Tag Archives: for sale in Columbia Falls

4 Signs It’s The Time To Sell – Dave Ramsey

Not sure when to sell your house? If you’ve been on the fence, we’ve got good news: It’s a great market for sellers! Limited inventory continues to drive home prices up, and the latest data from the National Association of Realtors shows that half of recently sold properties were on the market for just 39 days.

Of course, the decision of when to sell your home isn’t solely based on market conditions. You have to take your personal situation into account.

You’re Out of Debt With Cash in the Bank

If you didn’t have all your financial ducks in a row your first time around the home-buying block, you probably learned a few things the hard way. Like the fact that Murphy can smell broke from miles away. If it can go wrong, it will! Put those lessons to good use and be a money-smart home buyer the next go-round!

Start by taking a hard look at your finances. If you’ve paid off all your nonmortgage debt and have three to six months of expenses in your emergency fund, that’s a good sign you’re financially mature enough to purchase a home again.

You’ve Got Equity on Your Side

When the housing bubble burst, home values plummeted, sending many mortgages underwater. Thankfully, the tide has turned: According to CoreLogic, only 8% of homes with a mortgage had negative equity at the beginning of 2016. If you’re not sure where your equity stands, ask an experienced real estate agent to run a free comparative market analysis (CMA) to determine an approximate value for your home.

Your Home No Longer Fits Your Lifestyle

Another factor to consider is how well your home meets your everyday needs. Perhaps you could use another bedroom (or even two) to accommodate your growing family. Or maybe your kids have all moved out and you’re ready to downsize.

You Can Actually Afford the Move

Don’t get so carried away by the excitement of your next home that you forget to account for the cost of leaving your current one. Make sure you are financially ready to buy a home and know exactly how much you can spend on a house. Hiring professional movers? Save up cash to cover the cost of packing up and hauling your stuff away.

You should also invest a little to get your current place ready for prime time. Linda recommends focusing your home-improvement dollars on these areas:

  • Paint
  • Curb appeal
  • Kitchen and bath

To find out more contact one of our real estate agents today!

See full “4 Signs Now’s the Right Time to Sell Your Home” article by Dave Ramsey here.

Elegant Living In Wood Ridge

“We escaped the big city life 11 years ago & found this delightful neighborhood nestled in the forest, but in close proximity to all of the villages. We took existing plans and adapted them to suit our needs.”

 

119 Wood Ridge Dr, Columbia Falls, MT

Elegant living in a rural, country setting is what brought the current homeowners to Columbia Falls, Montana. This property provides both privacy and luxury in a serene, peaceful setting. This one-of-a-kind, 3890 sq. ft. custom-built home sits on 1.2 acres in the exclusive Wood Ridge subdivision. Featuring 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a wine cellar, sauna, office, game room, and a two car garage.

“We love the spacious, easy flow to the floor plan & there are windows everywhere to let in light. We have celebrated many wonderful occasions in the wine cellar. In fact it is known in our neighborhood as a hot spot for wine parties!”

Special features include surround sound throughout, radiant floor heating throughout (including garage), custom tile floors, and granite counters. When we asked the current owners what they will remember most about this exquisite property they said, “the deep silence in the winter and the continuous parade of wildlife viewed from our many windows. Truly the people who live here are the best! We have developed more than a few very close relationships with our neighbors and know we can count on them.”

For more details about this custom home please contact listing agent Sonja Burgard at 406.871.0372, sburgard@glaciersir.com  or click here.

Beau’s Final Bull (Flathead Beacon)

The standing ovation, rippling throughout the packed grandstands at Flathead County Fairgrounds, was loud and proud.

Battling bruised ribs and an injured lung and hobbled by a ruptured wrist tendon that’s undergone multiple surgeries but just won’t fully heal, Beau Hill climbed atop a professional-grade, snot-snorting bull one last time in Kalispell.

He didn’t last eight seconds. He lasted 20 years.

