In trying to evaluate your home for a listing price that could actually result in a sale, agents and owners should look at the following factors objectively and without emotion.
A buyer may react emotionally to an aspect of the home which is great but most buyers will then ask their agent to do a comparative market analysis to measure the fairness of the asking price. If a buyer is getting a loan to purchase the home, the home has to appraise according to strict guidelines. See here for what an appraiser looks at https://sf.freddiemac.com/content/_assets/resources/pdf/forms/70.pdf
Following are 14 Factors that help determine a home’s value.
- Age of home and design style – While newer homes are favored by some buyers due to the lack of maintenance requirements, there are many buyers who love the charm of an older home, especially those of the craftsman and victorian style.
- Structural materials and systems. Even in an older home, one that has had updates to systems such as electrical, plumbing, heating and replacements to roof and siding will be seen as more desirable and garner a higher price.
- Quality of Renovations and Added Amenities. Renovations that are properly permitted are most desirable. Beyond that, the quality and workmanship of renovations will garner a larger listing price. Added Amenities such as hot tub, water feature, etc will also add value.
- Floor plan. Is the floor plan functional for today’s consumer? Needs and tastes change so this can be a moving target.
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Price should be reflective of these numbers and these days, a private master bath is a sought after feature.
- Square footage. Not always the most important element if the home has a great floor plan and makes use of space well.
- Curb appeal. Very important for first impression.
- Lot square footage and design. Not only is the lot important but also what is done with the space. People want to spend more time outside and a backyard oasis where one can entertain and relax is a sought after commodity.
- Storage. More important for some consumers than others but organized storage is generally a plus.
- Garage. In some places, the number of garage spaces can make a huge difference in selling time and price. In Bozeman, 3 garage stalls are very desirable so that people can store their toys on site.
- View. Views can increase the value of property especially if they are unobstructed and protected.
- Location. Everything factors in here from walkability to shops, coffee, restaurants, ambient noise, convenience to freeways, airports, perceived demand for the neighborhood.
- Neighborhood. What does the rest of the neighborhood look like? It is most desirable to have like kind or better properties than the subject home in the neighborhood
- Comps and the current real estate market. What have other homes sold for in the past 90 days? And then what is the momentum of the current market?
If you are curious how your home would be valued, please reach out and let’s schedule a free property analysis. Montana is a non disclosure state so only a licensed relator or appraiser has access to real sold data which you need for an accurate valuation. For up to date information on the Bozeman market, read my blog posts at https://movemetomontana.com/.
Are you one of many people who are considering a move out of a large city?
Come home to Bozeman, a city community of 50,000 located off I-90 in the southwestern region of Montana. Bozeman can be found in the Gallatin Valley, 4820 feet above sea level and surrounded by Mountain ranges.
Our Mountain Ranges include:
The Bridger Mountains are located to the northeast of Bozeman. The highest peak in the Bridger Range is Sacagawea Peak at 9,665 ft (2,496 m).
The Gallatin Range is located south of Bozeman and includes more than 10 mountains over 10,000 feet (3,000 m). The highest peak in the range is Electric Peak at 10,969 feet (3,343 m).
The Madison Range is located southwest of Bozeman. The highest peak in the Madison Range is also the highest peak in Montana outside the Beartooth Range. Hilgard Peak measures at 11,316 feet.
The Crazy Mountains, often called the Crazies, are located between the Musselshell and Yellowstone rivers. The highest peak is Crazy Peak at 11,214 feet (3,418 m).
The Absarokas are located southeast of Bozeman. The range stretches about 150 mi (240 km) across the Montana-Wyoming border. Eight peaks in the Absaroka Mountains exceed 12,000 feet, including the highest point, Francs Peak (13,140 feet) located in Wyoming.
The Tobacco Root Mountains lie in the northern Rocky Mountains, between the Jefferson and Madison Rivers in southwest Montana. The highest peak is Hollowtop at 10,604 .
With all of these mountain ranges, you can imagine the dramatic beauty that Bozemanites view everyday.
What is there to do for fun?
The year round recreational opportunities are boundless in Bozeman. With much of the surrounding land in the mountains belonging to the Forest Service , Bureau of Land Management and the state of Montana, these mountains and wilderness areas will stay pristine and able to be enjoyed by generations to come. And of course, Montana’s rivers are legendary amongst anglers. Popular activities here are hiking, camping, mountain biking, climbing, fishing, rafting, hunting, alpine and Nordic skiing, snow shoeing, and ice climbing.
