Tag Archives: homes for sale in montana

Tips To Make Your Home Brighter – Steve Asbell

Dreading the end of Daylight Saving Time? Trick your way into a brighter space — even when the natural light prospects are dim.

Whether you live in a large home with a dark interior or a small apartment with only one window, follow these tips to bring in more sunshine — or at least make it look that way.

Paint it light and bright

Colors and values are nothing more than the light that reaches our eyes after bouncing off objects.

The amazing thing about white is that it reflects most of the light that hits its surface, creating the illusion of light. Case in point: that glowing ball in the sky we call the moon.

Paint colors that are saturated yet light in value create a similar effect, while lending their own distinctive personalities to a space.

(5,100 sq ft home on 1 acre | Clinton, MT |$675,000)

Keep the contrast

A kitchen with white cabinets, countertops, walls and backsplashes is about as bright as it gets, yet the lack of variety can leave the overall effect a bit dull.

To keep things interesting, introduce contrast. Choose accessories, cookware and decorations in your favorite color, or even decide on an entire palette.

Sneak in some style and personality with a colorful mosaic backsplash, or add drama to the scene with dark furniture, picture frames or patterns.

(3,475 sq ft cheerful home 1.5 acres | Whitefish, MT | $599,000)

Strategically place mirrors

Mirrors cannot make a room look brighter on their own, though there is some truth to the mirror myth, since they’re excellent at reflecting natural light in rooms that already receive it.

Don’t expect to get the same effect in dim hallways and bathrooms, though, since it does no good to duplicate a dim view. So, go ahead — replace those huge panels of mirrored glass in your bathroom with more attractive framed mirrors. You won’t miss out after all.

Install new windows

Yes, installing an entire window or two is the nuclear option, but if your home is so dim that you’re forced to keep the lights on all day, then it could be taking a toll on your utility bills — or even your mental well-being!

This isn’t a decision to take lightly (no pun intended), so talk to a contractor to discuss options and pricing before you break out that sledgehammer. You might be better off installing a skylight or light tubes.

(2,651 sq ft custom home near Ashely Lake | Kila, MT | $539,000)

Read full “How to Brighten a Dark Home” article.

See more homes at Glaciersir.com

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.

September Road Trip In Montana

Who doesn’t love a road trip? September is known (by the locals) for being the best month to see Montana. The sky is robin’s egg blue, the crowds are gone and the weather is gorgeous. This Montana small town road trip will take you through a few of Western Montana’s most charming places and can easily be completed in a weekend. You’ll experience the essence of Montana and get a real feel of this most glorious state. So pack the car and let’s get going!

Road Trip

Philipsburg – a charming 19th century mining town

Your trip starts in Philipsburg, nestled in the beautiful Pintler Mountains and in the heart of Montana’s sapphire country. Not only is it this picturesque little town rich with large mineral deposits, it is near 75 named lakes and reservoirs and full of interesting history. Fun things to do in P-burg include panning for your own Montana sapphires, exploring old Montana silver and gemstone mines and visiting nearby ghost towns (part of Montana’s rich history). After of day of climbing through the nearby hills, enjoy a local micro-brew at the Philipsburg Brewing Company and don’t miss The Sweet Palace. It’s the best candy shop ever! If you want to try the new “Glamping Trend” or stay in a luxury cabin, try the Rock Creek Ranch. It’s amazing! Moving on from P-burg, head over the exciting Skalkahoo Highway Scenic Byway along Montana Highway 38 (closed in winter) but don’t be surprised if you land right in the middle of a cattle drive while traversing the pass on your way to….

 

Hamilton – home to the Copper Kings

Surrounded by the Bitterroot Mountains and along the Bitterroot River, Hamilton is home to the famous Chief Joseph, Calamity Jane and on the trail of Lewis and Clark. The town was founded by copper magnate, Marcus Daly and his historic mansion is open for tours, offering a nostalgic step back to Montana’s prosperous days of mining, timber and railroads. Hamilton, known for recreation, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, boating and hiking, are pursuits worth exploring in wide valley that surrounds the city. A plethora of food, lodging and shopping can be found in Hamilton’s charming downtown. Stop at the Bitterroot Brewery for a Honey Huckleberry brew, listen to some country music and then head over to the Grubstake Restaurant (open from May to early October) and accessed through a private game preserve. The building is made of logs with sixteen sides and a central fireplace—a true Montana experience! To stay overnight, Hamilton has whatever you desire, western lodges, charming B&Bs, camp grounds and hotels. After a good night’s sleep in this Bitterroot hamlet, you’re ready to discover…

Darby – essence of the Old West

Just about 17 miles south of Hamilton is the quaint western town of Darby. Near the Idaho border, Darby is a full of western town activities. Logger Days, Bull Riding Competitions, Rodeos, the Strawberry Festival (Darby is in one of Montana’s banana belts) and a Blue Grass Festival is really what Darby is all about. Grab a snack at the Sula Country Store and head to…

