Alice Ritzman
West Venture Real Estate, LLC
17 1st Ave East
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone 406-751-5600
Cell 406-212-0177
Fax 406-751-5601
Email Alice

Grizzly Bear
GNP Goat
Coyote by Water
Hawk in Flight
Most Wildlife and Scenery Photos courtesy of
Bill Keeting

Northwest (NW) Montana Real Estate by Alice Ritzman

Residential sales continued to improve in 2013 with overall sales up more than 15% from 2012 according to Jim Kelley of Kelley Appraisal in Kalispell. Rockies over KalispellLow interest rates, combined with decreasing REO and Short Sales of distressed properties resulted in an increase in the median price of properties sold to $210,150 which is an increase of nearly 12% over the previous year. The average price of properties sold increased 6.9% to $286,230.

Kelley’s figures also showed that the inventories of residential properties to begin 2014 are lower than at any time since 2005, so sales of properties should be more competitive and prices should continue to rise in local markets. Inventories are also short to begin the year for land listings, and while prices for land dropped by more than 8% in 2013, overall sales of land were up 61.2% Commercial development is expected to continue at a brisk pace with several projects slated for 2014.

Affordability remains high in the area, but increasing interest rates could dampen that somewhat. For those people who have been looking to move to the valley, the time could be now.

And, with popular destinations like Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, and the Big Mountain and Blacktail Mountain ski areas so close by, who wouldn't want to move to the area?  Glacier National Park is 1 million acres of mountains, lakes, valleys, flora, and fauna that hosts 2 million visitors each year.  Only Polson of the aforementioned cities lies more than an hour away from the West entrance to Glacier.  The park features 106 miles of the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains winding around and among 762 lakes, 563 streams and rivers, and over 730 miles of hiking and horseback trails.  It is the home to wolves, black and grizzly bears, lynx, mountain lions, and over 270 varieties of birds in addition to more than 1,200 types of plants and flowers.

Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, at 28 miles long and from 2-15 miles wide. 

Native bull and cutthroat trout head a list of 25 species of fish, and the lake covers 191 square miles which makes it the perfect spot for fishing, sailing, picnicking, boating, camping or swimming. 

Eagle Bend Golf Course at Bigfork on the north end and Polson Country Club at the south end of the lake provide beautiful views of the lake and the Swan Mountains in addition to challenging but enjoyable lay-outs.

Big Mountain located just north of Whitefish, and Blacktail Mountain just west of Lakeside offer thousands of acres of terrain for downhill and cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter months, and hiking and mountain biking during the summer.
“Quality of life” is probably the number one reason why Montana residents want to stay here, and why visitors from other regions fall in love with the area at first sight.  People who have visited agree with the coined phrase, “Last, Best Place” to describe this corner of Montana.  The 4th largest state in area, Montana ranks 44th in population, giving it the “Big Sky” and “open land” feeling.  Life is a little more laid-back, and a little less chaotic than in most areas of the country.  The scenery is second to none.

Whether you’re considering part-time residence, or planning to enjoy all four seasons in Montana, contact Alice Ritzman for all your real estate needs. 

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