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Americans Paying too Much for their Mortgages?

by Tim Hart

American home owners are missing out on lower mortgage payments according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Survey. Mel Watt, head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has gone on tour throughout the country, in order to spread awareness on the benefits and risks of refinancing their home. Mortgage rates hit their lowest level in years, at 4.1%, supporting the fact that now may be the time to refinance.

Home owners have had a chance during the recession to refinance through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), but now many Americans assume that HARP no longer applies to them. However, Mel Watt disagrees. Any homeowner who owes more money than their house is worth will struggle to find any lender who is willing to refinance. The HARP program makes this possibility much more likely. Mel Watt believes that almost 800,000 Americans are missing their opportunity to save serious money on their mortgage. In some cases, specific borrowers have used HARP to save $200 a month.

Please make sure to consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of refinancing a home. Also make sure to re-check your credit to see if it has improved since you took out the loan as you may receive better rates.

Source: http://www.realtor.com/news/800000-homeowners-missing-lower-mortgage-payments/

No Space for Rent in Bozeman

by Tim Hart

The results of a 2014 Bozeman rental housing survey were presented to the city on Wednesday. The findings? That the vacancy rate in Bozeman is non-existent and the only way someone may be able to stay the night in town, may be a hotel. The survey collected data from 2,554 total rental units within city limits. Half of the properties were market rate properties and the rest were either subsidized housing or non-residence hall student housing i.e. campus owned homes. Not a single home reported a vacancy when surveyed. The summary also found that of the two subsidized properties that recorded waiting lists, 155 applicants were still left in line. From those numbers, the survey safely concluded that the number of applicants far surpassed the number of vacant rentals in Bozeman.

Currently, the average price of an efficiency unit, like a studio, rents for $549 a month. One bedroom homes rent for $597; two bedroom homes rent for $817; and three bedroom homes rent fro $1,035 a month.

The summary did guard its readers about the small sample size of the data because most of the data was drawn from a very slim segment of the market. The survey was commissioned as part of Bozeman’s affordable housing plan that was adopted in 2012.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city/article_f76c7172-3939-11e4-b994-abee9f1df5d3.html#disqus_thread

Some Housing Market Info.

by Tim Hart

I read an article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle today by Jason Bacaj about the current housing market in Bozeman.

Here is what I found to be very interesting:

Houses on the high and low ends of the market are moving extremely quickly, while mid-priced homes have stayed on the market longer.

Any current listing at or below $350,000 will be expected to be sold within three and a half months.

Out of state migrants, investors and young professionals are driving the current market in Bozeman.

According to Erlenbush, high end homes are selling by more than 50 percent compared to 2013.

Definitely an interesting read and I’m interested to see if the market follows the trends they are predicting.

Source: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/economy/article_82d77262-360f-11e4-9428-0019bb2963f4.html?utm_medium=desktop&utm_source=block_484710&utm_campaign=blox

Market Update: Gallatin County Single Family Residences

by Tim Hart

This month, we will highlight single family homes in the Gallatin County from the first two quarters of 2013 compared to the first two quarters of 2014.

Here are a few stats for all of Gallatin County for single family residences:

  • Units increased in the first two quarters by 8.5% (554 sold in 2013, 606 sold in 2014)
  • Dollar volume increased in the first two quarters by 18.8% from $198,018,500+ in 2013 to $243,809,300+ in 2014
  • Average sale price also increased from $364,732 to $400,861.50
  • For 2014 through 7/31/2014
    • Sold volume already at $304,905,187 and 771 units

Summary – based on increases across the board in the first two quarters from 2013 to 2014, the 2014 market continues to shine, looking to surpass 2013 annual totals easily.

New Affordable Housing Option Coming to Bozeman

by Tim Hart

I just read a really great article on this new affordable housing area off Cottonwood Road. Homes have been selling even before they are finished building. There are some great options regarding mortgages as seen in the article below. Some listings are still available. Feel free to contact me at 406-570-5730 if you have any questions about them.

