Author Archives: Cindi Hayne

Want to Start a Business in Montana? See the Stats!

Why Start a Business in MontanaUniversity of Montana Missoula Start a business in Montana

Check out these statistics and see if you want to move to Big Sky Country…

    • In a recent Gallup poll, only 13 percent of Montanans indicated that they would move to another state if they could, the lowest percentage among all states.










  • Montana does not have state sales tax, and the top tax bracket for income tax is 6.9%.


  • Montana is a non-disclosure state. This means when real property conveys, it does so without an automatic increase in property taxes.


  • When not working, Montana is the only place where you can experience blue-ribbon trout fishing on five local rivers, trail activities and wildlife in the Bitterroot-Selway Wilderness area (the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states), extensive outdoor and cultural activities, a strong university system, and great restaurants, shopping and entertainment.


Ready to discover more of what Montana has to offer for business, home and life?

Please contact me at 406.240.6497 or here.

Want to Start a Business in Montana?

Missoula, Hamilton and other Bitterroot Valley Cities Offer Many Benefits for Entrepreneurs

Start a business in MontanaAre you an entrepreneur who wants to start a business in Montana? 

Did you know that “Montana Ranks #1 in The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship” with Missoula ranking 9th and Bozeman ranking 12th in their startup rate per an article in the Montana Associated Technology Roundtables?

Montana is a great place to start and grow a business.


Missoula is a tertiary market for new startups. Most national business owners do not realize that Montana launched more new businesses last year than in the entire United States. This growth has been steadily increasing for the past, few years with the most activity in Bozeman.

An example is a company called Right Now Technologies which was purchased by Oracle in 2011 for $1.5 billion. This acquisition put Bozeman on the map as the new Silicon Valley of the Rockies.

Start a business in Montana

Missoula is now the hot bed for startups especially in the sectors of science based companies, manufacturing and high tech.

Three science-based companies tied to the University of Montana are River Top Renewals, Clearas Water Recovery and Inimmune. In manufacturing, there has been a great response to Alcom, Kettlehouse Brewing and Montainers, which converts cargo containers into tiny homes and ships them overseas.

However, the most action is in the high tech sector with such success stories in Lumenad, Audience Awards, Advanced Technology Group, Geofli, and Orbital Shift.

Today, Missoula is actually surpassing Bozeman in the number of startups.

Montana start a business

Business owners are recognizing that the Missoula and Bitterroot Valley regions are becoming the substitute destination in Montana.

Our region offers the same recreational opportunities and transportation conveniences as the resort towns of Bozeman and Whitefish but without the hype and high cost of living.

People who relocate here have access to:

  • blue-ribbon trout fishing on five local rivers;
  • hiking;
  • trail activities and hunting in the Bitterroot-Selway Wilderness area (the largest wilderness area in the lower 48 states);
  • extensive cultural activities; and
  • a strong university system.

Skwalla fly fishing in MontanaMissoula is where Norman McClean’s epic novel, “A River Runs Through It” took place. Additionally, winter activities are robust. Lost Trail Powder Mountain in the Bitterroot Valley was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal as one of the nation’s hidden gems for great snow, a family-friendly environment and well groomed runs.

You will enjoy an exceptional work/play balance with a new business in Montana.

With the diverse backgrounds of residents relocating to our area, plus the University of Montana partnerships, it is a win–win for business owners and employees.

We have a very high job retention here. This is because people want to live and raise their families in a small-town environment with a good educational system, great health care, and a strong mentoring climate… all while being globally connected.

Start a new business in MontanaMontana provides opportunities for commercial investors.

Montana is seeing a positive net migration which has put pressure on the housing market.

There is a need for more apartments, multi-family housing, and median-priced housing. Of course, there are challenges with land cost, affordability in rental rates and entry level inventory. This pressure has shifted a number of new buyers to the northern region of the Bitterroot Valley which is now a suburb of Missoula.

Additionally, there is a need for small, or flex, office space either for sale or lease, rethought or repurposed retail space and flex use warehouse space for distribution centers. Currently, there are 64 unique projects over $500,000 equaling $910 million dollars in active and permitted projects.

And when you think of Montana, you’ve probably heard a lot about Bozeman and Whitefish but not necessarily the city of Missoula.

