Renovating is not super turn-key (as we all know) and there are things you will want to watch out for especially when it comes to money and your time.

1. Historic Districts
The city of Bozeman has pockets of historic district areas that enforce the preservation and look of our historical homes. There are heavy guidelines and restrictions enforced by the City that will tell you what you can and cannot do when renovating your home.

If you'd like to dig into the historic districts of Bozeman (and ensure you are not in one of these historic districts), here are a few resource links to direct you further: 
Historic Districts Map
Historic Preservation Map Link

2. Line up your contractors 
With how limited (and busy) our contractors are in this valley, get multiple names and talk to as many folks as you can. Ask if they commonly take on downtown Bozeman projects. Go with a contractor who is trustworthy and has great communication. If a contractor says they are too busy to take on more work, move on. They are being upfront with you and it is best to find someone who has the bandwidth to take on your project(s). 

3. Permits 
If you are in city limits and especially if you own a downtown property, you will need a permit if you are moving electrical, plumbing, moving walls (structural), etc. If you are in a downtown home, chances are you will have to bring your home up to code. You may very well have unexpected delays due to increased permits needed for your project.

4. Financing 
Chat with a couple of different local lenders to determine what your options are for financing a project. Whether it is a HELOC, new construction loan, etc., know your options as our rates are at record lows. If you need local lender names, please email me and I would be happy to send you their contact information. 

5. Get Bids! 
With how busy our valley is, contractors will charge what they need to charge especially if they do not need the work. You will find that the range of pricing will vary quite substantially. So do your homework and talk with friends and family to figure out who they used and if they would recommend that contractor to do work on their home again. Or you can simply reach out to me and I can provide you some vendor names! 

6. Electrical 
Many homes could have some electrical updates done but maybe the whole house was in fact not fully updated. You could have old nob and tube wiring still. Be sure to understand the scope of the project and that you might have a longer timeframe of your project than you originally anticipated. 

7. Plumbing
It might be very likely you have old plumbing, even lead pipes if you are in the downtown Bozeman area. Homes are as old as the late 1800s, early 1900s. So word to the wise is make sure you have a solid budget to back any mystery items that will present themselves.  

8. Comps 
Be aware of nearby comps so you do not over improve your home. Simply reach out to me to ensure you are investing wisely and ensuring a great resale value on your home. Super easy to run a sales valuation on your property and can update the free report upon your request - it is that easy to know the numbers! 

9. Asbestos
Asbestos can be found in drywall, tile, popcorn ceiling, etc in more places than you might think. So before you start demoing, it would be good to get asbestos tests out of the way so you know if you have to budget for asbestos abatement. Abatement can only be done by a few companies and the costs can run into the thousands. Do your due diligence. Need names of asbestos vendors, no problem - email or call me. 

10. Have Fun! 
Whenever you dig anything up, move anything around, etc., just assume the worse. Budget for way more than the contractor's bids. And if you over forecasted for the worse then call it a WIN and take yourself out to dinner when the project is done.  Buying in today's market is intense and fast paced. So if you live downtown and have the where with all to take on a project (small or large), it could be highly lucrative when you go to sell. 

Simply reach out to me, Marisa Owen to run a sales valuation of comps if you want to ensure SOLID resale value on your home. I live downtown and invest in downtown real estate ~ I would be happy to share my knowledge with you! I have done downtown renovation projects and would love to share what I know with you and what challenges I came across.

If you have any questions about renovating your downtown Bozeman property, please feel free to contact me.

Marisa Owen - Realtor 
Cell: 925.785.2596

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