Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive
Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 13
It is exciting to see so many successful businesses in our community. For the third consecutive year in a row, The Partners Group has been named among the top 75 Best Places to Work in Insurance nationwide. This company has a number of offices across the Northwest, including one here in Bozeman, Montana. It is great to see so many admired companies laying foundations in Bozeman.
Along with the Partners Group, RightNow Technologies (bought by Oracle), Elixiter, Wisetail, Zoot Enterpises, Simms, and a number of other large companies are growing in the area. Our economy is strong. These local businesses are contributing to Montana’s superior economic performance.
With such growth of jobs and businesses in our city, Gallatin County’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.3% in August 2016, the lowest unemployment rate in Montana.
In 2015, Montana lead the nation in entrepreneurship, with its number of business openings accounting for 7.4% of the total existing business.
There is some mighty potential for our small town. Apparently, Montana isn’t just about being a fun and beautiful place to live in, it’s a great place to start a career as well. With the real estate market booming, it’s a great time to buy a house here in Southwest Montana if you’ve been considering it. See our listings, or contact us today and together we’ll find that perfect home you’ve been looking for.
The Gallatin County real estate market is still growing strong. According to the Gallatin Association of REALTORS®, both average sales volume and total sale price has shown significant growth through September 2015 to September this year.
The increase in average real estate price from $358,997 last year to $460,957 this year, estimates an astounding 36% housing appreciation. Average sales volume has also seen substantial growth by 30% in this area.
These numbers demonstrate positive implications that the Gallatin area is steadily climbing in the real estate market. As the GAR President stated, “our local market is in strong shape.”
The statistics comparison between September 2016 and 2015 are as follows:
- September 2015: 226
- September 2016: 217
Residential Sales- Average Sales Price
- September 2015: $339,194
- September 2016: $460,957
Residential Sales- Total Sales Volume
- September 2015: $76,657,952
- September 2016: $100,027,807
Commissioners have been debating the city’s budget, discussing where spending needs to increase and by how much. Bozeman Montana is one of the fastest growing towns in the nation, so commissioners did not consider lowering the budget, but rather trimming back on possible spending increases.
Commissioners had debated several budgets, with City Manager’s Chris Kukulski’s budget dominating the conversation. Kukulski called for major investments in infrastructure, while also addressing issues created by Bozeman’s population and economic growth. If adopted in total, this budget would have increased a typical Bozeman resident’s city fees by 5.5 percent.
In Kukulski’s budget, the average Bozeman resident would see their taxes increase by $114 per year. Infrastructure spending would take $72 of the yearly tax increase per resident. The fees would fund deferred maintenance as well as street creation and maintenance in new Bozeman neighborhoods.
An alternative budget reduced the increase to $80 per year, representing a 3.9% total increase. However, this plan required cuts in both planning studies and affordable housing efforts, both topics that have been high on the Bozeman’s list of priorities.
The city ultimately decided to approve a budget closer to Kukulski’s budget, but with additional cuts, representing a middle area between the two proposed budgets. They city approved the new budget with a 3-2 vote. Bozeman Commissioners passed on several new hires and a few planning initiatives to cut an additional half million from the budget. They did add some spending in a few places, including the Bozeman Public Library’s new mobile library, the bookmobile.
The approved budget will add $92 a year to a Bozeman resident’s lifestyle. Total yearly costs per resident have increased to $1,148 per year. The 4.5% increase fell between Kukulski’s budget (5.5 percent increase) and the alternative budget (3.9 percent increase). Homeowners can expect to see a $1.32 increase in their property taxes.
The Gallatin County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a new committee designed to improve coordination between Bozeman, Belgrade and Gallatin County planners. The Bozeman City Commission and the Belgrade City Council are planning on approving similar measures in the coming weeks.
The new committee has been approved to help the whole valley better address the rapid growth seen in the area in the past few years. Both Bozeman and Belgrade real estate markets have been extremely fast paced and new residents come almost daily to Bozeman or Belgrade.
Currently, incorporated cities like Bozeman and Belgrade are responsible for planning and development within their own borders. The Gallatin County generally takes care of planning and development in unincorporated areas of the county. Now, the new committee will help direct planning efforts between the cities and the county, helping keep the overall growth organized and positive.
The idea first took form in 2014, from a study that suggested an overarching committee coupled with frequently updated formal growth plans would be necessary to grow effectively. Before this, land use planning had not been formally addressed between the three governments.
The committee will help the governments share information and discuss planning issues before they become bigger problems. The committee will meet a few times a year and will serve in an advisory role to the three governments.