MWestern Montana Livingissoula is known as the Garden City and is home to the University of Montana, the International Heart Institute, world headquarters for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Boone and Crockett.

You can also find world-class resorts in our geographic region with recognizable names such: as Paws Up Resort, The Ranch at Rock Creek, E Bar L Guest Ranch, and Triple Creek Resort, which was named one of the best hotels in the world.

These resorts are constantly featured in Sunset Magazine, Town and Country, The Robb Report, and various lifestyle publications. Additionally, the private community of the Stock Farm Golf and Sporting Club (which was founded by Charles Schwab) is recognized as the number one golf course in the state as rated by Golf Digest Magazine.

Are you wondering about the median cost of housing and income for your area?

Montana entrepreneurs

The median income is $42,000, and the median cost of a home in Missoula is around $250,000.

Our highest year in volume was 2007, and we matched the number of units sold in 2016 to 2007. The two most active price points are from $200, 000 to $275,000 and $275,000 to $300,000.

For rentals, a one-bedroom apartment averages $625/month and a three-bedroom home averages around $1100/month. Our rental vacancy rates averages 2% which is supporting the need for additional multi-family and apartment inventory.

What about taxes in Montana?

Montana does not have state sales tax, and the top tax bracket for income tax is 6.9%. Additionally, currently we are a non-disclosure state. This means when real property conveys, it does so without an automatic increase in property taxes.

Growth is on the horizon in Montana.

Montana has a population base of just over one million residents. Yellowstone County, where Bozeman is located, is number one, and Missoula County is second with over 116,000 residents.

The sphere of influence for Missoula is well over 250,000 with Ravalli County, Lake County, Granite County, and Sanders County as direct links to Missoula. The anticipated rate of growth is expected to be in the 3% range for the next few years.

There are several classifications of residential real estate available.

Montana growthIf you want to move to Montana, there are a myriad of environments to choose from. You can:



  • Have a waterfront home on Flathead Lake;
  • Live on a year-round creek;
  • Walk out of your back porch to fish the Bitterroot or Blackfoot Rivers;
  • Enjoy an elegant condominium in the center of downtown Missoula; and/or
  • Own hundreds of acres for your private cattle ranch.

We have everything you can imagine to partake in the Western Experience but still be globally connected!

Montana is a great place for new startup businesses. With affordable housing, access to global technologies, great schools and healthcare systems, friendly and talented people, and beautiful surroundings, entrepreneurs will find everything they need to start and grow their business… while having a great work/life balance.

With this is mind, are you ready to start a business in Montana?

Contact me directly for more information on finding real estate to meet your specific needs at 406.240.6497 or [email protected]

Checklist for Living in Montana

A Simple Guide for your Move to the Bitterroot Valley and Big Sky Country

Living in Montana

You are sick of smog, traffic, noise, stress, and more and are looking forward to living in Montana. You’ve bought your dream home in Hamilton, Montana and the Bitterroot Valley and are getting ready for your big move.

But what should you expect?

Here is a simple list to help you prepare for a new life in Big Sky Country!

Checklist for Living in Montana

  • Leave stress behind.

As soon as you arrive and get situated in your new home, you’ll want to let go of your stress and unwind as quickly as possible. Take some time to look at the beautiful views around you. You’ll see picturesque mountains, green valleys, the Bitterroot River, and more.

This can be a big change from the typical, urban living you had in your previous home. But after a few minutes, you’ll feel your body unwind with the beauty of nature all around you.

YSkwalla Montana fly fishingou can finally relax, and this brings me to the next point…

  • Take a deep breath and listen.

While you may have avoided taking a deep breath in your previous location, you’ll want to breathe in the fresh, Montana air. It will make you feel alive!

And depending on where you are and the season, you’ll hear all kinds of wildlife, the river flowing by, and other, natural sounds… void of honking horns and traffic! Sit back and take it all in. Ahhh.


  • Be friendly.

If you are not used to people saying “Hello” with a big smile, you’re in for a treat.

Local residents of Hamilton, Montana (and all over the Bitterroot Valley for that matter) are warm and friendly, especially to new residents. Their friendliness can be contagious so don’t be surprised if you start asking complete strangers how they are and telling them to have a great day!

  • Schedule some outdoor adventures!

