Networking in Kalispell, MT area

20 Replies

Hey Everybody,

I am new to the BP forums, so please let me know if I have left out any information!

My partner Sarah and I are looking to buy our first home. We currently live in Colorado (where the market is outrageously expensive) and are looking into moving to another mountainous area that could be more affordable. Our first choice would be somewhere in the Kalispell area of Montana (anywhere from Whitefish down to Somers/Lakeside). We are planning on house hacking, so we are looking for multi-family units or SFH's with 4+ bedrooms.

We are planning a road trip out that direction in about a month, and are hoping to connect with some local Agents in the area to chat about options, the market, etc. We would also be interested in connecting with some lenders in the area to start the process of getting pre-approved for an FHA loan.

My question is this: Does anyone here on the forums here have recommendations for Agents, Lenders or other local resources that we could get in contact with before our road trip? Does anyone have suggestions on any other steps that we could take to be more prepared before actually going out there?

Any help is greatly appreciated, Thank you for reading!

-The Newbies Nate & Sarah

@Nathan Hagge welcome. Nice to plan and do some bluesky thinking. My one question is, what will you and/or your partner do for a job there? 

Your best bet for an agent is to use the network tab and look for agents in the area. You can then read and learn about them and see which ones would be a good fit.

@Bill S.

Hey Bill, thanks for the response!

I’ve browsed through the networking tab, but there were only a few hits for this area, and only one person who had his contact information listed. I was hoping to get a few more leads, ideally from people who have some direct experience with these folks.

As for work, Sarah and I work seasonally in Alaska (summer) and Antarctica (winter) doing expedition tourism. We are generally gone for a few weeks at a time during those seasons, but still need a home for our off time and the shoulder seasons.

@Nathan Hagge

It's important to make sure you have an agent that focuses on investment properties so they can help guide you in the right direction. I'm currently doing something very similar and would be happy to share my experience with you so you can ask the right questions.

Apparently you aren't allow to ask people to direct message you on BP.  I didn't realize this, my apologies. I figured I would share this with everyone as per Bills message they prefer everything to be transparent. Sorry Bill. 

Feel free to post any question to me here Nathan.

_________

Hi,

Thanks for posting in the forums.

However, we had to remove your thread or post. Our Rules prohibit asking members to PM you. We have found that this is frequently a veiled attempt to get around other rules. Additionally, our site has many read-only members who can benefit from your information. You are welcome to repost your comment without the "PM me" language.

We have to hold a pretty strict line or the forums will quickly get overrun like most online forums. It's our strictness that keeps us growing. Here’s a link to the Rules and Terms of Service for our site. They include all the do’s and don’t’s.

You're welcome to continue engaging on the site, but please leave politics out of the discussion. Also be sure to check out our free eBook, "Using BiggerPockets to Grow Your Business" for tips on the best ways to interact with BiggerPockets' members to increase your exposure and build your business.You can get it at http://www.biggerpockets.com/biz

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Thanks,

BiggerPockets

Wait, @Michael Glunk ,  why did they remove your post?  Did you say something political?  
or is this a new thing w the PM?  Seems like I just had someone PM me... I thought we were supposed to keep personal endorsements off of here, especially negative, unfortunately.  Honestly I would like to hear if someone has a good or bad experience with someone, but I didn’t think that was allowed.

Hmm confused 

@Nathan Hagge , kudos to you for working out that lifestyle! I worked a few years in Antarctica back in the 80’s but didn’t know how to parlay that into year round bliss while building passive income. My priorities were way different back then , but if I’d have had BP to light the way I would have hit the ground running a decade earlier!

And your choice of Location is really second to none IMO...

I also think the idea of house hacking could be ideal for you, especially if you can find someone you absolutely trust to help you keep an eye on stuff while you’re gone.

One thing I’ve struggled with is property management.  And you may not think it matters because you might be planning on managing your own stuff, but even if you didn’t travel a lot for work, it’s good to make sure your numbers include an allowance for prop mgmnt because when you suddenly become independently wealthy and want to go travel like crazy,  that option is paramount.  Or if you want to go to Hawaii for 6months per year!  It’s gotten to the point that it doesn’t make sense to me to invest anywhere that I don’t have spectacular property managers, because I hate being stressed out and far away, if you’re not positive your properties are in good hands.

I do understand that it’s Extremely rare to find a PM who would take care of my tenants like I would, but something even 80% of that would be great!

So even if it feels premature for you, I’d start right away looking for an excellent PM, or else a partner who might fill that function for you!

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!



@Alan Brown

Thanks for the response! That’s awesome, I can’t imagine how (even more) remote things were down there in the 80’s!

That’s good advice, I will definitely start looking into some Property Managers for the times that we are gone/eventually move out. Thanks again!

Cheers

-Nathan

@Michael Glunk thanks for sharing the reminder of the rules. 

@Nathan Hagge I was also thinking that since you travel so much that maybe you could get an rv or a conversion van, store it on your property and rent it out while you're gone. It would allow you to fully rent out your building after meeting your owner occupied requirement and might give you a little more freedom. Also, if you converted your units to Air BNB or furnished rentals then you can always black them out for when you want to return and live there. Just a thought. It may or may not be right for you. Best of luck. 

@Nathan Hagge I was tagged in this thread and wanted to just reach out. I think there are opportunities in the Kalispell area to house hack. We currently do have a lack of housing in the area for both renters and owners. If something worthwhile does come along for sale the market can be similar to Colorado in that multiple offers come forward, and usually cash offers win out. Our inventory is extremely low and prices have reflected that in the past couple of years. Deals can still be found, just need to be ready to act right away when they come along.

The VRBO market has also bounced back nicely in the area and you may be able to find something that pencils in this investment niche as well.

I moved out here from Greeley, CO about 7 years ago and absolutely love it. I tell people that this area is Colorado without the people.

I’d be happy to connect you with some local lenders and property managers in this area as well.


@austin 

@Austin Elm , what is the current climate in Kalispell/whitefish for VRBO’s?  Are there any rumblings about limiting or putting restrictions on them?

Thanks for the input

@Alan Brown the current VRBO climate is really strong in the area. Kind of abnormal. Usually around this time is the shoulder season heading into October and November, but I’ve spoken with people who are fully booked through October and into November.

There was some grumblings when the city of Whitefish banned all short term rentals for VRBOs and hotels except for “essential” workers. That whole time period beginning in March was a big pause for every market. But since it came back mid April, bookings are as strong or stronger than they have been in the past this year.

@Austin Elm

Austin, thanks for the response! That's some good info. Nice to hear that it reminds you of CO! I may be reaching out to you in the next couple weeks as we get our travel plans more firmly lined up. Look forward to talking to you! 

Thanks again

-Nathan