Bozeman is located only 90 minutes to Yellowstone National Park and 45 minutes to the renowned Big Sky ski area. We also have our Locals ski area, Bridger Bowl, where skiing can be as challenging or as relaxed as you like and at less than half the cost of Big Sky.
What about work?
But Bozeman is not fun and games all the time! Bozeman has been name #1 Micropolitan City in the US for economic strength, three years in a row! Montana is still mostly agricultural but there is a burgeoning tech and biotech scene in Bozeman which is strengthened by the entrepreneurial talent and experience that consistently moves here each year. The business community here is vibrant, smart and symbiotic. More about Bozeman economic strength at this link. https://policom.com/rankings-micropolitan-areas/
One of Bozeman’s economic strengths is its housing market. Due to the consistent level of demand , Values of home consistently grow at 8-10 %per year. Bozeman and the area offer homes from entry level condos to historic downtown homes to multi million mountain ranches and everything in between.
Montana State and the cultural aspects of Bozeman
Bozeman is home to the state’s largest university, Montana State which is also the region’s largest single employer. Montana State is woven into the fabric of Bozeman which helps the city’s cultural diversity and activity. There are many ways to experience the arts and culture of the west here including Art walks, music festivals, farmers markets, rodeos, and parades . Attending one of those events will help you feel part of a community even smaller than our actual 50,000 people.
Does this community sound like a pretty ideal place to live? What are you waiting for?
I am here to help make your dreams, your reality in Bozeman Montana.
Check out my website for timely blogs on living in Bozeman as well as real estate trends. https://movemetomontana.com/
Wow Bozeman, what a month! No one was sure what would happen to the Bozeman real estate market during and after the Covid closures. We found out this week that Bozeman real estate rebounded decisively.
Where we came from…April
In my April report, we saw the full effect of the Covid restrictions and concerns about what would happen to the market and home values. Our single family home listings were down by over 50%. Pending sales were down 26.8% over April of 2019 and closed sales were down over 55% over previous year. Prices however were still increasing. Our inventory of homes to sell to buyers who were still looking dropped to 1.8 months. More information on April here: https://movemetomontana.com/2020/04/14/bozeman-and-belgrade-real-estate-trends
And then May…Bozeman real estate market rebounds from Covid closures
With Montana starting phase around April 26, the switch flipped and as a result we have a very different picture reflected in our May numbers. Our listings are still not what they were last year. But they have significantly increased and as reflected in the pending numbers, they were then put under contract pretty quickly. Closed sales naturally are still running behind last year as that comes from the pended sales from March and April.
Where are we headed?
I did an open house over the weekend. It was very well attended with qualified buyers. Some were new to the area and some were current residents but wanted to buy property before prices went up even further. I was amazed at how much energy there was about the growth of Bozeman and effect on housing supply and pricing. Bozeman is voting tonight on whether to annex an area in South Bozeman. While not many people are happy about development in that area, we are going to desperately need more housing for all of the people who want to live here. https://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/city-commission-to-vote-on-annexation-zoning-for-south-bozeman-development/article_bc701bb0-b9ae-5541-bb6f-57546483cd63.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR37M0klgSxFLxkGvVpDr8XIRV0PwoVv7-nEtOG8hd7H46K6rHT9wpGQ6rA
Please reach out to me to learn more about the market or the value of your home!
406 499 4218 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We are right now in a unique situation not seen before. I thought it prudent to research how Coronavirus is affecting the economy and Bozeman real estate market
Our lives have changed drastically in the past week; kids are home from school, trips have been cancelled, gathering places closed. We also have anxiety about what is going on out there; not only do we have anxiety about being ill, or perhaps carrying the virus to someone who may be at risk for serious complications from the virus, but we also have anxiety about the fact that our financial world has been turned upside down. This perhaps brings back bad memories of the 2008 crash and the recession that followed.
So let’s try and address some of these anxieties caused by the Coronavirus outbreak:
First of all, you are doing everything right if you are following the steps recommended by the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html These steps are in your control and should keep you and your household healthy. Do them and feel good about it!
At Windermere, we are fortunate enough to be backed up by a strong company with many resources. Some of our financial and economic experts have reached out to us to explain how they see the economic impact of this and the effect on local housing market.
Following is a summary of likely effects of the Coronavirus to the US economy as a whole.
These were communicated by Matthew Gardner, Chief Economist for Windermere.
- The Economy will contract. With the disruption to life, travel etc., we are all spending less money.
- The Stock market has lost value as a result of the uncertainty of the situation and how long it will continue.
- Home inventory on market will probably decrease in the next few months as people will not want others in their homes.
- Buyers will want to take advantage of low interest rates but buying will probably decrease as well as people are uncertain about economy and some may need to wait for stock market to come back up.