While you may have been cooped up in a small space where you lived previously, now is your chance to go outside and have some fun in Big Sky Country!

There are so many things to do in your new, Montana location! For example, you can go hiking, fly fishing, mountain biking, shopping, bird watching, horseback riding, and much more. Plus, you can visit some of our famous museums, restaurants, shows, local festivals, and rodeos. To find out more, check out this link of activities and events in Hamilton, Montana.

Darby Montana luxury homes

Darby Rodeo –

Living in Montana is a Smart Choice.

If you are ready to say goodbye to “big city living,” your new home in Hamilton, Montana or somewhere else in the Bitterroot Valley, awaits! You’ll enjoy friendly people, fresh air, relaxation, and thousands of fun things to do outside… and inside.

Are you ready to discover more about living in Montana?

Contact me directly for more information on finding your dream home:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

Luxury Real Estate and Homes for Sale in Hamilton Montana

Discover small town charm and exclusive amenities

Western Montana’s Bitterrot River in Autumn

I’ve spent many years researching luxury real estate and homes for sale in Hamilton Montana… and for good reason. I’m a resident who lives, works and plays here.

While you may hear about Bozeman, Helena and other, top tourist destinations, most people do not mention Hamilton. It’s funny, because our geographic region was beautifully depecited in the movie, “A River Runs Through It,” starring Brad Pitt.

Yes, as the biggest town in the Bitterroot Valley, here you’ll find some of the best fly-fishing the country has to offer. But, you’ll also find a unique combination of small town charm and “big city” amenities.

This is one of the reasons that my husband and I moved from California to this oasis of culture, friendly people, beautiful surroundings, and wonderful things to do, see and eat. Now, I help others find their dream home in this fantastic location.

And whether you are looking for a house in the median listing price of about $275K or luxury real estate, Hamilton has you covered. You can:

  • Enjoy the great outdoors.

This area is know for fishing, hunting, boating, cross-country skiing, hiking, and mountain biking with miles of trails and dirt roads. It’s location between the Sapphire mountain range and the Bitterroot mountain rage, bisected by the Bitterroot River, create stunning natural beauty in every direction. And this area is known as the “Banana Belt of Montana” so it has a moderate, year-round climate.

Luxury homes Hamilton

  • Eat, drink and be merry!

While it has a small town atmosphere, Hamilton offers the best in entertainment, restaurants and shopping. Try a variety of foods from hamburgers to French cuisine at Nap’s Grill, Spice of Life Café, Bouilla, Taste of Paris, and more.

For entertainment, see a show by The Hamilton Players, visit Lucky Lil’s Casino, or spend a day at the Daly Mansion, Hamilton Farmers Market Co-op, or Ravalli County Museum and Historical Society. And don’t forget some unique shopping experiences at Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply, Bitterroot Bit & Spur, Big Sky Candy, and more!

Find the Perfect Luxury Real Estate and Homes for Sale in Hamilton Montana

Whether you want to wake up to a beautiful view of the mountains or walk outside to start fishing early, Hamilton offers a wide range of possibilities. However, the popularity is growing so finding the perfect home can be competitive. That’s why I’m here to help. Let me show you around my town, introduce you to some “hidden” areas and share my insider knowledge with you. Then, you too can start enjoying your new life in relaxing and beautiful Montana!

Are you ready to find your Montana dream home?
Contact me directly for more information:
Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

Discover Homes for Sale in Western Montana

A quick quiz to see if you are ready to move to Big Sky country

Discover homes for sale in Western MontanaIf you are thinking about a new life away from the big city, it may be time for you to discover homes for sale in Western Montana. As you sit in traffic or rush to work on crowded streets, people here are spending time in the great outdoors and truly enjoying life.

With this in mind, are you ready for a change? 

Take our simple quiz below and find out…

Are You Ready to Make the Move and Discover Homes for Sale in Western Montana?

1. Do you want to breathe fresh air?

When you live in a big city, you are constantly breathing in toxins, fumes and other smelly odors that you have no control over. In Western Montana, you are surrounded by trees, cool breezes and mountain air. When was the last time you took a deep breathe of fresh, mountain air?