Here is the article: http://www.kbzk.com/news/new-affordable-housing-option-available-to-own-in-bozeman/

 

Longfellow Upgrades Nearly Complete for New School Year

by Tim Hart

Students at Longfellow Elementary in Bozeman will notice some changes to their school when they return to classes next week. This summer, Longfellow received 3.2 million dollars to renovate and update their school. The school focused on improving its energy efficiency, updating the building to modern codes and bringing healthier, fresher air to students. Changes include removing the old windows that had been there since the school’s founding in 1939. Now, the school has new, energy efficient classroom windows that will moderate temperatures in the school much better. The school has also added new air heating and ventilation in the hopes of creating a healthier environment, with fresher air for the students. A new elevator was also added to the school and will be ready at the beginning of September. Parents in the area can look forward to a healthier and more efficient school for their children this year. Anybody who would like to see the school and its new updates can visit Longfellow Thursday the 27th, at 3:30 pm.

Bozeman High School Get Highest ACT Scores in State

by Tim Hart

Bozeman High School received the highest average score for Montana’s high schools, scoring a 23.0 Composite score. Based against Montana’s 14 other AA ranked high schools, BHS also improved its own score from 2013 to 2014. Last year, Bozeman High School scored an average of a 22.5 on the ACT. Funny enough, Bozeman’s score last year still would have been high enough to take top honors again this year. The next highest school was Missoula Hellgate, who scored a 22.1 this year.

Bozeman High School may be able to hang its hat on its new test prep system. Before, the ACT had to be paid for and taken outside of school. However, starting last year, Bozeman began administering the exam to Juniors in high school and are given a full school day to take the test. Students who may have chosen not to take the test due cost, time, or interest, now do not have to worry and can at least make the attempt at going on to higher education. Any parent moving to Montana would want to consider the fact that BHS has made higher education accessible to all Bozeman students.

Not to mention… other Gallatin County Schools scored great too!

Three Forks 22.2

Manhattan 22.0

Belgrade 21.4

Willow Creek 20.4

 

Congrats to our next generation of college students!

Mortgage Rates Hit Lowest for 2014

by Tim Hart

After mortgage rates dropped in the U.S. for the second week in a row, borrowing costs hit their lowest rate yet for 2014. This week, the average rate shifted from 4.12% to 4.1% for a 30 year fixed mortgage. Although the percentage shift may be small, when added up over 30 years, even the smallest changes can greatly impact the cost of home ownership. A 30 year rate has not been this low since the end of October last year. 15 year mortgages also saw price reductions, slipping from 3.24% to 3.23% this month. The 30 year rate has been consistently declining since it had hit a two year high of 4.58% last August. Experts foresee the lower rates supporting and fostering home demand. July trends support these expert’s claims, as previously owned homes sold at an annualized rate of 5.15 million this July, up 2.4% from June. The longer the rates stay low, the more activity can be expected in the future of the US housing market.

Source: http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/post--mortgage-rates-hit-new-2014-low

East Wilson School May Become Residential Area

by Tim Hart

It looks like Wilson School may see some new life as a residential area. Bridger Builders presented a case to the city to turn the area into 18 single household units. Looks like there will be a parking garage as well for new residents. I will be interested to see whether the city decides to move forward with these plans. The meeting is at 6pm on Monday the 25th.

Source: http://www.kbzk.com/news/future-plans-for-east-willson-school-to-be-presented-to-city/

Off-Leash Dog Park Coming to Bozeman

by Tim Hart

 

 

 

 

 

A new dog park will be coming to Bozeman. The park will provide off-leash options, which is even better news for dog owners. The new park will be located at Rocky Creek Farm off of Frontage Road. Starting today, owners will be able to visit the fully fenced 2-acre park. The 2-acre park will allow for dogs off leash and is only the first phase in an effort to create a much larger dog park with both off leash and on-leash options. Soon, new trails will be created that will provide dog owners with on-leash hiking options as well. The park is now accessible thanks to West Paw Design, who finished installing a new bridge, opening up access to the park. West Paw Design also chipped in $6,000 worth of fencing and other small projects to get the dog park starting strong. Dog owners can now look forward to another beautiful park to take their dogs. Having a park with off-leash access will also provide the dogs with a fun, friendly environment to meet other dogs and not be constantly on-leash in public. Having a dog in the home has become even more worry free in Bozeman with this additional dog park, providing a place for home owners to get their dogs out of the house and burning some of that seemingly never ending dog energy.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 38

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