Last Updated on September 17, 2020 by Andrew Lee
There’s a lot to love about Montana, and one of these is its diverse natural beauty. From mountains to prairies to trout-filled waters, its residents never get bored. Add to this the booming industries particularly health care, retail, as well as educational and social services, and there’s no wonder it regularly sees its fair share of potential home buyers. (Source: Livability.com)
Although the cost of living here is slightly more expensive in general than in other states, its numerous charming cities, such as Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls still pique the interest of property investors. (Source: Sperling’s Best Places)
How much it costs to buy a home in the state
One of the primary reasons behind the slightly higher cost of living in The Treasure State lies in its housing, which on average, is a little more expensive than other areas in the country. In the United States, the median value of homes is $195,300, while in this state, it amounts to $197,900.
Home prices still vary though, as it also depends on the specific type of residential building. For instance, single-family homes, comprising the majority of the housing market at 93.90%, have an average value of $168,721.64. Condominium are valued on average at $162,298.25, PUD homes at $246,565.11, and townhomes at $120,707.13
Before buying and borrowing must-dos
Homeownership can give anyone such an immense amount of satisfaction, among many other benefits. However, since it’s also such a huge financial responsibility, homebuyers should take as much time as they can laying out their purchasing and mortgage plans. Some of the most must-dos include the following:
- Ensuring one is financially capable. A mortgage, whether fixed- or adjustable-rate, involves monthly expenses that will take years and years to complete. This said good candidates for a housing loan are those with guaranteed, long-term income more than enough to cover the monthly mortgage payments.
- Determining the length of occupancy. One of the best ways to correctly choose between a fixed-rate and a variable-rate mortgage is to establish how long a borrower intends to stay in the same house. Those who plan to occupy it for a decade or more will find the latter a more suitable choice, on the other hand, those who plan to reside in it for five years or less than ten years may benefit more from an adjustable-rate loan.
- Polishing credit score rating. FICO scores play quite a huge role not just in one’s interest rate, but also his/her mortgage eligibility. Those who have less-than-stellar credit score ratings have higher interest rates, while those with good scores enjoy better rates. This said, it would really benefit borrowers to first improve their individual score, as this can make a huge difference in their overall housing loan expenditures.
Mortgage assistance in the state
For homebuyers in need of mortgage-related assistance, resources are available.
The Montana Board of Housing offers down payment assistance through its many different partnerships. Eligible homebuyers can receive financing aid of up to $40,000 based on qualifications, including need, location, and program limits. Those who want to further broaden their knowledge about home buying can also seek the help of the Montana Homeownership Network.
Refinancing basics: When it makes sense
Existing homeowners may find that refinancing (Hyperlink to: “Mortgage Refinance: When and When Not To” article) their mortgage can help them in a number of ways. As long as done properly, they can trim their home loan expenditures quite considerably. For example, they can lower their interest rate by 1%, which can minimize not just their monthly payments, but their overall mortgage costs. Since they have lower payments to think about, they can hasten the repayment of their debts, while also avoiding foreclosure.
Montana Board of Housing