- Economists believe that towards Q3 and Q4, economy and stock market will pick back up.
- Mortgage interest rates will stay low however.
- Housing as a sector is well positioned to come out of this positively.
- Banking rules that were put into place after 2008 have protected housing and made sure that the upside down equity positions held by people then do not exist anymore.
- Inventory will be tight as households are being created but not enough housing being built overall in US.
An analytical look at Coronavirus and Bozeman real estate:
- Our area is positioned well to weather this kind of storm. We will see some impacts as noted above but we will also rise out quicker than other areas of the country.
- Why? Our fundamentals are strong.
- Bozeman area is noted as #1 in economic strength for micropolitan areas in US. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/policoms-2018-economic-strength-rankings-for-933-communities-announced-300585848.html
- We have had increased demand and not enough supply of homes for many years. This has meant that our median price of a single family home has gone from $329,000 in March of 2015 to $520,000 in February of 2020 and our months of supply has gone from 4.3 months in March of 2015 to 2.2 in February of 2020.
- Our unemployment rate is very strong most recently being at 2.4% down even from a year ago when it was 3.%. The highest is has been since 2015 is 3.4%. The interesting thing here is that US Federal Reserve puts natural unemployment at 2.5-3.5% as people move around, change jobs etc.
- Bozeman is a unique place to live as we all know and why it attracts so many new residents each year. Our quality of life, access to the outdoor activity, ability to earn a living make it truly distinctive. This will not change.
In the immediate future, what will happen?
- We will have at least two weeks of social distancing to help prevent the spread of this virus.
- Diagnosed cases will rise because of increased testing.
- The strategies that the CDC and government have recommended to prevent spread will work.
- There will be positive news about a vaccine for the future.
- Discomfort and anxiety will continue in our lives and in the financial markets until things become certain and we have started to see decreasing cases.
- There is a massive fiscal stimulus coming that is pointed at people and industries most affected by this.
- Recovery will happen relatively quick as our US economy fundamentals are strong.
I will continue to update my blog MoveMeToMontana.com with more information and analysis as I get it.
A disclaimer – I am not an economist but am culling information from economist’s opinions and presenting factual statistics about Montana. However, one should read this article about how Coronavirus is affecting the economy and Bozeman real estate market as my opinion. I have curated the information and summarized it in this piece.
Stay healthy and please do what you can to help local businesses! Shop online with them, order take out, buy gift cards. They really need our help right now.
You may or may not be aware of this but Bozeman has a thriving entrepreneurial community! With its growth over the past 5 years, this community has become important to our local economy. This community has been able to come together due to a perfect storm of factors.
Factors affecting Bozeman’s Entrepreneurial Community:
- A high rate of entrepreneurs in the population.
- A high rate of new entrepreneurs who created a business by choice instead of necessity
- A mix of population that are native to the state and those that are moving here with capital and talent.
- A ready employment base, thank you MSU and University of Montana.
- Low cost of business.
- High rate of jobs created by each of these new entrepreneurial businesses.
All of this contributes to Montana being in the top ten states for business creation according to the Kauffmans Indicators of Entrepreneurship. I think that is pretty impressive!
Originally, Bozeman and Montana came to national attention with the establishment of RightNow Technologies in Bozeman and its sale to Oracle. There were many companies formed by former employees of RightNow and Oracle that stayed in Bozeman. These founders and their employees helped to knit together today’s entrepreneurial tech culture and community.
These days, there are all sorts of organizations that want to help start ups and people with great ideas. Most of advisors are really keen to continue to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and success in Montana. These groups will contribute their time, their expertise and even funding to help startups get off the ground.
2020 is forecasted to be a banner year for investment in our state with more capital coming from inside the state as well as from outside the state. The one cloud on the horizon to continued growth of Montana’s tech business is finding enough qualified workers. Hopefully, our education system will be able to step up fast enough to help meet the demand for these skilled workers.
To learn more about the thriving entrepreneurial community in Bozeman, check out a few resources that are listed below:
Also be sure to check my blog for more on life and real estate in Bozeman Montana. https://movemetomontana.com/
Tis the season…for family photos!
Whether you have an adult family or have young ones, read on for tips to get the best photos in the least amount of time with the least amount of stress.
- If you can, engage a photographer. If your budget is more generous, look for community referrals and then examine the photographer’s work on his or her website, checking to make sure that he or she captured the vibe that you want. If your budget is not so generous, check out a local university or even high school for expert hobbyists. Make sure to discuss with the photographer, time of day, mood, lighting etc that you would like.
