What's Your Home Worth?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Keep Ice Off Your Stairs!

Obviously with our new blast of winter weather, we'll all encounter icy stairs. Here's a great, simple solution for the Do It Yourself folks out there on how to prevent the icy stairs.

1. An empty gallon jub
2. 2 Tbs of Dawn dish detergent (this is the recommended brand)
3. 2 Tbs of rubbing alcohol

Begin by measuring the rubbing alcohol and dish detergent into the empty jug and filling it with warm water. Cap it and shake gently - it works best if you're able to let it sit overnight. Shake just prior to using.

To prevent icy stairs, pour the mixture over the front step as soon as the temperatures begin to drop. The solution will not freeze, thus keeping your stairs clear of ice!

Freddie Mac - Buy Sooner Rather Than Later

In a recent video update on the housing market, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, stated that with both mortgage interest rates and home prices projected to increase in 2015 buying now makes sense.
Here are the latest mortgage interest rate projections from four major housing entities:Fannie MaeFreddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
Mortgage Rate Projections | Keeping Current Matters

Friday, November 28, 2014

Home Ownership About Place to Call Home

The number one reason 24% of people purchase, is the desire to own a home of their own. This can mean different things to buyers. Proximity to family and friends is important to 43% of buyers when considering neighborhood. While buyers will often compromise on size of a home, layout, and price - the proximity to family and friends has little room for compromising.  

Most buyers bought a home that was previously owned, which they bought because it was a better overall price, better value, and for it's charm and character. The typical home purchased was a single-family that was 1,870 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

With the recent drop in temperatures, especially in Missoula and Western, MT, home owners were very cognizant of their heating bills. When buying, 36% placed high importance on heating and cooling costs. Others considered living close to entertainment and leisure activities as important. 


Source: National Association of Realtors

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Frontier Airlines Returning to Missoula in 2015

Beginning in May, 2015, Frontier airlines will again be offering direct flights from Missoula to Denver.

While they will not be daily flights, there will be plenty of options for flyers. Frontier had asked for a potential revenue guarantee, however, that was unable to be agreed upon. Thus, there will be no winter flights after the guarantee failed to materialize. The Missoula Economic Partnership had been working to help secure the revenue guarantee.

With Missoula having limited options at times, the direct flights left some wanting more. Yet, others realized with Missoula having a regional airport, options are bound to be limited and will take anything they can get.

Frontier's current schedule has them ending flights on January 5th, and resuming them in May of 2015.

Source: NBC Montana

Monday, November 24, 2014

Why The Holiday Season is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

"We're going to wait until the Spring to list our house."

Very common for us to hear that, but there are plenty of reasons NOT to list your house during the Spring. In fact, you may be better off selling during the Holiday Season. Here are the top reasons to sell during the Holiday Season:

1. You'll have less time wasted with buyers during the Holiday Season - the serious buyers are looking during the Holiday season.
2. Listing inventory is usually lower during the Holiday Season - less inventory can mean more "value" for  your home.
3. Buyers can be more emotional during the Holiday Season - meaning more value for your home.
4. Buyers have more time off work - meaning more time to look at homes.
5. If you sell your house now - less stress in the spring looking for a house.
6. Holiday decorations increase curb appeal.
7. Some buyers prefer to buy before year-end for tax purposes.
8. Receive equity before the holidays!

Market Update: Recovery Looking Very Strong

Homes in the Missoula area and nationwide are still very active. With the weather cooling down dramatically nation wide, there is always some impact on sales, however, the market remains very strong, especially within certain aspects.

New home construction has been very busy in Missoula's Linda Vista area. Builders continue to move new homes up there, and it's expected that 2015 will bring even more new home sales in that area. Single family new homes were at the highest level they have been for the month of October in 6 years. Additionally, the pace of existing home sales has been strong nationally. The pace of existing home sales has increased in 6 of the past 7 months.

Inventory continues to be one of the most challenging aspects, especially in Missoula and the price range of $150,000 - $250,000. 

Nationwide home sales reflect a strong economy, including a healthier economy in Missoula where there is a lot of residential and commercial building going on. Critical economic factors point to even more growth on the horizon for Missoula real estate and the nation.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Community Medical Center Potential Sale

News has been swirling this past week about the potential sale of Missoula's Community Medical Center to Billings Clinic and Regional Care Hospital Partners. Wednesday evening community members voiced their opinion in a packed Hellgate gymnasium. The plan would make Community a for profit hospital.

One of the main driving forces behind being a not for profit is the $70 million in proceeds if the deal goes through. Due to being a nonprofit, there are strings attached to this specific deal. The board in this case would have to give the money to one or more causes that mirror its mission to improve health in Western Montana.

