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

When Montana Is In Your Blood

Since the 1800’s Amy-Bain Wilson’s family has lived and loved Montana.  A 6th generation Montanan and 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.

We sat down with Amy to learn more about her history as a Montanan, expertise in the Real Estate market and why now is a good time to invest in property.

“Now is a great time to invest in Commercial and Residential property as our economy is thriving, interest rates are low and there is population growth in our area creating and maintaining a healthy demographic.”

Amy’s family homesteaded in Lower Valley and Proctor, Montana and the original homestead still resides in the family today. With ancestors who have witnessed Montana transform over the last century we wanted to know what Amy’s favorite thing about living in Montana is.

“The lifestyle is second to none.  Our access to open space is remarkable!  We can be working in our home or office one minute and then enjoying the great outdoors the next minute.  It is quick to get anywhere and truly get away from it all.”

A focused listener, able advisor and fair advocate, Amy’s mantra is “if there’s a will there’s a way.” She is recognized by her peers and clients for careful diligence and genuine concern, thus creating a positive experience and honest transactions for both sides in her real estate business.

If you are considering selling in NW Montana Amy’s advice is, “Work with a Realtor that knows how to expose your property exceptionally well in the marketplace and has superior negotiating skills to get you the highest and best offer within an efficient amount of time. Contact me today for further details “

FEATURED LISTING

This turn-key Glacier Park Lodge inspired estate graces us with its presence at 435′ of frontage on the West Shore of Flathead Lake. Thoughtfully designed and meticulously crafted, the quality and style is undeniable and it creates an unrivaled gated retreat on over 3.5 acres. The home is 9,000 square feet and includes 6 bedrooms, 7 full baths, 2 half baths, detached garage and boat storage. Begin every morning and end every night with the sights and sounds of Flathead Lake and unparalleled views of the Swan Mountain Range and Glacier National Park. See more…

Contact Amy Bain-Wilson today for your complimentary market analysis and to start living the Montana lifestyle today!

Amy Bain-Wilson

406.370.9101

awilson@glaciersir.com

MONTANA KITCHENS THAT INSPIRE

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!

New Missoula City Park (Missoulian)

The new city park near Southgate Mall in Missoula will likely be open in the next year, thanks to an alternate construction bid strategy.

Monday night, the city council approved securing a construction contract by February before plans are finished, with construction planned to start in early summer and finish by September.

Ellen Buchanan, director of the Missoula Redevelopment Agency, said this leads to a more collaborative final design process between the city and the contractor, as well as being cheaper.

“Being able to price things in the winter months is very advantageous,” Buchanan said.

The method has been used by the MRA before, Buchanan said, during bidding for the Park Place garage and Mary Avenue construction.

The bidding procedure passed with one no vote from Ward 4 representative Jesse Ramos, who wanted to see a more traditional construction bid.

The MRA helped finance the $2 million purchase of the entire 12-acre triangular lot bordered by Johnson Street and North Avenue, to the west of Russell Street on the edge of the Franklin to the Fort neighborhood.

The park went through a couple of rounds of community review and planning in Fall 2017, which resulted in a concept plan with an off-leash dog park, pavilion and large open fields.

Read complete article by the Missoulian here.

Featured Missoula Property

2462 Mcdonald Ave | Offered at $210,000

Great little investment property, first time buyer starter home or rental. 3 bed 2 bath with a cute little fenced yard and large 2 car detached garaged. Features a nice master with separate full bath and all new carpet throughout. Very centrally located and close to the bus, shopping and walking/biking corridors. Easy to show!

Learn more.

Living & Representing The Montana Lifestyle

“With my mother being an architect, my father a contractor and my grandfather having designed and built several homes in Kalispell and Missoula, I was raised to appreciate everything that goes into a home from the ground up. I love using this knowledge and appreciation to help buyers find their perfect home and help sellers to move onto their next chapter.  “

Tiffany Sherman located in our Bigfork, Montana office, serves the community she grew up in. After attending the University of Montana she moved back to Bigfork and started a family and has pursued her Real Estate aspirations.

“I am very passionate about real estate and enjoy being part of helping people find the perfect fit. The easy access to year-round recreational activities and the people of these communities truly make the Flathead Valley a very special place.”

Tiffany is currently raising her two beautiful daughters to value and live the NW Montana lifestyle.

“It is truly a unique opportunity to live in such a visually stunning place with an abundance of family friendly activities, safe communities, great schools and wonderful people. I couldn’t possibly imagine a better place to raise a family. “

Tiffany is an expert on Flathead Valley living and the extraordinary homes available in the region.  She also regularly volunteers in her community and is a board member of the Chamber of Commerce. With passion for the Montana lifestyle, decades of experience and market expertise she has impressed buyers and sellers alike.

“Home ownership is an accessible and important investment strategy for families. Owning a home is valuable experience because as you are building equity in your investment, you are also building priceless memories.”

Contact Tiffany Sherman today for your complimentary consult.

Tiffany Sherman

406.212.7769

tsherman@glaciersir.com

Featured Listing

5129 Ashley Lake Rd, Kila, MT | Offered at $539,000

Private, custom home, approximately one mile from Ashley Lake. This beautiful home sits on over 14 acres without covenants and boasts a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, log accents, two living rooms, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and lots of storage. Beautiful views out every window of mountains and pastures. The private, parked out acreage is fenced for horses and has a spring fed stream. Learn more…

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.

FEATURED LISTING

(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

DCIM100MEDIAYUN00026.jpg

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…