- It has been a seller’s market for quite some time. Bozeman has an average of 5 people moving here per DAY! So, while home prices are not anything like they are in major coastal cities, they are higher than many expect for close to downtown or view properties.
- There are fixers and homes that could use some updating available for lower prices. For many people, these are great opportunities to gain equity quickly once the update work is complete. The real caveat here is that Bozeman has an unemployment rate of less than 3% and there are simply not enough skilled tradespeople to do all the work in this booming economy and housing market. A great remodel can be done but research, planning and patience are a must and maybe a few extra dollars than expected.
- Montana is a non-disclosure state. There are only a few of these in the nation, but basically, what that means is that home selling prices are not made public. So all the Zillow algorithms do not work well here, which may impact the accuracy of the Zestimate. Real estate agents have very strict rules governing their disclosure of home selling prices and a buyer can only get the accurate selling prices of comparative homes they are shopping for by a licensed real estate agent. Believe it or not, this has less to do with the real estate lobby than it does with the Montana sense of privacy and avoidance of governmental interference.
- Moving to Bozeman Montana is a great decision. I do not know anybody who has moved here and after a bit of adjustment, including if it had to do with the surprise of remodel cost or difficulty in finding a home, who hasn’t been happy with their decision.
These are the realities of reaching for your dream of moving to a place that has a vibrant community, downtown, culture, and outdoor scene. Good news is that this can be navigated with a knowledgeable real estate agent.
As a local and invested real estate professional, I can help you find potential neighborhoods, advise you on pricing but also help you with referrals if you choose the build/remodel road. I am also thrilled to share my family’s experience in moving here, networking, meeting people and loving Bozeman and Montana.
We love a good happy hour, especially when the weather is not ideal for an afternoon hike or run. Nice to get cozy in one of our Bozeman establishments with discounted food and drinks. Our top five…
Barley and Vine.
Happy hour here starts at 4 and goes until 5:30 and then starts up again at 9 pm. And even better, Happy hour is ALL DAY on Monday! Barley and Vine offers $4 beers and $5 wine and discounted food.http://barleyvinemt.com/
Another Downtown eatery. Happy hour here is 3-5 daily. UK offers $4 cocktails and beer and $2 off glasses of wine and 1/2 off appetizers. https://www.urbankitchenbozeman.com
This fairly new restaurant is located in Ferguson Farms and they have just started up their Happy Hour program and its a good one! It runs 5-6:30 in the Bar. They offer 50% off 2 oz pours of wine which allows one to sample ALOT of their wines on tap! They also offer $5 cocktails, $1 off beers ciders etc and yummy food starting at $4. https://www.tanglewoodmt.com/
Montana Ale Works.
Located on the East end of Main Downtown. Ale Works’ Happy Hours runs 4-6 pm and they offer $1 off well drinks, beers and wines as well as rotating food specials. Ale Works always has a fun upbeat atmosphere. https://www.montanaaleworks.com/
One of the coziest bar/restaurants around. Located on lower level space on Main Street. Happy Hour runs 4-6 everyday and they offer $1 off everything brewed or distilled in Montana, $5 wine, $5 house whiskey drinks, and discounts on food. They also offer a great burger special on Wednesdays – Burger and beer for $12 (PBR) or draft beer selection for $13.
While searching around for comments on moving to Montana, I found this article from Smart Asset. https://smartasset.com/mortgage/15-things-to-know-before-moving-to-montana
I think the points in this article are accurate and reflect our experience of moving from Seattle to Bozeman in 2016. Give it a read and feel free to contact me to discuss more in depth!
Montana is known for its natural beauty. You may have seen scenes shot in Montana if you saw the films “A River Runs Through It” or “The Horse Whisperer.” Broad swathes of the Montana country is not just beautiful but empty. The state’s population density is the third lowest in the country, behind Alaska and Wyoming. If that sounds like the perfect escape to you, here are 15 things to know before moving to Montana.
1. You’ll want to get out into nature.
Montanans tend to be an active bunch. Being an outdoor enthusiast is the norm here. Of course, many Montanans work outside, as ranchers, farmers or in the oil industry. But even those with office jobs jump at the chance to get outside for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, canoeing and more.
