New Homes Billings MT
Retirement Living Tips in Billings MT

There are many things to think about when planning your retirement living. 

If you are going to retire in Billings MT, there are certain aspects that you need to take into account to make sure that your retirement is happy ad fulfilling. Various situations will come up during your retirement that could greatly affect your plans; health of you or your spouse, the economy, the health and plans of your children, along with a myriad of other factors.

Be smart (as well as realistic) about your retirement plans and follow some of these tips to help you along the way.

The first thing that you need to do in your retirement is to control your spending. Nobody has an unlimited amount of money and this could be your single biggest step to making sure that your retirement goes as planned. The goal is to not outlive your money and many people take the outlook that retirement is one long vacation. Following this mindset, you don’t want to run out of money midway through your vacation. Usually the first year or two is the most crucial and you don’t want to drain your saving during this time.

Your retirement portfolio may look like it will cover the next 20-30 years, but things come up and circumstances change. Health insurance as well as personal insurance costs can spiral out of control quite easily. If you handle your money much as you did for your entire lifetime and simply live within your means, you will be well on your way to a happy retirement living.

Retirement Living Tips MT
Retirement Living Tips MT

The second thing to keep in mind is to not forget about taxes. Much of the money that you withdraw from your retirement accounts can and will be taxable. It may not have been taxable when you put it in, such as in the case of an IRA etc, but it certainly is when you take it out. You will need to withdraw your funds in such a way that will minimize your tax liability.

If you have a way to keep earning some sort of income such as a part time job or business that you own, you will be able to defer taxes longer on your retirement accounts because you will not have to withdraw it as quickly.

Speaking of part time jobs…..

It is wise to consider a part time job during your retirement for several reasons. First of all, the extra income can be very nice, but even if you don’t need the income, it is a very good idea to stay active. Having a part time job can keep you socially involved and your mind active. Work can keep us involved with other people and therefore, a part of the community.

Many times your friends might be co-workers and that will not necessarily change just because you are retired. You most likely have many decades ahead of you in your retirement living and the more active you can stay, the more you will enjoy them.

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Making time for your family is another great way to stay active. Many of us have gotten busy being busy over the years with our jobs etc, and not that you are retired, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with family when that may not have been the case earlier in your lifetime. In particular if you have grandchildren, you are going to want to be available for them as much as possible.

Now is the time to make sure you enjoy your family.

Make sure that your estate is in order. Many people will put off estate planning, but now that you are in your retirement, it is unavoidable. Make sure that you have planned for a smooth transfer of your assets upon your death. A will is the best way to accomplish that, but there are other things you can do as well to provide a blueprint for the distribution of your estate. The last thing you want to do is leave a mess for your loved ones, or leave questions unanswered that can create conflict among your children or grandchildren. Take the time now to make sure that your wishes are fulfilled once you pass away.

Having a good financial advisor can also be very key to a happy retirement. There are many avenues that you will need to navigate during your retirement, from tax liabilities to estate planning, etc. Having someone that you can trust to advise you on your finances can be crucial, especially if you have a large retirement portfolio. Sure, you will pay some fees to have the help available, but it can be well worth it and it will also free you up to enjoy yourself rather than having to worry about planning your finances all the time.

Retirement Living Tips
Retirement Living Tips

Making out a ‘bucket list’ is another thing that many people do once they hit retirement. Now is the time to accomplish the things you have always wanted to accomplish and there is no reason to put them off any longer. Write down and prioritize your goals and you will not only be able to achieve them, but enjoy it more while doing so.

You should also make sure that you have some type of emergency fund. No matter how well your retirement living is planned out, unforeseen events will always occur. It could have to do with your health or the health of your spouse, but there may also by unforeseen expenses that will come up with your children or even your grandchildren.

Take the time to have that emergency fund stashed away so that these events don’t catch you by surprise. You don’t want to have to tap into your retirement savings every time something unexpected arises.

The last thing to remember is to take care of yourself and your health. When you reach retirement age, your health is more important than ever before and you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Stay active. Exercise as much as you can, even if it is simply taking a short walk in the evening. Good health will result in a higher energy level and an improved outlook on life.

You want to enjoy your retirement; you’ve earned it! Staying healthy will help you do so.

Things to Consider When Building a New Home

Building a custom home can be intimidating!

There are so many things to consider when you get into building your new home, that many people just forego the process rather than dive in to what can be a very intense and time-consuming ordeal.

However, building your own custom home can be very rewarding as well. The experience can be a lot of fun if you take things one step at a time and don’t get too complicated all at once.

The purpose of this article is to help you educate and prepare yourself for the experience and to make it as fun and rewarding as possible.

