How To Repair Stucco By Yourself

If you have a stucco home, you know that over time it will need some repairs and maintenance and there is nothing that you can do about that. However, if you have to hire a professional to do the repairs, it can get very expensive, so it might be a good idea to look into doing it yourself. There are numerous products on the market that allow the do it your self person to do a good professional looking job. You just need to make sure that you follow the instructions to the letter or else you could end up with a repair that does not stand the test of time.Stucco repair
One such product is called “Stucco Patch” and it contains16 grit sand and a polymer that makes it sticky and easier to work with. You can apply this product to a hole that is from one half inch to two inches deep. The instructions are faily detailed and there are a few youtube videos that show how to use the product as well. I believe you can find it in big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes.

If you have a rather large hole that was cut into the side of the house to access plumbing or for some other reason, you can follow these steps.

  1. Chip away the stucco an all sides of the hole to expose the paper and mesh. You will need at least three or four inches so that you can apply new paper. It is important to note that the new paper must go under the existing paper at the top of the hole to ensure that if water gets through the stucco it will not go into the house. The new paper must go over the existing paper at the bottom of the hole.
  2. Cut a wire mesh to the correct size to fit the hole that has been covered with paper.
  3. Mix two buckets of Portland cement and add luminite to one of them. So, you will have one bucket that is pretty thick and one that is much more thin and watery. The luminite will accellerate the process of drying and setting. Luminite is very tough to work with but after many jobs it gets easier to handle. Luminte will also go bad in time just like food, so you you need to use it up in a certain amount of time.
  4. Apply the luminite mix to the mesh and use a trowel to create a nice smooth finish. Allow the luminite cement to set for about 10 minutes.
  5. Use the more watery cement to apply the final finish. Dip a large brush also known as a dash brush into the cement and flick your brush at the smooth finish. This will create the final look of the stucco with the dimples and grooves in the finish. Make sure you try and make it look like the rest of the house.
  6. Once the repair has had time to dry, go ahead and paint the patch job to complete the job.

Thanks to the stucco professionals at 5.0 in Calgary, AB for this information
Here is a video that shows the process in further detail.


3rd Quarter Real Estate Statistics for Bozeman and Area

These statistics encompass the areas of Bozeman, Belgrade, Big Sky, Manhattan, Livingston and Three Forks in Southwestern Montana.

The days on market was down across most sectors and areas when Montana real estatecompared to the third quarter of 2015 while the median price was up compared to last year. The lack of inventory has resulted in the number of listings that were sold being down when compared to Q3 of 2015.

Here are more details:

For Bozeman the days on market was about 51 days for single family homes while the median price came in at $351,000 compared to $348,000 in Q3 of 2015 and $296,000 in Q3 of 2014. So, things are looking good in Bozeman.

In Belgrade it took just 29 days to sell a single family home compared to 33 at this time last year and a whopping 51 days in 2014. The median price came in at $265,00 compared to just $225,000 last year in Q3

For Manhattan the days on market was only 29 days compared to 125 days last year at this time. That number is so dramatic that I might have to look into that further since it could have been a clerical error. The average price was $277,000 compared to $257,000 last year.

Three Forks took a long time to sell a single family home coming in at 76 days compared to 62 days one year ago. The median price still increased to $215,000 compared to Q3 2015 when the median price was $189,000

The prices in Big Sky went up dramatically I suspect because of a couple of higher priced listings sold. The median price was skewed higher up to $1,525,000. At the same time the days on market in Big Sky was extremely high at 251 which is what sometimes happens at the higher end of the market.

In Livingston City it took on average 56 days to sell a single family home compared to 53 last year at this time. The median price came in at $209,000 compared to $195,000 in Q3 of 2015

In general the local real estate market is growing and doing well

Thanks to Marcie Hahn-Knoff of Pure West Christie’s International Real Estate in Bozeman. 406-599-3530


New Infrastructure Always Helps to Increase Real Estate Prices

People love convenience in every aspect of their busy lives. Living close to where you work helps to save a lot of time over the course of your life. If you spend 45 minutes every day driving to and from work, that adds up to a lot of hours over the course of a few years. That is time that you could have used more productively working on a project, or just spending time with your family and friends.

House for sale in Bozeman MontanaThis concept of convenience also applies to being close to amenities such as grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, medical facilities and bus stations. There is nothing better than being able to walk to your favorite neighborhood pub for drinks with a friend and not having to worry about driving home. That sort of thing is valuable to most people.