2. Public universities are a good option here.
Montana State University (MSU) and the University of Montana are both well-regarded public institutes of higher education. If you have kids or you’re thinking of going back to school yourself, it’s good to know that the public options in Montana are a solid choice. If you’re moving to Montana for an early retirement, you can take university classes by obtaining Lifelong Education Status at MSU.
3. Population density is low.
Did we mention Montana has a low population density? If you’ve never lived in a sparsely populated state before, you’re in for a surprise. You can drive for long stretches on empty roads or settle down in a home that’s miles from its nearest neighbor. Depending on your preferences, that may sound ideal to you.
4. Skiing and snowboarding reign supreme.
Winter sports are huge in Montana. The state boasts 15 ski areas and resorts, including the famous Big Sky Ski Resort, with 5,800 acres of ski-able land. The active Montana lifestyle doesn’t stop during the winter months. The big divide isn’t between skiers and snowboarders – it’s between those take part in winter sports and those who don’t.
5. Winters are freezing.
Montana winters are extremely cold and feature unpredictable temperature swings. Between November and March, Montana’s temperature swings between 50 degrees above zero and 50 degrees below zero. If you’re moving to Montana, it’s important to dress for the weather and keep a winter survival kit in your car.
6. Montana is politically divided.
There’s a big urban-rural divide in Montana and the divide shapes the state’s politics. The state’s three electoral college votes are solidly Republican, but Montana’s senior U.S. senator is a Democrat. Like many states, Montana has more conservative rural areas surrounding liberal cities.
7. Ranching is alive and well.
Montana has more cows than people. Agriculture contributes roughly $4 billion to Montana’s economy and livestock makes up about half of that. If you’re moving to Montana in search of the cowboy lifestyle, be aware that ranching is a tough business with slim margins. However, you’ll be in good company if you decide to devote yourself to agriculture. According to the Montana Department of Agriculture, there are 28,008 farms and ranches across Montana.
8. Hunting and fishing are huge in Montana.
Even those who don’t work in agriculture may source some of their food outdoors, in many cases from hunting and fishing. Both are popular activities in Montana, where gun ownership and appreciation of the outdoors are strong cultural values. If you’re considering getting into hunting and fishing, be sure to obtain the proper licenses and store your firearms safely.
9. You’ll probably want a car with four-wheel drive.
Montana’s tough winters and chewed-up rural roads make a four-wheel drive more of a necessity than a luxury. You don’t want a car that will slide off the road during a blizzard or get stuck in your driveway when you’re running late for work. Whether you buy or lease, look for a car that can handle Montana’s winters.
Check out our cost of living calculator.
10. Housing is scarce.
It can be tough to find housing in Montana, which is why, if you’re moving to Montana, it’s a good idea to have at least a temporary rental lined up before you go. In many parts of the state, families and individuals struggle to find affordable housing. For example, according to the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce, about 83 percent of the workforce of the city commutes into Big Sky every day because they can’t find affordable housing in the city.
11. Wildlife is a part of life.
In Montana, run-ins with beautiful creatures like sandhill cranes (or dangerous creatures like rattlesnakes and bears) are par for the course. Managing the deer population is always an issue in Montana, too. If you’re buying a home with a garden, you may need to take steps to protect it from local wildlife.
12. It can take a while for trends to make their way to Montana.
That hot new ingredient the hip restaurants in New York, Chicago or San Francisco are pushing might not trickle over to Montana for a couple of years. The same goes for fashion trends, in part because practical, weather-appropriate clothing is more of a priority for Montanans. If you’re used to a lot of the amenities of big-city living and staying on top of trends is important to you, moving to Montana may require an attitude adjustment.
Related Article: The Cost of Living in Montana
13. Craft beer – including home brewing – is big in Montana.
Like many Western states, Montana boasts a big craft brewing scene. According to the Montana Brewers Association (MBA), there are 53 licensed breweries in the state. The MBA says that the state’s breweries “employ more than 500 employees and have an economic impact of over $60,000,000 annually.” Home brewing is big, too, and kits are available throughout the state.
14. People are friendly.
Montanans wave to people they pass on the state’s country roads and chat with strangers in cafes and diners. If you’re moving to Montana from, say, the Northeast, you might be surprised by how warm and friendly the people are.