There is a lot to consider, but if you keep some things in mind, you can build the home of your dreams and enjoy yourself at the same time!

Clarks Fork Plan
Clarks Fork Plan

First of all, you need to create a solid design. Identify the main purpose of your new home. Is it a summer home that you may plan on selling someday? Is it simply a new home in a new area that you may live in for 10 years and then move into something bigger. Are you down-sizing from a larger home for your retirement? Is this the home that you plan to die in?

Identifying the function of your home early on will go a long way to helping you plan it out. Keep in mind the purpose and you will find that things go much more smoothly as you progress through the process.

As you are getting into the initial stages of building your new home, you need to make sure that your lifestyle is up for the process.

Not only is planning and building your new home time consuming, it can also consume your checkbook. It can stretch out over a long period of time, so this is something that you need to make sure that you can not only afford, but that your family can handle as well.

There is nothing worse than being miserable in your current home while you are waiting for your dream home to be built.  

The process takes a while so don’t get in a hurry!

Along with making sure you have the patience, make sure you have some type of system to organize everything. Building a new home is a very large and important jigsaw puzzle. It is crucial that you are able to adequately track everything that is going on so that you don’t miss anything and cause delays, or worse, end up with something you don’t want or need. If you want to stay sane during the process, stay organized.

(FREE) Download Our 13 New Home Plans and Warranty PDF!

Be sure and find a custom home builder team that you feel comfortable with. Remember, you are building your dream home. The team that you hire to help you in this endeavor will be spending a lot of time with you over the coming months. Make sure you are comfortable with them and make sure you trust them.

Get to know anyone that you are considering before you hire them on and actually start the process.

This is your home, don’t entrust it to someone that you do not feel at ease with.

Once you get into the actual planning of the build, make sure that you optimize the space within your new home. Every room should have a purpose and it is seldom very rewarding to add a room and have no idea what you are going to use it for. Take the time to think through the functionality of each and every space in your new house and you will be happier once it is actually built. By the same token, don’t short yourself. If you are into arts and crafts, make sure you designate an arts and crafts room. If you are into shooting and reloading, make sure you have a space in your basement or upper floors to set up your reloading equipment.

This is your chance to customize a home that works best for YOUR needs, not someone else’s.

Make sure you are familiar with the lot that you will be building on. Remember, every lot has codes and various laws that you will have to meet. You need to understand these requirements before getting starting. Many areas have HOA’s and it is a very good idea to become familiar with them before you start building your dream home.

Your team should be able to help you with this, but it is necessary to know any requirements prior to breaking ground.

Plan for the unexpected. No matter what your budget is for your new home, assume that things may go slightly over the budget. So many factors come into play during the build, that it is very easy for estimates to creep slightly upward.

It is a good idea to have an additional 10% of the total price available just in case things go over budget. You don’t want to be caught short when you are in the middle of building your house.

building a new home landscapingRemember landscaping. Many people design the ultimate home, start building it, and realize that they failed to take into account landscaping. You need to envision what your entire lot will look like and you also need to make sure you have budgeted for it.

You will be pretty disappointed if you build your dream home and then have to sit and look at an empty, immature lot around it. Landscaping can add up, so take it into account early in the game.

It is a good idea to create a list of priorities. You may find that as you go through the process, those granite countertops that you thought were a ‘must have’ in the beginning are no longer important. If you have a list of features that you want/need in order of importance, it will be relatively easy if you need to make changes are you go.

Staying somewhat fluid during the process can help save your sanity and knowing not only what you want, but how bad you want it, is always helpful.

Just remember this: building your new home should be fun.

If you follow some of these easy steps in the beginning, you will find the process much more rewarding and less stressful in the end.

Choosing a New Home Builder

Looking for a new home builder in Billings, MT?

When you decide to take the plunge and build a new home, you will obviously have a number of very important decisions to make. Building a new home is a long, time consuming process, but one that is very rewarding for you and your entire family. You want to get everything right and have the home that you will be happy living in for many years to come.

This starts with choosing a builder. Perhaps one of the most important decisions that you will make during the whole process, is choosing who you will be working with to actually build your vision from the ground up.

When it comes to deciding on a builder, it is important that you find a builder that you can trust.

You are going to be working with this team for a substantial period of time, so you need to be able to trust the advice they are giving you. Along with trust, you must also choose a builder that you feel comfortable working with. Personality is a must because again, you will be making many important decisions with the builder and their team, so you need to make sure you mesh with them and can convey what you want in your new home.

