Another new member from Montana

17 Replies


I live in Billings (south central MT) where my husband and I own our primary residence. We also own a triplex in Red Lodge, a ski town an hour uphill. We bought our first 100+ year old house as newlyweds (read: naive children) in 1998 and have lived in and renovated several since, selling for a decent profit each time and learning how to do things like remove milk paint, do plumbing and wiring, and jack up a porch to replace failing beams. Now we're looking for more multi-family properties or possibly a commercial building around downtown Billings. He's a professor and I'm a novelist, so we're not interested in giving up our day jobs, but would like more passive income to free up time for research and writing.

Happy to be here!

Carrie La Seur

Hi Carrie I am a young entreprenuer in Billings looking to invest in multi families as well. Would love to pick your brains and see how you guys got your start. Welcome to BiggerPockets you'll love it!

Hi Gregory -

The nutshell story of our first house was that we were living in Iowa City and bought a very old house from a very old woman who'd lived there most of her life. I think we paid $106k and saved the 20% down payment by living in a sketchy apartment on the edge of town. We bribed our friends with food to help with things like stripping hideous wallpaper. Very glamorous, but we sold it a year later for $20k+ more than we'd paid.


Welcome to the site, @Carrie La Seur .  I also lived in Iowa City for quite a few years and I think I know the sketchy neighborhood you are talking about.  There are also quite a few of those old homes that need rehabbed around the college campus.  It is definitely a service that you and your husband did to flip the houses in the neighborhood.

See you around the site!

Hi @Austin Davis!

Yes, there's a lot of rehabbing to do in old Iowa City. When we moved to my home state of Montana, we found a newer house with no major issues. We do exciting projects like replacing the dishwasher and planting garden beds rather than ripping out knob and tube wiring. We save the major rehab for rental units. I can't say I miss living in a construction site! 


@Carrie La Seur , welcome to BP.  Be sure to read the Learn section above it is loaded with great information.  I did rentals for 20 years before joining this site and I learned a huge amount from it.  Be sure to set key work alerts for areas or topics of interest like "Billings" or "four plex".  It is good to see more folks on BP up North.  I envy your location.  there is so much going on in Billings.  I need to go see Red Lodge some day.  I have friends who own houses there.  Good luck on your investing.

Hi Carrie, I'm in Helena and I have family in Billings and Red Lodge. I've never looked much into the rental market down there. I would bet a vacation rental would do well.

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