Start Your Montana Property Search Here
Whether you are a long-time Bozeman resident or relocating from elsewhere, we can help start your Montana property search on the right track. We’ll guide you through every step of your home buying journey, from starting the home search to the final walkthrough.
What to Expect In your Montana property Search
Finding The Right Realtor
Realtors are trusted experts who are on your side every step of the way. If you’re in a hot seller’s market you may not have time to go back and forth with potential sellers. An experienced realtor takes care of this for you and more. They are always attuned to your needs during the property search, in writing offers, and negotiating contracts. The Bozeman housing market moves quickly so in partnering with a skillful realtor, you can have confidence that your time and resources are used wisely. They will be there to guide you through the real estate process with expert negotiating throughout.
A good realtor will help you avoid these common pitfalls in buying a home:
Touring homes in poor locations which don’t suit your needs
Missed opportunities in a slow moving property search
Rejected offers due to incorrect pricing or excessive contingencies
Money left on the table due to a lack of advocacy on your realtor’s behalf
Licensed realtors also have greater access to listings via their MLS, which includes offline listings and exclusive market data on demographics, neighborhoods, and property taxes. They can create a personalized property search for you to uncover listings that match your preferences, some which can’t be found on websites like Zillow or the like. So, make sure you pick the right realtor. If you’re looking for property in Bozeman, contact us! I’d love to help.
In order to purchase a home, it’s necessary to get pre-approved for a mortgage through a lender in addition to having the funds for a down payment, anywhere from 1% to 20% or more. The bank will need some financial details to determine how large of a mortgage you can afford and to prove that you’re able to make payments in the future.
These documents include:
Proof of assets
Proof of income
Other types of documentation for ID purposes
Having this pre-approval letter in hand can be the difference between your offer getting accepted or ignored. If you were a seller and you received two identical offers — one from a buyer who was pre-approved and one who wasn’t — who would you sell to? The pre-approved buyer is the safer option, so this conversation with a lender is key to beginning your Montana property search.
Beginning Your Montana Property Search
Now is the time to make a list of essential features and characteristics you’re looking for in your new home. Determine which location you’d like to search for homes within, whether it is in the Bozeman area or further into Belgrade, Four Corners, Big Sky, or Livingston. Get a feel for different neighborhoods by discussing with your realtor or exploring our Bozeman neighborhood guide. Our list of frequently asked questions on moving to Bozeman may be helpful in the early stages of your property search.
Some common questions to consider at this stage:
What school district are you looking to live in?
How important is your location, neighborhood, or view?
How big of a home do you want – or is acreage more important to you?
Will you settle for an older home or do you want something that’s brand new and move-in ready?
Finding Homes On The MLS And Touring Properties
Now comb through the MLS for homes in your area to find ones on the market. You can usually set up alerts when homes that fit your search criteria are listed. Search homes and condos in our MLS or visit our Property Portal to register for email alerts and save your favorite listings in your account. Next is the exciting part, scheduling and touring properties with your real estate agent. This process is all about confirming what you are looking for. With each house showing, you will get closer to nailing exactly what you are looking for in your new home.
Questions to ask yourself while touring properties:
Which home features are a priority to you?
Does the view from the property meet your expectations?
Does acreage or remoteness feel right when you see it in person?
How does the commute from Livingston or Belgrade compare to living in Bozeman?
Making An Offer
After you’ve found a home that checks all your boxes, it’s time to make an offer. This is something that your realtor will help you with — it’s a nuanced role which sets expert realtors apart from those who lack a deeper understanding of their local market. Too low of an offer will almost definitely be ignored. An offer with too many contingencies may complicate the deal for sellers and get passed over for a simpler offer.
A realtor with many sales under their belt will negotiate and advocate for you as a buyer. They will price offers correctly and according to local market standards. It can get easy to get caught up in the heat of a bidding war, but a good realtor won’t let you pay more than you can handle.
For more in depth reading on making an offer, see our post on How To Succeed As A Home Buyer in A Seller’s Market.
Inspections And Appraisals
After the offer is accepted, there is a waiting period for home inspections and appraisals. An inspector and appraiser will come to the home to make sure it’s livable and that the loan isn’t far outside the range of the home’s value. Both of these processes are usually fairly routine and they only rarely present issues. However, if the inspector finds asbestos in the basement, that could completely kill your deal. Additionally, if the appraiser performs a sales comparison analysis and finds that you’re paying $90,000 more than the house is worth, your lender may ask for that amount in cash if you still want to close.
Keep in mind that this is one of the most emotional stages of the homebuying process. The end of your property search is in sight and perhaps you’re in a hurry to close so you can start your new life in Bozeman. But it’s wise to consider what your dealbreakers may be.
The Final Walkthrough
Before you sign the deed and any other paperwork, you’ll walk through the house one last time. There may be things that the inspector and appraiser have missed or new issues that are presented after the formal inspections. Remember that you’re making a very significant purchase- your due diligence here is necessary to make sure things are as they were when you first viewed the home and that there are no additional damages. Depending on the market, there may be room to negotiate concessions at this stage.
Afterwards your realtor will accompany you through the title search process and closing, assisting in your understanding of every document that you sign. After signing all the documents, you will receive the keys to your house. Congratulations on your new home in Bozeman!
What Our Clients Are Saying
What Our Clients Are Saying
Have Home Buying Questions?
Let’s set a time to discuss how to find the real estate you are looking for. Together we can determine your next moves, no matter your timeline.