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New home construction booms in Bozeman

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Jan 24 2013 11:27:38 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Karyn Milledge-Farr and husband Nick Farr just moved into their new home this month.

"Before we lived here we lived in a condo in town" Milledge-Farr said.

This is the first time they've built. "We saw what we could buy that was already built for the same amount as what we built this house for, so that tipped the scales" she said.

They said it cost the same to build than to buy an existing home. And with low interest rates, they made their move. They aren't alone.

"We actually offer five different floor plans" said Voss Sartain, showing off a spec home by local builder Sunrise Homes.

Sartain is a broker, and owner of Keller Williams Realty. She said she's been busy over the past year.

"In 2012... I personally sold 41 single-family lots" she said.

Sunrise Homes- who built the Farr family's house- is building in several different neighborhoods, she said. Between 2011 and 2012, she said new home sales increased by 43 percent.

"Part of it is that there's just pent up demand" Sartain said. "I think that there's a lot of buyers who have been waiting, and wanting to buy but wanted to have the economy get a little bit more stable."

In 2012, she said 66 percent of new homes in Bozeman sold for under $300,000. But those prices are starting to go up. Sartain said they increased by 5.7 percent in the last year.

Today, 26 percent of new homes listed are under $300,000.

"We're seeing lot prices go up very quickly, and the lot inventory is very low" she said.

In fact, Sartain said the city of Bozeman is running out of lot spaces.

"So I think we're going to see a trend of new construction coming back to the county" she said.

Builders like Sunrise Homes are already pushing out into the county, she said, so more home-buyers like the Farrs can get in on the new construction boom.

"This is going to be our final house we have" Nick said. Karyn echoed "our forever home."