What's Your Home Worth?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Building Buyer and Seller Relationship

A great article from the National Association of Realtors indicates buyers and sellers are using Realtors at an all-time high. 88% of buyers and sellers are using realtors, compared to 69% of buyers using a realtor in 2001 and up from 77% of sellers using a realtor in 1991.

While the housing market can be difficult to navigate, buyers and sellers place high importance on a realtor who is honest and has integrity. Their local expertise of the buying/selling process, reputation, and knowing the neighborhood are all critical.

At The Schaefer Team, we are committed to working fully for our clients - both buyers and sellers - all the while working on their behalf in an ethical manner. We're successful in part to our strong communication with, and on behalf of our clients. 67% of buyers only interview 1 agent, and 70% of sellers interview 1 agent. We strongly encourage our clients to interview multiple agents before finding a good connection. 

Give us a call, shoot us a text, or send an email and let's chat about how we can help you with your buying/selling of a home!

HBS Agent or Broker

Source: NAR

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Could Be Banner Year For Missoula Building

$160 million in building permits have been issued over the past 2 years in Missoula. Member's of the city's Development Services believe that next year's number could surpass that, bringing with it numerous projects and construction jobs. Major projects already announced include Missoula College, Stockman Bank, and the H&M Store. Downtown could see additional growth with St. Patrick Hospital looking to build a four story medical office building.

Continued good news is in the mix for the Old Sawmill District. While the project has taken longer than anticipated, developers anticipate seeing projects begin on the 46-acre site during 2015. This includes Polleys Square, a four-story condo project slated for Wyoming Street.

Lastly, there's the Southgate Mall purchase of the nearby lot with Val-U Inn. The hotel is going to be taken down at some point, however, what will take it's place still remains to be seen. Other projects have been rumored, but the Holidays, it was difficult getting concrete information.
Polleys Square

Source: Missoulian

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Season's Greetings From The Schaefer Team!

We would like to Thank You for a wonderful 2014 and wish you Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year! 

Jason, Alana, Jack, Derek, & Sam

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Missoula Showing Strong Signs of Recovery After Recession

Better late than never! Missoula's economy definitely felt the impact of the recession harder than other areas in the state - due primarily to the timber industry. When Stimson Mill in Bonner and Smurfit-Stone in Frenchtown both closed, Missoula and surrounding communities certainly felt the impact.

According to Patrick Barkey, an economist with the University of Montana, Missoula is poised to see more growth in 2015. He said certain sectors of the Missoula economy are strong, while others are weak. Government, such as the BLM and Forest Service stagnant and in decline. On the other side, the health care industry continues to forge ahead. There was 2.6% growth seen from 2013, and Missoula is the 2nd largest health care market in the state. 

The final piece of the pie that Barkey points to is tourism for Missoula and surrounding areas. Last year, restaurant and food service growth equated to 5%, while arts and entertainment saw a 13% increase. While the Stimson Mill in Bonner may have closed, Pyramid Lumber in Seeley Lake is doing quite well. 

Overall, Barkey is very optimistic about 2015 - which is good news are all of Missoula and surrounding communities.
Health care industry

Source: Missoulian

Monday, December 15, 2014

Missoula's Toole Avenue Development Transforms Warehouse Into Apartments

Additional upscale apartments are coming to Missoula and Toole Avenue. The property is located at 812 Toole Avenue, and expected to take 10 months from start to finish. They expect to have 32 units when finished on the second and third floors, with six ground-floor retail spaces. 

One of the main reasons for the new conversion of the warehouse is the expansion that St. Patrick Hospital is under going. St. Patrick is gearing up to add an addition in the spring of 2015.

This is more good news for downtown Missoula as it continues to transcend. It's beginning to get more trendy with the addition of breweries, shopping, and the new apartments being built. The estimated cost of this project is $5 million, and it's the group's only one at this time, however, they did say they are working on another potential local project.