2. Do you like to spend time in nature?

WWestern Montana homes for saleestern Montana is known for fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hunting, and many other outdoor activities. With the beautiful Sapphire and Bitterroot mountain ranges, Glacier National Park, the Bitterroot River, and more, you can enjoy exciting sports or just site and relax with your favorite beverage nearby.


3. Are you tired of grumpy people?

For the most part, people in Western Montana are friendly and welcoming. I’m not sure if it’s because the natural, surrounding beauty has a calming effect, local residents are just happy to live in such a beautiful place, nice people just tend to end up here, or something else. But, whatever the reason, you’ll enjoy warm greetings and big smiles wherever you go!

4. Do you want to have fun?

If you like to go out at night to eat, drink and be merry, Western Montana offers fantastic bars, restaurants with all types of delicious food, and various entertainment venues with theater, sports, dancing, music, and more.

And during the day, there are plenty of museums, unique shops, and fun activities for all ages. Just because you leave a big city doesn’t mean you have to leave fun behind!

5. Do you want to live in a nice home with a view?There are homes for sale in Western Montana

Whether you dream of living in a log cabin, a luxury mansion with a scenic view or just a nice place to call home, Western Montana has you covered.

And by working with a local, experienced real estate expert, you can find the perfect house for your specific needs and budget.

6. Do you want to run a business from home?

Don’t be surprised by Western Montana and its business atmosphere. While you don’t need to deal with a lot of traffic, crowds and smog, you can still be in a “hot bed” of business activity. In fact, Missoula, Montana was just named the 9th “Most Entrepreneurial Small and Mid-Sized Metros” by the Kauffman Index for Entrepreneurship.

So How Did You Score?

Well, if you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, Montana just may be what you need to make a positive change in your life!

Over time, living in a big city can wear on you. With the crowds, traffic, pollution, stress, and more, it can zap the life right out of you.

Instead, picture yourself waking up to the birds singing and opening your windows to see a beautiful mountain vista each morning. Then, you can step outside to fish, head to your home office or just take a moment to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

Now, doesn’t that sound nice?

Would you like me to help you find homes for sale in Western Montana that meet your lifestyle and budget requirements?

Contact me directly for more information:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]

Fly Fishing in Montana

It is Skwalla time!! Are you ready for fly fishing in Montana?

Skwalla Montana fly fishing

Any fly fisherman knows that the beginning of the season is very exciting.

The Skwalla hatch is about to begin signaling the official opening of fly fishing season in Western Montana.

This tradition usually starts in March and lasts through April.

The Bitterroot River Skwall Hatch is on!

Skwalla fly fishing in Montana

The Bitterroot River is famous for this annual event in that the Skwalla (Stonefly pattern) hatch occurs earlier than most Rocky Mountain rivers due to the warmer climate. The Bitterroot Valley is known as the “Banana Belt” of Montana making the winter months not as long or harsh.

The other local rivers – the Clark Fork, The Blackfoot and Rock Creek also will enjoy the Skwalla but not as early and definitely not as robust of activity.

Skwalla Fishing Montana

There are a number of wonderful day floats to experience this exciting season. My favorite is the Hannon Memorial to Wally Crawford near Darby and Stevensville Wye to Florence Bridge.

The Bitterroot River can be a bit tricky during high water with underwater snags and changing channel conditions. Seasoned fly fishing guides are available to expertly guide you, suggest the right pattern and let you catch beautiful healthy trout. If you need referrals to wonderful guides let me know and I will provide a few names for your use.

Fly fishing in Montana - Testing the water

USGS Measuring Teton River

If you are interested in keeping up on the flow rates you can click here.

Choose the Montana section then click on the link for the Bitterroot River near Darby.

As you float down the Bitterroot River, you will see beautiful, waterfront luxury properties.

There Skwalla fly fishing - Montanaare a select number of opportunities that offer river front living in a private and serene setting. A discrete offering is The Lodge on the Bitterroot which offers 49 acres, a mile of riverfront living, multiple residences and close convenience to Hamilton, Montana. Tour this exceptional offering at (www.TheLodgeOnTheBitterroot)


If you have never experienced the Skwalla Hatch – add it to your bucket list. You will not be disappointed. I will see you on the river!

Want to learn more about fly fishing opportunities and living in Montana? Please contact me at:

Phone: 406.240.6497
Fax: 406.777.2520
E-mail: [email protected]