Connections in Montana

103 Replies

You should put more information about yourself!!!

Originally posted by @Kevin M.:

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

I guess I will chime in here again... I kind of left off without a conclusion. So I did move the the Treasure State and landed in Bozeman for a short time. Because the rental market there is so tight and my apartment was a second floor closet with no elevator I bailed and landed in Missoula. Spent a few months regrouping and getting back to data mining. If anyone would like to meet up or go hit golf balls? I need all the practice I can get. I will spend the next three months probably crunching numbers but would love to find positive people talking about Real Estate.

Hey @Kevin M. I just moved back to Missoula after a 3-year hiatus. I suck at golf but I love driving ranges. I'd love to meet up and chat if you're around. 

Great info for like-minded Montana RE investors! There seems to be so little activity for Montana on BP and I’m very happy to have stumbled across this thread. My wife and I recently relocated from Boise, ID to Anaconda, MT and are interested in connecting with other Montana investors, RE agents, brokers, and lenders. PM me if you’d like to connect. Cheers!

I’m an investor in Butte. Would like to connect with some Montana folks.

Originally posted by @Brad Coyne :

I’m an investor in Butte. Would like to connect with some Montana folks.

Hi Brad, 

I just came to Missoula from East Coast and I am setting up my REI entity. I want to focus on wholesaling in my first year. What kind of deals do you do in Butte?

Hi I’m a newbie in valley I’d love to connect with others in my area.

@Brad Coyne , Consider coming over the hill and hanging with the Bozeman crew. 

Patrick I would love to come over and meet up. What’s the best way to stay in contact with you? This site is kind of goofy the way it’s set up makes it tough to stay in touch with people.

@Brad Coyne Bozeman Investor Club is about face to face personal contact.  There is no point in trying to create an online network when something as cool as Bigger Pockets exists (even though they occasionally delete my posts and and almost always remove website links when I market the local meeting grrrr).  Any online stuff we have is just to enhance the local face to face meetings.  So best way to connect is to check out the meet up page or our webpage to find the latest meeting time and location... and come to a meeting.  Best way to stay in touch is fill out the Extended Stay Membership form and that puts you on our email list for announcements of club activities.    Best.  

Looks like this is a pretty old post. I was curious how many people were from Montana on here also and I found this.
I’m new to Billings Montana. My family moved here from Oregon about a month ago. I have my Oregon Real Estate license still but I am working on getting licensed in Montana. My real passion is more along the lines of Real Estate Investing. I’m planning on still doing Real Estate and looking for some investment opportunities in the near future. I’m glad to see so many others from Montana on here. My other Real Estate forum that I use doesn’t seem to have many people from Montana.

Hi Penny,

I live over in Bozeman, but visit Billings regularly for work. There’s been some recent news in Billings that the medical corridor into downtown has some significant development money being invested there.

So, before they begin, there might be some good deals in that area to capture as they try to revamp downtown. 

Hi Penny, Welcome to Billings! I've been here for about 13 years now and have dabbled in and out of the RE game. Still very interested and took all of my RE pre-licensing work just never sat for the exam since I didn't have a broker to actually work under anyways. I'm starting to get spun back up, analyzing deals etc. If you have any questions about Billings, or find something interesting investment wise feel free to get in touch!

Welcome to the thunder dome Penny. Where the wages are low and the real estate is priced high. Its a land lords paradise in most places around Montana. Hope you can get into the real estate investing side of things before long.

On a serious note, welcome to Montana :)

Hi everyone - figured I'd chime in here as I look to get my feet wet in the Montana RE world. At this point I'm focused on building a network, deal funnel, and some new friends. Short-term I'm most interested in BRRRR plays in and around Missoula and Bozeman but am open to any deal that might make sense. Also interested in warehouse/commercial space and land in/nearby Missoula.

Feel free to reach out if you'd be interested in connecting.  I'm on my hustle right now and would love to build some mutually beneficial relationships with you all!

I'm clearly digging up an old thread here but am considering making the move to Bozeman for the quality of life etc. however am having a hard time understanding the opportunities in the multifamily and/or commercial and industrial markets.  What opportunities do you all feel exist in and around Bozeman today?  College rentals?  short term rentals?  Flex industrial space?   Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

@Tyler De Young we own a house in Bozeman and rent it out to long term tenants to make it worth it, I am in a residential area so vaca rentals (under 30 days at a time) would be a pain.  Be careful where you try to buy if you want to vacation rental it, the city has a good deal of rules about it now - https://www.bozeman.net/government/planning/short-...

