Tag Archives: Whitefish real Estate

A Let-Up On Real Estate Prices? Some Trends To Watch

Will housing market prices continue to increase or will we start to see them level out? 2017 was an exciting year for real estate and many are wondering if the top dollar buzz is going to continue.

According to a recent RISMedia article, new research from HouseCanary, indicates the markets are now stabilizing.

“Although the housing market is still strong, with home prices still increasing in many markets, there is clear evidence of a considerable deceleration in the pace of those price increases,” says Alex Villacorta, executive vice president of Analytics for HouseCanary. “The rapid price growth in high-end and luxury markets seems to have stagnated as affordability continues to put downward pressure on home price appreciation.”

What factors are fueling the trend? The demand/supply dynamic, for one. Buyers are out in droves, but inventory is lacking. The imbalance is pressuring prices—and affordability is suffering, in turn.

Affordability is also impacted by mortgage rates, which is anticipated to land in the neighborhood of 4.75 percent by this time next year—a change that could deter homeowners with lower rates from selling, exacerbating inventory issues. The average 30-year, fixed mortgage rate has been on an uptick since the start of 2018.

Price Recently Reduced Charming Bigfork Log Home on 10+ Acres.

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act could have an effect on housing, as well, though how it could help or hurt the market is unclear.

The ever-changing mortgage rates & tax reforms buyers & sellers are faced with are just a few reasons why individuals should utilize an experienced Real Estate Professional. Please contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation so you can be certain you are making the best decision for you and your family.

To read the complete RISMedia article please click here.

Need a trusted Real Estate Professional? Click here to be connected to our Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty team!

Featured Property | 1138 Swan Hill Dr, Bigfork, MT | $499,000

You must see this charming log home with breathtaking mountain views just minutes to Bigfork & the Swan River nature trail; which is a great place to walk or bike ride to town. The expansive floor to ceiling windows frame the mountains, Swan Valley, & even Swan Lake. Remodeled kitchen, main floor master and loft/office. Even a new roof. Lower walk-out has 2 additional bedrooms. Sitting on the deck and taking in the setting is magical. This has a feeling of being ‘off the grid’ yet minutes from town. Swan Hill has a road HOA & year round access. The private road taking you to this special retreat winds through the woods & opens to the amazing views. Seller is aware that the acreage around needs a little parking out which would allow extra room for a shop or a garden. Priced to sell!

How To Get Your Home Ready to Sell – Realty Times

Prepping Your House For Sale

Although blind luck can sometimes play a part in helping a home sell quickly, most of the time it is the result of hard work and a well-developed plan. Since most areas usually have multiple homes for sale across a range of prices, attracting a buyer will require your home to stand out from the crowd.

The following tips will explain how to get your home ready to sell and help you complete the process sooner rather than later.

Make The Home Neutral

When potential sellers visit the home they want to envision living in the home. However, this can be a tough task if they are surrounded by photos and personal items that all reflect you and your loved ones.

Put away the personal stuff along with your heirlooms that speak to your personality and tastes.

The idea is to create an environment that a buyer looks around and thinks “it would be SO EASY to live here!” This means having only a few pieces of furniture in each of the major areas of the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. People can picture their own items better if there are few distractions.

It is also a good idea to have neutral colors. Off white, tan or similar colors for walls make the place feel as if it could be changed easily to fit the buyer’s tastes.

Physical Actions to Improve the Appeal of Your Home

There are 3 main things to focus on in order to physically improve the appeal of the home.

Rearrange – closets and cabinets need to be organized to maximize space and allow future buyers to see how their belongings will fit in the confines of the new home.

Neatly arranged closets and storage spots will indicate to the buyer that you have taken great care of the home.

Here are a few ways to make order out of chaos.

  • Stack all of the pans and dishes as neatly as possible.
  • Hang pants together. Likewise, hang shirts together and facing all to the same direction.
  • Place the shoes in a neat line.
  • Align all the spice jars in alphabetical order.
  • Turn each of the coffee mugs so that all handles face a uniform direction.

