First time home buyer real estateLiving in MontanaMixed useReal Estate in Montana November 24, 2020

Bozeman’s Growth Plan for the Future

Bozeman in the summer of 2020 saw an influx of out-of-town buyers who helped the median home price jump more than $88,000 from July to August. And the Gallatin Association of Realtors Market Watch is predicting the market to stay hot during the typically slower winter months. All this points to the undeniable fact that Bozeman is growing (whether we like it or not). So, what is Bozeman’s growth plan for the future?

The Bozeman City Commission approved a future growth policy on November 18, 2020 that lays out how the city will grow over the next 20 years. The plan will instruct how zoning, annexation and development decisions will play out. It emphasizes density, infill and sets an outline of how far the city will grow from its current footprint. Let’s look at some key info.

Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan includes the action items that will help guide Bozeman’s growth plan for the future. I think these items are already strong in our community, which is why so many people are moving to Bozeman.

    • An Engaged Community
    • An Innovative Economy
    • A Safe, Welcoming Community
    • A Well-Planned City
    • A Creative, Learning Culture
    • A Sustainable Environment
    • A High Performance Organization

Affordable Housing

Bozeman’s median home price is almost $600,000. It’s not cheap to live here and so the issue of affordable housing is one that the city is taking seriously. According to the newly developed Bozeman Housing Needs Assessment, an “estimated 5,405 to 6,340 housing units for residents and employees are needed by 2025, or an average of about 770 to 905 units per year.” These housing options will need to meet a full range of incomes and must exceed or match Bozeman’s job growth so new employees can find homes. If you dig into the future growth policy, you’ll see that the city has included a lot of mixed-use designations that will encourage housing in a variety of types, size and cost. Mixed-use is great because it embraces density and attract developments where you can live, work and play.

Bozeman Planning Area

The Planning Area is where the city’s future municipal water and sewer service boundaries will extend. It will be 70.8 square miles. The current footprint of Bozeman is 20.4 square miles. Much of the Planning Area is already developed and the city is encouraging new development that stays within the Planning Area. You can see it on the future land use map, which gives a really cool snapshot of what Bozeman will look like inside the next 20 years.

There is a reason why people are moving to Bozeman. You’ll feel it the minute you get here. Let me help you discover if Bozeman is the right place for you. Contact me at

EntertainmentHotels in BozemanLiving in MontanaShopping in Bozemanskiing in montana November 17, 2020

The Best Ski Resorts to Visit on Your Next Trip to Bozeman

best ski resorts

Photo by Simon Peterson

Skiing in Montana is some of the best in the country because of the adventurous nature of the unexplored mountains and the balance of sunshine and fresh snow. Bozeman is a great place to start your Montana ski adventure. The Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport has 18 direct flights this winter from several major cities and is about two hours or less from three standout ski resorts.

Here are the best ski resorts to visit on your next trip to Bozeman.

Bridger Bowl

This is Bozeman’s local ski hill. Skiers of all levels will love Bridger Bowl’s family- friendly lodges, variety of terrain and several chair lifts that everyone can ride together on their way to different ski runs.

    • Distance from Bozeman: 16 miles
    • Average annual snowfall: 300″
    • Skiable terrain: 2,000 acres
      • This is an easy mountain to navigate, as the ability levels are based on elevations. First-time beginner slopes in the base area, novice terrain across the lower middle, wide-open intermediate runs in the center, advanced open bowl terrain in the upper third and, finally, expert terrain coming off the ridge top.
      • The longest run is 3 miles.
    • Standout features:
      • Fun, family-friendly vibe in the lodges. (Although, it will be a bit different this year with the Covid restrictions.)
      • Eagle Mount adaptive ski program available for visitors with disabilities.
    • Covid protocols: Reservations system will require visitors to book their visit as far as three days out; lodges will have limited capacity and more grab-and-go options; face masks will be mandatory.
    • 2020/21 season: Opening December 4

Big Sky

Everything is BIG at Big Sky. The entertainment options at Mountain Village and the wide-open spaces where every skier gets an average of one acre to themselves are just a few examples of Big Sky’s premier offerings.