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(PHOTO CREDIT GREG LINDSTROM | FLATHEAD BEACON)

The affable family man from Columbia Falls, who rose to fame as a talented teenager and defied the odds by carving out a spectacular career as one of the best professional bull riders in the world, is finally hanging up the spurs.

Hill, 38, competed on the final night of the PRCA Rodeo at the Northwest Montana Fair on Aug. 19 and received a well-deserved tribute from the crowd, which included family and friends who witnessed his last professional ride in Kalispell.

“I just decided that would be as good a place as any, a hometown rodeo. It was a good spot to do it and it was pretty awesome to do it in front of family and friends,” Hill said.

The following week he traveled to Australia and rode another bull before returning home to his wife, Keri, and their three kids: LaKia, Jace and Jory.

“I’m pretty much going to call it quits,” he said last week after being back with his family.

“I’m not saying I won’t ever get on another bull, but I’m done as a professional. I’m never going to make another run at anything.”

It’s been quite the ride in one of the roughest, most dangerous sports.

Read full Flathead Beacon article by  here.

SEARCH NW MONTANA FARM & RANCH PROPERTIES.

Shop Talk With Sonja Burgard

“BECAUSE I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY JOB, I OFTEN WISH I HAD BECOME A REAL ESTATE AGENT 20 YEARS AGO, BUT I WOULD NOT BE THE AGENT I AM NOW WITHOUT THE PREVIOUS DIVERSE EXPERIENCES IN THE COMMUNITY THAT ENRICH MY ROLE AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT TODAY.”

Sonja recently sat down with the team over at Western Home Journal and shared her journey about becoming a real estate agent in NW Montana.

YOU GREW UP HERE, BUT HAS THE FLATHEAD VALLEY ALWAYS BEEN HOME?

I grew up in Kalispell and left to earn degrees from MSU in Bozeman and BSU in Boise. It wasn’t a tough decision for me to move back to the Flathead Valley in 2004. My husband and I had lived in Bozeman, Boise, and Choteau, and we were ready to return to the Flathead Valley and raise our family. I can’t get enough of the Flathead Valley.
I knew returning to my roots meant being surrounded by mountains, lakes, rivers, family, and great communities. I love spending time
in Glacier National Park. Sharing this love with my 12-year-old daughter is now even more joyful.

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU BECAME AN AGENT? WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ENTER REAL ESTATE?

I have a master’s degree in art education, and I have taught, owned
a photography business, and owned and operated two successful restaurants.

Real estate is a perfect fit for me because I love helping people and I have a natural habit of connecting people with things they are looking for. I am fascinated by the real estate market, and I started buying and selling properties early. Truly, real estate is the ideal combination of my work and life experiences.

WHAT ARE TODAY’S BUYERS LOOKING FOR IN A FAMILY HOME?

Families are typically looking for move- in-ready properties. Bonus rooms, two- or more-car garages, and a location close to schools top their wish lists.

Second homebuyers seem to desire privacy and views. They look for newer construction and often a waterfront location or large acreage. There is also a healthy segment of buyers who are looking for vacation condos for personal retreats or as a business investment.

WHAT SELLS THE BUYERS ON FLATHEAD VALLEY OVER OTHER RESORT AREAS?

A spirit of adventure, the overall quality of life, and the ability to get away from it all and find a slower pace—all these qualities are desirable. There is no doubt that the nearby millions of acres of undisturbed wilderness and Glacier National Park add to the area’s distinctive appeal. We have all of that, plus phenomenal city-like opportunities such as theatre companies, art galleries, and fine dining.

It is also a great investment. There are plenty of choices for real estate investment for all lifestyles and price points.

Our communities have craft breweries and distilleries, and we have boutique shops and farmers markets. All of these characteristics keep entrepreneurs wanting to invest.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR ROLE AS AN AGENT IN A RESORT TOWN?

I see myself as a source of information, and a local guide. Because I am from the Flathead Valley, I know the area very well and can help clients understand the differences between the areas, as well as the current state of the market. Like my other preceding jobs, I am in the service industry and I want the buying and selling process to be exceptional. I want to help people make connections. It’s just how I am.

WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE TAKING SHAPE?

One trend in building is that we are seeing smaller building footprints. There are new subdivisions being offered with covenants allowing for smaller totals of square footage. Whitefish Hills Village is a good example of this new trend.

WHAT ARE THE CURRENT CHALLENGES?

Our inventory is smaller, making for fewer homes
to choose from. Narrowing down properties and finding the perfect place is the ultimate scavenger hunt!

– Sonja Burgard, Real Estate Agent, Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty

See complete Western Home Journal Publication online.

Want to know more about Sonja Burgard and her listings? Tour her profile and contact her today at 406.871.0372

2016 Flathead Market Report – Kelley Appraisal

The Flathead Real Estate Market continues to improve with a near record number of sales in 2016.

This report addresses statistical details of the Flathead County Real Estate market over the last few years and summaries on the 2016 market.

In general, 2016 was mostly stable with numbers similar to the last three years. The following is a list of some key points:

  1. The employment picture continues to improve.
  2. Subdivision activity continues near its all-time low, but as the inventory of bank-owned has mostly gone away. There is some new interest in development, but mostly within the City limits. There continues to be little interest in rural subdivision development.
  1. New home construction is increasing in all areas of Flathead County.
  2. The number of residential home sales was about the same as it was in 2015, but the inventories are down from 2015.
  3. REO sales continue to decline and are no long a material segment of the Flathead Market.
  4. Of the County’s sub-markets, most areas showed an increase in the number of sales. The largest increase was in Whitefish.
  5. The number of land sales were about the same as they have been over the last three years.
  6. Housing is under pressure with prices outpacing the affordability as interest rates start to increase.
  7. The number of foreclosures continued to decrease through 2016.
  8. Commercial property sales decreased in 2016.

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2015 was the best year for home sales since 2006 and 2016 is at the same level as 2015. There were 1680 homes sales reported in Flathead County in 2016, compared to 1,683 in 2015. The median price finished at $255,000, which is 5.2% above the 2015 median of $242,500. The 2016 median of $255,000 is the highest its ever been and is $5,000 higher than the 2007 median of $250,000.

Overall, the entire year mostly matched 2015 with the number of sales being up 8% in the first quarter, down 5% in the second quarter, down 2% in the third quarter, then finishing off the year with a plus 4%.

This January, there are 851 homes that are on the market compared to 1065 in January of 2016 and 1177 in January of 2015. With 851 current listings, this represents 6.1 months of inventory compared 7.6 months of inventory in January of 2016.

As we go into 2017, interest rates will be a key factor. The overall average 30-year rate in 2016 was 3.7% and the current 30-year rate is nearly 4.1%. The 15-year rate averaged around 3.1% in 2016 and is now nearly 3.6%. The question here in the Flathead is, how much will this affect our market?

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According to the National Association of Realtors research department, the national average inventory as of November 2016, was 4.0 months. In Flathead County, the average inventory for properties under $300,000 is 2.5 months and the overall average is 6.1 months.

View the complete Kelley Appraisal Flathead Market report here.

Search Flathead Valley Real Estate at Glaciersir.com

About Jim Kelley:

Jim is the owner of Kelley Appraisal and is a 1975 graduate of the University of Montana Business School. He has been a leading provider of appraisals for commercial, residential and investment real estate in northwestern Montana for the last 36 years. With extensive professional experience and education in Finance, Mr. Kelley specializes in appraisals for purchases, sales, commercial loans, residential loans, and litigation. Mr. Kelley has built the most extensive statistical data base for the economic and real estate in northwestern Montana and been a guest speaker in the finance industry on numerous occasions. He was an invited lecturer to college students in China in 2007 on how the real estate and the appraisal business works in the United States. Mr. Kelley’s active roles in the Flathead Valley community in the past 36 years extend also into sailboat racing on the Flathead Lake and skiing on the Big Mountain.