Wisdom – Valley of 10,000 haystacks

Hiking, fishing, climbing, exploring, Wisdom has 2000 square miles of it. The Big Hole River bottom is famous for its blue ribbon trout fishing, and a unique strain of fluvial arctic grayling. Many of the ranchers in the area still use the “beaverslide,” a hay stacking technique developed in the valley during the early 1900s. Before you leave Wisdom and head to Anaconda, be sure to visit the Big Hole National Battlefield, a memorial to the battle of the Big Hole between the US Army and the Nez Perce. For the last stop on your small town’s trip visit historic…

Anaconda – Home of the huge smelter stack

Built by the Anaconda Copper Company, the stack is so tall, it would easily hold the Washington Monument inside. Anaconda sprung from a melting pot of immigrants chasing the American dream and at one time was the world’s largest supplier of copper, just as electricity came into common use. Visit the Washoe Theater, the extravagant movie palace built in 1936 with Art Deco furnishings, murals, and ornamentation in silver, copper and gold. Stretch your legs at the beautiful Washoe Park and feed the trout at the Anaconda Fish Hatchery. You can’t leave Anaconda without tasting a Butte Pasty at June’s Pasty Shop and be sure to stop in to the Mining Company Saloon for some authentic Anaconda stories.

Memories of your Montana road trip will linger for years to come. Wide valleys, towering Rocky Mountains and Montana’s big skies are the souvenirs you’ll keep for a lifetime!

Photo from our Exclusive Listing 32526 Mcleod Rd Arlee, MT

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Tips To Start Saving Your Down Payment

Start saving and planning for that down payment NOW!

For those of you who have millennial children, I’m pretty sure that you have (more than once) helped them advised them on budgeting and/or gone through all of their expenses andmade suggestions on what to eliminate or what seem to be unneeded. Then, after they have saved some money, they decide they want to buy a house or get a master’s degree and who do they go to for help? YOU. Here are some quick fixes for saving money and it’s pretty amazing how much can be saved in a year—even enough for a down payment? This is not just for millennials though, seniors on a fixed income can use these savings, too. Here are some ways to save.

Who doesn’t love a latte every day? We all do, but it’s time to skip the daily latte and make coffee at home. If you need fluffy milk, buy a fluffer ($1 at IKEA).

Annual savings: $1095

Cut the gym membership. Don’t stop exercising, but get creative with your routine. Walk on your lunch break, ride your bike on the weekends or both. The average monthly cost for a membership is about $50 a month.

Annual savings: $600

Cancel the cable and get a Roku. With all the digital outlets for news and entertainment, cancelling cable for a year is doable. According to the Leichtman Research Group, if you drop the cable in favor of, maybe a Netflix account at $7.99 per month (although Netflix is set to increase to $8.99 per month), you’ll save $91.11 per month.

Annual savings: $1,093.32

Unlimited everything plans on your phone. Did you get one of those unlimited everything plans when you bought your phone? If you don’t talk on the phone that much and you don’t use much data, you can switch to a lower priced plan—or at least drop a couple of gigs of data.

Annual savings: $120 to $300

Packing a lunch instead of buying could save a bunch. It’s not that hard, it just requires a little planning and discipline. Make more dinner than you need and take it for lunch the next day.

Annual savings: (at least) $1560

Cocktails anyone? At about $8 a pop for a cocktail in a bar or club, the price can really add up to about $48 per week. Don’t be a hermit, but cut down to half of the bar outings.

Annual savings: $1248

Dry cleaning can add up. There are dry cleaning products that you can use at home and/or shop carefully for items that do not need to be dry cleaned. Cut that amount in half and…

Annual savings: $1354

Now that your millennial offspring is on the road to saving $7070.32 a year, the next step is to build up credit—not just credit, but good credit. Often times, mortgage interest rates are based on credit rating and a little work at building up good credit can bring a ton of advantages and savings when it comes time to buy a home.

From BankRate, here are some simple ways to improve your credit.

  1. Watch credit card balances. One major factor in your credit score is how much revolving credit you have versus how much you’re actually using. The smaller that percentage is, the better it is for your credit rating. The optimum: 30% or lower. To boost your score, “pay down your balances, and keep those balances low,” says Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union.
  2. Eliminate credit card balances. The solution to improve your credit score is to gather up all those credit cards on which you have small balances and pay them off. Then pick one or two cards that you can use for everything.
  3. Leave good debit on your report. Debt that you’ve handled well and paid as agreed upon is good for your credit. The longer your history of good debt is, the better it is for your score.
  4. Pay bills on time. Plain old on-time payments are one of the biggest ingredients in a good credit score. Sometimes one of the best ways to improve your credit score is to not do something that could sink it. Two of the biggies are missing payments and suddenly paying less (or charging more) than you normally do. Don’t! Steady as she goes is the best way to handle the credit card bills.

Some people don’t know this, but every time you apply for a credit card, it can cause a small dip in your credit score that can last up to a year. When you are trying to build up your credit, avoid applying for any credit cards. Remember, you don’t want to do anything that indicates risk. Monitoring your credit score from time to time is not only helpful, but can be very uplifting, too!

After a years of these good practices, you can congratulate yourself (or your offspring). Money has been saved, (over $7000 a year), bills are handled and the credit score is rising. It just may be that the first home is just around the corner and there is something pretty wonderful about owning a home. Discipline, thoughtfulness and some plain common sense—it’s just not that hard!

Photo of exclusive offering 675 Blacktail, Lakeside, Montana