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Old 11-07-2007, 11:15 PM
 
495 posts, read 54,356 times
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I talked to a young man last summer who from what I can remember was involved in some way with the realestate/developement market in the Bo-zone (Boseman) if I can quite remember his words....."it hit the wall" in respone to my question "how is Bozeman doing?"
Well the good times (or the bad times, depending on how you look at it) can't last for ever.
Then again if the realesate market crashes, one should really no feel bad for a fisherman who has filled his creel but now finds his fishing hole empty. Count your blessings and contemplate your misgivings.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Sarasota
463 posts, read 1,079,676 times
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Bozeman has been named as the highest cost of living in the state. That comes as no surpise to me as I've watched it grow at a faster rate than it could keep up with. There is so much money moving in and the stores have changed to high end fancy places with very high price tags. I rarely go to Bozeman these days as I can get everything cheaper in Butte. I used to go over to Bozeman to the Costco store but now that Butte has Three Bears Alaska, I can get pretty much what I need there and save money on gas and headache driving to Bozeman. It's over crowded and not worth the extra money if you ask me.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Sarasota
463 posts, read 1,079,676 times
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The housing market has slowed in Bozeman, but the housing costs are not coming down. Those median homes priced at $349,000 are still that, just not selling well at the moment. Of course, the people with the big bucks are building giant homes in Big Sky and that continues. Other towns like Three Forks and Whitehall are seeing prices come down a bit.
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
3,294 posts, read 4,381,151 times
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I have lived here in Western Montana for almost two years. The smallest house you can find here in my town of Stevensville, or in nearby Hamilton or Corvallis, is $150,000.00, and that's for a falling down, old, tiny 1 bedroom shack of a house. Even an old, junky mobile home on any kind of a lot is that much or more! Land is going for $100,000 an acre out here. The house prices in Missoula are even more, $500,000 for a 2 bedroom, 1bath older house anywhere near the college. There are some 1970's tract style houses in some neighborhoods in Missoula that are going from $150,000 to $170,000 without much of a yard. I had hoped to be able to buy a house eventually, but I see that is never going to happen. I am lucky to have a newer manufactured home on a rented lot. Montana has been "discovered" by "outsiders" becuase it is clean, extremely low crime, and doesn't suffer from a lot of the problems that exist in other areas of the country. People are moving here to get away from all of that, and people with money can. A lot of the people building and buying in here are from out-of-state who are buying second homes or vacation homes here, or are people who made a lot of money from selling properties elsewhere for huge amounts of equity (like Californians). I don't see the real estate market slowing down in the least bit here. There are a LOT of developers fighting to get in here and build. I have heard houses are cheaper in Butte, Montana, but that even there the prices are rising. I checked Butte out, but it wasn't near as nice as this part of Montana, in my opinion, and even less places to work. Not meaning to sound discouraging, but this has been my experience and observation.
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Old 11-10-2007, 11:58 AM
GLS
 
1,990 posts, read 3,496,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montanamom View Post
... A lot of the people building and buying in here are from out-of-state who are buying second homes or vacation homes here, or are people who made a lot of money from selling properties elsewhere for huge amounts of equity (like Californians). I don't see the real estate market slowing down in the least bit here...... There are a LOT of developers fighting to get in here and build.
As long as Montana remains a beautiful place with friendly people "outsiders" will want to relocate there. However, national trends will dry up their ability, when they are unable to cash out their equity in their out-of-state house and when builders go bankrupt.

I live in the Sierra Foothills about an hour out of Sacramento. Here is an excerpt from the Sacramento Bee newspaper yesterday:

* Pardee, a Los Angeles based builder closed a 660 house project near
downtown Scramento. Building crews have been laid off and deals made
with only four buyers have been canceled.
* Milwaukee based Homes by Towne also has mothballed its' 145-home
project in Natomas and a 50 home project in Elk Grove. The builder has
also stopped its 227 home Yuba City project.
* Rocklin-based Nouveau Homes has taken similar action with a 51 home
project in Lincoln.
* Construction and sales also stopped at Elk Grove's 450 home Monterey
Village. So far there is no timeline to resume construction.

All of the above mentioned areas are bedroom communities of Sacramento.
I believe the Montana builders, tradesmen, and small businesses will be affected when the "California" equity dries up.
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Old 11-10-2007, 12:31 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,227,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLS View Post
As long as Montana remains a beautiful place with friendly people "outsiders" will want to relocate there. However, national trends will dry up their ability, when they are unable to cash out their equity in their out-of-state house and when builders go bankrupt.