Toole Crossing

Source: Missoulian

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tourism Official Detail's Industry Importance to Missoula

According to Executive Director of Destination Missoula - tourists spent $280 million in Missoula County last year, with $258 million being spent within the city limits. This spending supported 3,200 jobs, while contributing $22 million to taxes.

Barb Neilan, executive director, was the featured speaker at the Missoula Businesswoman's Network this week held at the Double Tree hotel. She explained that nonresident travel and tourism made up the second largest industry in the state. According to Neilan, 82% of new visitors return within the first two years, with most coming back on a regular basis.

Destination Missoula has grown from one employee with a budget of $130,000 to having 5 employees and a $900,000 annual budget. Much of the organization's work locals don't see. This is due to the fact they are working hard to attract people from Idaha, Atlanta, and Chicago to come to Montana. In addition, China and Canada are markets where they look to attract visitors. 

Missoula tourism

Source: Missoulian

Friday, December 5, 2014

2014 Best Year for Job Gains Since 1999

National reports indicated that 2014, with the addition of 321,000 jobs in the month of November, became the strongest year for job growth since 1999.

This is good news, and blew away the forecasted numbers experts were anticipating. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8%, which is down from 7% this time last year. Any month with over 200,000 jobs added is considered to be very strong. This year, the US economy has been averaging 224,000 jobs added per month.

Retail hiring continues to be strong nationwide. The Missoula area has seen this same growth with additional commercial construction happening, and retail businesses opening. Particularly on the sound end of town. Nationwide, 50,000 jobs were added in the retail sector - driven primarily by car dealerships and retail. Professional hiring has increased too, with 86,000 jobs added, many in the accounting and book keeping sectors.

One draw back, and we're seeing some of this in Missoula, are wages. Nationwide, this has been a concern for economic policy makers and the Federal Reserve. Wage growth has been slow due to the number of job seekers in the market. 2015 is shaping up to be very strong according to experts, and they don't see a slow down happening with hiring. Good news and hopefully this trend continues in the Missoula area as well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Home Owners Putting HELOCs to Better Use

Very popular 8-10 years ago, Home Equity Lines of Credit are again making a come back. However, this time around, home owners appear to be using them in a much more responsible manner.

HELOCs were once thought of an easy way to attain cash. Home owners surveyed indicated they are using the HELOCs for projects such as kitchen updates, bathroom additions, new roofs, and other remodeling projects. Another 29% of home owners said they are using the money to take advantage of interest rates on financial products, consolidate debts, or pay off credit card balances. The survey indicated other major uses of a HELOC: buying new cars (27%), paying medical bills (18%), kids' and adults' education costs (15%), travel (15%), and small investments (13%).

Home Equity Lines of Credit are considered a much safer financial product in 2014 compared to years past. Most banks limit the combined loan-to-value ratio. In addition, lenders are more thoroughly reviewing documented income, employment, credit, and property values.

Source: Realtor Mag

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

5 Safety Tips When Decorating the Exterior for the Holidays

It's always an enjoyable time of year with family, friends, too much food...and in most cases for home owners - putting up Christmas lights! Here are 5 tips for the light and decoration installers at your residence.

1. Inspect all the lights prior to putting them up to ensure they are working. Nothing worse than getting up on the extension ladder, lights hung, and half the string doesn't work!
2. Don't overload circuits and watch for electrical concerns. Check for any tears that might be in the wiring surface. If installing a lawn configuration, inspect the ground to make sure you're not installing on a low spot where potential ground water can collect. Lastly, make sure to tape down extension cords if they cross walk ways.
3. Make sure all extension cords you use are rated for outdoor use, along with the strand(s) of lights you choose to use. 
4. Take extreme caution on rooftops. Best is to use an extension ladder if possible, and use nails in eves so you are ready for next year. Even better yet, have someone make sure to hold the ladder for stability. If it's too big of a challenge - hire somebody to do it.
5. Once the holidays are over - remove the lights. Leaving them up year round can cause the wires to wear and become weather damaged.

Best of luck to all of the Clark Griswold's in the Missoula area that are decorating! 
holiday house