    • Distance from Bozeman: 50 miles
    • Average annual snowfall: 400″
    • Skiable terrain: 5,850 acres
      • Don’t worry if you’re not an expert. There are more than 2,300 acres just for beginner and intermediate skiers.
      • Lone Peak alone offers 300 degrees and 4,350 vertical feet of skiing to those who feel adventurous.
      • The longest run is 6 miles.
    • Standout features:
      • The most tech-advanced chairlift system in North America. Don’t miss the warm, blue bubble of Ramcharger 8 heated chairlift!
      • Eagle Mount adaptive ski program available for visitors with disabilities.
    • Covid-19 protocols: Lifts and lodges will operate as usual with social distancing reconfigurations in the dining areas; face masks will be mandatory.
    • 2020/21 season: Opening November 27

Red Lodge Mountain

Red Lodge offers true Montana skiing without the big crowds or big prices. The town of Red Lodge itself is very quaint and worth an overnight visit.

      • Distance from Bozeman: 146 miles
      • Average annual snowfall: 250″
      • Skiable terrain: 1,635 acres; the longest run is 2.5 miles.
      • Standout features:
        • Holds the largest capacity snowmaking system in Montana and has coverage on 28% of trails. This allows them to consistently open in late November and maintain a strong on-piste snowpack throughout the season.
        • Eagle Mount adaptive ski program available for visitors with disabilities.
      • Covid-19 protocols: Lifts and lodges will operate as usual with social distancing guidelines in place; face masks will be mandatory.
      • 2020/21 season: Opening November 27

    Check out my previous post about the best places to stay this winter in Bozeman. I can also help you plan your ultimate Montana ski adventure. Contact me at

EntertainmentFirst time home buyer real estateLiving in MontanaMixed useShopping in Bozeman November 10, 2020

The Revitalization of Midtown Bozeman

Drive north on Seventh Avenue and you’ll see the revitalization of midtown Bozeman in full swing. The area was designated as the Midtown Urban Renewal District in 2006, but it seems like construction has really taken off in the last year. An urban renewal district is used by city governments to encourage private investment of blighted areas through the use of public incentives. The midtown area was a no-brainer for the City of Bozeman because of a few factors:

    • Close to Main Street The development and redevelopment of Main Street has hit its capacity. As a result, growth and opportunities are starting to flow towards the adjoining midtown area.
    • Established Neighborhood Community The southern end of Midtown has an established, walkable neighborhood with a good, long-standing elementary school.
    • New Entertainment District Aspen Street will be a fun festival street that will be closed off for events. The BMX park and empty lots nearby will be improved with green spaces that encourage social gatherings.

Welcome to the Revitalization of Midtown Bozeman.

Midtown is a busy construction zone these days, but it will soon be the hottest area to live, work and play. But don’t expect another Main Street. The Midtown Urban Renewal District has a mid-century modern flair that really sets it apart from the historic presence of Main Street. These  commercial developments are some standouts in the revitalization of Midtown Bozeman.

    • Audrey’s Pizza and Brewery The old Rouse Avenue location was a favorite with locals. Audrey’s new location in the old Village Inn Pizza Parlor has been updated with lots of glass, metal and wood. The shiny new brewery towers and big, modern windows are a sight to see on Seventh Avenue. Scheduled for completion by end of 2020.
    • Ruh Building (pictured) This mixed-use development will be traditional brick mixed with glass and metal. The 3,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor will have frontage on busy Seventh Avenue. The upper floors are made up of four, 1-bedroom apartments and 12, 2-bedroom apartments for rent. The residential perks will include high-end finishes, an in-unit washer/dryer, and personal storage units. Scheduled for completion in December 2020.
    • Aspen Crossing This mixed-use development will be a unique mix of restaurants and coffee shop on the ground floor; cool office space on the second floor; and sleek, high-end condos on the third floor. Scheduled for completion March 2021.
    • The Elm You can’t miss this new music venue right next to the RSVP Hotel on Seventh Avenue. The building’s architecture is clean, modern and state-of-the-art. It will be one of Montana’s best event venues for size (up to 1,500 people) and fan experience.

