Archive for February 2nd, 2010

We’re Number 2!

by jhwygirl

I don’t do much self-promoting of 4&20…but it’d be rude ignore our second place ranking in the Missoulian’s Missoula Choice 2010 awards for Best Blog. took first….and Missoula twitter favorite @timakimoff and Missoulian digital editor Tim Akimoff took 3rd place with his beer blog Grizzly Growler

Congrats to all!

Thanks for everyone that voted for us. Jay, Pete, JC and problembear (and even Ana who’s done a few posts here this year) did a bang-up job keeping things moving around here in 2009 and 4&20 wouldn’t be what it is without their important informative and forceful words.

by jhwygirl

Real estate isn’t doing to well – although most local real estate agents, regardless of where you are located, are loath to really give you the reality out there. Too much truth might push the median price down a little too far for comfort.

I actually stopped to look at what I thought was a newer house for sale in the ‘hood a few weeks back. Called the text message info line on the sign to get price and particulars since the realtor didn’t have one of those info sheets there. The 60+ year old, 800 square foot home, with tiny tiny lot in a neighborhood that has plenty of new construct 2 & 3-bd homes on the market in the less-than $200,000 range was listed at $175,000. A few hours later, the realtor called me (having gotten my number on my text request) and asked me what I thought. I told her I thought they were asking too much. She asked why and I mentioned the new-construct homes in the same price range (quite a few are actually list at the same $175,000 price). I said it was a small lot that wasn’t even full-size. No alley access. Plenty of dead-ends around..and the back yard was surrounded by two-story homes that both looked into the small yard and cut out the sunlight. She listened, asked what I thought the house was worth and I said “having not looked at it, and unless it has new kitchen and/or bath, I don’t think I’d say more than $130,000.”

Her reply? “Why don’t you put in an offer.” And there I was thinking as I opened my mouth that I had pissed her off.

So – realtors are pricing these things such that I could lowball an offer by $50,000? Really? No wonder I don’t like realtors.

High end real estate? A friend who was raised in Kalispell said that there are newer subdivisions up there with whole streets that have only 1 or 2 occupied homes. Stuff on Flathead Lake (even foreclosure) isn’t moving at all.

More? The Schroeder Ranch, 7,000 + acres just north of the Missoula County line, with more than a mile of it bordering the Bitterroot River sold just two years ago for $25+ million. It had been bought by Silicon Valley investor Roger Lang, who also owned the Sun Ranch out in Madison County.

The Sun Ranch was billed as a model for sustainable development. Lang took inventory of its natural resource value, put a conservation easement on the 18,000 acre parcel, and reserved 10 homesites.

Lang put Sun Ranch on the market last April, listing it for $55 million. Today the Billings Gazette reports that Sun Ranch sold to mining CEO Richard C. Adkerson. Its last listing price (last Friday) was $42 million.

As for the Schroeder Ranch down there on the southern boundary of Missoula County? It still sits sans conservation easement. Not only that, the Schroeder family, back when subdivision law changed in the 70’s, created a 100 or so 20-acre lots, each of which has a lawful building right.

A few short weeks ago, the Schroeder Ranch sold again. For $14 million.

I’ve heard little about the new owner, although I know there is still talk of putting a conservation easement on the property.

Jonathan Weber’s article on the Sun Ranch starts off with Lang having listed the ranch to “free up capital for other ranch purchases.” Lang’s certainly freed up capital. Wonder where those next ranch purchases are going to be.

Another well-known high-end, amenity-filled ranch/golf course/subdivision is the Rock Creek Cattle Ranch outside the town of Deerlodge.

Yep, home of the state’s prison.

My friend from down that way tells me that not one lot sold in all of 2009. Not one of the 250 or so lots that he’s already created.

So the lesson here? Apparently you can lowball homes in the city by $50,000 grand. I mean – having a selling agent tell you that has to mean something, right? And if you’re in the market for high end real multi-million $ real estate. It looks like you could start at half, and negotiate from there.

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