410 Expressway Suite C
MISSOULA, MT 59808
Telephone : (406)544-6153
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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“Can I drill a well?”
Yes. You can drill a well pretty much anywhere in the State of Montana; a few counties
require a permit prior to drilling.
“How will I know where to drill?”
We always recommend hiring a witcher to walk the property and give a well location
determination many times we make the purchase contingent upon the buyers
approval of the well witcher’s findings.
“Will the property be surveyed?”
Not always. It is very rare that the seller is going to pay for a survey. You are always
welcomed and encouraged to hire a surveyor..
“How much is a survey?”
There appear to be two types of survey, the cheaper one is if any of the adjacent
properties already have a survey, you can hire the surveyor to just “Locate” to
the best of his ability where the corners are based on the adjacent parcels
corners. This should run about $2000.00 on a standard 20-acre piece. The other
is a full survey, I had an estimate from a local firm to do a full survey on an
80-acre parcel last fall, and the estimate was $7500.00. The buyer chose to
proceed without a survey. I would recommend talking to a local engineering firm
to see what their pricing would be.They tend to vary year to year.
“Is a survey required in order to sell the property?”
No. Not in Montana.
“How’s does the access work?”
There are two things to consider when it comes to access: Physical and legal.
Physical Access We have a couple of properties that have no physical access, in other words you
have to walk the last ¼ of a mile or so to get on it. It would be up the
new owner to negotiate with USFS or whomever the road would cross to build a
road to the property.
Legal access is where we spend a lot of our time, there are many of our listings that
have a good road going right to them but someone else owns the road or part of
the road prior to the property. You need to decide ahead of time if you’re ok
with a property that has no legal access.
Water Rights/Timber Rights/Mineral Rights:
“Will the water/timber/mineral rights be transferred at closing?”
As a rule, whatever rights the current owner has will be available to transfer to
the new owner, mineral and timber rights would transfer automatically if the sellers has them to transfer.
Water rights need to be filed by the buyer after the purchase is complete. The buyer
will get a form at closing to fill out and send to DNRC along with the
appropriate fees for transfer.
For water right questions there are a few water rights specialist in Missoula.
Water Rights Inc is happy to answer questions for you over the phone.
Ask for Lee Yelin, President, and their contact info is:
406-251-6100. Or firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not uncommon for some of the mineral rights to have been sold off typically to
the Anaconda Mining Company back in the 1880’s. For an additional fee the Title
company will perform a mineral rights search if you have a concern, fee is
around $200.00. Your offer can be made contingent upon a search being done.
We recommend any land having a search done
Patented Mining claims:
“Your listing says this property is a patented mining claim, what does that mean?”
Back in the days of the gold rush, miners were allowed to file for a patent on a
property that they have proved to produce whatever mineral they were looking
for. The government would issue a title to the land to those properties. A
patented mining claim is real property; you have all the same rights on it as
you would any other piece of real estate. Patented is just a description for
how the parcel was created.
“How does seller financing work?”
Very well. We have a number of sellers that are willing to sell their properties with them
acting as the bank, this is a good deal for both parties.
As a rule, there is no credit check or employment verification for
the buyer. Most sellers feel that if you are willing to put up the down payment
then your probably committed and qualified enough to buy the property.
The standard process is the buyer will pay for the contract for deed preparation by
an attorney; the seller pays the title company to setup a long term escrow account.
Typical down payment is 20%-25%.
Average interest rate is around 8.5%
Normal length of the note would be 20-25 years, with no pre-payment penalty.
There is a $10/ per month escrow fee paid by the buyer.
"How does a Standard Deal work?"
If you bought a property for $50,000 your down payment would be $10,000
Closing costs total about $850.00
Interest at 8.5%
On a 25-year note your payment wound be $322.09 plus the $10 escrow fee.
The title company will have you sign a quitclaim deed transferring the property in
the event that you were to default; they keep this in the file and give it back
to you once you have the property paid off. The seller will sign the warranty deed at closing and that will also be held with long term escrow until the property is paid in full.
We use seller financing on the majority of our recreational transactions. Most banks
are leery of loaning on these types of properties and when they do, their fees
are typically quite a bit higher that with seller financing. They absolutely
will not loan on a parcel that does not have legal access.
Usable Land/ Value per acre:
“What’s the per acre average value in this area?”
This is a frequent question, and it’s difficult to explain that we do not price our
properties by the acre. I currently have a 160-acre parcel in a great area for
$48,000. The issues with this property are two-fold, it has no legal or
physical access and it has almost no usable area on the entire parcel, it is
almost entirely hillside. I also have a 107-acre piece for $295,000 in the same
area; it has access, several building sites and River Frontage.
We base our land values on several important factors.
1. How much usable land is on the property?
2. Is there any usable surface water?
Per acre values are applicable to ranch and farm ground. Trying to price our stuff
by the acre is like trying to price a car by the pound.
