Making Missoula Home

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Jan. 10, 2019

Home Buyers Most Frequently Asked Questions

I find that very often Buyers have the same questions for me. I thought it might be helpful if I answer some of those in once place as a resource for home buyers, whether they are looking for their first home or their fifth.

What should my first step be?

I think the most important thing to do when you decide you would like to start looking for a home is to meet with a local lender. Once you sit down with a lender and find out the answers to some important questions; (which loan programs are best for you, how much of a downpayment you will need, how much you qualify for) it makes the next steps easier. Often buyers want to go and look at houses first. Who can blame them? That is the most fun part! But it is never fun to fall in love with a home and then go talk to your lender and find out this one isn't in the budge.  It is hard to reset from there. Also, when you submit at offer on a home, the Seller is always going to want to know that the Buyer is qualified to purchase.

Missoula has some REALLY great home lenders and if you need recommendations, I am happy to share some names.

Why do I need a Realtor?

In this day and age with all the internet has to offer...a valid question is "Why do I need a Realtor? I can do this on my own and save money." 

Here are a few of the services a Realtor can provide you throughout the process.

1. Experience/Expertise-Realtors have an abundance of knowledge when it comes to the local market. They are watching it daily and have the expertise to help you put together a great offer to present to the Seller and then follow the transaction closely until closing to ward off any unexpected bumps along the way.

2. Negotiation Skills- Agents have the experience of doing this over and over again. And let me tell you, every deal we learn something new that we can take forward with us when we help the next Buyer.

3. Paperwork-How many years ago did I hear people saying we were going to be a paperless society? Well...I can assure you that hasn't happened yet. In real estate transactions there are many different forms that require lots of signatures. As Realtors, we have access to all of these forms and know exactly what is needed for each transaction.

4. Search Power- Realtors not only have access to the Multiple Listing Service, but also we work closely with other agents and can often get the inside scoop on a property before it hits the market.

5. Realtor, Therapist, Analyst...all in one!- As Realtors, we wear many hats. We search for new listings, set up showings, write and negotiate the offer. In addition to all of that, we are here to listen and walk you through every step of this transaction.

6.  In almost every case, the Seller pays the Buyer's Agents commission!

How many homes should I look at before I make an offer?

That is totally your call! There is no right or wrong answer. You may find the perfect home really early on, or we may look for months. A lot depends on your timeline and how quickly you need to move.

Once I find "the house", how long until I can close?

Typically from the time we put the house under contract to closing is about 30-45 days. This can vary though depending on the time of year ~how busy appraisers and home inspectors are and also certain loan programs can take a little longer.

Do I need to have a home inspection?

There is no rule that says you must have a home inspection. With that being said, I always recommend that my Buyers have a home inspection done. A home inspection gives peace of mind to the Buyer. If items come up on the inspection that are not up to par, you can negotiate with the Seller.

Those are a few of the questions that I get the most often. Do you have any questions for me? I am always happy to answer any questions. And if you are ready to start looking for a new home in Missoula in 2019, I would love to talk to you!

As always, you can reach me at 406-304-9010 or

Have a great first week in the New Year!


Oct. 24, 2018

Get Your Home Prepared for Winter

Has this not been the nicest Autumn ever in Missoula? I am not ready to say goodbye to these gorgeous days with the beautiful colors on the trees, bright blue sky and crisp mornings that turn into warm afternoons...but I know the change is right around the corner.

Here are some tips on how to get your home ready for those cold temperatures and snow on the ground that come along with living in Western Montana.


1) Make sure that you have had your underground sprinklers blown out. If you don't have the proper tools to do it yourself, make sure you call a professional. One of my local favorites is Dirtman Sprinklers.

2) The City of Missoula offers leaf pick up if you have some of those big leafy trees in your yard and you are done raking and jumping in the leaf piles. Here is the link that will give you instructions as well as the leaf collection dates and map. 

3) Make sure that you have hoses unhooked and stored for the winter so that you do not end up with frozen pipes.

4) Now is a good time to have your furnace and fireplace cleaned and serviced so that you are ready for that first stretch of cold temperatures. I always forget that my husband turns the pilot light off on the gas fireplace and it takes me a few minutes to figure out why it doesn't turn on that first time. Andy at Michelson Plumbing & Heating always does a great job.

5) Make sure you know where your snow shovel, ice scraper, hats and gloves are because one of these mornings we are going to wake up and be shocked to see white stuff on the ground!

I hope these tips were helpful. Do you have other things you do to get your home ready? Share them in the comments! I am off to go get the dog and head to Blue Mountain for at least one more beautiful fall afternoon hike!

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates