Posted: Nov 13, 2012 9:27 AM by Jamie Leary
Updated: Nov 13, 2012 10:12 AM
BOZEMAN - The inventory in the Bozeman housing market is shrinking. So is now the best time to buy and what does the future of the market look like?
MTN's Jamie Leary tackled those questions in a special report.
"We knew we wanted to buy a house, but we just didn't know when and so we just watched the rates and as soon as they dropped, we found a place to buy," Bozeman home owner Whitney Kamman explained.
Kamman and her husband are first-time home owners. They have been looking to buy a home for years. They purchased a home on the outskirts of Bozeman in August.
"We waited for two years and now we are in our dream home. And if we hadn't waited, we would have been in something we regretted," she said.
Experts say when the recession hit, Bozeman struggled with too much supply and not enough demand. That's just the opposite now
"We're going to see a shortage of inventory next year. If you look at the stats, you know, $225,000 or below, days on market are really short," said Landmark Era GRI broker Scott Molzahn.
"This past year, I know I've stayed tremendously busy both with people refinancing their homes and with people who are purchasing properties that maybe they've been waiting, waiting, waiting, and now they can finally, between reduced prices and lower interest rates, be able to afford properties that they may not have been able to purchase," said Sunny McGee Odegard, a real estate appraiser.
That's exactly the case for Kamman.
"Basically, what was happening was, we were able to afford a house that was much nicer than what we were able to afford last year or two years ago or even a couple months ago," she said.
"Demand is there because the rental market is extremely tight and has been for the last couple years and, with the interest rates at where they're at now, which is really driving the whole thing, it's cheaper to buy than it is to rent. Then you get into, ‘OK, what price range is selling?' Well, in Bozeman, if you can find a single family home under that $200,000 or $225,000, what we're seeing now is that inventory is being gobbled up pretty quickly," Molzahn said.
Even the more expensive homes are selling fast.
One home in Bozeman's historic district sits on the foundation of an old home listed at nearly $500,000 and it took just a day and a half to sell.
"It doesn't matter how low the rates go and how low the prices go, if people don't have jobs and they're just trying to put food on the table, they're not going to be going out and purchasing homes. They're just trying to figure out how to make ends meet. I mean, that's my job. I'm just constantly watching the market and constantly watching the numbers and now, I think, they're fluctuating," McGee said.
The general consensus is, if you can afford to make a down payment, the Bozeman housing market is prime for the picking. Many have already taken advantage of it.