Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


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Classifying the 2015 Home Buyer

by Tim Hart

What drives homebuyers in 2015? Where are they coming from and where do they want to go? And as I’m sure you are asking yourself right now, why does any of this even matter so long as my house sells?

Well, any home seller who understands what type of buyer he/she will ultimately sell their home to, can then fix and adjust the home to make it appeal to the highest amount of buyers, raising its market demand.

The National Association of Realtors recently released their Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trend report, outlining, among many other topics, the general outlook of United States homebuyers.

Generation Y, those aged 35 and under comprise the largest share of home buyers at 32 percent, more than all baby boomers combined. Their average income is $76,900 a year. It should be noted that the median age for these home buyers was 29, meaning that those home buyers are generally closer to 35 than to 18 when they are ready to make a purchase. Sixty nine percent of Generation Y buyers are first time buyers and 39% of them were driven to purchase a home for the desire to finally own their own home. For buyers aged 33 and under, 59% of them are purchasing a home to leave a rental situation.

Generation X, those aged 35-49, comprise 27% of homebuyers in the United States. On average, they make $104,600 a year. Generation X buyers, in general, are shopping for more than just themselves. Generation X buyers are usually shopping for families. As the presence of children in the home peaks for a buyer aged 35-49, homes aiming to sell to Generation X’s will need to be child friendly, with additional bedrooms and possibly a bonus room.

As age increases, homebuyers are far more likely to already be homeowners. Below age 33, homebuyers are generally leaving a rental situation. For homebuyers over 50, more than half owned their previous residence. Whether that means they are buying a second home, are downsizing or have other reasons to move, these buyers will generally be more seasoned, discerning and will expect more from their home.

Young boomers or people aged 50 – 59, comprise 15% of the buyer’s market. They are likely to move for job relocation or to downsize their home. Younger boomers make an average of 96.6 k per, the first age group where median income goes down from the previous generation as oppose to up.

Older boomers, people aged 60 to 68, move for retirement or to be closer to friends and family. As age increases, the rate of owning more than one home also increases.

If you have considered selling your home in the past, you may not have considered this question: What type of buyer will my home more than likely sell to and how can I make it even more attractive to that person? Once you have found that answer, you are well on your way to listing a highly sought after home.



Cannery District Project Scheduled for Fall Opening

by Tim Hart

The Cannery building, the focal point of the Cannery District, will be set to open for business starting this fall. After jumping through hoops and dealing with discussions of a possible city annexation, the owners are now ready to move on the Cannery Building itself. The owners already have a variety of businesses set up to lease the space once the building is ready.

Currently crews are working on bringing the 4-story Cannery building up to new guidelines and code and expect the building to be ready on time.

The owner’s goal is to bring centrality and vibrancy to the district. As of now, the building will be welcoming a barbershop, an architect, a physical therapy group and a marketing technology firm. The owner’s hope to have a restaurant on the bottom floor and one spot is still currently available.

The building is the first phase of a 4 phase Cannery Renewal Project. By project’s finish, the Cannery District should have 15 buildings in total, costing roughly 15 million dollars.

YMCA Moving Forward with 5.5 Million Center

by Tim Hart


The Gallatin YMCA will move forward with their plans to construct a 5.5 million dollar athletic facility just north of Gallatin Regional Park in Bozeman. According to preliminary plans, the building would be 24,000 square feet and would include weight and cardio centers, locker rooms, a community program area and administrative space.

The 7-acre site was purchased by the YMCA, thanks to a large donation in 2008. However, after the recession tightened up funding, the project has been on the back burner ever since.

Recently, the YMCA restarted their attempts to get the facility running. They have been requesting donations from the community and so far, have raised 2.5 million for the first phase of the project.  In summer 2014, to lighten their load, they paired with the City of Bozeman to build a new aquatics center. But once the bond approving a new law and justice center fell through, the aquatic center moved down on the city’s priorities.

The YMCA serves 5,800 kids annually. That number has grown by 540% since 2010. Bozeman continues to attract new families, looking to raise their children in a positive environment. The YMCA’s recent growth helps support that claim.

