Trisha Easton - Keller Williams Montana Realty - 406.581.9643

Buying a Home—Step 4: Find a Home

Home / Buying a Home—Step 4: Find a Home

BOZEMAN HOME SEARCH
At this point you will have a good idea of what you can afford and what type of neighborhood you want to live in. Taking that information into consideration, you are ready to embark on your actual home search. If you don't know much about the city that you are moving to you will most likely want to start your search by finding neighborhoods that meet your criteria and then narrowing your search to particular homes in the area. Check out our About Bozeman pages to learn more about Bozeman communities and neighborhoods.

The most efficient way to find homes is to allow your real estate agent to keep you up-to-date on available properties that may meet your criteria, thus screening properties for you. When your agent presents you with a property that interests you, he or she can arrange for you to tour the property when it is convenient for you.

You can also access local publications highlighting available real estate in the area, contact local Neighborhood Associations, visit the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce, browse the Internet, and even drive through neighborhoods that you feel would meet your needs. Driving around a particular area looking for homes for sale provides the chance to actually see the house and surrounding property, but it can be very time consuming and you may easily miss a home.


WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN DECIDING ON A COMMUNITY?
Select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life. Many people choose communities based on schools. Do you want access to shopping and public transportation? Is access to local facilities like libraries and museums important to you? Or do you prefer the peace and quiet of a rural community? When you find places that you like, talk to people that live there. They know the most about the area and will be your future neighbors. More than anything, you want a neighborhood where you feel comfortable.


HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT LOCAL SCHOOLS?
You can get information about Bozeman school systems by checking out our school page, or contacting the city, county school board or local schools. Your real estate agent may also be knowledgeable about schools in the area.


HOW CAN I FIND OUT ABOUT COMMUNITY RESOURCES?
Contact the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce for promotional literature or talk to your Bozeman real estate agent about welcome kits, maps, and other information. You may also want to visit the local library. It can be an excellent source for information on local events and resources, and the librarians will probably be able to answer your questions.


HOW CAN I FIND OUT HOW MUCH HOMES ARE SELLING FOR IN CERTAIN COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS?
Your real estate agent can give you a ballpark figure by showing you comparable listings. All of our agents have access to comparable Bozeman Montana real estate sales maintained on a database.


HOW CAN I FIND INFORMATION ON THE PROPERTY TAX LIABILITY?
The total amount of the previous year's property taxes are usually included in the listing information. If not, ask the seller for a tax receipt or contact the local assessor's office. Tax rates often change from year to year, so these figures may be approximate.


WHAT OTHER TAX ISSUES SHOULD I TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION?
Keep in mind that your mortgage interest and real estate taxes will be deductible. Our qualified real estate professionals can give you more details on other tax benefits and liabilities.


WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK WHEN LOOKING AT HOMES?
Many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing maintenance (e.g., paint, roof, HVAC, appliances, carpet)? Also ask about the house and neighborhood, focusing on quality of life issues. Be sure the seller's or real estate agent's answers are clear and complete. Ask questions until you understand all of the information they've provided. Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive.


HOW CAN I KEEP TRACK OF ALL THE HOMES I SEE?
If possible, take photographs of each house: the outside, the major rooms, the yard, and extra features that you like or ones you see as potential problems. And don't hesitate to return for a second look.


HOW MANY HOMES SHOULD I CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING ONE?
There isn't a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you're looking for.