you heads up, even though this adventure is complete for you, I will ever now and then stay in touch and check in on you. I hope and pray that others will get to know how much of a heart you have and that your last name fits you beautifully. Jennifer (Owens) was great and we appreciate her being there in your place. Have a wonderful trip back to the states and I would love to hear how it went. Please stay in touch because you are a great friend that has touch our hearts greatly!!! Thank you so much!!!" ~Bruce and Diane


Today's Real Estate: It's A Race to the Finish Line

by Tim Hart

Real Estate always has its challenges. When it is doing poorly, buyers are struggling to finance their dream. When news turns positive, like in today’s market, when even with the market getting healthier by the day, the challenge is now high competition. A shortage of good homes in a market that is primed for buyers leads to intense multiple off situations in nearly every transaction.

“Would-be buyers are packing open houses and scrambling to make offers on properties before they are even listed. Bidding wars are erupting. And real estate agents are vying fiercely to represent the few sellers that do exist. Housing inventory has sunk to levels not seen since the bubble years. The number of American homes with a "for sale" sign hit 2.5 million in April, the lowest number for an April since 2006, according to the National Assn. of Realtors.

The sharp drop in inventory paired with the record low interest rates have proved to be effective in stabilizing some of the hardest hit markets in the US (Southland, Vegas, Phoenix, and Miami). Furthermore, the dreaded wave of foreclosures that was predicted to hit the market with a sucker punch has not yet come and with fewer and fewer borrowers entering default, it is starting to look like it may never materialize.

So on this Friday, exactly halfway through the year, remind yourself even as you struggle through highly stressful and competitive offers, this is a problem of a healthier market compared to where we sat last year.



Finally Modernizing! FACEBOOK reaches At Home In Bozeman

by Tim Hart



 A Facebook business page is more than just another way to connect with prospects and customers online. Your Facebook business page can:

  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Build your email list
  • Sell more products/services
  • Announce special offers and promotions
  • Announce events
  • Share news
  • Provide value to your prospects and customers
  • Share photos and videos
  • Get feedback from clients and prospects
  • Improve your relationships with your prospects and customers
  • Improve Search Engine Optimization




Market on the Mend

by Tim Hart

Overall, recent housing reports have shown that the housing market is picking up across the country.

"Excluding distressed sales, home prices in March and April are improving at a rate not seen since late 2006 and appreciating at a faster rate than during the tax-credit boomlet in 2010," says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Nationally, the supply of homes in current inventory is down to 6.5 months, a level not seen in more than five years, in part driven by the ‘locked in’ position of so many home owners in negative equity."

Source: “CoreLogic: Phoenix Leads the Nation in Home Value Gains,” Phoenix Business Journal Online (June 5, 2012)’



REO Price Increases Bode Well for Overall Market

by Tim Hart


Recent price increases with bank-owned homes are helping to provide an overall boost to the housing market, a recent report from Clear Capital says. 

Prices of REOs nationally rose 8.1 percent over year-ago levels on a median price-per-square-foot basis, according to Clear Capital’s May housing data. 

“Strength in the REO-only price trends as well as some early indications of price gains spreading from low-tier sectors to the mid- and higher-priced homes is helping confirm that the country continues to make progress on its recovery,” says Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital. “We are expecting to see improvements extend over the next several months.” 

Clear Capital also reported quarterly increases to overall prices, rising 0.4 percent for the quarter, the first quarterly gain posted since November 2011. The West saw the most growth in prices, rising 2.7 percent, followed by the South, with a 1.2 percent quarter-over-quarter gain, according to the report. 

Source: “Improving Foreclosure Prices Drive Recovery,” RISMedia (June 6, 2012)



47% of those who are contained within the age group referred to as Generation Y have proclaimed they plan on purchasing a home within the next five years! (the average public is only at a rate of 29%) Furthermore, 10% of Generation Y say they plan on buying within the year!