Remove all clutter – The majority of people hang on to a number of things long after their usefulness has expired. Now is a time to get rid of the stuff that you no longer need.

  • Pull down all of the books from the various bookcases.
  • Items that are used every day should be kept in a box. The box can then be put away in a closet. Things like coffee maker, toothbrush, razor, comb, etc.
  • Put things that are no longer used in one spot. Sell them online or donate them if they are truly of no use to you any longer.
  • Gather all knickknacks, gifts, etc. and pack them up.
  • Clear off all the counters in the kitchen. Makes the room look bigger and more user-friendly

Store things in a temporary unit – Homes are usually easier to sell when they are not packed with furniture, clothes, appliances and the like. For this reason, it may be a good idea to remove a few items from the home and place them in a storage facility.

The books and knickknacks mentioned earlier can be stored away. Also, if you have a dining table with removable leaves, take out the extra leaves and store them away. Each room needs a modest amount of furniture.

This allows potential buyers to picture their own items in the various rooms without too much distracting them.

Take Some Time to Let Go

If you have been in your current home for any length of time, there are likely many warm memories wrapped up in the place. Moving away and leaving those moments behind can be emotionally painful. Here are some ways to help you make the transition.

  • Spend time in each room to reflect on the memories of those specific spaces. Then say goodbye to the rooms.
  • Keep repeating to yourself “the precious memories of this place will always live on in my heart and mind. The home is merely a place to be bought and sold.”
  • Consider the fact that a new owner(s) is looking for a place to create their happy spot and joyful memories.
  • Also, consider that you are enabling the new owner to develop a calm and peaceful place to call their own by selling your wonderful place to them
  • Now is the time to embrace a bold, new future

By physically and mentally going through the process of saying goodbye to your old home, it will make the sale easier. Instead of only being sad at the thought of change, you will be in a mindset that you are making an opportunity for a new owner.

Read complete Realty Times article here.

Blog pictures from Recently Sold Whitefish property by Listing Agent Patti Codiga of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty.

Giving Back To The Communities We Love

Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty was a proud sponsor of the 2018 Mardi Gras Gala for Cancer Support Community Kalispell!

Our team had an incredible time and were honored to be a part of an event that unites and encourages people in our community who are facing the many challenges that come with cancer.

Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty attendees included: Kristin Zuckerman – Flathead Valley Real Estate ProfessionalTracy Rossi, Montana Real Estate ProfessionalJulia M. OlivaresTom and Katie BrownJeanie Konopatzke Whitefish Real Estate

Cancer Support Community of Kalispell’s Mission is to:

Take On Cancer Together.

Cancer Support Community Kalispell is a place where you walk through the door as one touched by cancer and instantly become part of something much bigger and much stronger. Through knowledge, support and encouragement, everyone speaks your language. You are not alone on this journey. We offer opportunities for you to get involved through educational sessions, support groups, and fun outdoor activities.

Located at 37 West Washington Street in Kalispell, MT, 59901. They are open Monday-Friday, 10 am – 4 pm or by appointment. Cancer Support Community Kalispell can be reached at  (406) 752-0130.

Visit their website here!

Tips for Fixing the Right Rate for Your Vacation Rental (VacationCluster.com)

Are you wondering why vacation rental stays unoccupied while your competition is always booked full? It could have something to do with your high vacation rental rate. If your rate is too high, your guests will have high expectations and you will be unable to deliver on and hence, you will lose repeat business. Also, high vacation rate could work as a deterrent to prospective guests. On the other hand, a low rate means you will not attract the right kind of guests and also you will not be able to generate a profit. So, it is imperative you fix the right rate every season.

Here are some tips to help you fix the perfect vacation rental rate without disappointing your guests or attracting unsavory guests.


Remember, your vacation rental will not be occupied every single day of the year. There will be times when the rental will be vacant. So, it is imperative you calculate all costs associated with managing and maintaining your rental and then take a conservative guess of the number of weeks it will be occupied in a calendar year. This will give you a fair idea what you should be charging your guests during the weeks it is occupied.