Once you have decided what type of house you are looking for, you can create a list of potential builders. There is probably a local home builders association in your area that you can contact to get information from, and you can also find local home builders at: https://hbabillings.net

You probably already know a local real estate agent or two and they can usually give you some pretty good recommendations as well. One of the easiest things you can do to find a builder is to simply search online for your area. You will be able to find many builders in your area, the type of homes they build, and their pricing.

Most of them will have their own websites that showcase some of the homes they have built in the past, and you can get a pretty good idea from looking at their past work, what they would be able to do for you. You will also be able to see through various web sources, ratings and reviews from other people about their experiences with a certain builder. Sources like homeadvisor.com can be invaluable sources for building a list of potential contractors.

Don’t be afraid to ask friends and relatives who may have worked with a builder in the past, for their opinions about how the process went. Most of the time, word of mouth, is a great way to find a potential builder because people who had great experiences are not afraid to brag about it and people who had poor experiences always tend to be very vocal.

It never hurts to ask, and most of these home builders have made their business based upon their reputations.

Once you have your list, it is time to interview builders. Have a list of questions ready before you chat with each builder and make sure you get an adequate answer to each one. You don’t want to leave things to chance and then have problems crop up later on. Make sure you ask the things that are important to you in advance and you will find that you have much smoother sailing once your project has started.

(FREE) Download Our 13 New Home Plans and Warranty PDF!

When you have interviewed a builder, find out where some of their recent builds and subdivisions are and take a drive by them.

You will find open houses many times on weekend days, where builders will showcase a recently completed home, and you should take advantage of that to inspect for yourself the quality of the work that they do. You may even be able to catch a current homeowner out in the yard or taking the garbage out and you can stop and ask them their opinions about the house that they had built. Most people like to give their opinions and the more information you gather, the better feel you will get for a particular builder.

The open houses you find for each builder may be one of the more important aspects of the process.

Trails West TestimonialMake sure that you inspect the quality and construction of each feature. Take a look at what type of cabinets are used, the flooring in each room and even the trim and the paint. All of these things will give you a great idea of what your house may end up looking like.

You want to make sure that you don’t find that corners have been cut in quality and that attention to detail was paid. Don’t be afraid to ask questions while you are there and find out if different options are available for certain rooms or why the current build is the way it is. Remember, you are building your dream home and it is important. Don’t be afraid to treat it as such.

Make sure you keep a log of all the information that you gather on each builder. Your impressions as you talked to them are important, and should be logged with everything else so that you can go over it prior to making your decision.

When the dust has settled from your interviews, you can A/B each builder and really figure out which one is the perfect fit for you and the home you are wanting to build.

Building a new home is a fun and rewarding process, but it is also work. Taking the time to make sure you find the right builder for your project is a crucial step and one that should not be taken lightly.

The decision you are making in the beginning will affect all your other decisions down the line, so take your time, ask the questions that are important in YOUR mind, and go over the information you have gather carefully. Then you will be able to make the most informed decision about which home builder to hire and your project will turn out better in the end.

Visit our homepage for more information on the Trails West Subdivision or to find out more about our new home plans in Billings, MT here.

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Things to Know When Buying a Brand New Home

Looking for new homes in Billings, MT?

Buying a brand new home is fun and exciting there is no doubt about it. Shopping for new homes as opposed to a previously lived in home gives you the ability to have the most modern features and also to completely customize the home for your own needs during the building process.

A recent survey through Trulia indicated that 41% of people currently shopping for a home would rather have brand new.

Not only is a brand new home new and unlived in, it will also have the most up to date energy efficient materials and newer systems than an older home would. New appliances, new furnace, more efficient air conditioning, better hot water heater, are all features that you will find in a newly constructed home that you won’t find in a home that is 20 years old.

However, buyers can get caught up in the excited of shopping for a new home and overlook some of the more key details. Here are some things to be aware of when shopping for a new home.

First, always be a bit cautious when it comes to newer developments that are not finished yet.

Even though the house you may be looking at seems like a great deal, it is not uncommon for some of these half-finished developments to never actually get finished.

What does this mean for you and your investment in a house? It means that the community may either take an extremely long time to be completed or worse, never get completed. In an absolute worst-case scenario, you might end up with an unsellable property in the middle of a desolate, unfinished development. For example, if you are looking at a house where only something like 10 houses out of 40 lots are currently built, be very skeptical and cautious.

Ask a lot of questions about the number of lots sold and the number currently under contract waiting to be built.

If those empty lots don’t end up with houses on them, they are nothing but dirt lots that will kick up sand and dust every time there is a slight breeze.

If you are considering being the first or second person to buy out of a 50 lot development, you might want to wait and give it more time to see how things actually develop.

