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 like to really live here? Let us try to sum it up for you.
First of all, it really is as beautiful as everyone says. Getting to wake up every day to the backdrop of the mountains is a good way to start your day. Being in the real estate world, we often hear people proclaim “I want a house with mountains 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. Living in Bozeman is an outdoorsman’s paradise. Hiking, hunting, camping, fishing, skiing, biking, kayaking or climbing…there is so much to do in our mountains. If the outdoors isn’t your thing (which would be a little weird living here) there is still a surprising number of things to do for a smaller town. The local culture scene is active in Bozeman with the symphony, opera, art galleries, live theater and music. The hardest thing to do on a weekend is deciding what to do. Escape to the mountains to camp? Or, get dressed up and head downtown for dinner and a show at the Rialto? So many decisions! On top of that, Bozeman has so many fantastic annual events. In the summertime, there’s Music on Main, Sweet Pea, the Cruisin on Main car show and ArtWalks. Winter brings everyone’s favorite the Christmas Stroll, Huffing for Stuffing plus the Winter Farmer’s Market and ArtWalk.
Truly for a town this size, Bozeman has a lot to offer. If you have lived here awhile, 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 the diversity continues to bring delicious dining options. And, 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. And shopping! Around here, local is the way to go, so downtown is the obvious choice with so many fun, unique stores. 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 for reals. They can start as early as September (the mountains sometimes see snow in August!) and spring doesn’t usually make an appearance until May. It can be tough. 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. We believe the cold months are the one thing that keeps more people from moving here because it’s only the hardcore that can handle a week of 30-below temps. What this means, however, is 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 a 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. Unfortunately, the median household income is 13% 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 any of the downsides or 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. With that, some of the manners get lost in the day to day. Sometimes there are people that move here and bring with them their in-a-hurry, hectic, city mentalities. We see an increase in crime and traffic. But these things are small and overall Bozeman is still about the community and good people who feel grateful every day to call this place home.