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Don't California My Montana

Sometimes I feel like a traitor to my home state, and I have to remind myself that I don’t control the market and real estate is my job and I love my job. I love my job, I love my job. No, really, I do. I’ve been a real estate agent for almost 8 years, and it’s been a variant of ups and downs. There were a couple years when I wondered, “What in the heck am I doing in this business?”. 2020 was a rough year for everyone in a lot of ways, but it’s been exciting in real estate and it hasn’t stopped! Something, I could get used to, but at what cost? What cost to Montana?

I recently listed seven 40 acre off-grid properties (snowmobile access only right now) and the activity surrounding them has gone bonkers! There is some out-of-state activity, but for the most part the interest has come from local Montanan’s. They see what is happening, and the dream of owning property in their own state is slipping away, because it’s all flying off the market as fast as it comes on. They’re now having to buy property at what I keep thinking is top dollar and then values rise again, competing with out-of-state people who are looking for the escape of chaos and lack of trust in our government.

What is concerning, is the prices of land and homes and they just keep going up. What is Montana going to look like in a few years? Will prices just keep going up or are we in for another crash? After a winter or two will many of the newcomers decide they don’t want to live here anymore, and will there be a market influx? Will prices eventually go down? What does the future hold…?

I’m Montana, born and raised and even though I feel the sting of betraying my home-state people, I have met some amazing our-of-state people who I feel God brings into my life. Just making friends wherever I go... I’ve had some fantastic conversations with them, and their concerns are real. They are feeling the burden of an unstable environment in our nation. They are good people, moving here for the right reasons. You can’t blame people for wanting something better for themselves and their families. Many of them make jokes about “people like us” invading our state. I always joke back, “Yes! People like you!”. I’m honest, and I have these same conversations with them. I do welcome them, but I also want real estate to be affordable for the people of Montana.

These are the times we are living in folks, whether we want to adapt or not. I read a meme on Linkedin that said “Don’t California My Texas!”. So my advice to people moving here is, remember why you wanted to move here in the first place. We love Montana the way it is, don’t go trying to change it... It’s the last best place!

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