I live in the Sierra Foothills about an hour out of Sacramento. Here is an excerpt from the Sacramento Bee newspaper yesterday:

* Pardee, a Los Angeles based builder closed a 660 house project near
downtown Scramento. Building crews have been laid off and deals made
with only four buyers have been canceled.
* Milwaukee based Homes by Towne also has mothballed its' 145-home
project in Natomas and a 50 home project in Elk Grove. The builder has
also stopped its 227 home Yuba City project.
* Rocklin-based Nouveau Homes has taken similar action with a 51 home
project in Lincoln.
* Construction and sales also stopped at Elk Grove's 450 home Monterey
Village. So far there is no timeline to resume construction.

All of the above mentioned areas are bedroom communities of Sacramento.
I believe the Montana builders, tradesmen, and small businesses will be affected when the "California" equity dries up.
Bingo! Though I am not a Montanan, I think what is described here accurately describes what has been driving a lot of the growth in the Rocky Mountain West in the last 10 years or so. When affluent out-of-staters can no longer cash out of where they are and move to some pretty place--then sit on their ***es and live off of investments and the equity in their former homes, the boom will be over.

Just yesterday, a guest commentator on CNBC (which tends towards the "Don't worry, be happy" type outlook) said that the housing market nationally could decline by as much as 30% in the next 12-18 months. Of course, that won't be even across the country. I think the areas that have gone up most rapidly in the last few years may be the ones that correct the most. If a lot of California is any indication, that is already the case.

What people haven't quite figured out is that exploding energy prices and the resulting inflation, along the with the collapse of the dollar are going to dry up just about all discretionary spending. Expensive vacations, second homes, etc., etc. are going to become unaffordable luxuries for all but most wealthy Americans. With the boom of the last decade or so, people have come to think of real estate as a relatively liquid and sure-bet investment. They are about to find out that it is neither in a severe economic downturn.

Like my native state of Colorado and adopted state of Wyoming, much of Montana is overreliant on construction and tourism for its economic base. I wouldn't give a plugged nickel to be trying to make a living in either of those industries these days. They are both in for some hard, rough, long-lasting problems. We're just at the beginning of this. As my Wyoming friends like to say, this is going to get real "western" before it's done.
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:47 PM
 
495 posts, read 54,356 times
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jazzlover wrote:
Quote:
this is going to get real "western" before it's done.
I like that.......
I think it's hard for most people that didn't live thru it to imagine how bad things were in places like western montana and missoula in the 80's. And even now for me it's hard to imagine that it could happen again. But like you say so much of the economy around here is based on construction and government money (ie Univeristy, Forest Service, etc) So who knows, as much as I'd love to see things slow down around here......I get a bit scared to think that it could return to a 80s type recession, make that depression.
People were just walking away from their homes, empty homes for sale on every block in missoula, empty stores, buildings. Grown men lined up for $4 and hour sales clerk jobs at the mall.......it was pretty ugly. I guess you could say it got real "western". Recessions hit western cities like Missoula, etc really hard because when you lose your job and you look around for another one all you see is mountains.....and when there is no job in the depressed town you live in - you have one and only one option - leave or starve where you are.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:16 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,227,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeJoeMan View Post
jazzlover wrote:


I like that.......
I think it's hard for most people that didn't live thru it to imagine how bad things were in places like western montana and missoula in the 80's. And even now for me it's hard to imagine that it could happen again. But like you say so much of the economy around here is based on construction and government money (ie Univeristy, Forest Service, etc) So who knows, as much as I'd love to see things slow down around here......I get a bit scared to think that it could return to a 80s type recession, make that depression.
People were just walking away from their homes, empty homes for sale on every block in missoula, empty stores, buildings. Grown men lined up for $4 and hour sales clerk jobs at the mall.......it was pretty ugly. I guess you could say it got real "western". Recessions hit western cities like Missoula, etc really hard because when you lose your job and you look around for another one all you see is mountains.....and when there is no job in the depressed town you live in - you have one and only one option - leave or starve where you are.
I lived through it in the 80's in western Colorado (which then was a whole lot more like western Montana than it was like Colorado's Front Range). People walked away from houses and condos in droves. They would mail the keys to the bank. That's where I first heard the term (from a banker) of "jingle mail"--a term that is resurfacing today. The fact that people who didn't live through it can't imagine it happening again assures that it will. Too bad we just keep repeating the same mistakes. These days remind me so much of the late 1970's--right before everything went to hell--that's it's scary. Only this time, everything that went wrong then--the trade deficit, dollar in the toilet, public and private debt, resource scarcity, overpopulation--is way worse now. America is absolutely unprepared for what lies ahead. Want to read some sobering stuff? Check this out: Cluster**** Nation by Jim Kunstler
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:12 PM
 
Location: SoCalif
102 posts, read 181,417 times
Reputation: 85
You're all making me feel like the last optimist.

The world is mostly a wonderful place full of hope and possibility. You must stop listening to doomsayers if not for yourselves, for those around you that are affected and give up.

