Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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:


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.


Updates Coming for North 7th Avenue

by Tim Hart

City officials met this past week with professionals from California in the hopes of updating and renovating North 7th Avenue.  The California company, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, helps prepare mayors to become the chief designers of urban areas, and they will be begin by focusing on the 7th Avenue area that stretches from Main to I-90.  The area could see zoning changes as well as aesthetic updates. For property owners in the area, the new focus on 7th and its neighboring streets could really improve home values in the future. Now may also be the time to grab up any open real estate in the area, as improvements could lead to higher prices later on.

Both Big Sky and Bridger Bowl Resorts both set records for skiers.  Bridger Bowl saw 217,000 skiers this season overturning the previous mark by 3%.  Big Sky saw more than 450,000 skier visits overturning the previous mark by over 100,000 skiers!   Snow fell early and often with snowpack levels well above 100% levels in all areas in Big Sky and the Gallatin Valley.

Real Estate Outlook for the Gallatin Valley

by Tim Hart


Activity in Bozeman continues to trend very positively.  Big Sky continues to improve in median price and also days on market.  Belgrade is up and Manhattan and Three Forks continue to improve.  Bozeman and the Gallatin Valley are moving nicely!  The realtors and their suppliers are still very busy, prices are rising, days on market stats are shrinking.  It is a great place to live and the stats continue to prove this out.

Stats for Improved Properties:


Market Area

Units Sold – 2012 (thru Sept 30th)

Units Sold – 2011

Median Price – 2012

Median Price – 2011

Ave Days on Market – 2012

Ave Days on Market – 2011


















Big Sky
















Three Forks








* Data is for period Jan 1 – Sept 30th – includes all improved categories except for mobile/manufactured.

Summary of Data for Improved Properties:

  • Bozeman continues to trend up – 146 more improved properties sold this year vs. last year, days on market continue to shrink.
  • Belgrade also improved.  12 more units have sold year to year, median price up and days on market are down.
  • Big Sky statistics are mixed.   Median price continues to trend up – almost $45 k, units sold down a touch and days on market now improved over last year.  The trend is improving and should continue to.  
  • Manhattan now trending up – 2 more units sold, median price up $16k, days on market the only lagging indicator.
  • Three Forks finally gaining ground – six more properties sold year to year, median price about stagnant, days on market not improved though.




Overall, the Gallatin Valley is very healthy and continuing to improve!

Call, e-mail or text me for more information on the market and to get signed up for property alerts  which are daily updates based on your parameters or visit my web site..  I look forward to serving you!   Tim



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


Market Overview – Bozeman, Big Sky

by Tim Hart


This story overviews recent trends in real estate for Bozeman (and surrounding communities) & the Big Sky market.

Bozeman has been interesting to follow for the Spring/early summer market.  If you have a home priced right under $300,000.00, it has not taken long to find a buyer.  The number of distressed properties  (bank owned and short sale properties) has also decreased with most going under contract quickly.   

Here are a few positive trends in Bozeman:

  • Median sales price has increased to 283,400 in 2012 from $251,000 in 2011
  • Total units & total volume also increased
  • For condos & townhomes, total sales volume up with days on market shrinking drastically from 152 in 2011 to 90 in 2012
  • Land in Bozeman is starting to catch fire.  Between pending and sold data for 2012, if all close as scheduled, total volume for 2012 has almost matched the full year stats for 2011! For 2012, 91 units($6.92 M volume) have sold and 92 are pending ($7 M volume) as compared to 190 units sold ($16.7M volume for all of 2012)
  • Sub-division land has become hot as builders are building ‘semi-custom’ pre-sold spec homes where buyers can pick finishes and do minor floor plan modifications.  With the distressed properties slowing, the builders are coming out of the ground more frequently and price increases are anticipated.


For Big Sky (including Gallatin Canyon & West Yellowstone):

  • Overall, the market is still seeing opportunistic buyers looking for excellent value.
  • As a whole, total volume for the region is trending about the same as 2011 but the optimism of Big Sky agents is on the rise with increased showing & contract activity.


