For Sale sign in yard

BOZEMAN, Mont. - Realtors have been predicting for weeks (or even longer) that the coronavirus pandemic would cause an influx of out-of-state residents to buy homes in the Treasure State. Now, we're starting to see those predictions come true.

For years, out-of-state buyers have had their sights set on places like Bozeman, Big Sky, Missoula, and the Flathead region for a new home. It looks like the demand has only grown after the coronavirus pandemic.

Montana Free Press spoke with several real estate agents, all of whom said they'd seen the housing market grow since the state started to reopen, reaching a fever pitch in recent weeks. The publication also reports that realtors have seen out-of-state buyers paying up to $15,000 more than asking prices.

One realty expert in Bozeman, Gallatin Association of Realtors CEO Rob Wigton, said there's two big reasons why he believes the housing market is booming in Montana right now.

"The pandemic is one of them obviously. You know Montana, the chances of catching it here are so small compared to other areas, urban areas across the country," says Wigton. "I think all the urban unrest too is getting people a little jittery, so they're looking for places that are a little quieter, more peaceful. And Montana sure fits the bill."

Wigton predicts more home buyers from out of state will be buying virtually in the months to come, just like he did when he bought his home in Bozeman sight unseen at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

He advises local buyers to commit to their research, and suggests potential buyers check housing websites and apps daily or even hourly to find the right place before it's snatched up.

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