The Attorney General is set to review the sale and make a decision by the end of 2014. Board members are confident the sale will improve patient experience, reduce health care costs, and improve health among the general population.

Source: NBC Montana

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Evaro Unveils Largest Gaming Expansion in its History

More good news for the Missoula, Polson, Kalispell, and surrounding communities in Western Montana. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have announced plans to add a $27 million expansion, plus $4.6 million in upgrades to the KwaTaqNuk Resort in Polson.

Beginning in 2015, the construction will take place and is expected to make the resort the unlike anything else in all of Montana. The hope with the expansion is that it will add 140 jobs to the local economy. Funding for the projects came from a loan through the CSKT government, with stipulations that proceeds benefit tribal schools, elder care, and other tribal services.

The Missoula area real estate market would potentially see an uptick as a result of the 140 jobs added as a result. With the resort being a 60 minute commute from Missoula, the resort is expected to attract employees from all of the North Highway 93 corridor.

Source: KPAX

Montana 24th Best State for Business

Taking into account 36 factors - including business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life. There were 11 different sources used in compiling data for the research.

According to Forbes, Montana's economy held up better than most during the economic downturn. Recently, unemployment has hovered around 4.6%. Of note, over the past 3 years, Montanans have launched more new businesses per capita than any other state, according to the Small Business Administration. With nearly two-thirds of Montana land dedicated to agriculture and ranch land, this continues to be a major employer in the state.

The projected annual job growth is 1.2% and the annual median household income is $45,665. Overall, Montana was just behind South Carolina and ahead of Kansas.

Source: Missoulian

Monday, November 17, 2014

Snowbowl Gearing up for the Season

A main draw of living in Missoula are the abundant outdoor activities - both summer and winter that exist. With our early snowfall that has hit, Snowbowl is gearing up for the season. Snow machines have been active, and at this rate they are adding a foot of snow a day.

Located only 12 miles from Missoula, the ski hill offers options for skiers of all abilities. Their goal is to be open by December 5th, and with the cool temperatures expected to stay in place for the time being, their manager is confident they'll make this open date.

Source: KPAX

Friday, November 14, 2014

New Restaurants Planned for Missoula South Crossing

The South end of Missoula is getting busier and busier. With Cabelas, The Boot Barn, Men's Warehouse and more already open, this is shaping up to be a great alternative for Missoulians and visitors to Reserve Street Shopping. 

Restaurants have always been a bit limited for those of us living on this end of town. While there are some good ones, the options are simply limited. It's been announced that MacKenzie River Pizza, Jimmy Johns, and Noodles & Company will now be tenants in the new South Crossing. MacKenzie River Pizza currently has 2 other locations in Missoula, however, owner Lance Robinson said they were not attracting those people living on the south end of town. The new location has already broken ground and they aim to be open by April of 2015. 

The 1st phase of the Missoula Crossing started in 2012 where the old Kmart was. There is more development being planned with additional tenants expected to be announced in the future. More restaurants and retail are on the horizon according to developers. This is welcome news for Missoula's south side residents and visitors from Highway 93 and south of Missoula.South Crossing

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Missoula County Approves 2nd Tax Enhancement District in Bonner

Since 2008 the Stimson Mill in Bonner has been closed, and slowly recovering with activity of new business. The city of Bonner has obviously been impacted as a result. Harris Construction plans to build a fabrication plant on the 116 acres west of the Blackfoot River known as the West Log Yard. The rest of the area will be subdivided to create a small industrial park. A similar district was created in 2012 on the other side of the river at the old mill site itself.

The creation of the new district will not raise taxes. However, it changes the way government redistributes what it collects, meaning property tax dollars garnered through new construction can be used for improvements of infrastructure. Timing is the key factor at this point. The construction of the plant has taken all of 2014, so the district won't become official for 30 days. The goal is to have everything finalized by February 1, 2015, enabling a base year of 2014.

According to Harris Construction, they look to hire about a dozen employees initially, with the goal of getting to 20. They'll be collaborating with Missoula Job Service and Missoula College to find skilled workers in stainless steel and nickel alloy welding. Good news for Bonner and the old Stimson Mill site.

Source: Missoulian

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Welcome to Missoula Area News provided by Jason and Alana Schaefer.  Here we look forward to providing our readers with in depth knowledge of everything from real estate in Missoula, MT and surrounding communities to events happening, celebrations, local news, and everything in between.

Alana and myself are both Real Estate Professionals, but we want this site to serve a purpose greater than that.  We pride ourselves on being active members of the community, thus that will be the premise of this site. We're both very social, and love all that Missoula and Western Montana have to offer. Not to mention, the great people!

Thanks for visiting and being a part of our great community.