Let's look at the good things:

1. There is no resource scarcity. The aforementioned late 1970's had a wingnut president and the Club of Rome advised him that the world would soon run out of oil by 1981 and the world would die freezing in the cold. tap tap tap, any of you cold? The most pessimistic of oil estimates is 50 years with known oil fields and recognizable prices. Technology will change many things, many times before that occurs.

2. When i was young famines were reported continually throughout the world, except for genocidal dictators, see any real hunger? anywhere?

3. The housing bubble: Bush decided as policy to move homeownership from 60% of families to 70%, it got to 68% and now it is 'settling in", mostly speculators getting a well-deserved hosing, but lots more families owning homes.

4. You real Montanan's should be throowing a party if you're at all consistent, two californians leaving for each arriving.

5. dollar in the toilet? That's why our exports are way, way up.

6. Overpopulation? The wealthiest places in the world have the highest population density, Hong Kong, Singapore, korea, Belgium, netherlands, etc. Only the desolate underpopulated places are poor.

America is not unprepared, not even a little. Our institutions, corporations, are way ahead of the curve. i'd rather be here in America at this time, than any place on earth at any other time, and I've been everywhere ...man.
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Old 11-10-2007, 10:40 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,227,357 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TypicalCalifornian View Post
You're all making me feel like the last optimist.

The world is mostly a wonderful place full of hope and possibility. You must stop listening to doomsayers if not for yourselves, for those around you that are affected and give up.

Let's look at the good things:

1. There is no resource scarcity. The aforementioned late 1970's had a wingnut president and the Club of Rome advised him that the world would soon run out of oil by 1981 and the world would die freezing in the cold. tap tap tap, any of you cold? The most pessimistic of oil estimates is 50 years with known oil fields and recognizable prices. Technology will change many things, many times before that occurs.

2. When i was young famines were reported continually throughout the world, except for genocidal dictators, see any real hunger? anywhere?

3. The housing bubble: Bush decided as policy to move homeownership from 60% of families to 70%, it got to 68% and now it is 'settling in", mostly speculators getting a well-deserved hosing, but lots more families owning homes.

4. You real Montanan's should be throowing a party if you're at all consistent, two californians leaving for each arriving.

5. dollar in the toilet? That's why our exports are way, way up.

6. Overpopulation? The wealthiest places in the world have the highest population density, Hong Kong, Singapore, korea, Belgium, netherlands, etc. Only the desolate underpopulated places are poor.

America is not unprepared, not even a little. Our institutions, corporations, are way ahead of the curve. i'd rather be here in America at this time, than any place on earth at any other time, and I've been everywhere ...man.
Well, Pollyanna lives.

Resource scarcity? Even those "big, bad" oil companies are figuring out that we have passed "peak oil." They aren't investing in new refineries to capitalize on higher prices because they know that they are not going to be a good long-term investment. Several of the world's largest oil fields are now in serious decline (North Sea, offshore Mexico, Prudhoe Bay, probably the Saudi fields) while demand continues upward. Why build more refineries if you're not going to have the raw materials to feed them? If you live anywhere in the West (including California), water is getting to be a problem, too.

Famines? The fact that most of the world's population still goes hungry at night can hardly be characterized as "beating hunger." By the way, most of the fertilizer used to make all those crops grow is synthesized by fixing nitrogen out of the atmosphere. Problem is, that process requires the burning of massive amounts of natural gas. Hmmm . . . wonder what happens when natural gas gets scarce and expensive?

Weak dollar making rising exports? True. But, when all those folks in China, etc. figure out that they've been accepting worthless paper for tangible goods, they're going to want to convert them back into hard assets. You better know how to speak Chinese where you work, because chances are they may own your employer, if they don't already. And, oh yeah, just about anything you want want to buy in the way of real estate, or other investments--they'll be able to outbid you. Maybe even outbid you for fuel and food.

Overpopulation? If you think that overpopulated countries like India, China, Bangla Desh, Ethiopia, Kenya, etc. are great places because of their population density--then, by all means, move there. As to places like Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc. being rich because of their population density, they have managed that because they grew in an era of resource surplus, not scarcity. When places like that become resource-constrained, they either descend into poverty, or they try to acquire resources through conquest. That's what Japan did in WWII, and millions died fighting that war. WWII was about natural resources. We won, in part because we had a surplus of resources within our own borders. No more.

I agree that the US is probably one of the best countries to be living in when the **** hits the fan. But, a combination of complacency and bravado is a sure way to get one'e butt kicked, and there are plenty out there who would like a whack at us. I don't advocate crawling away and cowering in the corner waiting for the end to come. But we better be ready for the fight of our lives, and we ain't ready for that right now--not by a long shot.

Yes, I realize this is a degression from the original topic, but fancy houses in Montana (or anywhere else, for that matter) are likely to become an unaffordable luxury when we are embroiled in the economic fight of the century. A lot of economic fluff and bull**** we are invested in these days will become superfluous and irrelevant then.
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