But how valuable is it when we look at the price of real estate? Well that can be different for everyone, but in general it can add thousands of dollars in value to a property that is in the right location. In some cases a person might be willing to pay more than anyone else for a home that is right next to a bus stop that they can take to work every morning. Others may find it nice be be near a medical facility if they have a recurring condition that requires attention on a regular basis.

Overall, most people want to be near all the things they use regularly but not too close. You don’t want to be right beside the grocery store or mall since you will have to put up with extra traffic and noise in the area. So, for the most part properties that are deemed to be near everything, yet still on a quiet street are usually worth the most since people will pay more for that.

Generally, when you hear of some type of new development in your neighborhood, it is a positive thing for your property values since it will add more of what people want near you. The exception to this would be a large freeway or interchange going in next to your community.

In this video Tamara Williams talks about the positive effects of a new YMCA opening in Bozeman. She mentions specific communities such as West Lake Park and Baxter Meadows.

Tamara is with RE/MAX Realty Group and can be reached at 406-223-6823

3031Rimview Drive Billings

Here is a fabulous 3376 square foot home nestled in the Rims with fantastic views in every direction. This home features massive patios for relaxing and experiencing life to the fullest.

The kitchen has white cabinets with plenty of space, natural light from several windows, and tile flooring.  The dining room features a beautiful chandelier and ample space for a large table with 6 to 8 chairs.

Do your paperwork from the comfort of your den that also boasts great views of the nature around you. The family room gives you all the opportunity you could want to relax and watch TV, or listen to music.

There are three large bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in this amazing home that is surrounded by cliffs and  boulders. What an incredible natural setting for a home in Billings.

If you want to know more about this home at 3031 Rimview Drive, Billings, MT 59102 contact Ryan Auer about MLS # 262718

Montana Real Estate Brokers

2050 Broadwater Ave, Ste B Billings, MT 59102

(406) 850-2011



What is TRID?

TRID which stands for TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule is also known as the “know before you owe” rule. This new rule that was implemented on October 3, 2015 is designed to help and protect people that borrow money and includes homebuyers that are getting mortgages.

trid for montana real estateThis was inspired by the carnage that came out of the 2008 financial crisis where thousands of people were forced to abandon their homes because they could no longer afford them or their mortgages were under water. An under water mortgage is when you owe more on your home than it is currently worth in the real estate market. Back then, many banks and lenders were lending money to anyone that wanted it because the rules were so lenient that it was hard to determine who ultimately would suffer if the homeowner could not pay for their home. Of course the home owner that lost their home suffered greatly, but the banks had such concocted such complicated schemes with their loans that the government had to step in and bail them out with tax payer’s money.

TRID makes sure that when you go to get a loan, that you will be crystal clear on how many fees you will be charged and exactly how much. You will also know how much you will be paying each month and how much interest you will be charged. Of course you as the individual that is borrowing the money need to take some responsibility and actually read the documents and understand them. If you have any questions you have three business days to have them answered.

TRID was designed to help the consumer and it should not delay your loan application. It only ensures that the loan officers or bank employees have to give you your loan information in advance of the loan being completed so that you have time to understand it. Make sure that you are working with a lender that has successfully closed a lot of real estate deals since TRID was implemented. There may be some lenders that are still bogged down in bureaucracy and could slow the home buying process down.

One lender that is ahead of the game is Amerifirst and they have a lot of great information and some very informative videos on their website at

For a more condensed explanation of what TRID will mean for you as a home buying process




Bozeman Montana Real Estate Statistics for 2015

Central Montana homesOverall home sales are continuing their nice rise upwards since 2009 with a 10% increase in 2015. Sales of more expensive homes over $500,000 had their biggest increase in 6 years rising by 78% with 250 sales compared to only 140 sales in 2014. So these numbers show that the real estate market in Bozeman is in great shape and we think that will continue into 2016

In the downtown area, there was a whopping 600% increase in sales and that just shows that people want to be close to where the action is with great restaurants, shops, and services. People love it when they can walk or bike to these places instead of always jumping into the car and then having to try and find a parking spot. They can also enjoy all the parks and walking paths that are in or near the downtown area. However, even though it is a popular area, that doesn’t mean there are no homes available. This is due to all the new construction that is now coming onto the market. Builders and developers know where people want to live, so they build to fill the market’s needs. Whether that means new developments or tearing down old properties, there will always be homes coming on the market. Always remember that if you are buying an older home you should make sure you get a home inspection so that you don’t get any nasty surprises after you move in.