Don’t fall in love with a model or a prototype of what could be your new home. Keep in mind that you generally don’t get to see your actual house before it is built.

You will be looking at a model in many cases and these models are always decorated to the nines to make them look as impressive as possible. There are also all kinds of techniques used to make models appear bigger than they actually are, and designers and builders know them all.

Rooms can be staged with slightly smaller furniture to make them appear bigger and bedrooms might have a double sized mattress in them rather than a king, to make them seem much larger than they are. Keep in mind that everything is made to look perfect when viewing a model. Your own home will be slightly different.

(FREE) Download Our 13 New Home Plans and Warranty PDF!

Make sure you know ahead of time, what exactly is included in your build.

It is fairly common for a buyer to think that a feature or appliance package is included, only to find out that it is an ‘extra’. These extras can destroy your budget if you are not careful, so make sure you have a complete list of what is included in the original price and what is not.

Once you start adding things in, prices can quickly spiral out of control, because it is the ‘extras’ that tend to really be the costly things. Those marble countertops that made you fall in love with the kitchen might end up being an extra that you can’t afford, so do your due diligence in the beginning.

homes for sale billings mt
homes for sale billings mt

Along the same lines, don’t get carried away selecting upgrades and extras. There is a lot of profit for builders on the upgrades and some of them will try to sell you a bunch just to increase their overall profit margin on the project.

Take a long hard look at what you really need and also think about what could be done or added on later down the road. Otherwise your budget will go right out the window that those designer curtains are covering up.

Another thing that many new home-buyers forget to do is to get a completion clause. Remember, you are at the mercy of the builder’s time line. You don’t want to get into a situation where the completion date has come and gone, you need a place to live, and you builder is still working on your home.

A cancellation clause or a refund of deposit clause are quite common and not only will help keep your builder on time, it will give you some piece of mind in case things start to go sideways.

Make sure you review the surrounding home and neighborhood before you begin construction on your new home.

This ties in with not moving into an empty subdivision, as it really is important to get a feel of where you will be living on an overall basis. How close will your neighbors be? Will another house block your view? Will a house that has yet to be built block your view? Is your gated community surrounded by otherwise sketchy neighborhoods?

Remember, this is your new home. You need to like the surroundings as much as you do the house itself.

Make sure you have a home inspection done. Some people will try to save a few bucks and waive the inspection, reasoning that if the home is new, there is less to inspect. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is not a bad idea to have someone take a look at things even as the home is being built. Get an inspector who can stop by from time to time and pay him an hourly rate. Somebody like this can help identify potential problems before they are covered up by the finished build. Don’t skimp on having your new home inspected at several different stages if possible.

Visit our homepage for more information on the Trails West Subdivision or to find out more about our new home plans in Billings, MT here.

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homes for sale billings mt

NEW! One Level. vaulted ceiling!Abundance of light!! No steps! Located in Trails West Subdivision. Walking, and biking multi use trails all the way to Zimmerman Trail Adjacent to new Ben Steele Middle School Campus. Yard will be complete with under ground sprinklers, sod and vinyl fencing by 6/1/2018. Exterior concrete flat work to be completed by May 15, 2018. Vacant with lockbox.

Call Agent Rod Wilson at 406-855-4755 or Chantilly Hook at 406-598-3165 for further information and details.

  • Listing Type Single Family
  • Listing ID 283965
  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bathrooms 2
  • House Size 1,517 sqft
  • Lot Size 6,029.00 sqft
  • Listing Status Active
  • Year Built 2018
  • County Yellowstone
  • Full Bath 2
  • Subdivision Trails West Subdivision
  • Floors 1
  • Garage 2.0
  • School District 1 Meadowlark
  • School District 2 Ben Steele
  • School District 3 West
  • Zoning Residential 6000 Restricted
  • Fees 10.0
  • Taxes 607.0
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homes for sale billings mt

NEW! One Level. 8 vaulted ceilings in great room. Abundance of light! Located in Trails West Subdivision. Adjacent to new Ben Steele Middle School Campus. Walking and biking multi use trails in Trails West all the way to Zimmerman! Complete with under ground sprinklers, sod and vinyl fencing to be complete by 6/1/2018. Exterior concrete to be completed by 5/15/2018 Vacant with lockbox.

Call Agent Rod Wilson at 406-855-4755 or Chantilly Hook at 406-598-3165 for further information and details.

