A Sprawling Montana Estate On the Market for the First Time in Over 70 Years

The fact that this place is up for grabs is a novelty, said listing agent Patrick Hanes of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty. “Not since the purchase of Sentinel Pine in 1942 has a property of this size, quality, and location been offered,” he said. “It is not an overstatement to say that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Stats

Sitting on 30 acres, Sentinel Pine has 2,100 feet of waterfront property. There are six buildings on site, three of which have fully equipped kitchens, and a total of 12,000 square feet of living space. There are 17 bedrooms and 22 beds, as well as 10 full bathrooms.



We’d be remiss to go right to the property’s onsite amenities and skip over the fact that it sits at the doorstep of the 1,583-square-mile Glacier National Park. Aside from that, other top draws are Flathead Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi, and “the absolutely charming art- and craft-centered towns of Bigfork and Whitefish,” said the property’s principal owner, venture capitalist/entrepreneur Jim McGrath. (Some shares of the property are owned by others, like Jim’s brother, John, but they’re all descendants of the original buyer, JL McLaughlin.)

Nine-mile-long Swan Lake is “quiet and unique, and some call it ‘one of the last great areas in the Last Best Place,’ as Montana is often referred to,” he added.

On property, there’s an eight-acre lawn with a baseball field and pitching machine, a place to play a game of basketball or volleyball, a tennis court, a croquet court, hiking trails, and in the main lodge, a dining room that will seat 30 of your nearest and dearest. But “first and foremost,” Mr. McGrath said, “it’s a watersport heaven. Covered boat slips, enough sitting room on the dock for 15 people, pebble beaches, waterskiing, tubing, rowing, boating of all types, swimming, kayaking, and a diving board.”

Read the complete Mansion Global article here.

See more property details & photos.


Recently, one of Amy Stevens out-of-state clients took a moment to write a compelling and heart warming testimonial about his experience with her.  Amy truly sets the bar when it comes to providing exceptional service and makes your Montana real estate journey one to remember.


Amy Stevens
“You are really awesome. There’s a whole different level of commitment you take on when dealing with out of state clients like me and for the same percentage of purchase price. I can’t believe this is financially prudent for you with the all the time and extras you provide other than you knowing in your heart and head that virtue is it’s own reward. Sort of like teachers. It isn’t the money that lets me sleep at night. It’s knowing that my work and effort brings goodness to others.
I have no doubt you know exactly what you’re in for, long before your out of state client/me understands how much they/I need you….I hope you realize how you’ve made this process -which is categorically one of the most stressful events a family can go through-fun, exciting, and easy, while also ensuring that all the I’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.


Our thanks and gratitude will never express the deep respect and appreciation we feel for the care and attention you’ve given us. We will celebrate soon and we do hope you’ll have room in your lives for some new friends. It’ll be easier to have adult time when your kids are a bit older, but until then we want to watch and support gymnastics with you, have some family play time together, and hopefully Brad will have the patience to help me become a legit Montanan when he needs some entertainment!” – Rob Akner
Learn more about Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty Professional Amy Stevens here, and start living your Montana dream today!


Amy listing

Enjoy Montana summers to the fullest on this incredible Flathead Lake waterfront setting. Spend a quiet weekend or entertain guests and enjoy the carefree living. Amenities include a boat slip, heated storage, fully equipped fitness center, underground parking and your very own additional 1480 square feet of outdoor living space with a gas fire pit. For more information please contact Amy Stevens at 406-249-6496 or your real estate professional.


Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty Now In Lakeside, Montana

Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty is proud and excited to announce the opening of their 6th office in Northwest MT.  Located in Lakeside, at 7191 Hwy 93 S, on the west shore of Flathead Lake, Glacier Sotheby’s new office will offer even greater exposure for our clients and customers looking or living along the west shore; or the lake areas in general.  In conjunction with our office on Electric Ave in Bigfork, our locations in Whitefish and on Whitefish Mtn., along with Missoula, our Realtors are part of the communities that represent this special part of the state.  Their hands on knowledge of living & loving Montana are what make them exceptional representatives for their clients.

The Realtors in the new Lakeside location have that knowledge and a history and love for the area.  Amy Bain Wilson, Barrett McDonald, and Carroll Kenney have strong ties to life on the ‘west shore’, including the charming towns of Somers, Lakeside, & Rollins.  With the office in Bigfork and now Lakeside; both with Katie Brown as Supervising/Managing Broker, we have the Flathead Lake area covered.

