What's Your Home Worth?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Missoula Real Estate - Map Search

This is our 4th installment in helping clients search for their perfect home, condo, townhome, or property using Today, we're going to show you a feature that not many folks know about - Map Search. It enables clients the ability to draw custom searches on a map, using their designated search criteria (price, location, bed/bath, etc.). With this tool, clients can manually draw a custom search in specific geographical areas they are looking at.

Here's the 1st example. I used a search criteria of Florence & Stevensville - 2+ bed/1+ bath, under $200,000 and single family homes. You can see the initial search comes up showing 1 of 18 homes. There are 3 red arrows drawn showing on this screen shot. To get into Map Search, simply click on it after you've put in the parameters above. There's a second arrow drawn to Draw Custom Search, which we'll look at next. The final one is the Zoom In/Out vertical bar on the left hand side. 

In order to see more than 1 property, I clicked the ZOOM OUT button on the bottom of the vertical bar, which now produces 17 of 18 homes for sale.  Seen here:

In this next example, I switched to Satellite view, and actually took off Florence and Stevensville as I wanted to see other properties around Missoula under $200,000. This one actually includes homes in Superior, Plains, and Hamilton, so you can see the radius was quite large. But it can give clients and idea of different markets and what they can expect for homes under $200,000.

The final portion I want to show you is how quickly you can get an overview of properties. In this screen shot, I've added in Florence, Hamilton, and Stevensville just to narrow it down a bit. I now have 48 homes that match the criteria and it's showing 46 of those. You can see where clients can quickly browse and preview properties by clicking on the price of the home. If you'd like to see more of that home, simply click on link within the box.

That concludes using the map feature when searching for your perfect home on This can be a quick and efficient method for finding properties. If you have any questions, please let us know!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Missoula Real Estate - Help Us, Help You

Our last post was on how to do advanced search through our website - Today, we're going to look at how clients can communicate with Alana and myself - allowing us to get a better idea of what their perfect home looks like! This can be done through marking homes as "favorites" and we'll also show you how to submit an "inquiry" or schedule a "showing" directly through the site. An inquiry can be utilized to let Alana and myself know if you have questions on a specific home, and a showing obviously means you would like to go see a certain property.

Let's begin with our initial search - I did Missoula, $200,000-$400,000, single family homes with 2+ bed/2+ bath. Below you can see the results of this search with 143 homes for sale in Missoula:

Next, let's look at how to mark them as a "favorite", submit an "inquiry" or "schedule a showing". Again, this enables us to get a better idea exactly what clients are looking for, and for clients to communicate directly with us through Here's an example where you can see circled in red where clients can mark properties as "favorites". We have clients that have viewed upwards of 1,000 homes, and will have 20-30 "favorites". This is perfect, especially for out of state of buyers whom we have not met face to face with, or previewed any homes with. Schedule a "showing" is also circled in red. Lastly, if clients have a specific question on a home, that's where you can send us a message - or property inquiry. This can be as basic as "How long has this property been on the market?" to "Do you have more pictures of the living room?

That concludes today's session on how you can help us, help you! Should you have any questions, please feel free to Alana or Jason know.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Missoula Real Estate - Advanced Search

Last week we published an article on beginning your home search through our site - That is a great start, however, there are many more features that clients use on a daily basis when searching Missoula area real estate. Here are some more examples for you, which explain how exactly to narrow down your search.

In this example I have created a search for multiple areas: Missoula, Florence, Victor, Lolo, Stevensville, and Hamilton areas. I did the search parameters of single family homes, $200,000-$400,000 price range, with at least 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. You can see this brings up 311 results. To add in more communities, this is done in the "keyword" box which has a red arrow drawn to it. If I were to add Frenchtown, I'd type it in there, and then click "apply". Here is the screen shot of this example:

Now, let's say that I am interested in a property, but I have additional criteria such as acreage or air conditioning. This can be done through the "more options" tab which is located right under the GREEN search tab on the left hand side. Screen shot below:

Now - we are into the advanced SEARCH criteria where we can narrow down if/what we are looking for. In this example, I'm wanting some property that has at least 1 acre, but no more than 5 acres. When I do this search, you can see it takes my number of available properties from 311 down to 67. Here's a screen shot of more options from the advanced search area, just so you can see what comes up:

Here's the second screen shot where I put in our acreage parameters of 1-5 acres. Take note of the fact there are many more criteria in there that clients can use to specifically target properties that match what they are looking for:

Here is the result of our Missoula area real estate search for properties that have 1-5 acres, 2+ bed/2+ bath, $200,000-$400,000. All done in less than a minute with 67 results!

