Real Estate’s Road to Recovery

Report shows strong improvement in Flathead County’s sales and foreclosures Supporting the widespread perception that Flathead County’s real estate market is recovering, an annually anticipated report shows solid improvement in sales and foreclosures in 2012, and slight gains in new construction. Housing remains affordable with low interest rates and buyer confidence appears to be on the rise. Yet signs of the downturn persist, with bank-owned properties still making up a large percentage of sales. And land sales and subdivision activity remain near their historic lows. Those trends are gleaned from a 2012 Flathead County real estate market report released by
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New Bridge For Whitefish

The Montana Department of Transportation is reconstructing and widening U.S. Highway 93 to provide improved safety and operations for the traveling public.  The work includes a bridge replacement over the Whitefish River, clearing, grubbing, grading, gravel, storm drain, curb and gutter, plant mix surfacing, signing, striping, fencing, landscaping, retaining wall, guardrail, and other miscellaneous items. The work is scheduled to be completed by July 31, 2014.
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Look To Our Forests To Boost Our Economy

Two years into a slow economic recovery, many Montana rural communities are still struggling to create jobs. The unemployment rate in rural counties is just under eight percent compared to six percent for Montana’s metropolitan counties. In hard economic times, Montana has relied on its forests for jobs and income. Today, logging cannot lift the state alone, but logging combined with forest and watershed restoration work can be the basis for job growth in Montana’s rural counties. Restoration work utilizes the same skills, knowledge, and equipment already present in Montana’s timber industry and often includes commercial and small-diameter timber for
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Kiplinger’s Housing Forecast: Positive Signs Offset the Negative

The median home price in the U.S. has plunged nearly 40% in a little over five years, but the worst is definitely over, according to a recent report by Kiplinger: The market has finally wrung out the last excess valuations born of the housing bubble. Before you break out the party hats, note that this doesn’t mean prices across the nation are poised to rebound anytime soon. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital, a provider of real estate data and analytics, said the housing market is in a “suspended state,” with positive and negative factors offsetting
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Kelly Appraisal Reports Strong Numbers For 2013 Sales

The number of non-distressed sales are up 53% and the number of REO sales are down 49% from this time last year. Short sales are down 38%. The median price of REO sales was $146,199 at this time in 2012 compared with $149,900 this year, and the median price of non-distressed sales was $216,450 in 2012 compared with $226,500 this year. Based on year-over-year comparison of the non-distressed sales, a 4.6% increase in prices is suggested. This data, as well as the overall sales, does indicate that as the demand increases, prices are also starting to increase.
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How To Make Your Home Look Larger Without Remodeling

 When Mark Goldey and his wife Lisa decided to lease out their three-bedroom apartment, they rearranged it to entice renters. They de-kidified it, warehousing their two toddlers’ toys in a side TV room, and pushed the TV room couches out to the living room—it may seem counterintuitive, but furniture can actually make a room feel larger, so check out these great furniture options.  Their agent, Jason Saft of Citi Habitats, encouraged the Goldeys to display their glass artwork in prominent places that would reflect light around the room and draw attention to the high ceilings. He color-coded the books on the
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Home Price Index Sees Record Growth

WASHINGTON — Prices for U.S. homes leapt in April, posting record monthly growth and the fastest year-over-year growth in seven years, according to Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller data released Tuesday. With gains in 19 of 20 cities, the 20-city composite index rose 2.5 percent in April, the largest monthly growth on record. The data go back to 2000. After seasonal adjustments, prices rose 1.7 percent in April. Compared with the same period in the previous year, prices in April rose 12.1 percent, the fastest annual pace since 2006, according to the report. Still, the 20-city composite index indicated prices remain about
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Glacier Creates $172 Million in Economic Benefit

Sure signs of spring can be seen in the photo above of Park headquarters. A new National Park Service report shows that approximately 2.2 million visitors to Glacier National Park in 2012 spent $172 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,754 jobs in the local area. “We are honored and proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world to Glacier National Park,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “Glacier is a special place and many times visitors travel to Montana specifically to visit Glacier, and are introduced to the many other wonderful amenities that
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FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce HARP Changes to Reach More Borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, today announced a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in an effort to attract more eligible borrowers who can benefit from refinancing their home mortgage. HARP is unique in that it is the only refinance program that enables borrowers who owe more than their home is worth to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits. Borrowers must have mortgages currently owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The new program eliminates certain fees for borrowers; removes the current 125 percent
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Five Tips For Selling Your Home in the Winter

Just your luck — you have to sell your home in winter, the slowest and dreariest sales season of all. But cheer up. You can use staging, the reduced competition and some seasonal opportunities to your advantage. But before you decide to put your home up for sale, you have to consider how you are going to move all of your belonging to your new home once you’ve sold. If you still don’t know how you’re going t move, then consider hiring these professional movers. Here are some tips to lessen the chances your home will languish on the market:
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