It has been the trend that Generation Y members spend more when compared to other generations. Generation Y outspends others on leisure activities (hobbies, video games, electronics, sporting events, and recreational equipment). Because of this, Generation Y also has more debt to pay off compared to most. Specifically troublesome is the student-loan debt at all time highs due to the steep cost of higher education.

I wonder how this will impact the market and how this upcoming generation will change the face of real estate with their unique needs/desires/and changing idea of what their dream homes are.

Source: “Western Union: Gen Y Gives Home Sellers Some Hope,” HousingWire (May 23, 2012)



Breaking Down Credit Score & Mortgage Rates

by Tim Hart

History has shown that the best way to predict a person’s behavior over the near-term future is to look at that person’s behavior in the recent past. It’s a concept similar to the First Rule of Physics — an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

This basic concept applies itself to predicting an individual’s spending habits as well. Precedent shows that a person who regularly pays their bills will continue to pay their bills on time in the foreseeable future. Your credit score therefore is based upon a person’s predicted spending habits based upon past performance. Specifically, to mortgage lenders, your credit score is your probability that you will pay your mortgage on time for the next 90 days. Higher credit scores correlate with lower risk. Transversely, low credit scores are associated with a high risk and that is why lower credit scores receive a higher mortgage rate.

Mortgage lenders use a credit model known as FICO. It is your FICO score that impacts the mortgage rate a person is eligible for. FICO is paired with the newly implemented LLPA (Loan-Level Pricing Adjustment) that was put in place due to the major mortgage market losses in 2008. LLPA are ‘discount points’ applied to a mortgage rate based upon the borrower’s level of risk. Here is an example:

Assuming a 20% downpayment, look at how discount points change based on credit score. Fees get massive for FICOs under 700.

740+ FICO  : There are no discount points required. This loan is “low risk”.

720-739 FICO :  0.250 discount points are charged to the borrower, or $250 per $100,000 borrowed

700-719 FICO :  0.750 discount points are charged to the borrower, or $750 per $100,000 borrowed

680-699 FICO :  1.500 discount points are charged to the borrower, or $1,500 per $100,000 borrowed

660-679 FICO :  2.500 discount points are charged to the borrower, or $2,500 per $100,000 borrowed

For more details: Email me


Hot Topic: Kiddie Condos

by Tim Hart


Kiddie Condos


FHA’s Kiddie Condo Loan Program is a non-occupant co-borrow program allowing parents to assist their children buy a single family home or condo  as they go off to college instead of paying for the costs of rent or dorms. The kiddie condo is just a nickname for a whole realm of options available for buyers-not only condos. Both borrowers take the title of the property and sign for the loan together. 


All borrowers have to qualify and pass a credit check.  There are ‘non-traditional credit’ options available for fresh young adults who may have not accumulated substantial credit yet.

Some of the other negatives that have come out of the woodwork as more and more people go with this option, and they all come down to overestimations. Parents overestimate the possible savings, the potential appreciation of a house in a college town, and they over estimate their child’s ability to serve as landlord and reliable co owner.  One must be sure they trust the integrity of their co owner as in any business deal and everyone must understand the risks that always come with investing in real estate.



A kiddie condo loan program is a great way for young adults to get a taste of home buying and ownership. This builds their real estate portfolio as well as their credit.  FHA normally does not allowing non occupying co borrowers on loans exceeding 75% of the property’s value, but with the kiddie condo you can get a maximum of 96.5% if the co borrowers are related by blood.

Along with high loan percentages, kiddie condos offer a low down payment, a lower owner-occupied interest rate on the mortgage, and the tax benefits. Deducting mortgage interest and real estate taxes on a Federal Income Tax return can be split amongst the owners in accordance to whom pays what expenses on the house.

"It transcends just helping you with school," said Vita, who's now a software engineer for Microsoft. (Microsoft is the publisher of MSN Money.) "I got to learn to be a responsible homeowner. I learned about paying bills and taxes and about credit. . . . I learned to be pretty handy, and (when the house sold), it was the basis for a down payment on a really sweet place."

Please contact me if you have any further questions. I have helped a handful of families find their ideal living solutions with this program. You can be my next success story!


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10