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.

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1582 New Holland Way, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1582 New Holland Way, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.16Acre
1,685Sqft
Stunning brand-new to be built, home, located in a convenient in town location. Walking distance to the Gallatin Regional Park, Dinosaur Playground, Dog Park and ponds. Homes feature shaker cabinets, quartz counters, luxury vinyl plank flooring. 8 foot doors throughout! A generous Master suite with huge walk-in shower, dual vanities and spacious closet. Good size living, dining, kitchen areas.
$487,500

1560 New Holland Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1560 New Holland Drive, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.12Acre
2,015Sqft
Stunning brand-new home to be built, located in a convenient in town location. Walking distance to the Gallatin regional park and Dinosaur playground. Home will feature shaker cabinets, quartz counters, luxury vinyl plank flooring. Main level has a 1/2 bath, living, dining, kitchen. Stainless appliances, enormous garage.
$525,951

402 Meriwether Avenue, Bozeman, Montana 59715

402 Meriwether Avenue, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
0.13Acre
1,864Sqft
This townhome is in the heart of Bozeman is estimated to begin construction in November 2020. Units will include modern finishes such as LVP flooring, stainless appliances, granite counter tops, decks for entertaining, and a full landscape package. Interior units are 1,588 sq. ft. with 2-bedroom, 2-baths with single attached garages. Exterior units are 1,864 sq.
$435,000

432 Meriwether Avenue, Bozeman, Montana 59715

432 Meriwether Avenue, Bozeman, Montana 59715

3Bedroom(s)
3Bathroom(s)
0.10Acre
1,864Sqft
This townhome is in the heart of Bozeman is estimated to begin construction in November 2020. Units will include modern finishes such as LVP flooring, stainless appliances, granite counter tops, decks for entertaining, and a full landscape package. Interior units are 1,588 sq. ft. with 2-bedroom, 2-1/2 baths with single attached garages. Exterior units are 1,864 sq.
$435,000

1704 Lincoln Street C1, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1704 Lincoln Street C1, Bozeman, Montana 59715

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,041Sqft
Sweeping views of the Bridger Mountains from this brand new condo complex, and incredibly well located; just a short walk from the Bozeman Fieldhouse. These new construction condos boast dual bedroom ensuite. Bathroom shower and floor are tiled, and shower doors are glass.
$339,500

1704 Lincoln Street B8, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1704 Lincoln Street B8, Bozeman, Montana 59715

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,041Sqft
Sweeping views of the Bridger Mountains from this brand new condo complex, and incredibly well located; just a short walk from the Bozeman Fieldhouse. These new construction condos boast dual bedroom ensuite. Bathroom shower and floor are tiled, and shower doors are glass.
$339,500

1704 Lincoln Street B3, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1704 Lincoln Street B3, Bozeman, Montana 59715

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,041Sqft
Sweeping views of the Bridger Mountains from this brand new condo complex, and incredibly well located; just a short walk from the Bozeman Fieldhouse. These new construction condos boast dual bedroom ensuite. Bathroom shower and floor are tiled, and shower doors are glass.
$339,500

1704 Lincoln Street B2, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1704 Lincoln Street B2, Bozeman, Montana 59715

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,041Sqft
Sweeping views of the Bridger Mountains from this brand new condo complex, and incredibly well located; just a short walk from the Bozeman Fieldhouse. These new construction condos boast dual bedroom ensuite. Bathroom shower and floor are tiled, and shower doors are glass.
$339,500

1704 Lincoln Street B1, Bozeman, Montana 59715

1704 Lincoln Street B1, Bozeman, Montana 59715

2Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,041Sqft
Sweeping views of the Bridger Mountains from this brand new condo complex, and incredibly well located; just a short walk from the Bozeman Fieldhouse. These new construction condos boast dual bedroom ensuite. Bathroom shower and floor are tiled, and shower doors are glass.
$339,500
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