I am not an expert but the prices just seem to keep going up and that goes for anything commercial as well, seems like it would be really hard to get in and still make some sort of cashflow at the price you would have to buy in at.  If someone else has some knowledge to share on this I am all ears, I love Bozeman and my family may be moving out in the summer of 2020.  We also own a little cabin up in Three Forks, that seems to be appreciating quite nicely as well (although this isn't why I bought it) as Bozeman and the surrounding areas like Manhattan just keep building and pushing out.

I'd probably look to invest in Butte if I moved out to MT but I need to do more research.

@Tyler De Young There is a lot of development going on here in the valley and people are making good money doing. There are also many investors that are buying for appreciation here (either negatively cash flowing or putting large percent down), and many of them are doing very well doing this, but it is speculating and could be very costly... All depends on your risk tolerance. 

@Mark DeLorenzo is correct about the short term rental inside city limits. Certain areas have more restrictions than others and some areas aren't allowed to add any short term rentals (for the time being). With that being said if get a place if you get a place just outside of city limits you can avoid the city of Bozeman's restrictions. If this is the route you decide to go there is definitely a little due diligence that needs to be done regarding the city and what they will and wont allow for short term rentals.

Let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to help!

Thank you @Josiah Pisel and @Mark DeLorenzo for your responses.  You've confirmed what I was seeing online: lots of residential spec construction and pretty low cap rates on rentals.  I wonder how long the market can sustain that...

Some history and perspective from a 3rd generation Montanan, and someone who has been investing here for 18 years:

There are a few markets (Bozeman, the Flathead Valley, and Missoula) that are volatile. I bought a condo in Bozeman in 2007 for 164K .  It seemed like a steal, because I'd spent the previous five years in So Cal with the military.  I did not do my homework, and compared to LA prices, that condo seemed affordable.  If this isn't obvious...I am warning people coming into the Montana markets from more expensive states or states with better job markets.  Montana is it's own beast.  By 2008, that condo value tanked to 115K.   I graduated from my Masters program at MSU in 2009, and had to leave Bozeman due to the dismal job market.  I could get a job, but positions in Bozeman were paying half of what the exact same job was paying in Great Falls. Why?  Bozeman is awesome and many people are willing to work for min wage WITH a graduate degree just to stay there.  Bozeman overbuilt so badly, that rents also decreased sharply and rapidly.  I was able to rent that condo for $1300 when I bought and $800 when I left two years later.  I broke even ONLY because I put down 20%.

I broke even for 8 years (when I was making more than the 1% rule in more stable markets)!  Fast forward to the present....in the past 2-3 years, the value of this condo shot up to 235K!  It has well-surpassed the pre-recession value.  I currently rent that condo for $1450.  The wages in Bozeman are NOT equivalent to the cost of housing and living.  There's a reason us natives call it Bozangeles.

I am 1031 exchanging this condo for two properties (a tri-plex and a duplex) in Great Falls in the spring. People who don't understand Montana and the history think I'm crazy.  They think Bozeman will continue to appreciate. In my opinion, the markets in these areas are not sustainable, and they will take the biggest "hits" when the market corrects.  Only invest here if you can afford to ride out a market correction for the next 10 years.  Seriously.

I am an advocate for more stable Montana markets.  They aren't as "trendy" but they are where the money is at.  It will be very difficult to make the 1% rule in Bozeman, Missoula, or the Flathead Valley, but it is obtainable in other Montana markets.  During the last recession, values in Great Falls "dipped" a little.  My rents decreased by $50 a month.  Also, the values and rents recovered much more quickly.  

Remember, a good rule of thumb is: "The best predictor of future behaviors is past behavior".  

@Alissa Engel I couldn't agree more. Bozeman and Missoula are seriously overvalued right now. I believe you could do ok in markets like those, but you would have to find a property for pennies on the dollar; talk about a needle in a haystack! I've lived in Great Falls most of my adult life, and while its not the most happening city, it is very stable. This is where I'm looking to get my start. 

Nick 

All these gentlemen from around Western Montana know the area well and I'm seeing the same thing. When an area in Montana gets "Trendy" to people outside the state, it results in a flooded market and lots of speculative construction. Investments in Great Falls, Helena, and Butte all seem like more stable investment markets. 

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