First and foremost, THANK YOU LORD FOR THE RAIN AND SNOW!!!!! Usually I fuss about winter coming, but this year I welcome it with open arms if it helps in getting these horrible forest fires put out. It says in the Great Falls Tribune that an estimated 1,103,252 acres have burned in Montana this summer. What a tragedy. You'll see a bit of snow in some of the pictures in this post, and I'm lovin' it!
On with the story. Every fall there is an event called “Parade of Homes” in Bozeman (and neighboring counties if the homes submitted are snazzy enough to meet the Parade's high standards). It is one of my favorite events to attend, and I really look forward to it each year. I wasn't sure I'd be able to go this year because we all have so much going on, and weekends are mighty short. But, thankfully, we were able to get things straightened around enough to be able to take in the very last day they had the homes open. There were 15 homes this year, 13 in Gallatin County, 2 in the County where I live. There are so many people milling around in the homes it is nearly impossible to get any good photos, and I'm not sure they really want you to anyway since they charge admission, and probably don't want folks showing the home photos around and maybe putting a dent in the ticket sales. I took exterior photos of my 2 favorites, just to give an idea of the awesome views they have surrounding these beautiful homes.
This home was up Paradise Valley. This particular builder always does a great job every time he's had a home in the parade. I think this is the 4th house he's built that I've been fortunate enough to see.
After touring this home, we drove back to town, then headed over the hill to Bozeman. We went thru the catalog provided with the ticket purchase and decided to pare it down a bit. We chose just the ones we thought looked most interesting, and picked 6 to tour out of the remaining 13. I was not terribly impressed this year. Most were extremely modernized versions of “farm houses”, or “traditional houses”. The outside would look fairly true to form, then you'd step inside, and eek! Holy smoke, ultra modern. Not my cup of tea by a long shot. One we went to was fairly normal, a roomy 3200 square feet, vaulted ceilings, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a modest media/theater room (some of them are vast in these parade homes), attached garage, and a tiny yard that was barely a strip on each of the 4 sides of the house. It was the most liveable for a family with children I thought (except for the tiny yard which didn't give kids much room to play), and I supposed the price would be somewhat affordable for a typical young family budget…….I was shocked when I saw it was $749,000! It is beyond me how a young family can take on those kinds of payments. And what is even more shocking is the fact that they sell rapidly! That is why the real estate market in our little town is going haywire – we are getting the overflow of folks from Bozeman that can't afford those outrageous prices. But they can pay more than most people employed in our little town, so it is driving the prices up here by leaps and bounds.
It makes me worry for my big little son. He has a good job for this area, and yet he would have to make five times his wage to afford something half as much as this “normal” home on the parade. And that is the case for most all the young adults that I know around here.
Anyhoo, the last house we saw was my very favorite. It was just a few miles down the road from Bridger Bowl Ski Resort, and the area is spectacular in every direction for views.
It was hard to get a decent photo because it was built high up on the hillside, and had a treacherously steep driveway to get up to it. The whole road, from where you left the pavement, clear to the house, was basically a glorified cow track. It made the road to our cabin look perfectly tended and groomed!
They made you park far below, then walk up the road to the driveway, then hike the whole driveway to the house. Whew! But as you can see, almost all the front of the house was windows – and get a load of the view out of said windows….
This is looking directly at some of Bridger Bowl's ski runs. Just a sprinkle of snow on them now; much, much more to come later!
Even tho we probably should have stayed home and worked on the to-do list, it was nice to take a break, see some lovely (and some interesting) homes, and get off the beaten path for a change.