“When can you show me this property?”
Short answer, once you found it on your own.
We have so many areas we deal in that it is best if someone new to Western Montana
drives around on their own and figures out for himself or herself which part is
going to work for them. I get lots of calls every year from folks that have no
idea how big Montana is, a frequently asked question is ”Do you have any
listings around Billings/Great Falls/Plentywood?” Nope, we deal anywhere in
Central Western Montana, Everything South of Thompson falls and West of Butte
to the Idaho line. Our typical day of showing will take up 200+ miles and we
will be lucky to show 2 or 3 parcels. If your not positive that our area is
where you want, you should spend some time exploring the whole State then determine
which portion will best fit your dreams. Hopefully it’s in our area.
Once you find the area you like and have tripped across a couple of our signs, then
we will gladly schedule a time to show you the property and help you
with your decision, bring your hiking boots and a lunch.
“I've called your office a couple times and never get an answer, what are your hours?”
Short answer: We don’t have set office hours.
Please, please, please always call our cell phones, we are frequently out showing or
listing properties, we don’t have a receptionist as we like to keep our
overhead down and we always want our clients to deal direct with us.
Twite Realty’s Market area:
“What is your market area?"
Short answer, pretty much anywhere we can round trip on a tank of gas from Missoula.
Long answer, all of Sanders County, Lake county Missoula County Mineral County,
Granite and Powell counties, Ravalli county and the southern half of Flathead
County and Lincoln county. We are very familiar with almost all of the
recreation opportunities of each of these areas as well as most of the
properties offered for sale in each area.
“Can I hunt on my property?”
Probably, unless there is a deed restriction against hunting on your land.
We have had many clients fill their freezer every year on their own property.
Resident deer and elk tags are available over the counter in Montana, non-resident tags
are available through drawing only, applications are due in March.
Please contact MTFWP 406-542-5500 for any detailed questions.
“How about fishing?”
A few of our properties have fishing right on or within walking distance of the
Most of the time, you’ll get in the truck and drive down the road to your favorite
spot or to a boat launch and float or wade from there.
My favorite fly-fishing shop is the Kingfisher in Missoula (406) 721-6141. Matt
and Jim are a wealth of free information and can set you up with the best gear
at the right price.
If your dream is to come here and fly-fish and you’ve never done it before, do
yourself a big favor and go on a full day guided trip. You will learn a ton and
by the end of the day should be self-sufficient enough to go on your own with
confidence and success. Remember to always check their hatch report before you
head out: http://www.kingfisherflyshop.com/missoula-fishing-report
Bears and other wildlife:
"Should I bring bear-spray/gun/chain-mail?"
Short answer: Maybe
I have seen exactly one bear in all my years of showing property. If you plan on
camping out in the woods then by all means bring whatever you need to help you
sleep through the night. I’ve never bought bear spray mostly due to the fact
that every bear spray story I’ve ever hears had nothing to do with a bear and
everything to do with someone trying to pull the bottle out of the bottom of
their backpack and spraying themselves of their camping buddy. All make good
stories but not very good for getting a good nights sleep.
There are plenty of wolves around here too, I’ve only seen a few but never anywhere
near the properties we have listed, but they are out there.
Mountain lions are always in the back of a persons mind while in the woods, any attack
would be front-page news as they are very, very rare.
Making an Offer:
"Can I make an offer over the phone?"
No. State law mandates that all legal offers must be in writing and on our State
approved forms. We can easily go over the offer with you on the phone and
e-mail it to you.
Off The Grid:
“What does off the grid mean?”
Short answer: No power is available to the property.
"How much to bring in power?"
I've had quotes anywhere from $10 to $19 per foot
Thus 1 mile of power line would run anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 per mile.
"What about solar?"
Most of our clients end up with solar panels and battery bank systems. There are a
number of reputable solar dealers in our area. Your welcome to call us for a
list of dealers.
I would contact Canyon Hydro Inc. in Deming Washington. Their number is 360-592-5552.
They are the best.
Listing your property with us:
"How do I list my property with Twite Realty?"
Give us a call and we can discuss your property. Please understand that the average
market time for recreational properties is about a year. We work in a price
driven market, if you want to sell it faster, you need to sell it cheaper.
Whatever your situation is, we can make it happen. We sell more recreational
property than any other office in our market, period.
"Do these properties have cell reception?"
A surprising number of them do. Most of the time you may need to drive a little
ways to a cell pocket. FYI Pizza-Hut won’t deliver to most of these spots,
"What do you mean by Recreation Property?"
Recreational property typically means it has seasonal or very rough access.
There are no real rules to these types of properties, you can build pretty much
anything you want and live on it year around.
"Is it true Montana has no Sales Tax?"
That’s right Montana has no sales tax.