Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 81

MSU May Build Parking Garage

by Tim Hart

In lieu of the new 50 million dollar College of Engineering building moving into the Montana State neighborhoo, MSU may need to find more parking spaces. MSU has decided to put the new engineering building across from the Student Union Building, but currently, that space contains 400 parking spaces. Planners want to replace the lost 400 spaces with an additional 600, but the location has yet to be determined. MSU wants the new engineering building to become the pseudo-center of campus life, but in order to do that, MSU will have to play musical chairs with their parking areas.

Builders and planners have laid out a few plans, all with benefits and drawbacks. One of the ideas garnering more steam would be to build a parking garage. The parking garage would be 600 spaces and 3 to 4 stories high. The cost of the garage would be 12 million dollars and would cost $20,000 per space. The parking garage would add Streamline and Skyline bus stops as well as a bike storage and repair center to better become the transportation center of campus.

Another idea that has been suggested is to just build a 600 person standard lot. A standard lot would be much cheaper ($2,500 a lot) but would also have to be located much farther away. Currently, planners have considered putting the spaces out by the MSU Football Stadium.

More than likely, money will be raised by raising the prices of parking permits and day parking. No official decision has been made in regard to either plan.

MSU continues look forward and continues to improve its existing campus while adding new methods to continue improving. MSU’s current positive momentum can be attributed to their forward thinking. MSU has recently seen a myriad of new records, and awards that validate their hard work and planning.

 

Source:

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/the-million-question-msu-considers-building-a-parking-garage/article_c267e42c-6d17-11e4-8af4-231994c10812.html?utm_medium=desktop&utm_source=block_953010&utm_campaign=blox

Previously Owned Home Sales Rise in October

by Tim Hart

Recent numbers compiled by the National Association of Realtors have shown a rise in previously owned home sales for the month of October. Sales of these homes rose 1.5% to an annual rate of 5.26 million dollars. October was the second straight month where the annual rate trended up and its upward pace has not been this fast since September 2013.

The combination of improving inventory, stable price growth and low interest rates continue to make buying pre-owned homes easier. The average interest rate for the full month of October fell to 4.03%, the lowest it has been since June 2013. The average had also fallen from September, where the average rate had been 4.16%.

As the market has recovered, the frenetic pace in some real estate markets has slowed in rate. With more relaxed and longer term buyers coming to the market, properties have been staying on the market longer. October averaged 63 days compared to 56 in September. Yet, one third of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month, showing that the market is still moving quickly in a lot of cases.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erincarlyle/2014/11/20/existing-home-sales-rise-1-5-in-october-hit-fastest-pace-in-more-than-year-says-nar/2/

BHS Honored for High AP Exam Scores

by Tim Hart

Bozeman High School has been honored as one of 547 school districts in both the US and Canada for student performance in Advanced Placement Exams. Advanced Placement (AP) courses are college level courses, given to high achieving high school students. The courses use college-level textbooks and have national exams that if students pass, can sometimes offer college credit. The students at Bozeman High School performed so well in these national exams, they were honored this week for their performance.

The Bozeman High School District was the only school district to win in the state of Montana. Bozeman’s pass rate was 86.3% in 2013. To be honored, schools had to have 70% of their class pass. In order to pass, students need to earn a score of 3 or higher (out of 5).

Since 2012, BHS has increased the number of students taking AP classes. From 2013 to 2014, the number has jumped from 872 tests taken, to over 1,000. Currently BHS offers 17 AP classes and the school holds a lot of pride around the availability of these classes to all its students. Many schools limit AP classes to only their best and brightest. In most cases, they don’t allow other students into these classes, in order to win awards like the one mentioned today. Bozeman, however, allows all students, no matter their grades in normal classes, to enroll in AP classes. And yet the school continues to perform alongside schools that only allow their smartest students to attempt Advanced Placement courses.

The Bozeman School District should be applauded for its continued efforts to improve the education and lives of its students. Per usual, the school leans towards the inclusion of all in any of their educational programs. High student performance, great new programs, and continued work to improve the school system should continue to attract new families to Bozeman.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/bozeman-high-honored-for-students-success-on-ap-exams/article_36d91e32-71de-11e4-8361-87cfaf399f05.html

Shoppers Buying Hardwood Floors and Appliances Online

by Tim Hart

Homeowners have moved online when it comes to major home improvement purchases. Retailers throughout the US have noticed a definitive jump in sales for online sales of appliances, flooring, and other home improvement items. The Home Depot saw a 40% jump in the 3rd quarter online sales, with a high amount of those sales including major purchases. The Home Depot had already seen its online sales grow 50% in the year before. Customers have ordered everthing from washer/dryers to complete flooring jobs for their homes.

Appliance and home improvement products have outpaced the industry average in all four quarters. In quarter 3, the growth rate of home improvement products was 17%, compared to the 11% seen in the overall retail industry. Online furniture sales have also increased and they are expected to rise 15.2% over the next year.

Why consumers have made the switch to online home product shopping may lie in its ease of use. Many major stores like Home Depot offer free delivery and take away services for their appliances. Yet, for flooring work, apparently customers do not feel obligated to touch, feel and see the wood before its installed. A lot of homeowners may be avoiding the sales atmosphere of a normal store by educating themselves on the products in a safer, obligation free environment. Either way, stores have needed to adapt quickly to the changing environment. Home Depot has added increased storage in over 550 stores, to deal with their increased online orders.

Source: http://www.realtor.com/news/shoppers-increasingly-buying-hardwood-floors-appliances-online/

 

Bozeman public schools will once again be on the forefronts of national studies, as they have once again been selected to take part national research. Bozeman has already been selected for a highly competitive mental health program/study this year. Great news reached the district, when they found out that once again they had been selected for a prestigious program.

This study will take 72 Bozeman teachers through an intensive program to improve math teaching. The study is being led by researches at Montana State University, George Mason University, and Harvey Mudd College. The survey has been funded by the National Science Foundation, who offered a grant of 1.3 million dollars.

The project will study 3 public school districts—Bozeman, Fairfax County, and Pomona California. The project will take three years and will focus on teachers’ uses of mathematical modeling and how it affects student performance. Preliminary research has shown that students who work with real world problems feel less anxious about math and will be more likely to view the subject as useful and relevant. The universities hope to see improvement in around 4,000 students between the three districts.

Once again, the Bozeman School District has been selected for a high level educational study. The national radar continues to hover and focus on Bozeman for its outstanding academics, particularly as a public system. Winning such studies will only help make Bozeman faculty all the better at offering Bozeman children the highest quality education possible. Any parent looking at Bozeman should consider the positive momentum that the school district has built and how that may propel Bozeman as an educational haven in the future.

 

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/montana_state_university/bozeman-students-teachers-taking-part-in-major-national-math-study/article_a566f430-704b-11e4-9ee0-a308a06a60d0.html

City of Bozeman Helps Businesses Save Money and Energy

by Tim Hart

The city of Bozeman will help businesses keep the cold out and the warm in while trying to save everyone a dollar along the way. The City of Bozeman Energy Project is a new program designed to help businesses lower their utility costs. The project offers businesses a free energy audit from Northwestern Energy. During the audit, NW Energy goes over the energy issues currently present in the business but they also offer strategies to bring down energy use. If the city’s businesses reduced their energy output by 10%, it would cumulatively save $2.6 million a year.

It’s great to see Bozeman focus on reducing its carbon footprint and creating a more efficient city. But it doesn’t stop there folks! Why stop at commercial buildings when we could apply these practices to residential real estate as well? Although it will not be free, performing an energy audit on your home can also help you create a more efficient household. Is heating the hot tub affordable in the winter? Are you insulating your home sufficiently? An energy audit can help answer those questions and help save you money on your utility bill.

The City of Bozeman Energy Project has already found that many businesses have outdated lighting. Lighting retrofits can save a lot of energy and adding new efficient bulbs can really add up over time. These rules also apply to the home. Make sure to walk through your home and see if you are missing any easy energy/money savers.

Source: http://www.kbzk.com/news/the-city-of-bozeman-hopes-to-save-businesses-money-and-energy/

 

 

Bozeman Deaconess Hospital has started a 15 million dollar addition that will better address the needs of Bozeman residents while also preparing the next generation of doctors for the area.

The hospital broke ground two weeks ago and it plans on the building being 5 stories high and 88,508 square feet. The basic shell of the building should be ready by December of 2015 and then its interior should finish within the following six months. The hospital may not have to fit the entire bill assuming MSU can approve the leasing of a portion of the building for its growing medical programs.

Montana State University is awaiting approval to lease space in the new addition for its growing WWAMI doctor-training program. Currently, they are awaiting approval from the Board of Regents to make sure they have adequate funds to lease the space.

MSU’s WWAMI program gives prospective medical students a chance to live and breath the medical world from a variety of perspectives. In their first year, MSU students would study at the school, they would attend the University of Washington in their second year, and then go to clinical training sites for their 3rd and 4th years. MSU hopes that Bozeman Deaconess can become one of these clinical training sites in the future. The University of Washington has given their approval for Bozeman Deaconess to become a clinical training site.

Leasing space from Bozeman Deaconess will help better involve practicing doctors in the training of medical students. 1 out of 7 doctors can thank the WWAMI program for allowing them to practice in the state of Montana and surely would be willing to pay the help forward to future doctors. MSU would lease the 12,000 square feet of space for $16 a foot, or $192,000 a year.