The costs you should be looking at include:

  • Repairs and renovations
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Landscaping
  • Cleaning services
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Management services
  • Licenses and permits
  • Accounting
  • Transaction costs

Once you have the amount, take a closer look at your competition.

Nestled in the heart of Whitefish Mountain Resort you will find this charming, luxury condo. Sold turn-key, it boasts 3 bedrooms & 3 full baths. Strong VRBO rental history, or can be used as your personal vacation home. Learn more…


Your competition is vacation rentals that are similar to yours. Compare apples to apples and not to oranges. This will give you an idea what vacation rentals that are similar to yours are charging. If you find out that your rate is still too high, you need to take a second look at what you are charging your guests. If your rate is in line with the prevailing rate in the area, you have nothing to worry about. And, if the rate is too low, push it up so that it is as per the market.


Each area has its own high and low season and the rates that vacation rental owners charge varies based on the season. You too should follow the trend prevailing in the market. Make sure you have one rate for the high season and another for the low season. The rate should be calculated taking into account how you can cover the costs associated with your rental and still make a profit. Basically, in the first couple of years you shouldn’t be looking to make a profit. Your focus should be in establishing yourself and creating a loyal customer following.

You can overcome the difficulties of low season by setting up a minimum stay period. However, do check the local laws before you make any plans. Some areas stipulate the minimum number of days for short-term rentals. You can also offer guests a discount for longer stays. This will help you reduce your turnover costs and also the wear and tear your property undergoes. Usually, if guests book for 7 days or more, you should be looking to offer them a 10% discount on the daily rate.


This phenomenal main residence, guest home/rental, & commercial grade shop are an incredible opportunity for the astute buyer. The main home’s spacious living areas, double master bedrooms, open kitchen, along with its expansive decks overlooking Flathead Lake, offer room for all to relax. The second home allows guests or VRBO rental opportunities. Learn more…


Many vacation rental owners end up adding extra fees to their base rate. This can be frustrating for guests. While you can charge for cleaning and taxes, you should not charge for any other expenses that you incur while renting out your vacation rental. These costs should be included in your rental price and that is why it is so important to figure out all the costs associated with managing and maintaining your property.

Read complete VactionCluster.com article here.

Find your Montana investment property by visiting GLACIERSIR.COM

Featured Image 1750 E Lakeshore Dr, Unit 107, Whitefish, MT

LIVE LAKEFRONT! This gorgeous condo sits just off the waterfront park at Mountain Harbor on Whitefish Lake.Zoning allows for NIGHTLY/WEEKLY rentals. Keep this gem all to yourself, offer it as a corporate retreat along with your usage, and/or have the option to put it in the rental pool. Learn more…

The Best Reasons To Live In Or Relocate To Montana

“The people are the best in NW Montana, friendly and grounded because we live in such a beautiful environment that changes people’s state of mind.  One of the best reasons to relocate to Montana is the love of the outdoors.  There is world class golf, skiing, hiking, fly fishing, biking, camping and more.  The beauty of this place is breathtaking and there have been numerous times when just driving home from work, the alpenglow on the mountains will take your breath away.  The amenities of the Flathead Valley whether its recreational, cultural, business or personal growth makes everyone feel welcome as soon as they arrive.”

– Hunter Homes & Cynthia Dearing (The Homes Team)

Hunter & Cynthia have over 30 years of real estate experience between them and have lived and loved the Flathead Valley for decades. Hunter first moved here in 1976, originally from Ossining, New York and Cynthia in 1991 from the Houston area.   Both are very active in the community with several volunteer groups in order to give back to the place they appreciate so much and are grateful to call home.

We wanted to know more about the programs “The Homes Team” are a part of in NW Montana and in asking it was easy to see how much Cynthia and Hunter value the outdoors, community art & culture.

“I was a part of the Whitefish Farmer’s Market for 8 years starting as a volunteer and then as the market manager for the last 5 years.  2017 was my first year not acting as manager.  I was on the board at the Whitefish Theatre Company for 6 1/2 years and also participated as a volunteer painting sets and helping with costume construction.  I did 4-holiday shows in a row, all musical theater, and a black curtain reading.  ” – Cynthia Dearing

In her spare time, Cynthia also enjoys hiking with The Summit Sisters every Thursday throughout the summer.  “I love backpacking in Glacier NP.  Watercolor is a new passion and I’m taking a full semester/credit class at FVCC this semester.”

For Hunter once living in the Rocky Mountain region there was no turning back. Experiencing the rivers in Montana, Idaho, Canada and the Grand Canyon and working for years as an adventure whitewater river guide, Hunter knew he had found a home in this pristine wilderness.

“Whitewater adventure rafting is a very popular activity in NW Montana.  There are numerous rivers that offer extreme whitewater excitement to the perfect Blue Ribbon fishing experience.  If you are looking for the thrill of whitewater and an extreme wilderness experience the upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River is the ultimate adventure.  The headwaters are in the Great Bear Wilderness Area. This river offers tremendous whitewater excitement and incredible pristine wilderness beauty.

 Golf is also my passion during the warm months. The Flathead Valley offers superb golfing for all levels of players at, at least a dozen courses. I have also been an active member on the Whitefish City Bike & Pedestrian Trail Committee, assisting in the building and design of the city trail system.” – Hunter Homes

In addition, Hunter is a member of the Hwy 93 West Corridor ReZoning Committee to rezone the west entrance into Whitefish. The dedication of The Homes Team to NW Montana communities and their ability to problem solve, grow relationships and work through real estate transactions with expert representation and negotiating skills has gained them many satisfied clients and friends.

With The Homes Team devoted to their community and well versed in the Flathead Valley, we wanted to know what they think is the most important market trend to watch for in 2018?

“I think low inventory will continue through 2018 and drive prices up but at a slower pace.  If more current homeowners would sell their homes, we’d have more inventory & current homeowners could maximize their investments. “



1163 Martin Creek Ln , Whitefish, MT 59937

Located just south of the resort town of Whitefish, Montana, this classic and thoughtfully designed custom home is highlighted by 800+ feet of Stillwater River frontage. Amenities include 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, an over-sized 3 car garage, office, backup generator, underground sprinklers and more.

Click here to view the property details & photos!


Financial Resolutions That Can Help You Buy a Home in 2018 (RISMEDIA)

If you want to buy a home this year, you may be in the midst of planning—or perhaps you’re already well on your way. Purchasing a home is a process made up of many moving parts, including your finances, your overall goals, your planning ability and your current financial situation. That said, it’s the season for New Year’s resolutions, right? Start making some financial ones along with your other goals.

To get you started, here are five financial resolutions that can help you reach your goal of buying a home in 2018:

Make a Budget

Just over 40 percent of Americans have a budget. Budgets are invaluable to prospective homeowners, though. Why? Well, you can see how much you spend per month—and you need to know that before deciding on what mortgage payment you can afford.

Many people hazard a guess at their discretionary spending. You may think you spend $200 a month on dining out with friends, for example. But if you totaled it up, you may find that it comes out closer to $300.

That’s important, because those who spend more than they earn, or squeak by financially every month, often do it because they underestimate what they’re paying. So, use a personal finance software like Mint or You Need a Budget and enter everything you purchase for at least a month.

As you build your budget, divide it into categories determined by your monthly expenditures. You can tweak this going forward. Tally together what you need for necessities, like rent and utilities. Add together discretionary spending, like movies and eating out.

How are you doing? If you’re within your earnings, great! If not, review your spending for how you can save. Can you eat out less? Maybe cut down on that second or third video streaming service? Brew your coffee at home?

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Save, Save and Save Again

Purchasing a house costs money. If you’ve been diligently saving for the down payment, congratulations. If not, one of the most crucial things you can do to prepare for homeownership is saving for the down payment.

Once you’ve got the down payment, continue to save, as you will need moving expenses and a cash cushion. As a rule of thumb, moving and establishing a household always costs more than you think. You may need new furniture or plumbing repairs, so be sure you have an emergency stash of cash.