As Bozeman continues to grow and continues to stay such a family friendly environment, residents should expect more, similar projects to better address their family needs in the future.




In a report released by a local research group, Prospera Business Network, Bozeman is barely above the average cost of living of the national average in 2014. According to Prospera Business Network, Bozeman scored a 100.8 index cost of living score—or in other words, they were 0.8% above the average.

The data was drawn from an unweighted average from the first three quarters of 2014 from 281 participating towns and cities. The report took data from six categories—housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, health care and miscellaneous goods and services. The report also broke down the cost of living by each category—something both home buyers and real estate agents may find more useful.

Housing: Bozeman scored an index score of 113.2, meaning houses cost 13.2% higher than the national average for 2014. This has both positive and negative elements. The negative is obvious—home prices are higher so it will cost a bit more to live in Bozeman than in other places. The positives lie in the implications of having higher prices. First, Bozeman has recovered faster from the housing recession than a majority of US towns. Second, Bozeman is attracting higher paying jobs that bring higher prices than the majority of the US. Third, Bozeman buyer demand has noticeably increased which has driven up home prices, showing just how marketable Bozeman has become. The outdoor aspects of Bozeman, its arts and culture and its reputation as an easy to live in town continue to draw interest from visitors.

The report released some interesting numbers as well. The average home price for a 2,400 square foot home on an 8,000 square foot lot in Bozeman was $353,777. The average monthly rent for a 950 square foot home in Bozeman was $917 a month. Those rent prices sure explain why renting has become so difficult in Bozeman.

Minus groceries and health care, Bozeman scored below the national average.

Transportation: 7.5% below national average

Utilities: 12% below national average

Misc. Goods and Services – 3.9% below national average.

Groceries – 2% above national average.

Health Care – 5.9% above national average.

Compared to some cities in the US, Bozeman is extremely affordable. Bozeman’s score of 100.8 looks pretty good compared to San Francisco, 303.9, and Manhattan, NY 439.5.

Here is a list of other cities in the survey that represented costs of living above and below Bozeman’s cost of living.

2014  Annual Average Cost of Living Index
  Composite Score Grocery Items Housing Utilities Transportation Health Goods & Services
San Francisco, CA 167.5 123.5 303.8 101.5 110.5 119 116.5
Grand Junction, CO 97.4 94.7 101.7 85.1 102.2 104.8 96
Twin Falls, ID 91.8 90.8 79 91.5 110.1 93.2 96.4
Bozeman, MT  100.8 102 113.2 88 92.5  105.9 96.1
Manhattan, NY 222.6 135.2 439.5 136.6 125.3 112.4 150.8
Portland, OR 125.1 114.4 160.9 90.8 111.7 114.3 116.2
Pierre, SD 102.3 111.3 113.5 89.9 91 95 97.7
Harlingen, TX 81.4 86.1 69.9 96.4 87.7 97.8 80
Cedar City, UT 89 98.7 76.1 86.5 96.6 88.3 94.1
Olympia, WA 101.1 102.7 99.2 83.6 113.5 122.2 100.9





Gallatin County, State Swap Land for Landfill

by Tim Hart

The Montana Land Board gave the preliminary go ahead for land swap between the state and county for the Logan Landfill. The agreement should benefit both parties and avoid bureaucratic money exchanges in the future.

Currently, the Logan Landfill is owned by the state. The county actually has to lease the land and at a pretty good sum. Each year, the county pays more than $26,000 in yearly rent for the 48-acre landfill. The waste district also pays $47,000 a year to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality for its permit. Under the agreement with the state, the rent on the landfill was also designed to increase by 3% each year.  Although the Logan Landfill does not operate on tax dollars but a $27 per ton tipping fee, it still came time to get ownership into county hands.

Of course, the state will not just give land away for free, even to one of its counties. The county has paid $900,000 for a piece of land located just west of the landfill, which they have put up in a direct swap with the state. The state would gain a large revenue from the farming leases already in place on the land.

The deal could prove very beneficial to both parties. The county would not have to pay the state rent anymore, while the state would not lose the counted on funds from the landfill. Under county ownership, one would expect the landfill to have more autonomy to make necessary decisions.




Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5