MSU continues to build its academic reputation in a variety of different subjects while growing its student population. MSU's effect on Bozeman real estate shouldn't be underestimated. Renters and investors continue to see the effects of MSU. As the medical school in MSU grows, so will MSU’s reputation. MSU will hope to continue to attract the nation’s best and brightest with their continued academic focus. Having more doctors coming to Bozeman can only be good news and should continue to attract out of towners looking to move, while calming their concerns for medical care in a rural area like Montana.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/health/msu-seeks-space-in-new-hospital-building-for-medical-students/article_051a261e-6c5e-11e4-a859-ffac75031f54.html

Belgrade Raising Standards for City Streets

by Tim Hart

 

The Belgrade City Council voted on and approved a resolution to raise the benchmark for city streets, improving the function of future roads in a growing town. From now on, any newly constructed or reconstructed roads will need more designations for pedestrians and bikers, while also adding more curbs, gutters and sidewalks. Any minor construction, such as chip sealing, will not need to meet the new requirements.

The official resolution does not designate specific numbers that need to be met i.e. number of gutters per block, but instead states that the necessary features need to be addressed by the city before approval. The city will review building proposals on a project by project basis to best determine the proper amenities construction teams would need to add. The city needs to find the best type of road, given each unique situation and the resolution helps them make the right road the first time.

For those living in Belgrade, the resolution makes sure that their tax dollars are not being wasted on roads that need to be widened, fixed, improved etc. just a few years down the line.

 

Source: http://www.belgrade-news.com/news/article_38ddf8fc-5969-11e4-bfc6-83f49b93a5e2.html

Bozeman Public Schools Hit New Highs in Enrollment

by Tim Hart

The Bozeman School District has set a new enrollment record of 6,294 students showing the continued growth of Bozeman and its attraction to parents. The record actually fell 51 students short of projected numbers but still had 108 more students than any other year.

Increasing enrollment numbers in both Bozeman elementary and middle schools have driven the overall enrollment numbers to their heights. This year, 2,946 children enrolled in Kindergarten through 5th grade. 1,375 students enrolled in grades six through 8. Both records are all time highs.

Bozeman now has more than 500 kindergarteners enrolled in the district. The two new elementary schools that have been built in the last few years have helped alleviate the growing numbers, but the city may now have to focus on its Middle Schools.

The highschool enrolled 1,973 students this year, only ten shy of the record set in 2005.

The rising enrollment numbers correlate well with the growth of Bozeman. Many out of town buyers find Bozeman because they started their housing search by looking for high performing schools. So long as the schools maintain their high quality, it can only be expected that more and more parents will be attracted to Bozeman.

 

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/education/bozeman-schools-set-new-enrollment-record/article_a6c02c74-69fd-11e4-b1c1-ef5fe7ddd5af.html?utm_medium=desktop&utm_source=block_649307&utm_campaign=blox

Renters Continue to Face Affordability Issues

by Tim Hart

Across the US, rent prices continue to rise. As demand for rental space rises, renters are finding themselves getting priced out of their markets. Bozeman has already seen its rental market all but disappear from the influx of MSU students, but as rent rates continue to rise and mortgage rates continue to fall, more and more people are finding themselves on the buy side of the “rent vs. buy” argument.

In the US, rental rates have risen by 6 percent over one year. In major metropolitan areas like San Francisco, Boston and Chicago, tenants are paying far more than 30 percent of their wages to rent. Many property management companies in the Bozeman area limit their tenants to have their rent be 30% of their wages and will almost never accept anybody going higher. However, when demand is high, its not hard to replace tenants, and many landlords are more than willing take on the risk of a renter splurging on their home choice.

In booming college towns, this trend is exasperated because of the high influx of students.  Having a lease expire just as college students return to school provides plenty of opportunity to update and raise lease rates, especially in the frantic summer months when thousands of students are looking for housing at once.

From a landlord’s perspective, the market lends itself toward investment purchases, with consistent renters and rising prices. But from the renter’s perspective, if they are anywhere near to buying, now may be the time to take the next step towards home ownership. By buying now, renters can get out from under the worry of being priced out of their market. Maybe 10 or 20 years down the line, they can rent the property out for prices they would have still been paying if they had rented. Either way, anyone considering buying a home as an alternative to rent, now may be the time to reevaluate finances and decide if the plunge may be worth it.

 

Source: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/11/10/renters-face-affordability-crisis?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+DailyRealEstateNews+%28Daily+Real+Estate+News%29

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 81

406-570-5730 | Contact Tim Here | Bozeman Brokers