Category Archives: Blog

Western Montana Luxury Home Available at 3673 Toma Trail

This Beautiful, Bitterroot Valley Real Estate Offers Custom Design and Great Views

If you are looking for a Western Montana luxury home with Bitterroot Valley real estate, look no further than 3673 Toma Trail in Darby, MT.

Western Montana Luxury Home - Toma Trail

Located in the exclusive, Chief Joseph Estates, this custom-built log home has a rustic, but elegant, feel. You’ll find circular sawn floors, a massive native rock wood burning fireplace, a granite slab countertop, and view windows for an abundance of sunlight throughout.

Touches of contemporary design enhance the interior, and the volume ceilings and large great room make quite the impression when you walk into the main entrance.

With a fantastic kitchen including a central island, eating bar, and top of the line appliances, you’ll love creating meals here for family and friends.

Western Montana Luxury HomeThere is a master suite on the main floor which opens directly to a screened in outdoor porch. And the upstairs loft overlooks the great room.

Downstairs, you’ll discover a fully-finished basement with a game room, additional storage and a mechanical room. The full-size, double car detached garage and adjacent shop completes the improvements.

This Western Montana luxury home is just a two-minute drive to all of the conveniences in the town of Darby, and minutes from Lake Como and Hamilton. Plus, Lost Trail Powder Mountain offers fantastic, family skiing and is a simple, 33 mile drive away.

But, you’ll forget you’re so close to others in this little piece of Montana paradise.

Western Montana Luxury Home LivingThe home is surrounded by a park-like, 6.71 acres with a gentle topography and Iron Horse Creek meandering through it.

You’ll love the peace and quiet and seeing all of the local wildlife and enjoying all of what nature loves to offer.

The Chief Joseph Estates development offers over 50 acres of common area, luxury homes, majestic pine trees and the best of the Montana lifestyle.

If you are sick of the hustle and bustle of life in a big city like New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other places, you’ll love this Western Montana living experience!

In addition to fresh air and nice people, there are a host of activities for all ages. This includes Montana’s famous fishing opportunities, hunting, bird and wildlife watching, water sports, snow sports, hiking, bicycling, and much more. Plus, there are all kinds of unique shops, restaurants, and entertaining events and activities to check out year-round.

If you’ve ever dreamed of being part of the Western Montana living lifestyle, now’s your chance!

For more information about this property, check out this video and contact me directly at 406-240-6497.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Move to Montana

Texas, California and New York Residents, Is it Time for a Change?

Western Montana business in Montana Living in MontanaAs 2017 comes to an end, it may be the perfect time to move to Montana. Texas, California, New York, and other residents, are you sick of loud noise, terrible smells, sitting in traffic, stress, and more?

Montana has a lot to offer. It’s a great place to work, live and play.


What Montana has to offer residents from Texas, California, New York and More!

  • Start a business.

If you have dreams of starting your own business and saying goodbye to your boss, maybe 2018 is the time to make the switch?

And “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 launches many new businesses each year and is a hot bed of activity for startups in high tech, manufacturing and science.University of Montana Missoula Start a business in Montana

  • Save money.

Per the latest stats, here are a few comparisons:

  • It’s 65% more expensive to live in New York that Missoula, Montana with housing costing 155% more in New York.
  • Utility, transportation and health costs are less in Missoula than Dallas.
  • Missoula is 34% cheaper than Los Angeles overall with housing 60% less in Missoula.
  • Reduce stress.

Montana is known for fresh air, beautiful scenery, friendly people, and outdoor activities. Instead of being stuck in traffic, looking at cement and tall buildings everywhere or dealing with grumpy people, you can finally relax and enjoy life.

Enjoy the Bitterroot Valley Move to MontanaAt any time, you can look around at the beautiful scenery or visit a local shop or entertainment venue to get a warm greeting from a perfect stranger. Plus, you can enjoy outdoor activities here at any time including: fly fishing, hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, boating, skiing, and much more.

Plus, there are plenty of historical museums, unique shops and entertainment venues and local festivals and rodeos to check out.

Living in Montana Brings a Fresh Change.

If you are sick of city life and want a refreshing change, take a look at Montana. Costs can be significantly less than where you live now and business opportunities are plentiful. Plus, there are unique activities for all ages to enjoy… both indoors and outdoors.

Skwalla fly fishing - Montana

With friendly, helpful people, your move can be a breeze, and you can start your new life soon!

Do you want to learn more about moving to Montana?

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

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

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]

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]

What’s It Really Like to Live in Big Sky Country, Western Montana?

“Turn Me Loose – Set Me Free Somewhere in the Middle of Montana Big City Turn Me loose and set me Free…..” Merle Haggard

If you ask why we left the “Big City” in California, here is our story…

What’s It Really Like to Live in Western Montana?

Big Sky Montana, Western Montana

My husband and I decided that it was time to move due to the rapid changes that were taking place in California. We agreed that we would look west of the Mississippi with a vision of acreage for our horses, robust recreational choices, quality of life, cultural activities, and a relaxed atmosphere.

Our search took us to seven different states (Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Arizona) in a period of five years. The only place that felt like home was Western Montana and the Bitterroot Valley.

We did a tremendous amount of due diligence regarding the weather, culture, health care, city conveniences, equine support,  real estate values, and recreation. We did not know a soul when we moved, but that changed quickly!!

Barn in Bitterroot

Western Montana is a rare find in that the people are warm, friendly, inclusive, and helpful.

In the 20 years we have lived here full-time, we have encountered the most wonderful experiences. People genuinely care, will help you out regardless of the need and you will be warmly welcomed.

The medical community offers the full range of professional specialties. The facilities are first rate and have the latest diagnostic equipment available. International Heart InstituteThe International Heart Institute is world renown for their research and cutting edge surgical procedures.

With the University of Montana in Missoula, the cultural offerings are vast, the sporting events are first class and the college community adds a level of energy to the town.University of Montana Missoula


Weather in Western Montana does offer the four seasons but in a very mild way.  We have not been inconvenienced with extreme temperature changes and find that each season offers its own charm.

People who come to Montana do so for various reasons – job transfers, retirement, second home, new start, quality of life, a focus on family, clean environment, recreation, quality of education etc. The opportunities are endless.

If you have any questions about looking in Western Montana – give me a call at 406.240.6497.

I will give you an honest response and help make your move to the Bitterroot Valley stress free and easy.  That is what “Montana friendly” is all about!

For more information about living in Montana, please see some additional blogs here.