AmyAmy Bain-Wilson

As the daughter of a builder and contractor, Amy understands the real estate profession from the ground up recognizing both its challenges and rewards. In her early 20s, she built a home with her brothers that involved creating a market feasibility study, interpreting demographics, estimating and ordering supplies and building a property from foundation to finish. Today, as a real estate professional, Amy brings those skills and talents to a broad spectrum of discriminating buyers and sellers.

BarrettBarrett McDonald

Barrett is a dedicated professional whose passion for life is evident, whether it’s at work or play! His customer service is second to none, honing his craft while running Tamarack Brewing Company, the Flathead Valley’s number one Brewpub. His 8+ years there introduced him to so many great people; coworkers, locals, and visitors alike, with whom he looks forward to partnering with through his career in real estate

Kenney 2

Carroll Kenney

Carroll, a top Lakeside realtor since 1998, is pleased to be a part of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty in Lakeside, MT. She is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and is married to Charles Kenney. They moved to the beautiful Proctor Valley in 1997, and in 1998 Carroll joined the real estate community in Lakeside.


Katie Brown

In 2014, Katie was awarded the Northwest Montana Association Realtor of the Year, an honorable distinction bestowed by highly valued peers. Katie has a love for the Flathead Valley! Naturally,  making it a pleasure and a joy to market and sell property.


Learn more about the incredible NW Montana lifestyle here.

Which Home Improvements Offer The Highest ROI?

With the many different projects reported annually in Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, not much has changed from last year…and that’s not a bad thing. The 29 projects found on this year’s report paid back an average of 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value. Looking at the 24 most tracked projects (projects consistently tracked for the last six years), their payback for 2017 was also 64.3 cents—only three-quarters of a penny higher than 2016 projections.

Why the little change? Simply put: the differences in underlying numbers was minimal year-to-year. The average cost for those 24 projects rose a meager 3 percent, while the value that real estate professionals put on said projects only rose 4.2 percent. Minor gains, yes, but we’ll take what we can get.

Recent and long-time trends continued, reports Remodeling. Curb appeal projects like changes to doors, windows and siding garnered a higher ROI than work done inside the home. Replacement projects, like doors or windows, scored higher among real estate pros than did remodels.

Garage door

On a national scale, the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “midrange” cost category are:


  1. Attic Insulation (Fiberglass) (107.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,343
    Average Resale Value: $1,446
  2. Entry Door Replacement (steel) (90.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,413
    Average Resale Value: $1,282
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer (89.4% ROI)
    Average Cost: $7,851
    Average Resale Value: $7,019
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel (80.2% ROI)
    Average Cost: $20,830
    Average Resale Value: $16,699
  5.  Garage Door Replacement (76.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,749
    Average Resale Value: $1,345

The top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report’s “upscale” cost category are:

  1. Garage Door Replacement (85.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,304
    Average Resale Value: $2,810
  2. Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) (77.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,276
    Average Resale Value: $2,550
  3. Window Replacement (vinyl) (73.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $15,282
    Average Resale Value: $11,286
  4. Window Replacement (wood) (73.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $18,759
    Average Resale Value: $13,691
  5. Grand Entrance (fiberglass) (70.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $8,358
    Average Resale Value: $5,855

Source: RISMedia.com, read complete article here.

Start searching for your new property!


“Clean The Fork” – Agents Preserving Their Community

Over the weekend our Bigfork, Montana agents grabbed some trash bags & gloves and headed out into their community to preserve its natural beauty. Hosted by the Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce this lasting annual event keeps this charming community tidy and tantalizing.

“The town of Bigfork is a picturesque and charming place. Chosen as “One of the 50 Great Towns of the West”, Bigfork is a unique part of the American West.”

The Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty “Clean The Fork” team included: Shirley Moorman, Tom & Katie Brown, Hilary Shephard, Tiffany Sherman, Jay Wolfe, Alisha May, Nikkiel Bjornson Fox, Nikki Frizzell, & Patrick Hanes.


“Great to see so many people taking pride in our wonderful, little town.  Happy to help in such a small way” -Katie Brown

“Clean the Fork really brings the whole community together. Every one sees the value and the beauty our town has to offer and it’s great to see everyone working together to keep it that way. ”

– Tiffany Sherman & Hilary Shepherd WorkPlayLiveMT.com



Learn more about Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty!

