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Wed Oct 21, 2020, 09:14 AM

New homes on the range: Weary city dwellers escape to Montana, creating a property gold rush

National

New homes on the range: Weary city dwellers escape to Montana, creating a property gold rush

By Lisa Rein
Oct. 20, 2020 at 11:30 p.m. EDT

BOZEMAN, Mont. — The four-bedroom contemporary just west of town smelled of fresh paint, flooring, sealant and new beginnings. The Bridger Mountains beckoned against an azure sky off the back deck, and Robert Carder, Montana's newest transplant, couldn't contain himself. ... “This is your new home, Conner!” he exclaimed to his 57-pound Australian cattle dog, whose paws were slipping on the wood floor in the living room. Carder spread his arms wide. “How much bigger is this than the picture?” he asked his wife, Valentina, confirming what the couple from Los Angeles already knew.

Their living room didn’t just seem bigger than the photos on Zillow that had led them to make a $559,000 offer after 24 hours in Montana, a place they had never been. The 2,300-square-foot house was twice the size of the two-bedroom condo they sold in Brentwood, Calif., before packing their cars and driving 16 hours northeast, released from the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and the jobs Robert had grown to hate and Valentina had lost.

This was the 19th walk-through their broker, Charlotte Durham, had done for out-of-state clients since Montana’s virus shutdown ended in late April and its real estate market flipped into hyperdrive. Buyers fleeing New York, Los Angeles and other densely populated U.S. cities say they want to leave the coronavirus clusters and social justice unrest behind. .... Even as the state’s fierce winter looms, the transplants are pushing house prices to record levels. Some are offering millions of dollars in cash for houses and land they have seen only on the Internet.

{snip}

Montana has remained a mystery to most Americans, even though it boasts some of the most magnificent scenery in the West. But as the pandemic has taken hold across the United States, what once were rural outposts here have turned into boomtowns. ... These arrivals are not just tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park or looking for a wilderness vacation. This is a stampede of transplants descending in Porsche Cayennes and Teslas with cash offers. It’s multimillionaires grabbing up luxury ranches to serve as second or third homes. It’s buyers with more modest resources looking for a way out. It’s city dwellers seeking bare land in Montana’s wilderness to serve as insurance policies for America’s uncertain future.

{snip}



Charlotte Durham, an owner-broker for Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty, shows clients a listing in Bozeman in the Black Bull community, a private golf course a few miles west of downtown. (Tony Bynum for The Washington Post)

{snip}

The median price of a single-family home around Bozeman vaulted $94,000 from July to August, to $710,000, according to the Gallatin Association of Realtors, which tracks sales in the city of 52,000 and the surrounding valley, the state’s fastest-growing region.

{snip}

Lisa Rein
Lisa Rein covers federal agencies and the management of government in the Trump adminstration. At The Washington Post, she has written about the federal workforce; state politics and government in Annapolis, and in Richmond; local government in Fairfax County, Va. and the redevelopment of Washington and its neighborhoods. Follow https://twitter.com/Reinlwapo

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Reply New homes on the range: Weary city dwellers escape to Montana, creating a property gold rush (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 2020 OP
Thomas Hurt Oct 2020 #1
Ferryboat Oct 2020 #2
DinahMoeHum Oct 2020 #3
OregonBlue Oct 2020 #4
Nay Oct 2020 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 2020 #8
Nay Oct 2020 #9
mahatmakanejeeves Oct 2020 #7
MontanaMama Oct 2020 #5
GusBob Oct 2020 #10

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 09:25 AM

1. When I was a kid, Telluride CO was this almost abandoned mining town...

most of the folks there were middle class folks running little shops for the tourists in town.

Then they decided to build a ski resort...and we have a new Telluride, and an entirely "new" town on the top of the ski runs.

This is nothing new, looks like Bozeman is just the latest notable gentrification site.

I think as our society moves to more and more remote working you will see this happen more.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 09:34 AM

2. Winter has away of

weeding out those who aren't truly committed to a new life in a sometime harsh environment.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 10:22 AM

3. Tee hee. I give those newcomers 3 years, tops.

Winter is coming, doncha know?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 10:32 AM

4. Something is wrong here. There is no way the median price of a home in Bozeman was

$94,000 in July or August. The median price of homes in Missoula have been at over $200,000 for a long time now and Bozeman is a much more expensive market. I have no idea what they are talking about.

"The median price of a single-family home around Bozeman vaulted $94,000 from July to August, to $710,000, according to the Gallatin Association of Realtors"

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Response to OregonBlue (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 11:00 AM

6. Agreed! Bozeman's single family home prices haven't been that low in 30 years! Did

they forget a 2 or a 3 in front of that 94,000?? Bozeman had a healthy real estate market before now, so these numbers are really off. They're bullshit.

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Response to Nay (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 11:51 AM

8. The average sales price went from $616,000 to $710,000 in one month. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 11:54 AM

9. THAT makes more sense. Thanks. nt

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Response to OregonBlue (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 11:50 AM

7. The was the increase in one month. NT

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Oct 21, 2020, 10:46 AM

5. This article confirms my experience here in western Montana.

I live in Missoula, home to the University of Montana. We’re used to out of state folks attending the U and the steady stream of tourists all summer long...but this summer was different...the tourists didn’t leave. They’ve remained and they are buying homes and land in unprecedented numbers. They’re renting anything available and just waiting for homes to purchase. I have a friend who is a real estate agent and he reports properties hitting the market and getting so many offers in just a few days that it’s almost like an auction. Buyers are waiving inspections and asking for faster than normal closing dates. There’s a house on my quiet little street that just sold for $590K...it’s a gut. Nothing worth saving. It’s a location thing. The out of state buyers plan to level the home and build. A lot just around the corner from my house...3/4 of an acre...on the creek (which is desirable) just sold for $995K to a couple from California planning to work remotely...but it’s just property. No house.

I guess I can understand the desire to get away from densely populated areas where there is a little more room to roam...and this is a great place to live especially if you like outdoor recreation....there is more to do here than I have time or money. I have found this all very unnerving. Our Covid numbers are spiking. We had it so dialed in at the end of May...we were doing pretty darned well and then we were inundated. I have never wished for a long hard winter because they’re long and hard enough...I don’t want to sound unwelcoming but I wouldn’t mind if winter sent some of these folks packing. Montana winters aren’t for sissies.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Oct 22, 2020, 09:42 AM

10. Out of staters are all over the outdoor forums on social

It's not just city slickers

Hunters Fishers Hikers Campers .....outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes are flocking here

It's getting to be a standing joke the forum posts

"I just moved here from (blank) and I am used to hunting deer there. Where is the best hunting near (blank)"

Some of the replies are pretty mean, some sardonic and funny. Some helpful

And speaking of Montana winters these types of transplants are used to harsh weather. Many are from the Midwest Minn, Wisc, PA, Ohio etc

As for others I hear the heat and drought of climate change is a motivating factor

As for the cost of homes, Californians are used to that and having little access to housing, they will snap up anything

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