Location, Location, Location!


Happy New Year! Once again, we bid farewell to auld lang syne and welcome a new year. Once again, we observe the huge spike of memberships to the gym, the intentions of the masses, the big dreams of losing weight, gaining wealth, and changing the world!

For homeowners, many folks decide it may also be time for change. After all, who can change the world when life at home is in disarray because of tight quarters, drafty windows, and a kitchen that isn’t functional?

So the question comes up: should we stay put, or uproot? In this series, I will give you some food for thought while making your decision. Well maybe not food….just thought!  Today we will look at the number one factor: LOCATION.

Riverfront neighborhood Missoula

University Neighborhood Missoula, MT

Location, location, location! Yes, the most overused phrase in Real Estate can seem as obnoxious as the Brady Bunch phrase, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” What is the big deal and why does LOCATION get all that attention?

I remember my college days of moving every six months or so around Missoula. I moved for various reasons, cheaper rent, proximity to the University of Montana, cleaner roommates,  or in one case, a neighbor upstairs who was obsessed with cleaning. I lived alone at the time, and I swear she vacuumed a minimum of three times a day (usually in the middle of the night.) I met her once-she had mop hair. Anyway, I digress….

I loved the uniqueness of every neighborhood I lived in, from the old church rectory turned apartment building on the North Side, to the tiny house where I could have a dog in the Lewis and Clark area. If you aren’t familiar with the various personalities of the neighborhoods around Missoula, take a quick tour of  Missoula Neighborhoods.

View from Mount Sentinel

View from Mount Sentinel. Photo by Erin Turner.

Location is the most important factor in determining the value of your house now and in the future. So if you are a homeowner, keep a sharp eye out for what is happening in your neighborhood. There are wonderful opportunities in Missoula to get involved in your Neighborhood Council.

If you are tossing around the idea of moving to another neighborhood, this rings true as well. Look into future development in the areas you are looking to buy. How will those changes affect the housing market?

Moose Can Gulley Missoula Montana

Moose Can Gulley Neighborhood Missoula Montana

Here is a list of other questions you may want to consider regarding location:

  1. Do you want open space? Even in a compact neighborhood you may be able to find a house next to a park for the open feel.
  2. Do you get a bit of SAD in Missoula? Yes, it really is worth considering with the inversions we frequently get in the winter here in Missoula. I had a client that specifically bought a little out of Missoula to ensure there were less days of fog and more days of sunshine.
  3. Do you have kids whom you want at a specific school? Check out the boundaries for Missoula County Public Schools here.
  4. How do you like to commute? Car, bike, public transportation? Look into the proximity of the neighborhood you are in or are interested in to your work, your play, and your interests.
  5. We will talk more about this in future posts, but it is worth considering that price is intrinsically tied with location. What can you afford in the given location you are considering?

Location this! Location that! It’s always location, location, location! One thing I know for certain, Missoula is a plethora of unique, individual, wonderful neighborhoods that can cater to the distinctive personalities that Make it Missoula. Location deserves the attention!

Happy Nesting!



Jennifer Slayden bioJen Slayden wears many hats: Mother, Real Estate Agent with Main Street Realty, teacher for the non profit music program Center for Music, UM alumni, runner, and supporter of all things local. Her RealChange program dedicates a generous amount of her Real Estate commissions to be given back locally to organizations of her client’s choice. You can find her on Facebook, or give her a call at 406-370-0300.