15. It’s wise to be self-sufficient in Montana.
In Montana, particularly in rural areas, you might run into problems like a power outage after a storm or a car battery failure in freezing temperatures. It’s important to have basic survival supplies in your home and car (but you don’t have to go full-on doomsday prepper). But Montanans also rely on their neighbors, so don’t be surprised if you get on a knock on your door asking for help.
The past few posts have been on What to do with out of town visitors – one may ask why we haven’t hiked and gotten into our beautiful wilderness. The reason is that my Mom is wheelchair bound so we had to think of things to do where she could enjoy the outdoors in an accessible way.
So this weekend we went to Jackson WY and explored the Teton National Park and town of Jackson. We were blessed with beautiful, actually stunning, weather. We drove over through Ennis, trying to avoid the Friday construction and traffic going through Gallatin Gateway and Big Sky. Nice drive, about 4. 5 hours – stopped in Ennis at Willie’s to pick up some product. We purchased a very smooth vodka and Rye whiskey and some of that delicious coffee drink. They do tastings and tours – very neat place. https://www.williesdistillery.com/
We checked into our condo rental at Snow king which is close to town but has some nice views. We had to be picky about the accomodation as we needed one level with elevator – difficult to find in a ski town! Friday evening we enjoyed a fine (if pricey) dinner at Snake River Grill. Highly recommend – nice service, good food and beautiful dining room. https://www.snakerivergrill.com/
Saturday, we were up early and after a quick breakfast drove to the Teton National Park. We stopped at the visitor center where the helpful guide recommended a good route with wheelchair. Honestly, one picture is just better than the next in this park – scenery is just stunning. We visited the Mormon row, Jenny Lake and then on the way out stopped at the National Museum of Wild life Art which was a nice way to top off that portion of the day. https://www.wildlifeart.org/
Saturday afternoon after lunch at Merry Piglets https://merrypiglets.com/ . we shopped around the Town Square. Very fun shopping there and lots of nice art galleries.
Sunday, we decided to go home through the parks so drove the length of Teton National Park as well as Yellowstone. If you have the time, it is not summer and the roads are open, I would recommend this route to get back to Bozeman. Just an incredible display of geological diversity. We didn’t see a ton of wildlife on this trip but still had plenty to look at!
Have you ever wondered whats behind the large walls of the Grizzly encounter, located between off i-90 on the way to Livingston? We checked it out this week and enjoyed our encounter with Bella the bear, at a safe distance. The Grizzly encounter is a rescue operation for grizzlies – most have been abandoned for some reason by their mothers. The Encounter currently has 3 adults and 1 cub but only one at a time is visible to visitors. In the viewing area, there is an education staff person who will tell all you’ve ever wanted to know about grizzlies. The Grizzly Encounter is definitely worth a stop sometime! http://grizzlyencounter.org/
After our time out there we came back to Bozeman, had a nice lunch at Fire on Main https://www.firepizzabozeman.com/ and then shopped around. Our guests enjoyed the unique Tees at Intrigue Ink and Montana Scene. https://intrigue.ink/ https://www.themontanascene.com/ We also wandered around the art galleries and enjoyed the western art at Old Main Art Gallery, A.Banks Gallery, and Montana Trails Gallery. Our guest picked up a few souvenirs at the Altitude Gallery. https://www.abanksgallery.com/ , https://oldmaingallery.com/ , https://altitudegallerybozeman.com/ , https://www.montanatrails.com/ .
We get a lot of out of town visitors that are completely enamored of the West, our scenery and lifestyle. Yesterday, I took my mother and sister to Yellowstone and we did the northern loop.
Started off with the beautiful drive through Paradise Valley. In Gardiner, we stopped at the Yellowstone Forever store to pick up a map, find out conditions in the park and pick up a souvenir.
Our destination was the Canyon and Falls. We took the Tower road and went over Dunraven pass. There was snow tipping the mountains but roads were clear – an absolutely stunning drive with the blue sky! The Falls and Canyon did not disappoint and it was so nice to enjoy it with just a few fall visitors instead of the tourist crowds of summer.
Next we headed back up towards Mammoth Springs. That is such an interesting geological site and we enjoyed learned about it as we walked while checking our guide book.
Next, we went up Sage Lodge where we enjoyed a great happy hour menu, drinks and more beautiful views.
All in all, a great tourist day, good for visitors and locals alike!
#Bozeman #Montana #Bozemanhomes