Like many other Bozemanites, I dream of one day buying a home here in Bozeman and putting down some roots. Here's the problem, like many other Bozemanites, I can't afford to buy a house.

It's the truth, and even though I make good money and I'm above the "median income" for the area, all of the houses are out of my price range. So, that makes one wonder, how in the world can you afford a home if you are in the median income range?

I can't be the only one that thinks, "what in the world do these people do for a living that they can afford these home prices?".  Throw in the fact that I see a lot of new cars in the driveways of these homes and I come to the conclusion that I've clearly failed in life.

The truth is, it's frustrating and for those that are in the market to buy and don't make a gazillion dollars a year, it can be depressing. At this rate, most of us would never be able to own a home here.

A couple of weeks ago I was on the Parade of Homes and I had a chance to talk with one of the folks that is part of the event, they also happen to work in the real estate business. She told me that things were slowing down around town. The good news? There isn't the crazy demand and outbidding that's been going on for the last couple of years.  The bad news?  It doesn't look like the lack of crazy demand is going to make the prices drop anytime soon. Well, isn't that fantastic.

Let's take a look at the current inventory, shall we.  For those of you like me, that are on a budget, or just refuse to spend a ton of money and get yourself into deep debt, lets see what's available.

For the purpose of this little experiment, we are going to search for stand alone homes.  No apartments, condos, duplexes, or townhomes. DEAL ALERT! Here's a 3 bedroom, 2 bath with 1572 square feet in Bozeman. It's nothing fancy, but it has a decent kitchen, nice backyard with views of the mountains, and a two car garage.  They want 575 thousand for it and your estimated monthly payment is a little over 2800 dollars a month.

So, lets do some math here, 2800 a month multiplied by 12 months, equals 33 thousand 600 dollars a year.  Figure that on a 30 year mortgage and that comes in at....a little over a million dollars. Now, that's a chunk of change, isn't it?

So, 33 thousand dollars a year in house payments and the median income for Bozeman families, not an individual, but a family is 55 thousand.

Doing some simple subtraction, that leaves you 22 thousand dollars a year. 22 grand to buy groceries, pay car payments, plus the insurance for the cars. Oh, speaking of insurance, there is health, life, and home insurance that you have to pay. Clothing for you, your partner and the kids. Then there is savings and retirement...

You get the picture and it's not a pretty one.  Is it wrong to hope for some sort of crash?  Or at least a big drop? Without it, I don't know how most of us will survive.

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