1. IS IT AS GREAT AS EVERYONE SAYS?
As much as we’d like to keep it a secret, the truth must be told. Yes. Bozeman is truly one of the best places to live. Whether you are a college student, raising a family or a young professional, Bozeman is an amazing place to call home.
2. WHAT DO PEOPLE DO FOR WORK?
So many things! Because there are a limited number of jobs and a lot of competition, people in Bozeman approach careers in a different way. Bozeman is a great place for start-ups, and many Bozeman residents exercise their entrepreneurial spirit and open their own businesses. Working remotely is another option many residents find works for them. Montana State University, Bozeman Health, and Oracle Corp provide many jobs in the area, and with Bozeman's increasing tourism numbers there are a large number of service industry jobs as well.
3. HOW IS THE HOUSING AND RENTAL MARKET?
With all of the growth Bozeman has seen recently, the cost of homes and rentals have increased significantly over the past several years. In the last five years alone, the average cost of a single-family home in Bozeman has increased nearly 30%. Rent prices have also increased due to the growth of not just Bozeman’s population, but also with the increase in MSU enrollment. Bozeman's competitive rental market can be discouraging and frustrating for newcomers. The good news is that many new apartment and condo complexes are under construction, bringing the supply more in line with demand. The surrounding areas are also great options for people moving to Bozeman. Belgrade, Montana is only 8 miles away and Livingston, Montana is 25 miles away and both offer a lot of affordable alternatives.
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, one high school and a new one on the way. The schools offer fantastic athletic departments, a top-notch music program and great teachers and administrators. 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.
5. WHAT DO PEOPLE DO FOR FUN?
SO MUCH! Most move to Bozeman because of the endless possibilities of things to do and once you get here you will not be disappointed. With some of the biggest skiing in America, the best fly fishing rivers and hundreds of acres of public land for hiking, biking, camping, rock climbing and trail running you can try a little bit of everything. Bozeman also has a thriving downtown full of local restaurants, shops, art galleries and events all year long. We have a great music scene with several venues and an amazing symphony and theaters. There are year-round farmers markets, art festivals and of course watching the MSU Bobcats play! In Bozeman, you will never be bored.
6. IS IT A SAFE CITY?
Thanks to the efforts of our police department, community groups and local residents, the crime rate in Bozeman remains extremely low. In 2014 there were only 32.7 crimes per 1,000 people and the majority of these were not violent acts. With the population growing in Bozeman there are valid concerns that more crime will come with it. Hopefully, our community will continue to draw good people and we will stay 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 NEWCOMERS 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, social media groups and opportunities to make new friends. 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 and the lake on the weekends. Luckily in Bozeman we don’t have what anyone from a big city would consider traffic. The average commute time is less than 15 minutes. People also take advantage of the fact that everything is relatively close and walk or bike places all year long. We have free public transportation via the Streamline Bus System that services throughout town to Belgrade, Four Corners, Livingston and seasonally straight to the ski hill at Bridger Bowl.
9. HOW BAD ARE THE WINTERS?
We’re not going to lie, winters can be rough. Often, the snow starts flying in October and will stick around until May. Spring snowstorms can really bring you down. However, the winters in Bozeman are beautiful. Plus, Bozemanites fill the winter months on the ski hill, sledding, ice climbing and ice fishing, which makes it all worth it.
10. WHAT ARE THE SURROUNDING AREAS LIKE?
As Bozeman grows, more people are choosing the surrounding areas to call home. Just a short drive away you can find homes and rentals that are more affordable with small-town charm. You get the best of both worlds with everything Bozeman has to offer nearby. Belgrade is the closest 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.