- Decide on a mood or vibe for your photos. Do you want casual, almost spontaneous shots or a bit more posed? Do you want an outdoor, natural setting or maybe something against a textured background – old brick walls, barnwood siding etc make great backgrounds. Discuss what you would like with your photographer as well as your thoughts on close ups vs whole body shots.
- The mood you decide on will then help out with outfit selection. Clothing will be influenced by season of course. It is nice to have coordinating outfits but not strictly matching, unless maybe if it is a Christmas PJ picture! Examples of coordination can be everyone in a shade of white top with khaki bottoms or for winter, a few of the party in a plaid shirt of coordinating colors, maybe a few more people with a solid color top in one of the colors in the plaid and then maybe a scarf or two in a different plaid that uses the same colors. On the bottom, keep it simple with blue jeans. Denim photographs really well. I would also bring a few accessories like jackets to change up the look to give you more options. Sometimes you will be surprised by what you like better. All of that being said, don’t leave the outfit selection until the last minute. Try them on, take a few selfies and make sure you like the look!
- Make sure the time you select takes everyone’s schedule into account. To make sure kids are at their best, the time should be after naps and after some food. Maybe even a glass of wine and snack for the adults so everyone is loose and in a good mood.
- Lastly, try to have fun at the photo shoot and let it flow naturally. The best photos are usually the ones that are the least canned. Don’t be afraid to move around, try different poses, and different arrangements of people. Ultimately, you want a natural feeling photo that captures the love that you have for each other, so just relax!
Experience Gift Giving Guide
Do you and your family have enough “Stuff”? Are you at an impasse as to what to give your family as gifts? Perhaps consider experiences as gifts instead of things. Living in such a beautiful place with access to tons of outdoor fun, it is easy to come up with gifts along the experiential lines if you are so inclined that will provide memories for years to come.
My top 4 experiences:
- Montana Dinner Yurt. How fun does this sound? Your group is transported on snowcats through the Big Sky backcountry to the Yurt location. There you are met with a bonfire and a torch lit sledding run outside and a candlelit cozy yurt inside. Musicians play while you socialize or play until the dinner bell is rung. Dinner is a gourmet feast of French onion soup, filet mignon and chocolate fondue for dessert. After dinner, there is time for gathering around the bonfire, taking pictures, sledding etc. http://www.bigskyyurt.com/montana-dinner-yurt/
- Back Country Snowmobiling. There are quite a few places that one can rent snowmobiles from and go snowmobiling on your own. However, if you are new to the sport, best to go with a guide the first few times. Canyon adventures in Big Sky has snowmobiles for rent as well as guides and can take you into the back country. Views of the Spanish Peaks, Taylor Peaks, Lone Peak and the Sphinx Mountains are all included! Bring your camera on this adventure! http://www.snowmobilemontana.com/
- Winter Yellowstone Tour. There are several different options as to how to do this. I recommend the bombardier coach tour for a fun old school experience. If your group is large enough (5-8), consider renting the entire coach for a more cozy, personal experience. https://seeyellowstone.com/tours/old-faithful-bombardier-snowcoach-tour/ Alternately, one can try a snowmobile tour. This is fun but keep in mind that the format is all snow mobiles in a line following the guide and then stopping at sights – no antics in the snow with the machines. http://backcountry-adventures.com/
- Explore Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley is stunning during the winter and provides for beautiful photography. One could start off with cross country skiing either in Yellowstone National Park or one of the forest service areas in the valley. https://www.visitgardinermt.com/item/278-favorite-cross-country-ski-trails-in-gardiner-and-northern-yellowstone Then head to one of the hot springs in the area to relax and warm up. Chico Hot Springs https://www.chicohotsprings.com/hot-springs/ or Yellowstone Hot Springs. https://yellowstonehotspringsmt.com/ Then one could eat at the Dining Room at Chico https://www.chicohotsprings.com/historic-dining-room/ or head up to Sage Lodge. https://www.sagelodge.com/grill.php If you really wanted to make a full day, Sage Lodge and Chico provide accommodations as well.
I am out to explore and find some more unique experiences. Look for a follow up post soon!
You may have noticed that it’s gotten chilly outside and there’s been a fair amount of white stuff falling to the ground. But alas, Bridger is not slated to open until December 6 and Big Sky is slated to open November 28. And as much as we love winter sports, it is nice to get a break and go somewhere warm at some point over the winter.
So where can one go fairly easily – let’s take a look at the airline schedules and see.
