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Intro to Bozeman

The Short-Term Rental Market in Bozeman

by Liz Nitz
The Short Term Rental Market in Bozeman

Sobo Lofts in downtown Bozeman. The HOA allows for short-term vacation rentals.

 

Interior of my short-term rental in Sobo Lofts

Interior of my short-term rental in Sobo Lofts

The short-term rental market in Bozeman is strong thanks to the mountain setting, college town designation and year-round recreation.

That’s if you can find one. It’s no secret that the Bozeman real estate market is tight right now, with almost no inventory. And with the city’s new zoning map and recently established regulations on short-term rentals, it’s a bit difficult to own and operate one. (You can find information on the city’s rules on short-term rentals here.) I own a short-term vacation Rental Market here in Bozeman and its performance is better than I had anticipated.

 

Bozeman Compared to More Traditional Resort Destinations

  • My Hawaii rental: I previously owned a short-term vacation rental in Hawaii and it was a much different picture. Cancellations/changes were rare because it took a fair amount of effort to get to Hawaii. Many people were going with family, so guests tended to make air and lodging reservations at the same time and often a year in advance.
  • My Bozeman rental: Reservations here are a little more fluid. There are more cancellations/changes but they almost always fill right back up. In the past few months (before we had any decent snow) I’ve only had five total nights that were open. I am currently looking at several months of being totally booked. Bozeman is a great place to own a short-term rental because of its multilayered economy. Even if the national economy were to take more of a hit than it did last year, Bozeman has a lot to offer in terms of recreation and entertainment at a pretty reasonable price. And unlike Hawaii, Bozeman is reachable by car which ups the affordability factor for visitors.

 

Who Is Staying in Short-term Rentals in Bozeman?

Bozeman is a popular vacation base for skiing, hiking and exploring national parks. It also attracts many people visiting Montana State University. Surprisingly, Bozeman became even more popular during the pandemic. Montana had more space and less restrictions compared to other states, so people headed here in droves to live, work and play.

 

What’s Happening in Surrounding Cities?

    • Big Sky Big Sky doesn’t have the same zoning issues because it’s a resort town. But individual HOAs may have their own restrictions. The real issue in Big Sky would be: Is it worth the investment? One should check carefully what units can rent for and compare that to expenses. HOA expenses in Big Sky tend to be much more than Bozeman. And while Bozeman rents year-round, Big Sky definitely has an off-season during the fall and spring.
    • Belgrade This could potentially be a market to look at if the HOAs allow for short-term rentals. The key would be to get a unit that has amenities that Bozeman can’t offer, such as more space with a big yard for pets. There are not a lot of Airbnbs over there, so you would definitely be taking a few guesses. But the  rental market is strong, so a long-term rental should cover expenses if the short-term didn’t work out.

 

Amenities Make a Difference

A good resource if you’re interested in investing in a short-term rental is AirDNA. If you’re an analytics geek, AirDNA has a goldmine of data on the performance of VRBOs and Airbnbs located all over the world. Check out this great blog post about amenities that boost average daily rates (ADR) and revenue per available rental (RevPar). In Montana, I think these amenities would set you apart:

    • Winter season Fireplace; sun-drenched living area with great views; heated floors; hot tub; glove/boot warmers; espresso/coffee station.
    • Summer season Walking distance to the main entertainment district; a patio with views of the lake/mountains; bikes for riding around town.

 

If you have questions about owning a short-term rental or what’s happening in real estate in Bozeman, feel free to email me at liz@windermere.com. Also check out my previous blog post about what you should consider before owning a vacation rental.

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2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 17, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 17, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,530Sqft
Beautiful 3 bed 2.5 bath 1530 square foot condo with an attached 2 car garage. This unit features gray cabinets, white hard surface countertops, stainless steel appliances for a great modern feel. Wonderful location close to walking trails, parks, gym, Costco, Target, etc. 3rd bedroom does not have a closet but seller with work with buyer and show them options. AC is an available upgrade.
$445,000

2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2316 Gallatin Green Boulevard 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,581Sqft
Great modern condo in a prime Bozeman location. Condo is 3 bed 2.5 bath with 1580 square feet with a two car attached garage. Property features gray cabinets, white hard surface countertops, and stainless steel appliances. This is the only unit in the complex that has a bedroom on the main floor. It sits on the south corner with great natural light.
$449,000

2310 Gallatin Green Boulevard 14, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2310 Gallatin Green Boulevard 14, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,540Sqft
Beautiful 3 bed 2.5 bath 1540 square foot condo with an attached 2 car garage. This unit features white cabinets, gray hard surface countertops, stainless steel appliances for a great modern feel. This unit backs to the walking trail and open space with spectacular views of the Bridger Mountains. Wonderful location close to parks, gym, Costco, Target, etc.
$465,000

2320 Gallatin Green Boulevard 23, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2320 Gallatin Green Boulevard 23, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,540Sqft
Beautiful 3 bed 2.5 bath 1530 square foot condo with an attached 2 car garage. This unit features gray cabinets, white hard surface countertops, stainless steel appliances for a great modern feel. Wonderful location close to walking trails, parks, gym, Costco, Target, etc. 3rd bedroom does not have a closet but seller with work with buyer and show them options. AC is an available upgrade.
$472,500

2320 Gallatin Green Boulevard 22, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2320 Gallatin Green Boulevard 22, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,540Sqft
Great unit in the heart of Bozeman. With this location you will have easy access to shopping, schools, and other amenities. Property features 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths with a two car attached garage. Nice finishes include stainless appliances, hard surface counters, soft close cabinets and laminate floors. These units back to the trail system and parks.
$465,000

2320 Gallatin Green Boulevard 21, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2320 Gallatin Green Boulevard 21, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,540Sqft
Beautiful 3 bed 2.5 bath 1530 square foot condo with an attached 2 car garage. This unit features gray cabinets, white hard surface countertops, stainless steel appliances for a great modern feel. Wonderful location close to schools, parks, gym, Costco, Target, etc. This unit backs to the trail system on both sides for great privacy.
$472,500

3271 Warbler Way A, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3271 Warbler Way A, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
1Bathroom(s)
2,614Sqft
Introducing Skyline Vista, a luxury condo community located on the park in Cattail Creek. With over 2600 +/- sq. feet of living space these 3 bedroom condos live large with a long list of premium upgrades. First floor family room provides a great multi purpose room or office.
$775,000

289 Heights Circle, Bozeman, Montana 59718

289 Heights Circle, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
0.61Acre
2,011Sqft
Custom Home with Additional Income Apartment and a Separate Office Space on .61-acres across from a 5-acre park! This home, built by Dan Jones, has a vaulted ceiling with alder stained trim and door package. The extra-large kitchen has quartz countertops, ceramic tile backsplash, and stainless-steel appliances. The living room features large windows and a beautiful rock fireplace.
$990,000

2938 Warbler Way 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

2938 Warbler Way 16, Bozeman, Montana 59718

3Bedroom(s)
2Bathroom(s)
1,392Sqft
Elkhorn Condos are designed by Locati Architects. This is an end-unit 3 bedroom condo located near shopping and public transportation, trails, ponds, playgrounds. All bedrooms are located upstairs. There is a one-car attached garage. The main level includes a galley kitchen that opens to the dining and living room.
$445,000
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Range Properties

135 E Main St.

Bozeman, MT 59715

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