Come see us! Check out my previous post of where to stay in Bozeman this winter. If you decide to stay for good, I can help you find the right home for you. Contact me at

(Photo of The Ruh Building courtesy of Life Style Solutions Real Estate)

Living in MontanaShopping in BozemanWinter in Bozeman November 3, 2020

How to Survive Your First Winter in Bozeman

If you were in that huge influx of out-of-town buyers this summer, you’re probably a little nervous about the winter season. Yes, it gets very cold and snowy. But Bozeman winters are also filled with plenty of sunshine and outdoor activities. Winter is a great season if you’re prepared for the roads and have the right gear to stay warm and comfortable. Here’s a simple guide on how to survive your first winter in Bozeman.

How to survive your first winter in Bozeman:

Get good winter boots.

Bozeman averages 63″ of snowfall per year, so good winter boots are a necessity.

    • Schnee’s Pac Boots All styles of the unisex Pac Boots are hand-crafted right here in Bozeman, Montana. These boots are made to last but are rebuildable if they ever wear out. The leather is thick American cow and buffalo hides. The soles are vulcanized rubber, so they have serious traction in the most challenging conditions. And the removable liner is Thinsulate™ Insulation that keeps your toes warm up to -20 degrees. These boots are pricey ($299-$349) but you are paying for hand-crafted quality.
    • Oboz Footwear This is another great local company making sturdy boots. Their winter versions can take you from Main Street to the Mountains. The Women’s Sapphire 8″ Insulated Waterproof; Men’s Bridger 8″ and 10″ Insulated Waterproof; and Men’s Sawtooth II 8″ Insulated Waterproof also have Thinsulate™ Insulation and Oboz’s proprietary O Fit Insole™ that is molded to match the specific shape and construction of your boots. From $169 to $199.
    • Yaktrax® These strap right onto the bottom of your shoes and provide sticky traction in the slipperiest of conditions. They have styles to take you from town to a winter hike to a backcountry excursion. From $20 to $90.

Get your tires ready.

The roads can get pretty scary in the winter, which is why you need dedicated winter tires or studded tires for your car. The question is: studs or no studs?

    • Winter Tires They have really improved the technology on winter tires and they will get you around pretty good and safe. People usually go for these over studs because you don’t have to change them out every season.
    • Studded Tires These are the safest choice for icy conditions when even winter tires can’t get a good grip. You have to make sure, though, to change your tires out once road conditions start to change. Studded tires are permitted in Montana from Oct. 1 to May 31.
    • What About a Bike?  A fat tire bike or studded tires on your regular mountain bike are great for in-town errands or some of the easier Main Street to the Mountains trails. The wide tires on a fat tire bike provide float and traction on snow, sand, and other mixed terrain. Some fat tire brands to look into are Jamis and Rocky Mountain. Most shops sell do-it-yourself studded tire kits.

Get the right gear.

You don’t realize how quickly the elements can get the best of you when temperatures dip below freezing. So, it’s important to wear thermal base layers and keep all exposed areas protected with a facemask and good gloves if you plan on being outside for a few hours. Here are some unique and popular brands:

      • Beringia World This boutique label makes standout winter gear. They are headquartered here in Bozeman, Montana but have a design lab and retail store in Tokoyo, Japan. Their Men’s and Women’s Diomede Merino Wool Snorkel Hoody is great as a base layer or on its own. It’s super soft, warm and the unique design keeps everything but your eyes covered.
      • Azyre Gear This Wyoming-based brand makes technically driven outdoor apparel for women. Their Vision Baselayer Top and Pant is designed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm. The base layers are super soft, have a feminine fit, and the signature camo pattern is one you won’t see anywhere else.
      • Blackstrap You’ll see this brand’s balaclavas all over the ski hills at Bridger Bowl and Big Sky. They’re made in the USA and come in all kinds of fun patterns and colors.
      • Hestra These gloves are a top favorite among skiers and snowboarders for their warmth and stylish look.

Come check us out this winter and see if Bozeman is a place you’d like to live. I can help you find the right home for you. Contact me at

(Photo of Schnee’s Outfitter II boot)