  • Listing Type Single Family
  • Listing ID 283966
  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bathrooms 2
  • House Size 1,517 sqft
  • Lot Size 6,029.00 sqft
  • Listing Status Active
  • Year Built 2018
  • County Yellowstone
  • Full Bath 2
  • Subdivision Trails West Subdivision
  • Floors 1
  • Garage 2.0
  • School District 1 Meadowlark
  • School District 2 Ben Steele
  • School District 3 West
  • Zoning Residential 6000 Restricted
  • Fees 10.0
  • Taxes 607.0
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homes for sale billings mt

NEW! One Level. 8 vaulted ceiling in great room. Abundance of light! Located in Trails West Subdivision. Walking and biking multi use trails all within Trails West all the way to Zimmerman. Adjacent to new Ben Steele Middle School Campus. Complete with under ground sprinklers, sod and vinyl fencing by 6/1/2018. Exterior concrete flat work to be completed by 5/15/2018 Vacant with lockbox.

Call Agent Rod Wilson at 406-855-4755 or Chantilly Hook at 406-598-3165 for further information and details.

  • Listing Type Single Family
  • Listing ID 283967
  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bathrooms 2
  • House Size 1,517 sqft
  • Lot Size 6,029.00 sqft
  • Listing Status Active
  • Year Built 2018
  • County Yellowstone
  • Full Bath 2
  • Subdivision Trails West Subdivision
  • Floors 1
  • Garage 2.0
  • School District 1 Meadowlark
  • School District 2 Ben Steele
  • School District 3 West
  • Zoning Residential 6000 Restricted
  • Fees 10.0
  • Taxes 607.0
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homes for sale billings mt

NEW! One Level. 9 walls with 10 centers! Located in Trails West Subdivision. Adjacent to new Ben Steele Middle School campus. Complete yard with under ground sprinklers, sod and vinyl fencing by 6-1-18 . Vacant with lockbox.  Exterior concrete flatwork to be completed by 5-15-18. Walking & biking trails within Trails West & multi use trail in all the way to Zimmerman Trail.

Call Agent Rod Wilson at 406-855-4755 or Chantilly Hook at 406-598-3165 for further information and details.

  • Listing Type Single Family
  • Listing ID 283969
  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bathrooms 2
  • House Size 1,616 sqft
  • Lot Size 6,499.00 sqft
  • Listing Status Active
  • Year Built 2018
  • County Yellowstone
  • Full Bath 2
  • Subdivision Trails West Subdivision
  • Floors 1
  • Garage 2.0
  • School District 1 Meadowlark
  • School District 2 Ben Steele
  • School District 3 West
  • Zoning Residential 6000 Restricted
  • Fees 10.0
  • Taxes 625.0
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homes for sale billings mt

NEW! One Level. 9 walls with 10 center. Located in Trails West Subdivision. Adjacent to new Ben Steele Middle School campus. Complete yard with under ground sprinklers, sod and vinyl fencing by 6-1-18. Vacant with lockbox. Exterior concrete flatwork to be completed by 5-15-18. Walking & biking trails within Trails West & multi use trail in all the way to Zimmerman Trail.

Call Agent Rod Wilson at 406-855-4755 or Chantilly Hook at 406-598-3165 for further information and details.

  • Listing Type Single Family
  • Listing ID 283971
  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bathrooms 2
  • House Size 1,616 sqft
  • Lot Size 6,499.00 sqft
  • Listing Status Active
  • Year Built 2018
  • County Yellowstone
  • Full Bath 2
  • Subdivision Trails West Subdivision
  • Floors 1
  • Garage 2.0
  • School District 1 Meadowlark
  • School District 2 Ben Steele
  • School District 3 West
  • Zoning Residential 6000 Restricted
  • Fees 10.0
  • Taxes 625.0
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homes for sale billings mt

NEW! One Level. 9 Ceilings. Located in Trails West Subdivision. Adjacent to new Ben Steele Middle School Campus. Yard to be completed with underground sprinklers, sod and vinyl fencing by 6/1/2018. Exterior concrete is to be complete by 5/15/2018. Vacant with lockbox. Multi use trails within the subdivision for walking and biking all the way to Zimmerman Trail.

For further details please call Rod Wilson at 406-855-4755. OR Chantilly Hook at 406-598-3165.

  • Listing Type Single Family
  • Listing ID 283972
  • Bedrooms 3
  • Bathrooms 2
  • House Size 1,538 sqft
  • Lot Size 6,499.00 sqft
  • Listing Status Active
  • Year Built 2018
  • County Yellowstone
  • Full Bath 2
  • Subdivision Trails West Subdivision
  • Floors 1
  • Garage 3.0
  • School District 1 Meadowlark
  • School District 2 Ben Steele
  • School District 3 West
  • Zoning Residential 6000 Restricted
  • Fees 10.0
  • Taxes 625.0
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