Bozeman , Montana has become a very desirable place to live. With a recent population growth in the Gallatin Valley of 3.6 percent the county ranks 24th in growth across the nation.
Houses are being built at breakneck rate all over the valley. There is a wide variety of housing stock available from turn of the century shacks to brand new Mansions with the paint still wet (literally). There is a sort of frenzy in the air with buying, selling and building. Navigating this frenzied environment can be a daunting task for everyone involved. Buyers, Sellers, Builders, Real Esate Professional, Tradesman, everyone with a hand in the pot is busy.
If you are a buyer having a general idea of the housing stock in Bozeman can help you focus your search. In general the central area from about Ace Hardware and radiating out for about one to two miles contain the older homes. These are the homes that typically have the most defects, differed maintenance issues and code issues. In many cases they also have unconventional construction and materials. Many of them may have very shallow foundations or no foundation at all. They present unique and interesting questions for home inspectors because they have to be assessed for what they are in the context and time in which they were built. There may be many health and safety issues that must be assessed and reported. If you head further out from the center the housing stock becomes a mix of old and new. South of town there are many moderately old neighborhoods from the 60’s through the 80’s. West of Ferguson you will find many new neighborhoods, most of which are still being built up. Newer homes will be less likely to have very much differed maintenance and in general will have very few code issues. However the quality of construction and over site varies widely and there can be many important issues with these homes that need to be addressed.
Choosing a home in the older part of Bozeman will have its advantages for walk-ability, bike-ability and a general feeling of being at the heart of it all. But these homes will come with there own set of unique and sometimes insurmountable issues. Being out a bit in a more planned neighborhood will provide quieter neighborhoods with more open space. These homes will be away from the pulse and action but will have less issues. Whatever your preference having a home inspection performed will help you make a wise choice for you and your family.