Sentinel Pine- Grand Estate of the Old West For Sale

The Sentinel Pine is one of the last remaining grand estates of the “old west.” It boasts a long and rich history, dating back to its purchase by the current owner’s family in 1944.

Setinel 3

JL McLaughlin of Great Falls was one of the West’s most prominent general contractors between 1925 and 1960. He named this spectacular Swan Lake property for its landmark Ponderosa pine, believed to be one of the oldest in the country, which overlooks the lake. For more than 70 years, McLaughlin and his descendants have continuously used the property as a summer home. Its capacious and comfortable accommodations have made it a gathering place for both business associates and personal friends, hosting many major renowned politicians, industrialists, military figures, artists, educators, and even sports figures. In 2015 the Montana Board of Tourism used the Sentinel Pine, with its majestic vistas, for a photography shoot.

Sentinel lake


McLaughlin was perhaps best known as one of the Primary Contractors for the famous Going-To-The-Sun Highway in Glacier Park. He also built numerous dams throughout the West including the Hungry Horse and Libby dams. Other construction projects included several hundred miles of the Trans-Canadian and Alaskan Highways and partial construction of several airports, such as Boeing Field and Sea-Tac in Seattle. Additionally, he was involved in the manufacture of military tanks and armored vehicles for the federal government. McLaughlin was active in civic affairs in Great Falls and the state of Montana. As a philanthropist he contributed significantly to numerous colleges and hospitals and was a major benefactor of Charles M. Russell Museum in Great Falls. The McLaughlin Research Institute, a major independent US biotechnology laboratory, still bears his name.

Sentinel dining


As his business interests and networks grew, McLaughlin used the property’s spacious and comfortable accommodations to host numerous prominent individuals, many of them on an annually recurring basis. Among politicians, one regular guest for two decades was Burton K. Wheeler, perhaps Montana’s most famous senator. Mike Mansfield, who served for 34 years in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate before becoming US Ambassador to Japan, was also a guest. John Hoeven, former Governor and current U.S. Senator from North Dakota, frequented the property in his youth. Business partners and associates included the heads of Kaiser – Permanente, Genstar, and other co-venture partners with Mr. McLaughlin. Reginald Jennings, one of Calgary’s most prominent business leaders and owner of the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League visited annually for many years. Cornelius Kelley, who made the Anaconda Copper Company the third largest corporation in the world, regularly dropped in by boat, from next-door Kootenai Lodge, which is now registered as a federal national historical site. Because of McLaughlin’s involvement in the defense industry, generals and other military figures were also guests. Among them was General Charles Sweeney, the only man who flew on both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing missions in 1945.

Sentinel 2

Not all of the visitors have been business associates. Sentinel Pine has also hosted several renowned western artists who have found inspiration from its mountain vistas. These have included Nicholas de Grandmaison of Canada, Branson Stevenson of Great Falls, Elmer Sprunger of nearby Bigfork, and more recently, well-known bronze sculptor Eric Thorsen. Others who have enjoyed the estate’s hospitality include NHL Hall of Fame hockey player Red Dutton, bishops and cardinals of the Catholic Church, and Prof. Dudley Herschbeck, a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry. Additionally, Harry Lewis, former Dean of Harvard College and chair of its computer science department, has been a partial owner of Sentinel Pine where he has summered every year for more than half a century, often accompanied by other leaders of Harvard College.

Setinel 1


The Sentinel Pine is a grand legacy estate set on 30 acres with 2100 feet of Swan Lake frontage. This timeless and one-of-a-kind property, with a rich history and owned by one family for 72 years, now presents a once- in-a- lifetime ownership opportunity. Its manicured lawns feature 4 separate homes and 3 cabins. The property can comfortably accommodate 20 people. The central Main Lodge features a stunning old-world living room with a Montana rock fireplace. Its spacious dining room and wraparound cocktail area feature great mountain and lake vistas. Its large, covered, three-slip dock and beach create an unsurpassed watersport heaven. With a tennis court, ball field, and more you have the perfect place to build lifelong family memories for generations to come!This unique property can be purchased as a single 30 acre estate or it can be separated into a 21 acre and a 9 acre parcel. The 21 acre parcel would include the historic log residences, guest cabins, boat dock, beach area, tennis court, caretakers home and maintenance buildings. The 9 acre parcel would include the more contemporary “Point House” along with a very private entry and possible additional building site. This unique parcel has apx. 700 feet of Swan Lake frontage.