Bozeman officials made it clear they are planning for growth in 2016 when they outlined their goals and hope for the town for the coming year. With the fastest growing economy in Montana and part of the fastest growing county in the state, officials will need to continue working to stay ahead of growth.
The city wants to focus on improving infrastructure, streets and transportation and affordable housing. Street maintenance and traffic have both been impacted by Bozeman’s booming housing market—a market that has driven up home values in the area. As Bozeman continues to grow, officials will need to continue staying ahead of the curve on city growth and planning.
To do this, commissioners recently approved hiring an Oregon consultant to study and improve Bozeman’s strategic planning effort. HDR engineering will look at policies, land use planning, infrastructure and budgeting to develop a plan that will keep Bozeman on its positive track. The consultant will look for vague and contradictory planning strategies and look to improve them.
Leaders have also started to tackle plans to put a plan for a new Law and Justice Center on the November ballot. Ideally, Bozeman wants to make the new center more affordable by using the building for both Bozeman and Gallatin County legal matters. Right now, officials estimate that the building will cost between 50 and 80 million. To narrow the estimate by November to give voters a better sense of what they may or may not be approving, Bozeman has hired a contractor to provide a plan and price quote by July 1st.
Bozeman officials have done well to stay ahead of Bozeman’s growth. In depth planning, coupled with improving plans already in place, should help maintain Bozeman’s beautiful landscape and culture amidst its growth.
In early February, the Bozeman City Commission focused their efforts towards road expansion and reconstruction on the west side of town. With Bozeman's growth rate in the top ten nationally, road expansions and construction will continue to be needed. The city wants to expand the intersection of Cottonwood and Durston Road to better address the growth in the area. Bozeman has and will continue to find additional funding for city streets so long as growth continues.
Ideally, the commission would like to expand Cottonwood to four lanes and widen Durston to three lanes. The plan would also add a new light on the intersection of Cottonwood and Babcock. The commission would install roundabouts at Oak and Baxter, and Flanders Mill and Ferguson.
Bozeman’s growth, particularly on the west side, have increased traffic in the area. With the fastest growing economy in Montana, Bozeman continues to stay on the national radar. Its been awarded as one of the nation’s most liveable towns, a top worldwide destination and a top college town in the past 2 years. School districts continue to break enrollment records, Expanding neighborhoods like Laurel Glen and Valley West have attracted more residents to the west side of Bozeman, putting more strain on the nearby roads. More commercial permits have also been given on the west side of Bozeman, increasing traffic as well.
Durston and Cottonwood improvements would cost an estimated 30 million dollars and would be broken into several projects over the coming years.
Bozeman City Commissioners will vote next Monday on whether to annex a piece of land off Stucky Road in order to zone it for apartment style residences. The commission has seen several bids to annex additional land into the city in the last year. Bozeman continues to find ways to add additional home inventory to keep home values reasonable.
The land off Stucky is currently set for agricultural use and nearby farms are concerned about adding more residential lots on high quality, useable soil. Both farmers and developers made their pleas to the City Zoning Commission and though the zoning commission voted 2-1 against rezoning the parcel, the decision ultimately rests with City Commisioners.
Bozeman continues to search for land and strategies to help keep the real estate in the Gallatin Valley affordable. The city has looked at narrowing lots and has given a high number of building permits to increase inventory. Bozeman will need to strike a healthy balance between keeping prices reasonable and growing in a healthy, planned out manner.
A new hotel will be coming to Bozeman—and no—it won’t be on North 19th. No, this hotel, called the Etha, will be right in downtown Bozeman and will be moving into (and on top of) the old Armory Building on Mendenhall.
Investors hope the hotel can become more of a buzzing downtown hub, rather than a simple hotel. The hotel will have 8 stories, 102 rooms and include a 10,000 square foot ballroom for special events. The hotel will cater to the luxury market, aiming to provide travelers with all the expected perks and amenities. Building plans also called for a gastro-style pub/restaurant, which would help make the hotel a destination location for locals, as well as travelers.
Plans had initially stalled on the building, due to the bid knocking out a large chunk of the investors’ budget. The project in total will cost more than 22 million dollars.
Over the last five months, investors have worked through issues regarding the cost and permitting of the building and are ready to move forward. This winter, the hotel will fund the interior demolition of the building and they will then start building upwards in the spring. The Etha should be open by mid 2016, assuming all goes to plan.
A large real estate investment such as the Etha Hotel highlights the growing consumer and investor confidence in Bozeman. As Bozeman continues to recover from the 2008 recession, other investments similar to the Etha will not be unexpected.
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