Connections in Montana

103 Replies

I am from Kalispell. I currently own one house in Butte that I flipped and rented. It should close this week. I have 2 houses in Kalispell that make great money but I'm interested in moving to more multi-family. I am trying to figure out how to do that with the profit from the Butte house. I would love ideas or a partner. I found a great deal here for townhouse lots but I think I need help with financing or a partner. I'd love to get together with more Montana investors and get ideas! 

Hello All,

@George N. you are right this is the #Epic Montana thread. 

Probably the only one on here. LOL

I just want to introduce myself. I am thinking about moving to Montana because of the cost and quality of living. Currently I am applying for jobs and looking to make the transition pointing toward Bozeman. I am looking for a contact. Ideally I would love to find a job doing anything RE. (Property Management?) Or any job for that matter. Since the towns are all spaced out by 2 hours I figure there might be something out there for Property Manangment. (Helena, Bozeman, Great Falls, Missoula, Kalispell)

I love Montana. Never been there. But I will drive there in the next two weeks just to see it.

If anyone knows a good lender in the area please PM me.

Hoping I can make a connection and a good friend. Thanks for listening.

- Kevin

Hi Maria,

Sounds like you have some good stuff going on... are you making a lot of profit on you Butte deal?  because it sounds like you might be paying some tax on that, if so.  In which case you might want to think about a 1031 tax deferred exchange, which will allow you to roll your profit into another rental property (or two!)  You may already be aware of it, but if not, check it out before you close on the Butte property.  If you don't know about it, there are some very knowledgeable people on BP who can help.  I'd be happy to help, as I've done a lot of these exchanges, but there are definitely smarter people out there!

I LOVE the Kalispell area, but I seem to be commuting back and forth from the East Coast to Montana, and right now am in the East... otherwise, I'd be up there in a second to see what kinds of deals might be available in the Kalispell area... is there a Real Estate Investment group up there?  you might network that way if possible.... that can yeild some great contacts or leads, or even partners!  Good luck!

@Maria Vogel , If your intent when you bought the Butte property was primarily to resell (flip) it then a 1031 would not be appropriate because that is reserved for property that it was your intent to hold for productive use.  But.... looking at the direction you're thinking about there may be a way to make it all work.  It would involve changing your intent and holding on to that Butte property for a bit while you do a reverse 1031 exchange to purchase the townhouse lots and build on them.  There's several ways this could be done depending on your needs, the timing, potential partners, and the gain involved.  

Hey @Alan Brown and @Dave Foster . Thanks so much for the advice! I was going to do a 1031 exchange but my CPA said I won't end up paying any taxes because my husband sold a house this year also and took enough of a loss on it that it will cancel out the profit on my Butte house :) Its such a relief and I hope she's right!!! She put all the numbers in and said we'll be fine. Dave I owned the house for 8 years. If I do another flip with the profit though, I may be in trouble with taxes though. 

@Maria Vogel

Welcome to BP.  If your ever passing through the billings area, I would love to connect with you on housing. Always like meeting new investors. 

Hi all, I just wanted to say that I'm in Missoula if anyone makes it down this way and wants to have coffee/beer/Wally&Buck (look in up in Missoula, its delicious). Anyway, we are just getting started in REI. We have one rental(our first home) and are starting to look at how we could add to the portfolio. I have a GC who would go in with me if I can get the financing set up. Good luck to all those attempting to invest here in Montana!

@Jeremiah Purdum

Welcome to the site.  I wish your city wasn't so far away I would take you up on the offer. It's sad Montana is so dang big... 

Well its been about a month since the last Montana resident left a post so here I am. Living in Missoula's hot rental market with new apartment building going up all the time it seems like. I would like to get a piece of that rental investment market but im just a small fish. Too expensive to start my own portfolio in Missoula butt I have been looking into the Butte area and may be possibly purchasing my first 4-plex.

On a side note, I'll be trying to obtain my real estate license soon and didn't know if other Montana residents did the same thing when closing on some investment properties. I figured it would be handy to have.

I may not be able to meet up with anyone and talk real estate but im still open to the idea. I have a crazy busy schedule but your'e more than welcome to send me a meet up and discus request and ill try my best to be there!

Hey all, I'm in the missoula area as well! I picked up a couple of multifamilies in Spokane Valley a while back, and am looking to make a move again but would prefer to do something here at home. So, I've got a few irons in the fire and would love to have a jam session to share what I see as viable and learn from you all.

I can be reached at my first name @ travisgreen dot net (I only check BP once every few days). 

Real estate broker here in butte Montana. I own 55 of my own rentals and we are currently building and acquiring more. I also do property management through my brokerage. Would love to meet up with like minded individuals and collaborate. Also, looking for investors to do deals with. Hope to be on this forum more!

Hi Montana REIs! My husband and I live in Washington State, but love Butte (it's an acquired taste). We invested in a property with our son while he attends Montana Tech. He is house hacking in it for one more year. We just purchased another SFH to use as another student rental. We are wanting to make our next purchase a multi family (duplex, fourplex, or?).

Are there any meet up REI groups in Butte? We will be there a lot this summer and would like to connect with folks who love REI and Montana as much as we do. It would be great to get our son involved in a group as he, too, would like to pursue more REI after he finishes at Tech.

We wouldn't mind meeting up for coffee with anyone with some good stories about Butte and investing. PM me!

If there is any interest in a REI group in Butte, I might be interested in getting one organized. Let me know what you think!