14833 Sunburst Dr , Bigfork, MT – Exclusively offered by Patrick Hanes, Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Tallest Single-Family Home in the U.S. for Sale

This Prescott, Arizona home offers an unparalleled bird’s eye view. Known as the Falcon Nest, the 124-foot-tall residence is on the market for $1.5 million and includes three bedrooms, four baths, and uninhibited views of the surrounding valley. Designed by Phoenix architect Sukumar Pal in 1994, the 6,200-square foot property utilizes many forms of alternative power to limit the energy consumption of its luxurious amenities, including a hydraulic elevator to transport guests from the garage to the living area.


Though the home is ten stories high, the sixth floor—known as the solarium—is the main attraction, consisting of 2,000 square feet of glass-paneled living space, comprising two bedrooms, two baths, a kitchen, and a common room.


Guests can enjoy 360-degree views of the surrounding scenery, including the San Francisco Peaks 120 miles in the distance, through the solarium’s windowed walls and ceilings. The listing provides some unconventional ideas for the uniquely-shaped pad, including transforming the nest into a luxury bed and breakfast radio tower, or observatory. (Source: Architectural Digest)


**Falcon Nest Can be repurposed as: 

1. The home could be used as an educational institution for geology, sustainability, and other topics, with informal classrooms and lecture halls. Here, the state university board as well as the local colleges such as Yavapai and Prescott College could be solicited.

2. This could be a ranger station/trailhead/museum for the Thumb Butte area, offering guidance, artifacts and tour information for the area. Here the state parks department would be contacted.

3. The home could become a bed and breakfast, offering unique view opportunities, spa amenities and onsite chef preparation.

4. The home could become multi-purpose, with offices and spaces to rent/lease.

5. The home could become multi-tenant, for high-end prospects.

6. The home could be used as an event venue, for weddings, special events, etc.


Property Marketed By – Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty

Click here to view extraordinary Montana real estate!

Sotheby’s International Realty® Brand and New Story Partnership (Video)

The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand is proud to announce that it has partnered with New Story, a non-profit organization that puts 100% of donations toward transforming dangerous living environments into communities of safe, sustainable homes, for $6,000 a home.

Why did we choose New Story as a partner?

100% of donations go directly to the field. They operate with completely separate overhead cost so every dollar donated goes straight to building homes. Donors have the ability to see the exact family they’re sponsoring, along with the supplies and costs their donation is covering. In the beginning, the donor receives a photo of the family and their story. When the home is completed, they are delivered a move-in video to share in the excitement of this incredible effort.
They hire local labor and buy domestic materials to boost the country’s economy. New Story does more than build houses – they provide jobs and economic stability for the communities they service.

Meet the Guillaume Family from Haiti, the recipients of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand donation.

FamilyWith four young kids, dirt floors, and barely-there walls, it is difficult for Yphonise to keep her family healthy. She told us how both she and her children have been getting ill. “The house leaks, the wood is rotting. I do not feel safe.”

Shortly before a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Yphonise optimistically moved to the seaside town of Bercy. “I wanted to be closer to my family”, she said. The home she moved into would be destroyed soon thereafter, along with almost every other home in her new community. To aid in short-term suffering, NGOs came to her town to distribute tarp tents. These tents were intended to last for a few weeks or months but temporary tent settlements have now turned into nightmarish slum villages in various parts of Haiti. Families like Yphonise’s have been living like this for nearly 7 years.

See the full story here.

Watch this video to get a closer look at New Story, who was just named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies” for 2017 in their not-for-profit sector.

Source: Sothebsrealty.com

Women In Real Estate – Making A Difference

Making a positive difference in our communities is the foundation of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty. Last week several of our Real Estate Professionals volunteered their time and construction skills to help Habitat For Humanity of Flathead Valley.

Habitat for Humanity was founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child should have a simple, durable place to live in dignity and safety, and that decent shelter in decent communities should be a matter of conscience and action for all.