In the Southside neighborhood, inventory was down by 56% so that certainly means that this part of town is very popular with buyers and it might take a while to find something you like here. It was much the same story in the Northside neighborhood where there was a 52% decrease in inventory and sales were up by 17%.

As far as land sales go, they also had a good year with 55 pieces of land of more than 5 acres selling. The price per acre is rising with properties in Southside, getting $24,770 per acre. In Bridger Canyon there were 425 acres sold for an average of $14,000 per acre. Some of these land parcels are literally just 10 minutes from downtown Bozeman and another 10 minutes from world class powder skiing at local ski areas.

Here are more details about the state of the real estate market in Bozeman for 2015 and what we think will happen in 2016


Preparing Your Home for Sale

The recent increase in the Montana real estate market may prompt some homeowners to consider selling their home. Before putting up your home for sale, you need to get your home market ready. Any home that has been lived in a few years will need to be decluttered, deep cleaned, repaired and staged. When removing clutter, think of it as packing up to move. This will encourage positive energy to permeate the whole selling/moving experience. Toss broken things, give away unused things and neatly pack and label the things you want to keep. Do not store clutter in closets or the garage. Store what you want to keep in a separate storage unit that preferably is not on the property. If you decide to use storage on the property, try to make the storage space off limits to potential buyers but be prepared for them to expect to see inside.

The next step is to deep clean the entire property. Cut the grass, clean the gutters and sweep the walkways and driveway. If possible, pressure wash the house and roof. At the very least, scrub the gutters, downspouts and trim to remove any dirt or mold. Then deep clean the inside of the house. Clean every nook and cranny including closets, attics and basements. Up to this point, very little money has been spent but the impact on appearance is huge.

The next step is to decide how much money you want to spend preparing your home for sale. Go over the property with a notepad and list all the repairs you can see. On a separate sheet, write down any decorating ideas. These may include paint, slipcovers, flowers or lawn decorations. Prioritize repairs and decorations according to your budget. The order of priority should be curb appeal, kitchen, bath, closets/cupboards and then staging. The potential buyer needs to feel invited to your home. Anything that needs to be repaired on the way to the entrance of the home should be addressed first. Then think about color. Yellow invites people to buy a home. Plant some marigolds or place a few pots on a step.  Try hanging a yellow birdhouse to draw the eye up if the walkway needs more work than you are able to do right now. Two chairs and a small table sends the invitation to sit and visit a while. In the kitchen, buyers will check the cupboards and other storage options (including the fridge!).

Organize everything by color and use. Turn all the cup handles the same way. Store all the canned goods like they do in supermarkets — labels forward and like items together. Pots should each have their lid and handles should face the same direction. This staging will be easier since you have already packed away a lot of things that are not used regularly. Do the same in the bathroom with linens and personal items. There should be nothing personal on the counters, the back of the toilet or in the shower. Everything should be stored in drawers and closets according to color, size and use. Purchase small plastic tubs of the same size and color and label them with each family member’s name to store personal items. Potential buyers will open doors but they shouldn’t open the tubs.

Home improvement ads are currently marketing bold paint colors but color is personal. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral tone is more appealing to more people than bold color schemes. Splashes of color can be added through accessories but the main color in a room should be neutral. If the home is brick, paint all trim a crisp white. Sided homes can be any color scheme but try to keep to natural tones. Some people advise removing all pictures and personal items because the potential buyer needs to see themselves living in the home not you. However, having personal items incorporated into the decorating lets the potential buyer visualize how the space could be used. Just remember that less is more and to group by color, size and use.

You are now ready to put your home for sale in the Montana real estate market. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, potential buyers will always find something to try to negotiate a lower price with. However, a clean, well-organized, inviting home will sell faster and for a higher price than another home with less attention to detail. Thanks to my good friend Robert of  REMAX Edmonton Real Estate up in Alberta for his help in preparing this article Here are some other great resources in Canada for all your property needs. Carmen Paradis Calgary Real Estate

Pine St, Missoula Character home

Nicely done and super clean character home in Missoula. There is no work for you to do – it is ready to move in.

A new house is sometimes nice, but nothing can compare to the history and charm of a character home. Enjoy nice days on the front deck and work in the mature yard with endless possibilities

1307 CORTEZ, Billings 59105 move in ready home boasting 4 levels, open concept main level with vaulted ceilings. spacious bedrooms & master suite. Huge lower level family room, custom lighting & finishes throughout. Beautiful landscaping water feature,& additional parking