Almost everyone who lives in Bozeman can agree, it’s pretty awesome here. Whether you were lucky enough to grow up here, or are a recent transplant, you know how great Bozeman is. But, what is it really like living here?
Getting to wake up every day to the backdrop of the mountains is the best way to start your day. Being in the real estate world, we often hear people proclaim “I want a house with mountain views!” Well, that’s pretty much everywhere in Bozeman! If you are from here, this can be taken for granted occasionally, but when you’re driving down Main Street with the Bridgers looming ahead you are quickly reminded how beautiful it is.
Not only are the mountains nice for looking at, when you live in Bozeman those mountains get to be your playground. Hiking, hunting, camping, fishing, skiing, biking, kayaking, or climbing…there is so much to do in Bozeman. If the outdoors isn’t your thing (which would be a little odd living here) there is still a surprising number of things to do for a town of our size. The local culture scene is active in Bozeman with the symphony, opera, art galleries, live theater, and music. The hardest thing is choosing what to do! Escape to the mountains to camp? Get dressed up and head downtown for dinner and a show at the Rialto? So many decisions! On top of that, Bozeman has several annual events. In the summertime, there’s Music on Main, Sweet Pea, the Cruisin on Main car show, and monthly ArtWalks. Winter brings the Christmas Stroll, Huffing for Stuffing plus the Winter Farmer’s Market, and the Winter SLAM showcase.
For a town this size, Bozeman has a ton of dining and shopping options, with new businesses opening all the time. If you have lived here a while, or are from here, you’ll remember a time when the only choices for dining out were Pizza Hut or McDonald’s. Now the restaurant choices are plentiful and diverse. If you like coffee or beer (who doesn’t?) then you are in luck in Bozeman! Pretty much every block has a coffee shop and a brewery is never far away. When it comes to shopping, local is the way to go, so downtown is the obvious choice with many fun, unique stores. Beyond downtown, there are new developments bringing more restaurants and boutiques. Ferguson Farm, the Cannery District, and Midtown are Bozeman's newest hotspots. It’s fair to say, if you live in Bozeman you will not get bored or go hungry.
We’re not going to lie, there are downsides to living in Bozeman. The winters are tough. They can start as early as September (the mountains sometimes see snow in August!) and spring doesn’t usually make an appearance until May. By April, even the skiers are over it. Living in Bozeman means owning a good set of snow tires, a strong shovel, and plenty of winter boots. It also means that we know the value of a summer day. Bozemanites soak up nice sunny days like it’ll be the last because in reality, the next day there could be snow. There is nothing like a Bozeman summer, which is why getting through winter is worth it. We suggest lots of hot cocoa and cozy nights by the fireplace to get you through.
The other downside of Bozeman life is the cost of living versus wages. The cost of living in Bozeman is 8% higher than the national average which is apparent in the sky-rocketing real estate prices. The median price of a single-family home in Bozeman has increased by $150,000 this past year! Unfortunately, the median household income is 20% lower than the national average. This makes actually living in Bozeman tough. They say in Bozeman you get paid $10,000 in views. While this is true, the mountains won’t pay your mortgage.
Despite the downsides and growing pains, living in Bozeman is special. It means being part of a community. A place of friendly folks who still hold the door open for one another and give you a wave on a dirt road. We’re growing, that’s for sure and with that people are trying to adapt to the changes. Sometimes there are people that move here and bring with them their in-a-hurry, hectic, city mentalities. We see an increase in crime, traffic, and wait times at our favorite restaurants. But with patience and a community-minded attitude, we can keep Bozeman a great place to call home.
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