10 Questions People Ask Before Moving to Bozeman - Bozeman Real Estate Group
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10 Questions People Ask Before Moving to Bozeman

10 Questions People Ask Before Moving to Bozeman

On Jun 02, 2023

According to a 2022 report that compared inbound moves with outbound moves, Bozeman ranked as the #12th most moved-to city in the U.S. And it’s easy to understand why! Life in Bozeman is pretty great, although not without some challenges. Here are the questions we get asked the most by people who are thinking about moving to Bozeman, Montana.


1. How bad are the winters? 

We’re not going to lie to you, winters in Montana can be rough. Most of the time the snow starts flying in September and sticks around through May. The temperatures fluctuate, we can have 40-degree days in the middle of winter, or it can get down to -30. You just never know! While they are cold and oh-so long, winters in Bozeman are beautiful. The best way to survive a winter in Bozeman is to get outside. Many people who live here spend the winter skiing, ice climbing, ice fishing, and sledding which definitely makes it more bearable!


2. What do people do for work?

The largest employers in Bozeman are Montana State University and Bozeman Health which provide thousands of jobs for Bozeman residents. Bozeman also has a growing tech industry with companies like Oracle, Schedulicity, OnX, and many more that call Bozeman home. Bozeman's growing tourism industry has created a large number of service industry positions and as the city keeps booming, there are a large number of jobs available in the construction industry as well. Bozeman is also a great place for entrepreneurship! There is a local non-profit organization called Prospera that does a fantastic job helping people start and grow their own businesses.


3. How is the housing and rental market?

With all of the growth Bozeman has seen in recent years, housing costs have increased significantly. Up until recently Bozeman’s rental market was extremely competitive, but that does seem to be leveling out as many large apartment complexes are reaching completion. But rent is high in Bozeman and the rental market can be discouraging and frustrating for newcomers (click here for some rental resources). According to apartments.com, as of June 2023 the average rent for a studio apartment is $1,337, $1,827 for a one-bedroom, $2,194 for a two-bedroom and $2,330 for a three-bedroom.

As for purchasing a home, the real estate market is much easier to navigate now than it was a year ago as the competition has slowed down. As of June 2023, the median cost of a home in Bozeman (single-family, condo, and townhome) was $660,000. Click here for the most recent market statistics or click here to see what’s currently for sale.

The surrounding areas are great options for people looking for an affordable alternative to Bozeman. Belgrade, Montana is only 8 miles away and Livingston, Montana is 25 miles away and both offer lower housing prices. If you are looking to purchase a home, click here to find out what homes cost in these areas.


4. What are the schools like?

The Bozeman School District is one of the best in the nation. There are eight elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. Bozeman schools offer fantastic athletic departments, a top-notch music program, and great teachers and administrators. Bozeman students get to take advantage of opportunities to learn to ski, try theater, take field trips to the opera or study a language and perhaps take a school trip to Europe to further their studies. Click here for more information about school districts in the area.


5. What do people do for fun?

With some of the biggest skiing in America less than an hour away, some of the best fly-fishing rivers in the nation, and hundreds of thousands of acres of public land for hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing, and trail running, most people move to Bozeman because of the incredible opportunities for recreation. And we promise, once you get here you will not be disappointed! Bozeman also has a thriving downtown full of local restaurants, shops, art galleries, and bars. We have a great music scene with several venues and an amazing symphony and theaters. There are year-round farmers' markets, art festivals, and other community events. You will never be bored in Bozeman!


6. Is Bozeman safe?

Thanks to the efforts of our police department, community groups and local residents, the crime rate in Bozeman remains extremely low. Of all the major cities in Montana, Bozeman has the lowest crime rate with 54.59 crimes per 1,000 residents as of the year 2021. With the population growing in Bozeman, there are valid concerns that more crime will come. We can only hope that Bozeman will be able to remain the type of town where it feels safe enough to leave keys in the car and the front door unlocked (although we can't actually recommend that).


7. How do you meet people?

Moving to a new town can be intimidating. Luckily Bozeman is a very welcoming and friendly place! There are always events going on, tons of meet-up groups (try meetup.com), social media groups (the Hiking Bozeman Forum is a great one), and opportunities to make new friends like game nights at Rooks or events at the Public Library. We also recommend volunteering in our community to connect with other people. You won’t stay a newcomer for long!


8. How do you get around?

People often say Montana is the kind of place that requires your own set of wheels, especially if you plan to make the most out of all the outdoor recreation. A vehicle is necessary to get yourself to the mountains after work or out exploring on the weekends. But, if you need to get around town, Bozeman has free public transportation via the Streamline Bus System with service throughout Bozeman as well as to Belgrade, Four Corners, Livingston, and Big Sky. In the winter the Streamline will even take you straight up to Bridger Bowl! Luckily in Bozeman, we don’t have what anyone from a big city would consider traffic, and Bozeman has an average commute time of less than 15 minutes. People also take advantage of the fact that everything in Bozeman is relatively close and walk or bike places all year long (fat tire bikes are a must in the winter).


9. What are the surrounding areas like?

As Bozeman grows, more people are looking to the surrounding areas for more affordable living and smaller communities. This way, you can get the best of both worlds enjoying small-town living but still being close to everything Bozeman has to offer. Belgrade is the closest town to Bozeman and the one where many people chose to live while commuting to Bozeman. Beyond Belgrade is Manhattan and then Three Forks. Both of these towns have charming communities with plenty of wide-open space. On the other side of Bozeman is Livingston which is turning into quite the happening place! With breweries, art galleries, and nightlife to rival Bozeman along with the Yellowstone River running through town and the beautiful Paradise Valley. Click here for more on Bozeman's surrounding areas.


10. Is Bozeman as great as everyone says?

We may be biased but in our humble opinion, yes, Bozeman is truly one of the best places to call home. Whether you are a college student, raising a family, a retiree or a young professional, life is good in Bozeman. If you are able to navigate the cost of living and are willing to ride out some long winters, Bozeman could be the place for you! Click here for more information about moving to the area. 

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