That concludes today's session from The Schaefer Team! We hope you'll find this helpful when you are doing your search for the perfect home. Please let us know if we can be of assistance in setting up advanced search criteria!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Missoula Area Homes - Begin Your Search

When looking for homes in Missoula, our real estate search platform is one of the best out there. It's directly linked to the Multiple Listing Service, and updated daily with new properties. However, there are many additional features to our site that we would like to explain. Today, this is a look at how to begin your real estate search for homes in Missoula. Let's begin...

Buyers can begin here on the home page - where you can search by City, Community, and Zip Code. You can also put in all of your parameters with regards to Property Type (see below):

In this 2nd example, you can see search criteria were set up. I have created a search for Missoula: single family homes, under $250,000, with 2+ bed and 2+ bath. You can see the result of that is 53 homes showing.

It's that easy! From here, clients can view all of the properties they wish to on Missoula Area Homes. You can include more areas such as Lolo, Frenchtown, Clinton, etc from this same screen. Or even edit the parameters with regards to bed/bath.

We hope this helps with your Missoula real estate search. Next post, we will look at some additional higher-end search features that are available. Please let us know if you have any questions - Jason & Alana.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Meet Myles Link - Opportunity Mortgage

We want to introduce Myles Link from Opportunity Mortgage, one of our partner lenders. Myles is originally from Great Falls, MT and attended the University of Montana. Myles is married with one son and enjoys golfing, snowboarding, cooking, and coaching his son's various sports activities. He's been in the mortgage industry for 10 years now. 

There are continual changes in the mortgage industry - which Myles is an expert in. For example, loans though FHA have recently been announced they will be reduced by 0.5 percentage point - meaning this could save borrowers up to $900 annually on this insurance premium. Here is an interesting article on how falling oil prices could effect the mortgage industry - Montana Chamber of Commerce.

To Contact Myles:
Direct: 406.203.4310
Mobile: 406.544.5115

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Meet Cory Sobin - Opportunity Mortgage

We want to introduce Cory Sobin from Opportunity Morgage, one of our partner lenders. Cory grew up in New Jersey and has been living in Missoula for 15 years now. He attended the University of Montana. Cory has been in the mortgage industry for over 10 years now. During his spare time he enjoys mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and skiing.

There are continual changes in the mortgage industry, and Cory is an expert in this area. For example, it was recently announced that FHA loans will be reduced by 0.5 percentage point - meaning this could save borrowers up to $900 annually on this insurance premium. Here is another interesting article on how falling oil prices could effect the mortgage industry - Montana Chamber of Commerce.

To Contact Cory:
Direct: 406.541.7236
Mobile: 306.370.8947
Cory Sobin

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Missoula Real Estate Local Homes App

Did you know there's an app for that? Stay up to date with the most current real estate properties for sale in Missoula and surrounding communities.

This is the perfect tool for the serious home buyer. By finding Missoula area homes for sale, your search for real estate is right at your finger tips. All data is pulled directly from the MLS in real-time. By saving your searches, you'll be the first to know about properties coming on the Missoula market.

Here are links for downloading the Droid and iPhone Apps (click the image below and you'll be directed to the download area):

iPhone App

Android App

Monday, January 5, 2015

Disclosure of Real Estate Sales Prices Proposed

Montana has been a non-disclosure state, and there are folks who want this changed. Our state is 1 of 11 nationwide that does not allow the public to see the final sales price on real estate transactions - both residential and commercial.

Beginning in July of 2015, all commercial and residential property owners will be sent new property valuations. This is part of a six-year cycle. Of course the impact is this can and will effect how much property tax each owner pays. The intent of the bill proposed is to allow property owners to access to more information should they decide to appeal their property appraised value.

The Montana Association of Realtors is opposed to the sales price disclosure. 73% of Montanans in a recent poll conducted responded they do not want sales price disclosure. This is not the first time the legislature has tried to pass this legislation, and it has obviously failed before.

Brint Wahlberg, former president of the Missoula Organization of Realtors, has stated that MOR is remaining neutral on the subject. One of the counters is that Realtors have a monopoly through "sold" statistics with information they are only privy to through the MLS. Hence, if a home owner wants a property valuation, many believe they are forced to pay for an appraisal. Whereas, Wahlberg states that Realtors are more than willing to provide market value of properties for home owners free of charge.

real estate stockimage

Source: Missoulian