My husband and I are currently living in Utah. He is from Montana and we want to move back there some day, to the Kalispell area specifically. We are interested in what the rental market looks like in the Flathead Valley. Is it easy to find good renters? What percentage are you seeing in cash on cash returns? We are also going up there in July and plan to look around at some properties and land. Any advice would be great!

Hi all you Montana RE investors! Am a Butte, Montana resident and been investing in RE for cash flow since 2010. My husband and I currently buy and hold multi-families in Butte. Of our current holdings, we did complete rehab of 9 units. We have overseen rehab of 100 year buildings and turned them from vacant blight to income producing "good neighbors". What an eye opening adventure!
Am very happy with the team we have built along the way.
Future dream projects will take more collaborative effort so am reaching out to the larger Montana REI community to align interests.
May your current problems unfold to more RE expertise!

Hey Sarah,

We will be in Butte around May 15-30th. We need to meet up for coffee or lunch. I would love to find out who your team is as we are looking for plumbers, electricians, etc to get a rehab done on a alleyhouse behind my son's main home. Only about 600 sq ft, but he will live in it while finishing his Masters Degree at Tech. PM me if you know some of the trades that can help us out.

I love your enthusiasm for Butte. So exciting to see those homes that have fallen into such disrepair get that second chance. We share that same passion and are looking for another project to invest our time and money into. 

I hope to meet you and your husband in the near future.

@Olivia Hansen,

I only have one property so far and it is in Whitefish. It is a short to longterm furnished rental. It's managed and after the management fee of 15% (vacation rental) it does still cash flow (barely).

I would stick to Kalispell for better cash flow. There is a shortage of homes on the market and in WF you'll be paying market rates for just about any home. In Kalispell there are plenty of older homes where the BRRR would work really well.

One macro word of caution for the Flathead. Land is plentiful and new construction costs are often lower than existing home prices (right now). I would make it a point to use both the normal sales comparison approach as well as always doing a cost valuation approach. Right now you'll probably end up with a lower value for the cost approach and I would work your numbers from that starting point.

Market cycle home prices in the flathead are a bit amplified at both ends. The second homes end up being the first to foreclose or be sold in down cycles and the resulting deluge of inventory tanks prices. The same well-to-doers bring prices up in good times like we have now.

I wouldn't count on strong appreciation over the next 5 years. Home building in the area is ramping up, close to matching demand and that's going to slow further run up.

There's deals in Kalispell, east and west, but I bet better Caps in West. I wouldn't do multifamily over a quad here either.

Best of luck and check out Desoto Grill in Kalispell. One of my favorite eats in that area. 

Wow, @Ryan B. , excellent quick synopsis, as well as the points about Sales comps/cost approach;  We all need to be thinking along those lines on whatever we buy (or build), as well as adding in the income approach for good measure!

I love that part of the world so much, and never can wait until the next time I can get there.  I hate the thought of too much available land!!  Kalispell has sprawled like the devil in 30 years, as have most other great places in Montana.  I remember evaluating Steamboat Springs, CO many years back when it was in a down cycle and we thought we might afford an investment there;  I was terrified by that very concept:  so much available ranch land, already some up for sale at the time, and all I could think of was what Bozeman is doing now:  4000 houses per year as far as the eye can see!!  I have learned that the Essential places of towns like that do tend to hold their value, being close in, the charm, the funk effect, so it's a little less scary.  I had spent many years in Boulder CO, where they had the brilliance to buy up all the available land around the city and turn it into open space, so that sprawl could not happen, driving values through the roof, and providing an excellent healthy buffer to create an even better lifestyle.  Values have not stopped growing in that town in 25 years or more, much to the detriment of anyone who wants to get in!

Question, why would you not do multi over a quad in Kalispell??  If the numbers work and one likes multi family, why not?

(will vote on your post if I could figure out how!)

@Ryan B. Thank you for the synopsis! All your information was really helpful. We are interested in the BRRR strategy. Do you know anything about rentals in the area? What the cap rate usually is? Interesting to see that there is a housing shortage right now. We are experiencing that in Utah, so housing prices are high, which is challenging to find a deal. However, even new builds here can cash flow nicely.

How has the vacation rental been in Whitefish? We were looking at vacation rentals too. Sounds like with the management fees, it can make it harder to cash flow. Are management fees typically higher on vacation rentals than long-term rentals (with the constant turn over of renters)? 

We will definitely need to check out Desoto Grill this summer when we are up there. Do you have any recommendations for investment realtors in the Flathead area?


Thought I would get this going again, I'm in Kalispell and there is a lot of potential, I am looking to rent an apartment for a year to save some money and everything posted is gone within a day. If any of you are looking for an investment, look in Kalispell and Whitefish.

This post has been removed.

Where would Henrietta, MT be located exactly? I've never heard of it.

He's mistaken. There's not a Henrietta in MT.

isn't that Georgia? Either way, there are a lot of little towns in MT that aren't worth much. 

Originally posted by @Trevor McIntosh :

Thought I would get this going again, I'm in Kalispell and there is a lot of potential, I am looking to rent an apartment for a year to save some money and everything posted is gone within a day. If any of you are looking for an investment, look in Kalispell and Whitefish.

At this point I am wondering if new construction isn't a better deal. It seems like the market is close to a peak up there, I could be wrong about that but the extreme ascent in that ladt few years tells me that it's pretty inflated at the moment.

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