Establish a Clear Goal

Like budgeting for your expenses, you also need to know your overall savings goal. It’s like creating a fund in the event of losing your job—you want a six-month cushion, at least. You will find it easier to save if you can visualize yourself reaching your final goal.

Scope out starter homes in your area. Look at neighborhoods you’d like to live in with your family. Use an online mortgage calculator to figure out how much you’d be paying for the average starter home per month.

Once you have a general sense of how much your mortgage would cost, as well as utilities, figure out how much you will need for a down payment. While six months’ worth of your salary is ideal, you can also aim for three months to start.

Pay Down Debt

There are two main reasons you want to pay down debt as much as you can before purchasing a house.

First, the less debt you have, the higher your credit score is likely to be. The higher your credit score, the more likely your lender is to give you preferential treatment, like a lower interest rate or fewer points and fees.

Second, the less debt you have, the lower your money debt obligations are likely to be. Less debt can free up monthly cash that you can put toward your savings, home purchases or other expenses, instead of directing that money toward paying off interest fees.

Read the complete article by Megan Wild here.

Start searching for your Montana home at GLACIERSIR.COM


From contemporary designs, to elegant finishes and farm style kitchens that welcome you home. We feature homes with inspiring designs, incredible views, vibrant colors & unique features.

EXQUISITE VIEWS AND IMPECCABLE QUALITY This open floor plan offers plenty of room to entertain with incredible views. This is the perfect getaway in a prime location just minutes to downtown Whitefish. See more…

PERFECT SETTING ON THE E SHORE OF FLATHEAD LAKE This gorgeous main residence exudes natural beauty with a kitchen meant for gathering. Extensive use of rock and timber accentuate the detail and quality throughout the space. Fine local woodwork! See more… RUSTIC ELEGANCE AT ITS FINEST Take every advantage of your views that blend seamlessly with the interior broad beam exposed finishes. This stunning home is an outdoorsman’s dream. Hunting and hiking right out your door, while blue ribbon trout fishing in the world class Rock Creek is less than a mile away. See more… A CRAFTMAN’S DELIGHT ON THE MARKET FOR THE 1ST TIME! This one-of-a-kind home in Lakeside, MT is an entertainers dream equipped with African Mahogany cabinets & a chef’s kitchen to accommodate large dinner parties and plenty of room to gather and treat your guests.  See more… BEAUTIFUL GRANITE KITCHEN & ECHO LAKE WATERFRONT An exquisite waterfront home with 1.83 miles of Echo Lake shoreline on 46+ acres, ideally capturing the natural surroundings. Stunning kitchen with beautiful solid granite, Dacor range, custom glazed cabinetry, walk-in pantry and easy access to a ‘mud room’ from the garage to set your groceries. See More… Want to view more of our inspiring kitchens or magnificent master bedrooms? Follow us on Pinterest!

Commercial & Residential Growth In The Flathead Valley

It has been an incredible year in the Flathead Valley for Commercial and Residential growth with Kalispell spending $104 million on construction.

The Flathead Beacon announced in their “Outlook 2018: Development Forecast” article today that, “There are signs pointing to another solid year of commercial and residential development in the city in 2018. It might be hard to hit $100 million again, however, as the last two years were buoyed by large medical projects, including a $43 million multi-phase expansion at Immanuel Lutheran Communities and $65 million in construction at Kalispell Regional Healthcare, led by the 190,000-square-foot pediatric center, which is slated for completion in spring 2019.”

(190,000-square-foot pediatric center at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Courtesy Rendering via Flathead Beacon)

Whitefish is also seeing consistent construction in residential developments with lots for single-and multi-family housing.

According to the Beacon article, “the city (Whitefish) hopes to add hundreds of workforce housing units by 2020. The assessment identified the need for 980 total units to accommodate employee households through 2020.”

Read the complete Flathead Beacon article here to see more about the exciting developments in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and around the Flathead Valley.

Looking for an expert to help you navigate the purchase or sale of your home in NW Montana? Contact us today to be matched with an experienced Realtor.


