Intro to Bozeman

Realities of moving to Montana

by Liz Nitz

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.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Montana

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.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Montana

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. 

15 Things to Know Before Moving to Montana

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.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to 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.

15 Things to Know Before Moving to 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.

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Table of Contents
Bozeman median home value

Increase Your Home's Value

It's a hot market in Bozeman. Don't leave money on the table!

In As Little As A Day

Grab these 7 tips to increase your home's value today!
Get My Guide
Featured Properties
No Comments

Post A Comment

Rental Investment Property in Bozeman

Vacation Rental Investment Property in Bozeman

A few years ago, Bozeman redid the city zoning map. In an attempt to control and steer growth, and to keep home prices affordable, Vacation Rental Investment Property were curtailed and limited to very specific areas.  Any grandfathered vacation rentals could not keep that status

Read More →
Bozeman’s Growth Plan for the Future

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

Read More →
New on the MLS

Latest Listings

The following homes listed below were just listed in the last 7 days. This seller’s market is hot so we keep a close eye on the latest inventory. Subscribe below for instant updates of your ideal criteria.

Sort Option
  • Listing ID
  • Built up Area
  • Price
  • Pictures
  • Add date
  • Featured
Grid
List
Map
RSS

104 Albrey Trail A, Bozeman, Montana 59718

104 Albrey Trail A, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,703Sqft
The Pines at Middle Creek is a premier condo community with patio-style homes. The Pines will have a total of 42 residences; all featuring single level living with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a 2-car garage. Air conditioning will be included in this phase as well. The floor plans were custom designed to have private patios between each of the units and only share a wall with the garage.
$469,900

885 Cottonwood Road, Bozeman, Montana 59718

885 Cottonwood Road, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
0.14Acre
1,540Sqft
Amazing investment opportunity in a prime Bozeman location! Almost-new construction duplex situated across from the new Gallatin High School with incredible mountain views. Property consists of two units: one 2 bedroom/2 bathroom unit with two car attached garage, and one 1 bedroom/1 bathroom unit with dedicated parking space.
$719,900

1503 Wildflower Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1503 Wildflower Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.93Acre
2,140Sqft
Home has Travertine rock accents on the exterior of the home. Also Travertine fireplace in the living room. Large back yard for lots of activities and large deck for barbarques and family gatherings. Open space in front of the home which is a park and common area for the residence. Master bedroom is on upper level with walk in closet and bathroom.
$759,900

960 Abigail Lane B, Bozeman, Montana 59715

960 Abigail Lane B, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,950Sqft
Beautiful and immediate views of Steven's Pond await you at this contemporary condo that lives like a single family home.
$549,000

9439 Haggerty Lane, Bozeman, Montana 59715

9439 Haggerty Lane, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
1Bathroom(s)
3.17Acre
2,616Sqft
This 2,616 sqft tri-level home, boasts 3 beds, 2 baths, two rock surround fireplaces, a sauna, an office/studio space & a custom dry bar perfect for entertaining! An abundance of natural lighting from all of the windows create beautiful views from each room. There's also plenty of storage and a partially finished basement ready for the next owner to leave their lasting mark.
$850,000

98 Sage Bloom D, Bozeman, Montana 59718

98 Sage Bloom D, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,558Sqft
Beautifully upgraded condo in 4 Corners! Hardwood floors continue throughout the first level including the master bedroom. New white and grey quartz countertops in the kitchen. Two extra bedrooms upstairs that share a bathroom. The bedrooms upstairs have amazing mountain views! Private fenced in patio to enjoy warmer nights and to let your dog roam! End unit with open space to the south.
$499,900

144 Higain Trail, Bozeman, Montana 59718

144 Higain Trail, Bozeman, Montana 59718

5Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.26Acre
2,775Sqft
Beautiful Middle Creek Parklands home backing to MSU agriculture land! This home is built by Mountain High Homes and has an open concept living room and kitchen. Five bedrooms or 4 bedrooms and an office. Second floor master suite with large family room across the hall.
$875,000

161 Meadowland Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59718

161 Meadowland Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59718

4Bedroom(s)
4Bathroom(s)
1.04Acre
3,650Sqft
Nestled in the exclusive subdivision of Spanish Meadows sits this spacious home that has been completely transformed. Once a Parade Home when it was originally built in 2010, now this property has been brought into modern times with upgrades galore.
$1,749,000

1220 Green Valley Way, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1220 Green Valley Way, Bozeman, Montana 59715

5Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
146.88Acre
8,156Sqft
Experience an unparalleled Montana oasis within Bozeman's newest private, luxury ranch community: Northpass Ranches, just 15 minutes to downtown Bozeman. This 146 acre property is truly a top-of-the world experience with commanding mountain views abound from all angles.
$12,900,000
19 Results returned.Per Page

home

Let me help
you find yours.

Windermere Downtown logo Bozeman Real Estate Agent Liz Nitz

Windermere Downtown Bozeman

135 E Main St.

Bozeman, MT 59715

MLS Realtor logo Bozeman Real Estate Agent Liz Nitz
Equal Housing Opportunity Bozeman Real Estate Agent Liz Nitz
Copyright © 2020 by Liz Nitz. All rights reserved. View our Privacy Policy.
Made with ♡ by Pageperfect.
Play Video

Get In Touch

Start the Conversation

Play Video

Don't leave money on the table

Increase Your Home's Value in A Day

Get Dynamic Updates

Save a custom search on this page & I'll email you instantly when a new listing matches the criteria.