Horseback Riding in Southwest Montana

blog_horsebackFor over one hundred years Montanans have been exploring the great “Big Sky” state on horseback. While most horseback riding has become a pleasure sport and activity, many people still rely on these majestic creatures for backcountry travel and ranch work. Horses are an integral part of Montana’s history and, as long as there are wide-open spaces, they will continue to be a part of the culture long into the future.

Allison Gilley, a Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty agent with over twenty years of real estate experience, has been riding horses her entire life. Gilley says, “Montana is a very friendly horseback riding state with plenty of public land to ride. Also, many private properties are perfect for horseback riding. Montana even has entire subdivisions that are equestrian friendly with private trails and corrals.” Gilley loves the freedom to explore vast amounts of trails and landscapes in a short amount of time while horseback riding. She says learning to ride is a wonderful experience for an individual or an entire family, and Montana has plenty of professional companies who offer lessons for beginners to expert equestrians, such as Jake’s Horses (www.jakeshorses.com,) or Lone Mountain Ranch (www.lonemountainranch.com,) both in Big Sky.

If you are ready to start exploring the possibility of owning your very own slice of Montana, Gilley has exceptional horse properties available across the state, ready for your horses and adventuring spirit:

920 Beaver Creek Rd, Big Sky, MT
• 157 Lower Luther Rd, Red Lodge, MT
• 83 Blachard Butte Rd, Roberts, MT
• Lot 3 Fowler SUBD, Roberts, MT
• 75 Lower Luther Road

Whether you want to ride leisurely in the summer, take a clinic from the Montana-native “Horse Whisperer” Buck Brannaman, or go “loping through fresh powder snow on a blue bird day,” like Gilley, your perfect Montana escape awaits. Call Allison Gilley at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty to inquire about properties or chat about her love of horseback riding: 406.995.2221.

4 Steps to Help Make Buying a Home or Property Easier

blog_4stepsBuying a home, whether it is your first or fifth, can be a daunting experience. In addition to the financial aspects, buyers must think about insurance, inspections, and the ever-changing market. Creating a great team of professionals early in the process will help immensely in the long run.

While there are many checklists involved in buying a home, we have included a few key steps here that you can take to make the process as easy as possible.

Start saving for a down payment
A twenty percent down payment has been the traditional amount required by lenders for some time if the buyer does not want to purchase mortgage insurance, but that may not be necessary in every case. Brett Evertz, a loan officer and Assistant Vice President at Big Sky Western Bank says that sometimes, “You can put as little as 5% down if buying a primary home or just 10% if buying as a second home.” There are also options for rural development loans, which are very common in a state like Montana. “RD Loans” are financed through the USDA and are zero down payment loans. As with all loans, they are subject to credit and qualifications.

Talk to a loan officer
When you have made the decision to buy a home or property, finding a loan officer early in the process can help with the big picture. Brett says, “I encourage everyone to start the process with a lender as early as possible. That way, buyers know what they can afford and, potentially, be qualified for.” A loan officer can also help buyers navigate the complicated process of pre-qualification, such as understanding various loans, credit checks, and how to build credit. Sherri Kitto, an experienced mortgage lender with Rocky Mountain Bank says, “Pre-qualification before shopping for a home is essential and helps to expand negotiating power. It gives you an advantage by providing the power to bid quickly, ahead of competing buyers who may not know if they can afford or qualify to purchase the home, and assures the seller you are a serious and credible buyer.” When applying for a loan with a mortgage lender, be sure to have appropriate documents in hand. Sherri says a few to remember are: “Your residence history for the past two years, employment history for the past two years, any outstanding debt, savings/ investment/checking account statements and balances, information about real estate you own, and personal property information.”

Once approved, seek out a Realtor®
The experienced Realtors® at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty are here to make the process enjoyable and stress-free. A Realtor® will be able to help you understand real estate jargon, help you find homes that fit your needs and price point, and will be there to answer questions throughout the entire process. The agents at Sotheby’s International Realty come equipped with years of experience, a world-class reputable brand, and the local knowledge necessary to find you the best home or property in Montana.

Make an offer and secure the mortgage
When you are ready to make an offer, this is where your team of dedicated professionals comes in handy. Your Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty agent will help you make an appropriate offer, negotiate the best possible price, and walk you through the steps of inspection and closure. Your loan officer will help you secure the mortgage with the best rates.

Before you know it, you will have your dream home or property in Montana. Have more questions? The respected professionals at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty are ready to help you with the buying process. Give us a call today at (406)995-2211 for experts in Big Sky, or for an agent in Bozeman call (406) 586-6688.