(865 Swan Hill Dr, Bigfork, MT) Video credit Birds Eye of Bigsky

Pristine Montana captivated. Spectacular vistas! Grand living room with vaulted ceilings, stone fireplace and soaring windows. Elegant dining room with adjoining enclosed porch to relax and enjoy beside a second cozy fireplace. Main floor true master suite with fireplace and handsome separate den.Lower level gathering room with wet bar and fireplace surrounded by 3 guest suites. Guest house, separate garage and attached 3 car garage all on 30 gorgeous acres.

Featured blog image from active listing 215 MT-82, Kalispell, MT


This investment and development opportunity offers 360 acres of farmland with a plan in place for mixed residential and commercial development. A Neighborhood Plan Overly provides for up to 700 units; which could include single-family residences, multi-family residences, an assisted living facility, or a golf course. Learn more…

Montana’s Most Decorated Cross Country Coach (Flathead Beacon)

After 45 years at Flathead High School, Paul Jorgensen retires as the most decorated cross country coach in Montana history, beloved by generations of runners. With two national coach of the year awards, 25 state coach of the year honors, 24 state team titles, 22 individual state champions, a national No. 1 team, and, in Nelson, a national champ.

While Nelson is one of the bigger names to emerge from Jorgensen’s program, she is but one of hundreds to witness firsthand his unrelenting dedication, which neither darkness nor age nor knee injury could diminish. Jorgensen, 72, might be stepping away from the program that he built into a powerhouse, but it will forever be stamped with his unmistakable imprint.

“I just enjoyed working with the kids,” Jorgensen said in explaining his longevity. “They keep you young.”

The more his teams won, the harder Jorgensen worked, motivated by a desire to build a lasting culture of success. He developed an even-keeled coaching style, based on his personality, through which he reached kids with few words and no shouts. Soft-spoken by nature, he wanted to give his athletes enough skills and motivation to succeed, but he was careful not to push too hard, believing that runners should find their potential on their own, guided by the foundational tools he provided.

Read complete Flathead Beacon article by Myers Reece here.

A Passion For Family, Marketing, Outdoors & Negotiation

A native Montanan and lifelong outdoors man, Kelly Laabs of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty affably shares his passion for the Flathead Valley and all the joy it brings to each family he serves, including his own.  After graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in Business Administration, he combines more than 20 years of proven sales and marketing experience to effectively engage with his clients. I recently got to ask Kelly some questions about what sets him apart as a Real Estate Professional and his ambitions: What do you love most about Montana?

“Most EVERYTHING is incredible about Montana, but I would have to say that it’s the people and the landscape that I’m most drawn to.”

What made you decide to get into real estate?

“Growing up my mother was a broker and my father was a builder so I have been exposed to the industry most of my life.  I have been passionate about architecture and I feel like land and water are our greatest resources. In my mind, there is nothing more romantic than an exceptional recreational ranch. And from a skill set I have always been passionate about marketing, sales, and negotiation so a real estate career has been a great fit. And I have been extremely fortunate to serve many of the clients that I have, as I have truly enjoyed and become great friends with many of them.” 

What are your aspirations? 

“To spend as much time as possible with friends and family, enjoy the activities I’m most passionate about and now that I have a little girl, hopefully introduce and share these things with her. It’s a good life.”

Kelly and his wife are socially active in the community, participating in special events and supporting many good causes around the Valley including CASA, the Tamarack Grief Resource Center, the Samaritan House, and the Watson Children’s Center. What sets you apart as a professional? 

“My fresh, modern approach to marketing. I feel like people want something more compelling than the typical real estate experience. I continually research current market conditions and understanding value has played a key role in my success.  So on a daily basis, that is what I strive for. I believe clients deserve superior service & to enjoy the process.”

As an agent for the renowned Sotheby’s International Realty, Kelly quickly secured his position in the top 1% of the region’s agents.  He also has been recognized as one of Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty’s top 3 agents and #1 in sales in Flathead Valley two years in a row. SEARCH KELLY’S CURRENT LISTINGS AND CONTACT HIM TODAY IF YOU ARE BUYING OR SELLING IN NW MONTANA! You can also learn more about Kelly and his listings on his personal website http://www.kellylaabs.com/