- Hawaii. This one my family knows well as we own a home At Mauna Lani on the Big Island (we rent it out, if you’re interested. Link https://www.vrbo.com/714002). Since we are Alaska Frequent fliers, I will lay out the routing on Alaska but United and Delta have similar offerings. You can depart on the 7:40 am flight, do a quick stop in Seattle and then be back on a plane at 9:50 am and have a Lei around your neck and a Mai Tai in your hand by 2:25. Alternately, you can leave at 1:25 and be in Kona by 10 pm. The flights are almost identical for trips to Maui.
- Mexico. First example I will use is Los Cabos. Leaving on that same 7:40 am flight, connecting in Seattle, you can have your margarita in hand by 3:10. Delta and Aeromexico have a nice code share that will have you depart at 6 am and have you touch down in Puerto Vallarta at 3 pm. Just one stop needed for that one too.
- Southern California. LAX can be a great jumping off point to either head north through Santa Barbara wine country or head south and enjoy the beaches all the way down through San Diego. Easy one here as United has a direct flight that leaves at 3 and gets you into LA at 5. There is a direct flight coming back too. If you are an airline loyalist (choices being Alaska and Delta), One can take the Alaska 7:40 to Seattle and be in LA by 12:45. Delta has a similar offering and one a little later in the morning that goes through Salt Lake City.
- What about the Caribbean or a cruise option? That can be done too! You can fly to Miami with one stop on either American or United and get there in less than 8 hours. The United offering actually gets you in time to get some dinner and then hit the bars in South Beach. Or you could get your connection to your Caribbean Island on an early evening flight. Long Day of traveling but you could be on some Caribbean Island enjoying Rum Punch in one day.
Our Yellowstone International Airport is one of our favorite parts of living in Bozeman. It is visually attractive, efficient, has TSA precheck, the Montana Corral has great gifts and the Copper Horse actually has tasty food and timely service and one of the best views in town. I am always amazed that I can go through that security line and go anywhere in the world without having to repeat that process as long as we stay in the airport during layovers. Can’t beat it!
While some people look forward to sleeping in on Sunday and then rolling out to a cushy brunch and imbibing bloody marys, mimosas, and tons of carbs, my family takes a more measured approach to Brunch. Being self employed, it is hard to ever be completely “off”, but Sunday is a day for us where we usually get in our toughest workout of the week first, then go eat before moving onto the plan for the day or some work. I know, we are so boring…
So we like the brunch drinks but we also need some decent protein to go along with those yummy carbs. Following is my family’s list of favorite brunch spots that meets our criteria…
Tanglewood. https://www.tanglewoodmt.com/ We love this place. It hasn’t really caught on yet as a brunch spot but it will. We think there is a little something for everyone here – satisfies the traditional brunch person as well as someone looking for something a bit more savory and they even have a healthy option or two. There are fun drinks here if you want to fancy up a mimosa and the bloody mary comes with lots of yummy accoutrements. The atmosphere is inviting and lively but not loud which is lovely. Our favorite dishes are the Salmon salad ( incredible, always perfectly cooked and a bargain for the price), the Liege waffle, and the duck sausage.
Jam. https://jamonmain.com/ Well Jam is the other end of the spectrum in terms of crowds. Everyone knows about Jam and that includes people who are just passing through. So unless you are there before 9 am on Saturday or Sunday, expect a wait. The good news is that the Jam crew is really good and efficient at what they do so the tables will turn over and you will be seated in the time they tell you. They provide coffee at the host stand so you can take a cuppa and go stroll Main street while you wait. Jam only serves the breakfast menu on weekends but there are enough protein oriented and savory dishes to satisfy us. Our favorite menu items here are the Mia Benedict, the Puerco Verde Crepes, Vegetable omelet and a personal favorite, the gluten free banana pancake. Also have to give kudos to the daily specials and the bacon! Fun list of drinks here – my personal favorite being the Pink drink but they also offer kombuchas and a nice selection of Townshends teas.
Barley and Vine. http://barleyvinemt.com Barley and Vine is a cozy brunch spot – more appropriate for small groups than a large one. Food here is always good and we tend to go here if we are more in the lunch mood than the breakfast mood. We LOVE their burger, I think the best in Bozeman, complete with a homemade English muffin and served with real frites (skinny , crispy fries). There are breakfast type items here including fresh made doughnut holes, omelets and a great chicken and waffle dish. Beverages here include a great wines by the glass offering as well as mimosas and beers.
We love to try new places and we are somewhat critical as I was in the restaurant business for 20 years and our daughter is in the restaurant business with hopes of opening her own place here in Bozeman. Our opinions are our own but we’d love to know what you think! Reply back with your favorite brunch places and we will check them out.
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.