1. How competitive is the real estate market?
Homes in Bozeman spend a median of just 19 days on the market, a 55% decrease in the last 3 years. The number of homes on the market in Bozeman is also at a historic low, with the supply of homes decreasing 30% over the past 3 years. If homes are priced right, they will sell quickly.
As a home buyer in Bozeman, you could easily find yourself in a multiple-offer scenario. Before you start looking at homes you want to make sure you have a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. If you want to make your potential offers even stronger, consider pre-underwriting. Pre-underwriting takes the pre-approval a step further and says that the mortgage company has already assessed your financials and agreed to give you a mortgage up to a certain price. With pre-underwriting, you won’t need to include a financing contingency with your offer, making it more attractive to sellers. Ask your lender if they will provide this service to you, or call the friendly folks at Cornerstone Home Lending. They offer the “Cornerstone Confidence” which includes full credit, income, and asset approval before you even go under contract.
2. Why are the prices so high?
Depending on where you are coming from, Bozeman’s home prices can either be a sticker shock, or a relief. While Bozeman’s home prices are higher than the national average, they are significantly lower than metropolitan areas like Seattle, Portland or Denver and comparably priced to similar mountain towns in the west. But what is driving Bozeman’s home prices up? High demand for housing, low inventory and a high cost of living to name a few. Because of Bozeman’s remoteness, building materials are more expensive. The long winters and subzero temperatures slow building, making the process of building a home more expensive. The quality of life is making Bozeman an increasingly desirable place to live, with low crime rates, fantastic school systems, close proximity to the mountains and Montana State University. All of these factors drive prices higher.
3. What about areas outside of Bozeman?
There is often a significant difference between home prices in Bozeman vs. its surrounding areas. Belgrade, which is only 11 miles from Bozeman, sees home prices that are on average 30% lower than in Bozeman. Some people are willing to pay higher prices to be near the center of Bozeman, but many prefer to live outside of Bozeman for more affordable housing. We wrote an article that compares home prices in Belgrade vs. Bozeman, click here to read. Manhattan and Livingston and Three Forks are other great options for people looking to live near Bozeman. Click here to learn more about Bozeman’s surrounding areas.
4. Which areas of Bozeman are seeing the most growth?
If we’re being honest, every area in Bozeman is growing, but much of the growth these days is on Bozeman’s west side. It wasn’t long ago that the west side of Bozeman was nothing but farmland. But, over the last several years, subdivisions and commercial areas have begun to fill the space west of town. Now, the west side is the center of Bozeman’s growth with the new high school nearing completion, new subdivisions taking shape and commercial developments like Ferguson Farm working to offer amenities like grocery stores and restaurants to all the west side residents.
Other areas of Bozeman are seeing significant change and growth, but not with the sprawl that the west side has seen. The Northeast area of Bozeman was once the industrial center of the city and a place which was long known as a lower income area of Bozeman. Times have certainly changed over the last decade or so with the development of the Cannery District, the Brewery District, and the Mill District. While much of the development has been focused on commercial, there are now several projects in the works that will bring new housing to Bozeman’s Northeast area. There are plans for 92 new residential units with the Ida Avenue Townhomes project, 52 new residences in the Cannery District and a handful of other smaller residential developments in the area. Click here to read more about Bozeman development.
5. Where are the best neighborhoods?
It all depends on what you are looking for. The northwest side of town offers convenient access to the shopping and amenities in central Bozeman and is close to several of the elementary & middle schools as well as the new high school. A few popular neighborhoods on Bozeman’s west side are Harvest Creek, The Lakes at Valley West, Baxter Meadows, and the new Flanders Mill subdivision. Bozeman’s south side also offers some great mature neighborhoods with close proximity to middle schools like Alder Creek, West Meadow, and the Westfield subdivision. For newer construction, Southbridge and Meadow Creek are great up and coming neighborhoods on Bozeman’s southside.
If you prefer something a little more rural, neighborhoods on the outer edges of Bozeman offer quick access to the mountains, stunning views and generally slightly larger lots. The Legends at Bridger Creek is a newer neighborhood nestled into the foothills of the Bridger Mountains. Triple Tree offers incredible views of the valley as well as access to the much-loved Triple Tree Trail. Wylie Creek offers large lots and incredible mountain views, and the Black Bull Golf Community is a popular option for those looking for expansive views, high-end homes and maintenance free living.
If you are thinking about buying a home in Bozeman, we can help! Click to contact us.