Like many other states in the mountain west, Montana became very popular in 2020. But it wasn’t just the global pandemic that put Montana on the map. Increased tourism, a growing interest in outdoor recreation, and people searching for a better quality of life have all contributed to the recent Montana boom. Here are the top 5 reasons people are moving to Montana.
1. Elbow Room
Who would have ever thought that we would cringe at the idea of a large gathering, or stare in shock at a group of people socializing within six feet of each other? A year after the pandemic, we are all very aware of our personal space and many people are seeking out places where they can find more. Cue Montana. Also known as “Big Sky Country”, Montana is known for its wide-open spaces and seemingly endless access to the outdoors. It’s also one of the least populated states with just over 1 million residents in a state that is the 4th largest in the nation. Fun fact: there are about twice as many cows in Montana as there are people!
Many people moving to Montana from out-of-state gravitate to the areas that offer more amenities than the small-town Montana standard of a gas station, post office, and a bar. And by Montana standards, those areas are starting to feel a little crowded. Places like Bozeman, Missoula, and Whitefish have become popular destinations for those fleeing the city life, and the sudden increase in population is pinching the housing markets, city infrastructure, and facilities like schools and daycares. The rapid growth is chipping away at the small-town charm of these much-loved places, and for many residents, they have already lost their appeal.
2. Outdoor Recreation
Montana’s incredible access to the outdoors was never a secret, but social media has certainly spread the word even faster. Here in Montana, we are lucky enough to have access to nearly 30 million acres of public land and for many of us, our lifestyle revolves around it. Now that the pandemic has changed the way we work out, recreate and socialize, outdoor recreation has moved up on the priority list for millions of people, putting places like Montana on the map.
But if you are new to Montana or new to the outdoors, it is important to keep a few things in mind as you venture out into the wilderness. Public land is our land and it is important for us to take care of it. Please never leave a campsite or picnic spot worse than you found it, always pack out what you pack in, and clean up after yourself and your pets! Never leave a campfire burning (massive forest fires can start from one tiny spark) and please be respectful of the other people you are sharing the wilderness with. Click here for some more tips for those who are new to Montana.
3. Job Opportunities
While we can’t speak for all of Montana, we do know that we see a number of people moving to Bozeman because they have accepted a job here. With Montana State University, the Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, manufacturing companies like Simms and Mystery Ranch, all the growing tech companies in our area, and the booming construction industry, there are plenty of jobs to be had in Bozeman these days! But it is important to note that many people accept and then discover that they either cannot afford the area, or that they cannot find any available housing. We highly recommend exploring the housing market before you accept a job position. If you are interested in purchasing a home in the Bozeman area, contact us to let us know what you are looking for.
4. Quality of Life
Maybe it’s the fresh mountain air, the strong sense of community, or the fact that we can ski on our lunch breaks. There’s no doubt that Montana life is a good life. And we can’t blame the people who are in search of a better quality of life these days! Our hope is that despite the growth, our cities and towns can continue to maintain the quality of life that we all love so much. As community members, it is so important for us to do our part to keep this alive. Shop local as much as you can, support your local farmers, artists, musicians, and makers, volunteer in your community, dial back your road rage and above all, be kind to the people you share this piece of the planet with. Click here for our list of 7 things you need to know about Living in Montana.
5. The Show Yellowstone
You think we might be kidding but we are not. We have had a handful of people reach out to our company about moving to Montana after watching the show Yellowstone. Many of them were looking for large pieces of Montana land to buy, and a few of them did end up doing just that.
The show Yellowstone does showcase Montana in all its glory, highlighting the mountains and beautiful landscapes as well as the active lifestyle we live here. And there are many fans of the show that are convinced that Montana life is the best life, although we have yet to see an episode of Yellowstone that shows what it’s like to shovel your sidewalks in -25 degree weather or one that accurately portrays the 8 months of winter we can enjoy here. But maybe that’s next season.
As part of our Ask a Bozeman Real Estate Agent series, we asked the real estate agents in our office, who is moving to Bozeman? Check out the video below to see what they said!