Habitat 4

Did you know? Historically, women have been involved in real estate almost since its inception in 1794 and its establishment as a legitimate business in the 1840s. 58 percent of all REALTORS® are female. In 1996, women represented the majority of broker licensees for the first time. Source (nar.realtor)

Here is what our Real Estate Professionals had to say:


“I’ve always enjoyed volunteering, I believe we all must give back to the community we are a part of. What I really enjoy about Habitat for Humanity is that everyone starts out with a small task and through teamwork a much larger task is accomplished. It was great to experience  the first walls of a house go up at the end of the day, walls that took 20 volunteers nailing various boards together to complete. It was a very rewarding experience and I will definitely do it again.” – Maggie Lee

Habitat 3


“I’ve always been a hands on person who loves giving back to my community. I grew up in Montana so it’s important for me to share the gift of living here with others. Prior to working at this build site I had bought from the Habitat For Humanity store to help support their awesome cause. One of my favorite moments was when one of the guys running the program told us about a kid who came up to him and was so excited that he was finally getting a home so he wouldn’t have to move anymore and he could play sports and be a part of a team. It made me realize what we are doing is not just providing a house for a family but also stability. I definitely look forward to volunteering with them again.” – Ashley Brunette 

Habitat 2

Sonja“Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity was a truly heartwarming experience. The most rewarding part was working as a team towards the goal of helping a local family realize the dream of homeownership. Giving back in this way, knowing that we helped a family build a better life felt pretty amazing. I will definitely take part in this rewarding opportunity again.” – Sonja Burgard

Habitat 6Cynthia“Even though it was 45 degrees and rained pretty much non-stop, I had a great time building with Habitat.  I felt a great sense of accomplishment by being a small part of something so big as building a home for a young family.  We were able to meet the mom and kids which made it that much more special.  As I drove away from the build site and saw the first wall standing that we helped to erect, I felt that not only were we helping to build their home but we were helping to strengthen the community by giving them a safe, comfortable place to live.” – Cynthia Dearing

Habitat 5

Functional & Elegant Commercial Space In Whitefish

This former residence in the commercial district of Baker Ave, Whitefish is now transformed into a functional and elegant small office–a perfect office for a builder, interior designer, perhaps an architect or lawyer.

2What the current owner has to say:

North Country Builders, Inc. of Whitefish has operated successfully out of this Baker Ave. office for the past eight years, after buying the residence and performing the remodeling in 2008.  The 865 square foot space now contains two individual office spaces with built-in desks, good storage and up-to-date wiring.  Additionally, the office contains a fully functional kitchen and ADA compliant bathroom.  One section of the office serves well as a conference room with a large, custom built conference table and convenient book shelves.  Nearby, a gas fireplace lends warm ambiance.  The office entry area offers two south facing banks of bright windows and can serve as a sunroom, display area or additional work space.  The office also has a full basement functioning as storage area and a small shop.

Structurally, the office is very sound.  The original wall construction is comprised of three horizontal courses of brick enclosed inside and out with plaster and stucco.  Remodeling included a complete new roof frame, architectural asphalt shingles and R-49 fiberglass insulation.  The original windows, though beautiful, were inefficient.  They too have all been replaced with historically accurate and super-efficient, Sierra Pacific, wood-clad, casements.


From the street side, curb appeal is extraordinary with the clean lines of a well-designed, craftsman style home, and the added amenity of a lovely stone and stucco chimney.  Enhancing the visual appeal of the office itself, professional landscaping includes a pleasant variety of trees, shrubs and two or three small flower gardens.  All the original old-growth trees have been carefully retained, which offer added depth to the lawn and gardens.  The paved driveway and parking area are bordered by an interesting stone wall, enhanced with a radius entry of cultured stone.  A “dry creek bed” composed of all the native stones unearthed during construction is another focal point from the street or sidewalk.


The office is located at the south end of Baker Avenue, in the transition area from residential zoning to commercial, and this office is an appropriate commercial use within this zoning district.  Baker Avenue is one of two main thoroughfares entering Whitefish.  While heavy, commercial truck traffic is not allowed, there is a steady stream of personal vehicles on the street and a well-used sidewalk that maintains the office in the public eye.  In fact, this little office has become a very pleasant transitional landmark from the commercial end of Baker Ave to the more relaxed residential end.

In short, the office that is now the home of North Country Builders, Inc. is perfectly located, beautifully transformed and fully functional as a small office—the sale of which is now a golden opportunity  for the next small-business owner.

Contact Hunter Homes 406.314.1417 or Cynthia Dearing 406.260.1201 for more details or a showing.