Summary - Bozeman is really starting to fire on all cylinders, Big Sky is still ‘revving’ up.  For a complete overview of statistics for Bozeman, Big Sky and the Gallatin Valley, e-mail us @


What Is It About Montana's Economy?

by Tim Hart



Bozeman values are grounded in well, the ground. Environment, agriculture, mining, and logging have all been on the forefront of Montanan economy, but recently, things are shifting.  It’s moving from the thought of land as a thing from which riches are taken to one where riches are brought because of the land and its opportunities, according to a report by Bozeman-based nonprofit research firm Headwaters Economics.

There is an urge to see land as an economic asset. With this trend comes new data that links Montana’s economic viability to the diversification of employment that pivots around the LAND. The ability to rely on our land has led to Montana outpacing the nation in employment and personal income and income per person growth.  

Services such as health care, real estate, government/professional, and scientific/technical services are all interlinked to the health of the land.

“Talking about Montana as an unspoiled place with spectacular natural amenities is our ace in the hole, economically. It’s how we’re attracting the diversity we’ve been able to attract,” Ray Rasker, executive director of the Headwaters Economics non-profit research firm, said.

Jason Bacaj may be reached at or 582-2635


As a Consumer, do YOU Understand Your Mortgage?

by Brittney Dahlberg

As a Consumer, do YOU Understand Your Mortgage?

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace recently conducted a survey with results indicating home buyers may not fully understand the basic ideas behind real estate mortgages. Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Director, Erin Lantz, noted that, "Most people wouldn't jump out of a plane if they didn't know how to use a parachute, yet each year many buyers commit to the largest loan they will take out in their lifetimes without understanding essential information about mortgages. By simply spending a few hours researching how a mortgage works, and by shopping around for the most competitive rates and fees, buyers can save a lot of money."

  • 44% of prospective buyers are not confident of their knowledge of mortgages or the process as a whole.
  • 57% do not know how ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) work.

An ARM is a mortgage loan with the interest rate adjusted periodically based on an index reflecting the cost to the lender of borrowing on the credit markets. ARM interest rates adjust according to prevailing rates. Borrowers may experience lower or higher rates when the ARM is reset. 

  • 34% do not understand that lender fees are negotiable and vary by lender.

Lenders are not required by law to charge a constant fee for credit reports and appraisals. As a buyer, ask your agent or shop around for the best fees-they are running a business too.

  • 45% believe they should always buy mortgage discount points.

Depending on how long the buyer intends on owning a home, mortgage discount points, or prepaid interest, may not be beneficial. On average, each discount point on a 30-year loan lowers the interest rate by .125%. Calculating your monthly payment without and with the points and comparing them will get you the true savings each month. If you divide the amount charged for points at closing by the monthly amount saved, the resulting number is the number of months you must keep the loan to break even.

  • 55% do not know mortgage rates fluctuate throughout the day.

Mortgage rates are very similar to stock prices in the amount they can vary from day-to-day. Shopping around and watching overall trends in the market will benefit a buyer.

  • 37% think pre-qualifying for a loan means they have secured financing.

Pre-Qualifying is an approximation built by a loan officer of what a buyer can afford. It is an estimate that is not committed to be funded until a lender has approved it.

  • 42% do not know that FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans are available for all buyers.

Not just for first time buyers, the FHA insures mortgages on single family and multi-family homes with fixed rate, adjustable rate, energy efficient, graduated payment, condos, and for growing equity mortgages.

 As agents, we have an obligation and should insist that the lenders we are associating with have educated the buyers regarding the type of loan they are committing to and answer any questions they may have. From the exposure agents and lenders have to the market as a whole, we can grow numb to the fact that this world is foreign to many buyers.  If a client does not know what they are getting into, it can only lead to problems for them down the road.  Transactions can be smoother, more efficient, and overall more enjoyable for all involved with a simple effort to clarify, be detailed and thorough, and help answer your clients’ questions.

“Ipsos, a market research company, performed the survey and said that it involved a "nationally representative" sample. The results are considered accurate within +/-3.1% of what they would have been had the entire U.S. adult population been polled.”


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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