Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


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Facts: For the past four months, has picked up on trends and as of Tuesday, declared the real estate market as having turned the corner to recovery. "After four months with rising home values and increasingly positive forecast data, it seems clear that the country has hit a bottom in home values," said Stan Humphries, chief economist at Seattle-based Zillow, which measures home values. "The housing recovery is holding together despite lower-than-expected job growth, indicating that it has some organic strength of its own."

Zillow based this announcement on their measurements of the value of single-family residences, condos, and other housing units. Zillow forecasts that home values will increase over the next year in nearly 43 percent of the markets it tracks, with Phoenix expected to lead with a 9.9 percent increase, followed by Miami with a 6.1 percent gain. U.S. home values are expected to rise 1.1 percent overall.

Some Reader's Reactions:

“You can't call the winner of the game at halftime.  That is what Zillow is doing here.  They must have a vested interest in making the public believe this stuff.  They have officially joined the rest of the media in trying to make believe that the emporer does have clothes.” 



Even through the tough times the last couple of years, we still saw very healthy buyer activity in the lower end of the market (up to about $220,000.00).  This healthy activity is now steadily moving the middle market up to $500,000.00.

It appears we hit the price bottom a while back.  But prices stagnated until buyer demand came to meet it.   Rates have been and continue to be at near historic lows.  Check this link for the latest  Thirty year rates are in the mid 3’s and fifteen year rates are below 3%.  Prices are creeping up in both Bozeman and Belgrade and inventory is shrinking.   Buyers are buying and the buying situation in the valley has become very competitive for well priced properties, especially at price points below $220,000.

Example and General Note

I worked with a buyer recently who wants to purchase a 3 – 4 bedroom condo in Bozeman.  We found two great values, both bank owneds and got in early with offers.  Even so, both offers resulted in  and multiple counters – the market is very competitive now not only with single family homes but also condos and townhomes.  At last check, there were only 20 condos available in Bozeman up to $170,000.00!  For this same period, there are now 20 condos pending – as many pending as are available – wow!

There are at least six builders that have been putting up semi-custom spec homes in Bozeman at a phenomenal rate.  They pre-sell their current build by using an already finished unit as a model.  In almost all cases, the ‘model’ is already sold.   A majority of the product to date has been single family homes – mainly 3 beds or 3 beds with bonus room – and they can’t build them quickly enough.  They are also starting to build condos and townhouses as they have seen demand increase for this product.  One interesting phenomenon among these builders is watching their base prices creep from the low $200,000.00’s for single family homes.  Some are now building ‘specs’ in excess of $400,000.00’.  Features and finishes have also improved over past spec builds. 



For those of you that are numbers junkies, please follow this link for a full update on the entire valley – we post statistics at our Gallatin Association of Realtors web site quarterly.   Here is the link

For a few quick stats on the market, read on…  

The following are comparisons for the first six months of 2012 vs. 2011

Market Area

Units Sold – 2012

Units Sold – 2011

Median Price – 2012

Median Price - 2011

Days on Mkt – 2012

Days on Market - 2011















Big Sky














Three Forks








Summary of chart – Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Sky and Three Forks all sold more units in the first six months of 2012 vs. 2011.  The only city down was Manhattan.  Median price improved in Bozeman, Belgrade and Big Sky.    Days on market are DOWN (this is good) in Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Sky and Manhattan.

Summary – the Gallatin Valley is trending up in almost every area, rates are holding low and prices are starting to trend up.  If you have been thinking about investing in these markets, I believe the time is now. 

Call, e-mail or text me.  I look forward to serving you


Curb Appeal: Tips for Property Investors

by Tim Hart

Making a home stand out in a market that is evermore ‘template’ based for building homes is not something that can be put off for another day. In order to make your house pop when a potential renter/buyer is looking at it, follow these dramatic tips:

Simple and Sweet: Manicure your lawn. Great lawns require upkeep and that is a fact that people just have to face. Cutting, trimming, weeding, fertilizing, and a little bit of TLC to make the velvety green plain look solid and well cared for. If you do not have the time for it, hire either a professional company or if you are on the fence about the amount you need extra help, neighborhoods have a great summer work fleet of eager young kids looking to make a few bucks.

Beyond lawn care, shrubs, flowers, and bushes are spendy  to purchase so once they are in, trimming them back and keeping them in top-notch condition is only sensible. Here in Montana where spring is gorgeous, summer is short, fall is crisp, and winter is long investing in some winter resistant evergreens will keep a touch of color in snow covered yards.



Trending News, Apartment Rents Rising! What does this mean for the Real Estate World?


Apartment rents in the U.S. climbed the most in almost five years in the second quarter as shrinking vacancies allowed landlords to charge more, Reis Inc. (REIS) said. This is positive news for the markets that have been struggling.

Supply Side: For the past year, new construction has been ‘quite weak by historical standards.’ But construction of both rental units and new home building are now seeing an upturn. It is estimated that next year, 150,000-200,000 new units will be completed in 79 metropolitan markets. Confidence in new construction is rising!

Demand Side: Demand for rentals jumped during the real estate slump due to insufficient income, bad credit, and lack of confidence in real estate. The national apartment vacancy rate fell to 4.7% in the second quarter, the lowest since 2001. Confidence in real estate is rising!


Top Reasons Real Estate Home Loans Do Not Get Approved

by Tim Hart

At Home in Bozeman Celebrates the Fourth of July


Before listing them all, I just want to comment on the importance of precedent. What you do in your life, financially and professionally, matters. Try to strive to improve in the areas you know you falter in.

Loan Approval Precedent

Disapproval of past loans stay on your history and will weigh into the decision of future loans. This does not mean if you were denied you will be again, but in the complex picture, it will play a role.

Lack of Full Documentation

Required documents are just that… required. The lender has a huge choice in their hands and little errors like forgetting documents will raise doubts about the honesty of the paperwork. Be transparent and fully disclose all needed documents.

Credit Score

One of the most important numerical decision factors is your credit score. Again, this number establishes precedent. How you have handled your monetary responsibilities in the past is a strong indication of how you will handle them in the future.

Employment History

Monthly income is used to evaluate your fiscal ability. Frequently shifting jobs, demotions, or a high incidence of being fired will paint the picture of an unstable candidate.   

Income:Purchase:Saving Ratio

We all have a baseline income. Where that money goes has a steady pattern. Expenditures and rate of saving develop a portfolio on what you prioritize. One common mistake made by those applying for a loan is the purchase of a large dollar item after applying for the loan. This instantly reduces you ability to quickly pay back the loan and to the lenders, the risk may seem too high.  

Dream Home

The listing you pick to be your home is evaluated just as the applicant is. The house must be legal by all standards for the investment to even be considered.

Avoid the possible mistakes and try to find solutions for the issues that might lead to disapproval. Devote good amount of time and take professional help to prepare your home loan application.


406.570.5730-call me, Real Estate Professional Tim Hart, if you have more questions or need assistance in purchasing  a home.


Tim Hart


At Home In Bozeman--Tim Hart

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5